~ Our Christmas Cards ~ 2013

Life isn't any fun if you take yourself too seriously.  

  2013 was a trying year,  our house was hit by a tornado and we lost my Dad.  

But there were good times too,  and we have to choose to focus on those.  At the end of the year we are still Team Manno, as we tell our kids,  we can get through anything as long we have each other and a sense of humor.   So Merry Christmas 2013,  from us to you. 

Fun Facts about our Christmas Card :

I actually drove to the studio with my bra on the outside of my shirt, praying I didn't get pulled over.  

I didn't let my husband shave for a week,  and he was instructed to show as much chest hair as possible.  

The picture doesn't do justice to Luci's hair,  it was 1980's huge,  and she is wearing Lee press on nails.

We wanted Libby Lu to make a mean face,  but she wouldn't do it.

Rocky is just reading the articles….yeah right!

Despite many rumors that it was my brother,  or my mom,  that is the real Santa in the photos,  my kids asked him to be in our family Christmas Card at their Santa shoot this year and he said yes.

I wouldn't stop at the gas station with my bra on the outside of my clothes to get the 40oz,  the cigar, and the naughty Magazine,  so I called my husband and made him to do it!

Originally Rocky was going to be reading a playboy,  Jimmy made me settle it down a bit. 

It took us about 8-10 takes to get this,  Luci nailed her shot on the first one and was irritated that the rest of us couldn't get it together as quick.

The 5 of us laughed harder shooting this silly card than we did all year.   Kind of makes up for some of the crappy stuff.   Merry Christmas to you and your family.   See you in 2014!

~ The Santa Claus Sessions ~ 2013 - Kelly Manno Photography

2013 is closing for me in the same way it has the past 3 years,  with the Santa Claus sessions.    Christmas is a time for reflection,  and stock piling all the memories you've made that year.  It is a time for friends, family, and rest.  I'm so grateful for this job and the opportunities it gives me that fills my heart so full.  But I am also very excited for my time to rest. 

The Santa Claus sessions came to life a few years ago when I wanted  a better expeience for my own Children with Santa - you can read about it here

These  Santa claus sessions have so much less to do with the pictures, and so much more to do with the experience.  Taking home pictures to remember  is just the cherry on top of the memories. 

Just imagine getting to visit Santa at one of his real workshops,  Christmas music is playing, he already knows your name, and you get to spend a whole 30 minutes with him, doing anything you want…feeding his Reindeer, reading a book,  going over your Christmas list. 

If you are interested in giving your Child a Santa Claus session next year e-mail me - Kellymanno@yahoo.com and I will put you on my wait-list of folks to contact when I start booking them.   I only do 20 per year and they sell out in record time. 

My kids came out for their very own session.  They've grown a lot since the last one.   These pictures of Rocky make me want to cry. He is 9, and at a very vulnerable and skeptical age.  He has the biggest heart of any little boys I know.  He was so excited to spend time with Santa,   I thought he was going to cry,  and Rocky never cries.  Needless to say his Christmas spirit has been on overdrive since our visit. 
Luci sat prim and proper and went over every detail of her very extravagant, overflowing,  list.
And lookie there!   Who is that big girl not scared of Santa?  It's Libby Lu!   We were soooo proud of her for not being scared this year.   She only has 3 things on her list,  but "Giggles the Monkey" is number one and she wanted to make sure he knew that, so she was willing to set her fear aside to talk to the big man about her monkey.
Look at Rocky's face,  he is so amazed by everything Santa knew about him.  How his hockey games went over the weekend,  who he sits by in school,  how he needs to try harder to be nice to his sisters,  and that his favorite toy from last year was his ventriloquist dummy.   
Their cousins joined in the fun too,  and the girls wanted to show Santa how to do their favorite pose "Peace Sign & Duck Face"
We're all still trying to pick up the pieces from losing my Dad,  and this is just what the kids needed. 
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
And now for the blooper reel…As perfect as these pictures look they don't flow as smoothly as you'd think.   November weather is very unpredictable,  a few kids had meltdowns,  Vixen acted like a total a-hole,  and Dasher….well he tried to Dash away.
Like seriously…somehow my husband let go if his leash and off he went.    This chase had already been going on for sometime when I finally picked up my camera and started shooting the tail end.
This photo below shows my husband trying to "step" on Dashers leash to stop him,  but Dasher weights about 350 pounds and it just sent my husband skidding to the ground. 
He finally caught up with him!  Thank God!  Because I don't want to know what it costs to replace a Reindeer.   Plus I'm pretty sure that would put me on the naughty list for life. 
A quick disclaimer that my husband isn't actually wrestling the Reindeer here,  it's just an illusion the way his antlers are turned,  I promise he's just grabbing the leash,  don't call PETA.

~ Kurt & Lisa ~ MARRIED!!!

She is radiant and poised, carries herself with grace and calm that makes her even more beautiful.  He is a big ball of energy with a personality everyone should be so lucky to know.  Together they had a spectacular wedding day surrounded by everyone who loves them. 

Heck with October weddings,  if you want some serious fall color... get married the first weekend of November- every year it's right on the money.  Best weekend of the year, nice pick Lisa and Kurt. 
Kurt was a local sports guy on television for a long time, he had a lot of great guys in his group- I tried really hard not to talk hockey with him all day :) 

Again, with the spectacular fall colors ;)   Well played, November. 
We snuck downtown for some city shots before heading to their reception to dance the night away!  Thank you Kurt, Lisa and your friends and family for a beautiful day. 

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