Today is Tomorrow’s History

Preserving your family legacy

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.

family biographical legacy films
My sister and me (in baby carriage) with Mom. Chicago, IL

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”