the mcgarveys • home movies that rock! with tara and michel sandy • san diego photographer

michel’s request: a rockin’ family
my request: backyard bbq, football out front, lisa’s margaritas

when deciding what video or videos we would like to do to build our portfolio, we decided we wanted to find two very different families to work with. so that we could create two things with very different feels in order to try and reach many types of families. our first collaboration was a magical, almost fairy tale of a piece with a family of little elfin girls. the best way to change things up? find a family of wonderful and energetic boys. and make a funny, happy, energizing movie for them. and i knew just the group.

lisa and her boys.

i guess i am incredibly lucky, because lisa is another friend of mine in whom i have a sister. our boys connect. major. we connect. major. my childrens eyes light up when i tell them we get to visit seamus and finn. they all think lisa is the best thing since money in a birthday card. she is like an auntie to them. they adore her. lisa is like the pied piper. kids will follow her anywhere. i love watching her interact with her kids and mine. i learn so much from her open interest in them. how she spends her time with them.

her two young men are ALL BOY. they have a portion of the backyard dedicated to “seamusland”. its a dirt section with a tree for climbing, a picnic table, and a small fort. complete with holes dug and then covered as traps, contraptions, and did i say dirt? the boys spend a lot of time there creating and scheming and i love that she gives them that space. i love so much about her house and yard. its got the greatest vibe. she has family photos hung almost floor to ceiling along her hallway, where skylights shine sun upon your head once you stop to admire them. and you will. the boys artwork is framed and hung for everyone to see when walking in the front door. she is surrounded by beautiful trees and the sun shines on their home in the afternoon like it was created just for that purpose. you are naturally drawn outside, because there is always a cool breeze. you can hear her wind chimes along with the slam of the screen door as the kids play and we relax on the front porch. there is always music playing too. great, great music. in fact, the song used in the movie was heard at her house that day.

i knew that her family would be able to give us exactly what we were looking for.

we showed up as the lobsters went on the grill and the margaritas were poured. and then spent two wild hours hanging out with them as they had a typical afternoon at home.

Mcgarvey Family Film from Michel Sandy on Vimeo.

music: ray lamontagne, you are the best thing

michel, you did it again! xo

Join the Conversation


  1. CRAP! You made me cry … now I have to go rinse my contacts out before I can go anywhere today! I have a nine-year old boy and this “life with boys” video just socked me in the gut. Who thought to have them rolling around in their T-shirts? Cause that was brilliant. Amazing piece of art, Tara and Michel.

  2. Love this! We have four boys and this reminds me of my life…but it’s more on the line of baseball than football (my poor husband would much rather it be football!)
    it brought tears to my eyes :)
    Thank you!

  3. I cant find the words to say how much Im grateful.
    Ive watched this video so many times and I cant help but wish that everyone could feel how I do when I see these images.
    You make me fall in love with my family over and over again.
    Thank you – to you and Michel.
    Love you.

    And thanks for all the comments everyone. :)

  4. This is insane. I knew I wasn’t going to cry on this one and I SO did. When I watch these I feel like I am hovering above my body looking down, lol. Like a white light kind of thing. I can’t even imagine being Lisa or Emily. This would make me finally go out and buy the fireproof safe:) I miss Lisa:( You’re amazing Tara and Michel.

  5. I am torn between wanting to be Lisa’s new bff because her family is so fun, or being insanely jealous of her and secretly booking a session behind my husband’s back. Hmmmm. Don’t run out of rad songs before it is our turn! Awesome work!

  6. Oh how I wish I could afford something like this. It’s so wonderful. What a treasure. Someday if I win the lottery….. unless! you need a family with awesome older kids, a couple so in love still after 15 years, two dogs and a happy peaceful life in idaho. We’d be happy to be your models. ;) Awesome work Tara!

  7. I am in awe of the emotion that you capture both in stills and movie! Blubbering over this one too…but it feels so incredibly different. Amazing job.


  8. dang dude. you always make me cry. what a big fat baby.
    i was just on someone’s blog and saw a ray lamontagne photograph. weird, huh? like right before i came onto your blog just a second ago, i was staring at it admiring it. spooky.

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