Nashville Family Photographer | Why Video Matters

May 13, 2021

How and Why I began making films

It’s funny to me because my why was discovered in hindsight. Like my soul always knew and when I look back, the evidence was there. First, lets talk about my childhood proof that I would become a photographer…. I ALWAYS had a disposable camera. and was always the one taking photos and couldn’t wait to have them developed. That part isn’t too special, but it is part of my journey.

Then at the age of 25, my mother died. No only that, but I last saw her on my wedding day. Everyone says we should live today as if it is our last, but I actually LIVED that. and the sad part is that this was before wedding videography was a thing – by only a few years. Someone, ironically last minute took some footage with their camcorder. I saved the CD for years and left it tucked in its sleeve. But it got damaged still and doesn’t work.

Am I glad I have the photos? Absolutely. But I would probably trade those in a heartbeat for video. I mean photos just DONT compare to her movements, her expressions, her laughter…. her live smile.

How my world shifted from Newborn Posing to Films

When I started in the photography world, I didn’t know myself. Not my true self, my genuine self. I fell in love with newborn posing, because I have always loved babies. It was easy because ALL I had to do was follow a list of instructions, copy other’s work and create my own from that. There wasn’t much art in it at all. Not true creativity that comes from within.

As my children grew, something began to shift in me. I didn’t know what it was at the time, I only understand it in hindsight. I was changing. I was evolving as a person. Discovering the real me. I stopped posing newborns and shifted into lifestyle photography, but even that was leaving me restless. I eventually took a big hiatus. I needed to take a break and step away and find myself again – as a person, a mother, and as an artist.

Come to find out, I was a creative my entire life. and never knew it. I was the child who stood out in School. I never fit in and had an eclectic group of friends. I was a creative being shoved into a box and never quite fitting. I attended a photography workshop in 2014, where she told me I was a creative – and I recall being shocked – my jaw dropped! It took a few years to figure this out. But this workshop was pivotal in my discovery.

Then in 2017, I saw the first family film created by Courtney Holmes in AU. I haven’t been the same since. She was coming to Nashville to teach a filming life workshop and I hired her to film my family. All films come with photos as well. I received the photos and sobbed. I have NEVER sobbed over my family’s photos. But I realized the image of my Greyson putting his shoes on in the silliest way, would be what I would miss if he died, or when he grows into a man and I look back on his childhood.

What I would not miss, is him in a polished outfit from H&M intentionally purchased for a sunset field family photo shoot. Not even a little bit.

I would miss his normal silly self that I see every day. The boy who cant resist being goofy and funny.

Anyway, back to what I was saying 🙂

The film came a few weeks later and I literally have no been the same since. I will never return to my former self. No matter how hard it is to attempt to grow a business that does not exist in 99% of people’s minds (or google searches for that matter) I will never give up on this. Its too important. And I think 2020 solidified that.

The Photography Industry has changed

The photography industry has changed in several ways. Everyone can see that. Between phones that gloriously capture anything we want at any moment and photographers on every corner… its become a way of life and a convenience. The issue is that its also become something we take for granted, something on our to-do list, akin to our pile of dirty dishes. We have lost sight of the real intention behind using photography and video to capture our memories. We have lost the intention of what we want to capture, to hold on to, for someday….

When I am filming a family. I am thinking about them when they are 60 years old and able to watch their films and look at their photos and remember as much as possible about their parenting journey, their children and their personalities. Their bonds as families, their laughter, their time spent together. The goal here goes far beyond checking off the to-do list and is aiming to literally freeze time and create a time capsule for the future. Talk to anyone who has lost their child or spouse, they will back me up on this. Talk to anyone over the age of 60 who has lived a lot of life. and they will tell you this is the most important investment.

Here are a few films to check out.

Roberts Family Film:

Roberts Family | Franklin, Tennessee | 2020 from Jennie Pyfferoen on Vimeo.

2021 Show Reel

2021 Show Reel final.mp4 from Jennie Pyfferoen on Vimeo.



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