Taft Day | August 2019

I’m late as usual, but I do LOVE the nudge that my idea of Family Days provides, because even if I do post late, I’m still occasionally documenting the people who matter most to me. This is an example of what I talked about in episode 26 of Exactly Enough Time—doing something in spite of the fact that you have or most likely will “miss the mark” —it’s giving yourself grace to move forward in spite of your short comings. It works for me!


Anyway, on to Taft. As mentioned in my most recent post, he earned his Eagle Scout award this summer and I asked if I could create a music video to share at the court of honor. Taft is an introvert who DOES NOT LIKE to draw undo attention to himself, so he said, “NO!” adamantly, NO. But having had some practice as his mother, I knew I might be able to wear him down if I persisted. Finally—after weeks, I received permission to make said video as long as it was one song long. I actually prefer short videos! I immediately knew the song—and he agreed, as it is one that we have mutually dubbed “our song.” So, now without his approval, I am sharing this video here. Sorry Taft! But you’re leaving me and posting this here means I can easily revisit it, which is something I will need to do in the coming months. Love ya!

NOTE: Since I didn’t get approval to create the movie until the morning of the court of honor, I had to work super fast! My Photo Freedom approach to organizing photos is AWESOME in moments like this. I’ve shared a few additional time-saving and design-enhancing iMovie TIPS below.

For those interested in creating iMovie videos similar to this, here’s some advice …

  1. Choose and download a SONG you love that is 2 to 3 minutes long. Nobody (outside your immediate family) really enjoys personal movies that are too long, so keep is short. Give your guests a break while making the whole process easier on yourself! Note: The song I used is called The Lucky Ones by Tim Myers.

  2. Approximately 100 photos will do it—plus or minus! Save these to a folder on your desktop or in Dropbox for ready access.

  3. Photo Selection Tips: Use a mix of single person and small group photos and include pairs or triplets of photos that are similar in some way. ie, in my movie, I used the “Taft” street sign, a pic of Taft holding his laundry bin that says “Taft” and a pic of him holding tissue boxes that spell “Taft” — our brains LOVE to find similarities on scrapbook pages AND in movies like this one. Notice how I’ve also used a handful of photos that display the American flag spaced throughout the movie.

  4. Once you’ve imported your photos and music into iMovie, click on the little i in the circle (clip information) and set the duration for MOST of your photos to only 1.5 or 2 seconds a piece. The default of 4 seconds is too long!

  5. Use the cropping tool to set these same photos to the “fit” style of crop. This allows your movie to move along with the rhythm of an upbeat song.

  6. Use the default Ken Burns (moves either in or out) cropping style on only a select few photos. These images that display movement for a longer duration provide repetition and a sense of ebb and flow that is really FUN to watch.

  7. Don’t go crazy on titles or special effects. Create a simple title and end slide using a solid color background and avoid crazy transitions that are distracting. The focus should be on your photos!

There you go.
I LOVE making little movies like this.
The more you practice the easier it will become, but it’s NOT hard.

I’d love to hear your tips and advice for projects like this!