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. tara – these videos are STUNNING! i mean, i weep every time i sit down to watch them. the emotion they convey – man. unREAL!

    what does michel use to shoot? or can you share that info? i was just wondering if he used the mark II, or a different cam. you are SUCH an inspiration!!!

  2. michel, thanks so much for answering my question personally. i have been in LOVE with tara’s work for years (she is quite the inspiration, don’t you agree??) and now this collaboration with you – WOW. all i can say is that i hope someday to travel across the country and have you guys capture my family!! love, love, love what you are doing…amazing!! you guys are both blessed with a one-of-a-kind God-given talent!

  3. these videos are AMAZING! each one is better than the last. you really feel like you are part of these families you capture them so well! thanks for sharing =)

  4. I had a huge smile across my face from the kick off of the movie. By the end I had tears streaming down my face. What a hell of a way to capture a family. I would die to have something like this of mine. Beautiful perfection. XXXX M

  5. I love this! I just watched Emily’s too & was laughing at the differences between an all-boy family & an all-girl family. Emily’s was so peaceful & serene. The McGarveys’ was just like my family (minus one boy- I have 3)… wild & crazy! Beautiful, amazing work you two.

  6. Hi,

    Just to say I’m just in love with your work. You’re truly inspirational.

    I’m a newborn Portuguese photographer and when I found your work I found the perfect image of everything I’ve dream about doing.

    Congratulations. And thank you for so much fun.


  7. Love, love, love, love, love it! And, I don’t even know this family! This is the second, amazing video that you two have done. I wish I lived on the West Coast so that I could play, too! Nice job :)

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