Posts tagged family legacy
Becoming a Storyteller

It was getting dark and I was getting hungry but I was afraid to leave my hiding place and go home. I was about six years old, back at a time when a parent could leave their child in the backyard to play without worrying about them. At the time, we lived in an apartment building that had a small yard that backed up to an alley. The day before a neighbor lady walked by as I was playing and asked me how my mom was. For some strange reason, I started making up a story, telling the neighbor that my mom had just had a baby and was doing fine. She had not seen my mom for some time so my story was plausible although she looked surprised.

The next day while playing outside I saw the same woman, walk up to our door carrying a cake. I knew it had something to do with my mom and the fictional new baby. I quickly jumped into some shrubs and waited for her to leave. After she was long gone I was still too afraid to come out from hiding and face my punishment. I finally came out but I don’t recall the punishment that I received. I do remember seeing a small grin on my mother’s face that she was clearly trying to suppress. This is my first memory of being a storyteller. Now, as a photographer and a filmmaker, I’m a storyteller by profession.

Everybody has a story. What’s yours?

Family Story Movies

Capture Your Legacy

Today is Tomorrow's History


I have fond memories of my grandmother telling stories as we lingered at the dinner table long after the family meal had been consumed.  If she didn’t have a story to tell, my mom would.  Maybe that’s why I became a storyteller, first as a still photographer, now as a filmmaker.

More than a decade ago, my mother died suddenly. It was not expected. We had no warning and then one day she was gone from our lives forever.  I would give anything to hear her voice again. To hear her tell a story that she had told a hundred times before.

Other than some scattered photos, random letters and a few mementos of her, all I have left are my memories but they have begun to fade.

As a photographer and filmmaker, I have decided to use my craft and skills to create custom biographical family films to preserve one’s legacy for future generations. Based on the popularity of DNA tests, it seems as if I’m not alone in pursuing my interest in my heritage. But I’m more interested in finding out more about the lives of my ancestors and the people they were than I am in finding out where I came from.  I want to know who they really were, what they did for a living, what motivated them, discouraged them and what their dreams were.

As I continue to go down this path of video storytelling, I realize that this it is exactly what I am meant to do. And that is to tell the story of those who came before us. But I don’t want to wait to capture the stories of our loved ones after they are gone. Instead, I want to capture the family stories from the people who are in our lives while they are still here to tell them. I have come to realize that preserving a family’s legacy in this way, is priceless.

My hope for this blog is to pass along to others, some tips, and knowledge as to how we can capture our family’s stories and preserve this legacy for future generations.

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Gail Mooney is the founder of Conteur Productions “Preserving your memories before they fade away”