Baby Q! Life Films by Sweet Pea Cinema


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Our friends and clients Ashley and Jeff have always been up for anything.When they called last year, it was no surprise that they wanted to embark on an ambitious video project: to capture the months of planning and fun leading up to the birth of their first child.At this point, Ashley wasn’t even pregnant. But they knew how special this time in their life was going to be, and they also knew — having been one of our first Sweet Pea wedding film couples — how extraordinary a story can be told through video, audio, music and professional editing.But there was a big problem.Jeff and Ashley lived hundreds of miles away in Arkansas, making it impossible for us to jump into our car with our professional video and audio gear to be able to record the small and large moments of this incredibly special time in their lives.So we got creative.Jeff and Ashley researched baby films and had a pretty good idea of the style they were going after. We chatted by phone, Skype and email to come up with a strategy for filming, sharing files and my approach to editing.And then they got busy … in more ways than one.Ashley got pregnant soon after they began trying, and a whirlwind of activities unfolded. First, telling their families. Then a few trips, including a “babymoon” to Disney. And getting a nursery outfitted for the little person they’d begun to call “baby Q.”When I received their first batch of footage through the mail, I couldn’t wait to plug in the drive and start watching. And I have to admit to being a little worried about what I might find, just in terms of the quality of the clips, knowing that most of it was captured on an iPhone.Would it be too blurry? Would the audio be muffled? How would the white balance play out? Not to mention little to zero stabilization for the shots.But as per usual, this can-do couple nailed it!First, they took my biggest piece of advice: turn the phone horizontally, so that the frame would be filled with the image. I also advised them to try to record in quiet spaces, so that audio would be OK, and also to try to film near natural sources of light.They did a great job of capturing everything from Ashley’s belly starting to bulge, to their baby shower, to Jeff building a crib from scratch. From scratch!Then it was the moment for Caden Q to arrive.That happens to be the one moment they couldn’t record was the their child’s actual birth, because Ashley ended up needing a C-section, and phones were completely off limits. But thanks to Ever After Portraiture, we’ve included a few stills, which also makes this my first “fusion” project as well.Of course, knowing Ashley and Jeff so well, I would have loved to have shared in some of these moments.  But one thing’s for certain: the emotion and story Ashley and Jeff recorded mainly with their iPhone is brimming with emotion, heart and character. It suits them perfectly.As their editor, I couldn’t help myself, and we ended up directing an opening title sequence, as well as doing a little live shooting directing via FaceTime, helping Ash and Jeff by remotely directing a little session with their new bundle of joy to finish the film.But 99% of the footage is all theirs, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have helped them create this lasting memory of the Quaintance family growing from two to three!Congrats Ashley, Jeff and the star of the show, Caden!Cheers,Cindy

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