WHY I PHOTOGRAPH KIDS & FAMILIES (a little essay):

Hello :) My name is Chamonix and I'm a family portrait photographer & filmmaker in Seattle. I got my first camera when I was 10 and I HATED it when people would get in my shot — I only wanted to take photos of landscapes. Somewhere along the line, things changed.

I made my first family video when I was 13 (it was about my family’s ski vacation in Whistler) and I remember editing that first video at the dining room table thinking to myself that it would be SO FUN to grow up and make videos for my job…but nobody would ever actually pay me to do that, right? So I put it out of my mind and just took photos/videos for fun.

A few months after graduating college, the magazine I was working at (as a writer) asked me to take some photos. I literally skipped home from that assignment and bought my first big camera and started advertising for clients the next day. In the past decade, I’ve worked in weddings, women’s portraits, family portraits, fashion, and commercial.

I started the Happy Film Company in 2013 on the beaches of Hawaii. I wanted to spread happiness around the world, focus on what really matters, and surround myself with good vibes. What could be better than making playful videos for families?

Since then my team and I have photographed over 1,000 families in the Seattle area. These days, it’s usually just me behind the camera (so I’ll be the one taking your photos) but I do have ladies helping me in the office which means we can offer faster customer service & turn around times! My office manager, Cherry, will happily answer your questions: hello@thehappyfilmcompany.com

Maternity and newborn photos are usually how it all starts. It’s their first time getting family photos. After that, some come back once a year, every other year or the really enthusiastic ones call me up multiple times every year because the kids keep getting bigger!! The babies I photographed in my first year of business are now inviting me to their dinosaur birthday parties. I’m so happy when they remember my name.

Family photography is a journalistic adventure into people’s personal lives. My camera is my all access pass to some of the most private and precious moments in peoples lives. It still blows my mind a little when I walk into people’s homes and recognize the photos hanging in their living room came from my camera. It’s surreal. After all, every photo I take for you is actually one of my own memories; something I witnessed and thought was beautiful and worth capturing.

My favorite moment to photograph is when a family is sitting together, squishing closely, squeezing tighter and tighter and tighter until a tickle fight breaks out. No one is posing or thinking about cameras or posing. They lost in the moment together feeling happy.

Videos capture that happiness in motion; so you can watch moments unfold; like a serious face turning into a smile. Some families watch their videos once a year as a tradition. Photographs are great for hanging on the wall, something to appreciate daily, and the videos are something to go back to every year or so to revitalize memories and bring a smile to your face. Kids especially love the videos. I hear many families say that if their kids aren’t watching Frozen or Moana on repeat, they’ll be watching their videos from the Happy Film Company over and over and over again. Children love watching these videos now and I can only imagine what a precious keepsake they’ll be as they grow into adults partly because it’s fun to see what you looked like as a kid, but more importantly because your children will love seeing how you played with them. They will love to see how you looked when you were a young mom & dad, throwing them around and laughing together. And this one always gets me… some people love watching the videos on my website, even when they don’t know the families! They watch them all just because it makes them happy to watch families playing. Happiness is contagious, man!

Family photography is the most lasting
, meaningful thing I can probably do with my camera and I am deeply excited when I receive a booking form through the website. This is a fun, warm, personal experience and I do my best to keep it simple and comfortable for you. When you’re ready to book a photo shoot with me, fill out this booking form. Most families can get on our calendar within 2 weeks. If it rains we reschedule. Yes, you can bring your dog or cat or ferret (I’ve actually never photographed a ferret before but I’m down). If you refer a friend make sure they mention your name because we do offer reward rewards (you both save money on your next photo shoot). — See you soon! Chamonix

PS: I also own another business called “Chamonix Films” which creates promotional videos for small businesses. Feel free to reach out if you have professional needs ;)
PPS: I also create music! I release all my music under the name “Cha Wilde” and you can find me on Spotify, iTunes and anywhere else music plays. ;) Come to a show!

If you have questions, please send me an email:  hello@thehappyfilmcompany.com

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