Your Story Matters Videography and Personal Documentaries Memoir VideosYour Story Matters Videography and Personal Documentaries Memoir Videos
Your Story Matters Videography and Personal DocumentariesYour Story Matters Videography and Personal Documentaries Memoir Videos
about us
memoir videos
celebration videos
creative weddings
life story writing
video coaching

The stories you value most preserved in a lasting form.
It's not therapy, but most people find it therapeutic.

Memoir Videos are personal portraits about oneself or loved ones that offer stories, life lessons, inspiration, wisdom, and comfort among others. They strengthen connections across the generations. Also available on DVD.

Since 1982, I have been asked to tell the stories of individuals, couples, families, clans, and organizations of many kinds to preserve the faces, voices, and values that matter most to them.

Your Story Matters uses family storytelling, interviews, conversations, and all the mementos you can provide such as photos, home movies, music, poetry, and artwork to create your Memoir Video. We offer as much guidance as you would like to clarify what you want to include and what you want your Memoir Video to express.

My passion for creating a visual and audio record of rituals, celebrations, and conversations from every stage of life from giving birth to the end of life grew out of an early interest in anthropology, spirituality, and ways of life that differed from my own.

I am now a seasoned documentary director, camerawoman, editor, personal historian, and life story writing coach. Memoir Videos have become my specialization for two reasons. Creating them allows me to use all of my skills with the greatest subtlety and gives me the greatest joy.

"Carlyn, words cannot express what it means to have my father in his beloved garden in the Memoir Video you created. His voice, his smile, his very presence - all right here. I can't imagine grieving now without it."

A daughter, Northampton, MA

Every project that Your Story Matters takes on is as unique as the story it tells or the event it captures. For this reason, I design every story project to suit your tastes and priorities.

Please call me for a free initial phone consultation and estimate.

(413) 863-4480

Member, Association of
Personal Historians

Your Story Matters Videography and Personal Documentaries


A spontaneous interview of guests at a 70th birthday celebration.

Several popular Memoir Video themes are described below. Feel free to invent your own.

Preserve and pass on traditions and crafts such as quilting, specialty cooking, and artistic pursuits.

A Day in the Life
A typical day or fond routine of a loved one is chronicled by Carlyn's camera and by the featured person's voice.

Pet Movies
Features the life and loves of a member of the family who happens to be an animal.

House Memory Tours
Give voice to the stories behind cherished homes and belongings by giving an informal tour of your living or work space.

Video Archives Edited
Do you have more video or old home movie footage than anyone can watch? Your Story Matters can create edited versions based cutting priorities set by you. Even create chapter headings that can be accessed instantly on a DVD.

Ethical Will Videos
Ethical Wills come from an ancient tradition for expressing what a person has learned about how to live an ethically good life. Over 2000 years later, Your Story Matters is helping the ethical will make a comeback by producing them in a lively video form that young people are more interested in watching and learning from.
But the young aren’t the only ones who benefit from the creation of an ethical will. Those who make ethical wills report a sense of calm and completion that signing a legal will cannot hold a candle to.
Like a legal will, an ethical will can be created at any point in life and updated as necessary. The similarity ends there…

• A legal will only passes on your valuables.
• An ethical will insures that your values
...don’t get left out of your legacy.

How is an Ethical Will Video created?
We start with either the voice or the images, whichever one feels easier. In an in-depth consultation with the person making his or her ethical will, I find out what scenes or backgrounds will resonate with the messages they want to convey. Will you be on your favorite bench in the garden? Wrapped in your mother’s handmade quilt? At the library or the agency where you volunteer? Then, we explore the question, what do you want to say and how do you want to say it? Long experience with my own autobiographical story writing helps me assist the client, often on paper, to clarify the thoughts, feelings, and core values they want to record.
When clients prefer that only their voice be recorded, we make this possible by editing their ethical will as the voice-over to photos and images that they feel will resonate with their message This technique yields a strikingly poetic effect.

Epilogue Videos
In an awareness that they are probably in the last chapter of life, some clients of Your Story Matters have asked us to create a personal documentary that captures a loved one's unique presence and character, including his/her voice, humor, facial expressions, and physical gestures and activities. An Epilogue Video is created very similarly to an Ethical Will Video but without the focus on recording
core beliefs and values.

Epilogue Videos also offer a sense of completeness or closure to those who participate in them. Later, they become an enduring resource for the family's journey of grieving.

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Tel: 413-522-0789

We're in Turners Falls in the Pioneer Valley -- the heart of western Massachusetts!

Website by and A. Michelle Illustration     Copyright 2003 - 2010  Carlyn Saltman