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Photo: Collie James Photography.

Trend Alert: Why Family Video Portrait Sessions Are In

Professional videos capture memories in a dynamic and share-worthy way.

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When England’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge released a short family film in honor of their tenth wedding anniversary—showing them exploring the countryside and sharing warm moments with their kids—they set a trend in motion. Though recording memories is just a cellphone touch away, many families are now adding video “portraits” to their professional photography sessions. “People want videos instead of just photos because you can see walking and hear talking,” says Colie James, of Colie James Photography, a family photographer and videographer with a documentary style. 

Hiring a professional means everyone’s included. “Whoever is (usually) taking the videos, often it’s mom, won’t be in any of them,” says Kellie Henriksen, of Kellie Henriksen Photography. A professional photo/video session, on the other hand, gets everyone in the picture. “You can be in all of the clips, you can enjoy yourself, and you aren’t constantly worrying about the angles, [or] whether it’s recording—the stress is gone,” adds James.

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Incorporating video into the photo sessions is easy. “I’m able to switch from photo to video seamlessly without the family hardly even noticing,” says Danielle Roth, of Danielle Roth Photography.

While pictures and videos may live on our phones indefinitely, waiting for us to finally pull the memories together, a professional photographer/filmmaker creates a finished video product, with editing and music, that can be shared freely with family, friends, and social media.

Prices vary widely depending on the photo/video package and photographer, but can range from $400 to $3500.  

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