MEET YOUR STORYTELLERS
MICHAEL + KAYLA
Best Friends. Husband & Wife. Father & Mother to our son Leo Strider. (and co-workers)
WHERE IT BEGAN
"Being a storyteller isn't realistic..."
...is what I (Michael) would tell myself any time I considered that as a career. Kayla and I married in 2013 and quickly moved from Greenville, SC to Orlando, FL. The impact of this decision to move set the ground work for how we would live the rest of our lives, always making the dreams of one another a reality. We kept answering those dreams, pursuing one another, and found ourselves traveling to and working in China, a cruise ship, and even in Australia and along the way, we captured our story. We weren't necessarily being storytellers by trade at that point, but we certainly were living out an epic one. It was when we got back from Australia in 2018 that our passion for the story we were living turned in to a desire to capture other's story in a meaningful way.
GRIEVING OUR LOSS
And Finding a Name
In 2019 Kayla and I established ourselves as videographers and editors for hire as "Kalon Productions". However, shortly after we went live with our storytelling, we experienced sudden joy with Kayla finding out she was pregnant! At 9 weeks though, we had lost our little one. Journeying through miscarriage rocked our world, shook our priorities, and we knew that Eve (what we named our first), meaning "Life", had stirred a passion in us even deeper to not only become parents, but to share her story to help others journeying through the loss we had experienced. In early 2020 we experienced our second loss, again our hearts grieving and aching, we named him Charlie, meaning "Free". It was from these losses, the power of healing through sharing our story, that we decided to move on from "Kalon Productions" and re-brand ourselves to "Live Free Stories" as both honoring the lives lost and recognizing it as a command to live by.
Living a Free Story
In the middle of pursuing a complete career change and following the passion stirring in our hearts, we apprehensively found out in Fall of 2020 that we were expecting yet again. This time with little Leo Strider in the womb. Our joy was also met with extreme apprehension due to the history of loss we had experienced. However, each day we held on to the beauty of our time that we had with him. Never looking far ahead. Holding tight to what was here and now and present with us. While we journeyed in to unknown territory, navigating our forever grieving hearts, we remained steadfast holding on to hope for a child to hold on this side of eternity. It was within this season that our leap of faith turned in to more than what we could have hoped or dreamed... connecting with others who trusted us to care for their story as much as they did and be able to tell it well through our cinematic imagery and collaboration. It was within this season that we continued to hope, pray, and believe the best was yet to come. Our longing hearts finally were able to hold our dream deferred. Leo Strider was born May 10th, 2021.
We are constantly discovering, exploring and being challenged in our roles as best friends, husband and wife, father and mother, and co-workers. We are blessed beyond belief to be pursuing our passions, connecting with others, and helping to tell stories in a way that captures the heart of you and your audience. We are taking time, soaking up our son watching him grow and change. We are exploring the ways we can continue to be challenged and grow as storytellers. We are blessed by where we have come from, we are living in the here and now, we are excited to live our free story, and we would be honored to partner in telling yours.