Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bowdenisms: The Movie

I am an idea person.

Now, I don't say that to brag, oooooooooh, look at how creAtive I am, it's just kind of...a fact. It's how I'm wired. I just...have a lot of ideas. Not all of them are good (OH no no no) but what I may lack in quality sometimes, I make up for in quantity. Partly I was just born this way (seriously, ask my mom about my trademark toddler quip: "I have a better idea") but part of it is also from studying and working in a creative field for so many years. I learned to ideate- taking in information, hearing the thoughts of others, and building, building, building up on them (yes, AND...)  

I've learned that good ideas and bad ideas are all a part of the process. I'm not afraid to throw something wild out there just in case it leads to something awesome. And when it doesn't? Well..they can't all be winners. (a phrase that is high on the list of life mottos these days. See also: Well...can't be good at everything.) Shrug. Shake it off. On to the next.

At this point, Dustin is accustom to the idea factory. No, he doesn't exactly adore the steady stream of could we's, should we's, what if we's, and I've been thinking's that are constantly flying out of my brain and my mouth, but...he sure does humor me. There's a bit of a now what? eye-roll at times, but for the most part, he's gotten on board with the ordeal/adventure that is being married to me.

And while I give Dustin a hard time sometimes for not being 100% behind my creative vision (I am an artist! A tortured soul! No one understands me!) the truth is, a lot of the time, I actually find myself in over my head. I can't tell you how many times I've found myself waist deep in my latest harebrained scheme looking around wondering Who got us into this mess? ( So even when I'm following through on my own (possible) stroke of genius, there's no shortage of second guessing along the way.

And the latest case in point: our recent family photoshoot.

We hadn't gotten pictures taken as a family since Miller was born, so now that he's less of a squishy-lump-of-newborn-scented love (sob!), and more of a movin'-shakin'- chunk-of-mini-man love I thought it was time to immortalize our family in film (again). But this time...I had a crazy idea: What if instead of photos, we did a video?

You know I'm digging video these days, so I thought it'd be super fun to be able to capture some of this wild and crazy season of life, in all of its wild and crazy (jumping/yelling/hugging/crying) glory. And lucky for me- I have a wild and crazy (generous/talented) friend, Mark Batke, who was up for the challenge of shooting us Bowdens. I pitched my idea to him: spending an evening at a park, running around just...being us while he got footage of it all...and he was in.

But then...I started to doubt myself. It didn't help that every time we set aside a date, the weather refused to cooperate (oh Ohio, do I need to teach you what Spring means?) so the anticipation phase was drawn out much more than intended. As I prepped, I started to feel self-conscious about the idea. After all, who does this? Plenty of people have professional pictures taken, but video? Isn't that a little weird? And maybe narcissistic? I told a few people, and got some confused responses (few people = my mom, and Dustin): what would we do with a video? Videography is becoming more and more commonplace at big events like weddings, but just the five of us goofing around with no real purpose? we really need footage of that?

When rain date #3 finally rolled around, I was still questioning my idea. I knew it could be cool, but I still worried that I'd feel/look awkward, and the whole thing would be a giant, embarrassing hassle. But then I remembered...I have three kids four and under. My whole life is a giant, embarrassing hassle. I forced Dustin to pep-talk me into my own idea, with both of us finally agreeing it would be fun. Or maybe terrible, but it would at least at some point be over, so...let's roll. So I piled on the bracelets, Dustin plastered on a smile, and we set out to make movie magic.

Well, spoiler alert: it ended up so not weird. And actually completely awesome.

All told, we spent a little over an hour at the park, just playing and running around, with refreshingly little forced smiling/posing. In fact- I didn't even have to use fruit snack bribery until the last five minutes, and even that was due to being out past bedtime, rather than any frustration with the process. That, my friends, is a win.

Mark was awesome- just completely relaxed and willing to roll with whatever. He's crazy good with video, but this was his first time doing a family shoot, so I warned him he'd likely be splicing together non-stop tantrums. But it was honestly the most painless of any of our photoshoots...I wasn't worried about getting the perfect shot, I didn't have to force anyone to cooperate, or smile, or even look at the camera. There was no wrangling, or lecturing...we just got to be. Us.

We wandered, ran, explored...took emergency potty breaks, got our shoes wet...picked flowers, chased balls...lost our bubbles container, yelled at imaginary sewer alligators...You know, the usual.

I was worried that this idea was silly...that I'd be self-conscious of the process, or critical of the result. But that couldn't have ended up farther for the truth. In the end, Mark created a perfect montage of our family- a silly, simple, happy little snippet, of a silly, simple, happy little family. 

The Bowden Family // Summer 2016 from Mark Batke on Vimeo.

Annnnnnnd tears.

I know I'm biased...but it's kind of amazing, right? I've watched it 1,003 times already, and I for real get a little teary every time. I'm just so thankful to have a keepsake like this- especially of this crazy (crazy good/crazy crazy) time in our lives that goes by entirely too fast (though it sometimes feels just the opposite). I just cherish this video, and am already counting down the days until we get to do it again (I may have roped him into one shoot per season this year...or maybe until the end of time.)

If you're intrigued by the idea too, I seriously can't recommend it enough. Even Dustin, who can bit of a curmudgeon about these things, agreed he would absolutely do it again, even saying he preferred it hands down it to a photoshoot. (though don't kid yourself; I'm still going to force a few of those on him as well. Documentarians gotta document). I told Mark he needed to prepare himself for all the moms calling him wanting a family video, because in my (humble) opinion- this is pretty much the best idea of all time.

Mark- We're so grateful for your vision and your talent, but mostly your friendship. Thanks for showing up, and saying yes...for videoshoots, and in life. 

P.S. More photo/video/general creative awesomeness of Mark's: website // instagram

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  1. Replies
    1. thank you! We should have him do your family's when you come to cbus! :)

  2. LOVE THIS. Also, your outfit is totally on point.

    1. aw...that is the highest compliment, coming from you!

  3. Beautiful!

    1. thank you. Love that little girl of yours. Need to meet her!