~ Pardon our Dust ~

Does this blog look a little different?  It's not done yet, but changes are being made.  Some things might be a little wonky here on the blog or website in the next few days....big things are happening!  Check back soon for the big reveal!

~ Hank the Tank ~

Okay, so he is not much of a "tank" but still, the nickname is cute, right?  This little bruiser belongs to one of my favorite couples.  You may remember their wedding I shot in 2009, here is a refresher  I adore watching my brides and grooms become parents.  I start feeling like part of the family, after all, I'm always there at the important moments in their life.   Congratulations Kelly and Nate!

~ Jennifer and John ~ MARRIED!!!

Jennifer and John had a fabulous wedding day.  The weather was great and they held their ceremony and reception at the spectacular Caroline Vineyards in Washington, Missouri.  Jennifer was a stunning bride and she picked some gorgeous summer colors for her wedding.
Isn't she adorable?
This little ring-bearer had quite an obsession with all things creepy and crawly.  He was catching cicadas and putting them in his pocket :)
I've mentioned before that in 7 years of business, I have never, ever, advertised.  Not once.  My business will always be built on word of mouth and reputation.  This wedding was referred to me by Erin and Mike.  I shot their wedding as well as newborn photos for sweet baby Sam, who has gotten soooo big!

My assistant and I both commented on what a lovely personality John has.  Sometimes getting Grooms to take photos is a little like pulling teeth, especially in the hot summer months.  But he was nothing but lovely, he had a huge smile on his face all day, just happy to be marrying Jennifer.

One of the wedding guests and I wore the SAME dress....GASP!  So we did a "Who wore it better" pose off..... ala "US Weekly."  I think she clearly won,  but in my defense, I'd been working all day and was quite the sweaty hot-mess.  Either way, cute dress right?

~ Disney 2011 ~

Well, I did it.  I earned my “I am slightly crazy” badge and took all my kids to Disney.  I want to make a real badge and wear it everywhere so parents who have done the same can unite with a wink and a nod when they see me wearing it. 
Let me tell you this.  I come from a family of very simple people.  We are not well traveled folks, the only traveling I ever did growing up was to Broken Arrow Oklahoma or Lawrence Kansas to visit my cousins.
I do not like to travel.  I do not like to pack, I do not like to fly.  I like my house, and my couch and my backyard, and this perfect little world I have built for myself.  It is my “Mother Ship”  my “Command Central” and I love it here.
 Aside from a couple landmarks in the US I have yet to see I am perfectly happy spending the rest of my life right here in the armpit of the midwest.
But I did it, not for me...but for them.  We all did it, me and my husband and our kids, my parents and my brother and his kids...All counting it was 5 adults and 6 kids.
Trying to navigate the airport could have been a reality show in itself.  I have not flown since all these crazy TSA rules started. Just in my family alone we had 7 bags to carry (3 were car seats, one was a double stroller, other 3 were suitcases)  carrying that amount of crap, plus our kids, was hysterical.  I saw a few people staring, some out of shock, some out of pity.  At one point I am sure Luci just rode on top of a piece of luggage and waved to passerby's as if it were her very own airport parade.
When we got to Disney it was insane, beautifully insane....I mean crazy, but magically crazy....I thought to myself, this is what crazy people do. 
Crazy people stand in line for 60 minutes to ride a flying elephant for 60 seconds and buy $10 hotdogs, I saw it on the faces of parents all around me who carried sticky, sweaty, sleeping, babies, lugged bags of over-priced souvenirs , popped Ibuprofen like it was candy and begged out kids to play the “Hey let’s sit down on this bench” game.
So why do we do it?  Because it's magic, that's why.  Disney is magic, it is.  I cannot explain it or describe it.  If you lug all your rugrats there at some point you'll feel it to.   Plus you bring home some pretty awesome memories. 

DISNEY VACATION from Kelly Manno on Vimeo.

Final Score - Jake-1 Kelly Manno - 0

This session will forever be known as : The session where I lost 5 pounds in 1 hour.

Meet Sherry, my beautiful friend and fellow photographer...Now read our e-mail exchange the night before our photo shoot....

SHERRY : Oh Kelly, my son is nuts. A smiley, nutty, happy, scream-y little boy. I think our session will be pretty interesting. :)

KELLY: I eat little scream-y little boys for breakfast, he doesn't scare me :)  See you at 6:30

You see, I am very confident in my kid-skills.  I relate to kids, I love kids, I like them better than adults.  It's easy for me to communicate with them, play with them, and photograph them because I genuinely like being with them.  For example : I had a blast catching up with her beautiful daughter Whitney.   We talked, we danced, we shook  out booties, we talked about the Little Mermaid...good times...good times..

Meet Jake, here is how my time with him went.   Jake ran...I chased him.  Despite doing everything we could to get his attention... he ran.  We sang the ABC's, he ran...We played peek-a-boo, he ran... We shook motorcycle toys and made "Vrrooom Vrooom" noises, he ran.  All 3 of us chased him like crazy people singing songs and playing with toys.  The boy just wanted to run. Now I know why Sherry is so dang skinny :)
Oh sweet little Jake, you win.  I'm waving the white flag, this old chubby photographer could barely keep up I think I went to bed that night at 8:00pm from exhaustion.   You are so much like my Rocky, an independent little explorer and who just wants to run.  Thank you for slowing down enough for me to at least catch a couple good photos.  You will keep your Mom and Dad on their toes for sure. 

And on a final adorable side note, when I was taking this photo below, Whitney looked at her Dad and said "Daddy, will you marry me?"   I know Daddy Alex will always, always remember that every time he looks at this photo.  

~ Baby Colin...almost here ~

Kristen and Corey are about to add another beautiful baby boy to their family.  I am pretty partial to the one they already have :)  He is going to make a great big brother and I loved catching up with them to see how much he has grown.

~ Movin' and Shakin' through the busy season ~

I love my blog because this is the first place my clients come to see my favorite images from their session.   My clients always get a sneak peek here before their images are delivered.   This has been a very busy summer already, so get ready for a fast moving blog this week, I'm gonna be movin' and shakin' to keep things on track!  Well kick things off with the ADORABLE Lee family. 

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