Thursday, December 14, 2017

Splish Splash

I feel like it's been ages since I grabbed my camera to snap pics of my kids just, kids!

I take a TON of pics of them (duh!) but they always seem to have a purpose: sibling snap before going to see Santa, matching jammies pic, promo pic fo a brand we rep, and so forth.

Anyways, tonight I decided to whip out my camera while all three of them were taking a bubble bath...and ohhhhh, man, I feel like these might be some of my most favorite pictures of all of them!

I really REALLY love lifestyle pics (like even more and more than I use to!) and candids are THE BEST, so I feel like documenting lifestyles and the here and now is becoming more of my jam...especially when it comes to my kids!  (hint: I think I decided on my 365 project for 2018 -- 365 days of candid (not posed!) snaps! I can't wait! capturing that lifestyle here and now: here I come!)

So that was a gigantic photo dump for you (#sorrynotsorry) but golly, what a fun little bath time was had today with my burritos splashing around in the tub!

I cannot wait to capture more and more of these lifestyle and candid moments -- I really am going to try and embrace and document my own kids in more of a lifestyle/candid way in 2018 rather than trying to (and mostly unsuccessfully) do posed pics all of the time.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

LEO Family

Every night we hug him and kiss him and tell him we love him and to stay safe as he heads off to work. While we sleep he isn't; he works overnights in one of the most violent cities in the US. While we dream, he dusts for fingerprints, collects blood and DNA, photographs crime scenes, and gathers evidence in hopes of piecing together a complicated puzzle to bring justice forth to the crime that has been committed. He protects and serves. When he walks through the door in the morning, bombarded by the hustle-and-bustle of getting out the door in time for school, we are so immensely grateful for him -- especially this guy. His job may be a police officer, but to him he's daddy, forever and for always.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Printing Your Snaps

*I literally copy-and-pasted this blog post from my photog blog because I think it's awesome info and wanted to have a virtual copy on this here blog too 😉

I thought I'd step aside from my usual photoshoot blogs and instead give you something different: a look at the wide world of photography printing.

My oh my how it varies by where you choose to get your prints printed!  I do provide all of my clients who choose to print their images on their own this handy printing info PDF with some tips and insight on where to print...but in addition to that now, I will be providing them these handouts as well!  Because you just paid a good amount for my services, you should want to get them printed at a place that replicates the same quality I have delivered to you in your digital images!

Obviously my top printing recommendation is to print through me (I use the professional print lab WHCC, which has amazing quality and ridiculously fast shipping!); however, for those who choose not to (and that's okay!!), I'm giving you this here post to enlighten you as to where you are choosing to have your prints printed.  Just because a place is offering free prints -- or super cheap ones -- doesn't mean you should print there!  You just spent a good chunk of change having your pictures done by a professional -- you owe it to those snaps to have them printed by one too!

I want to note that I have done zero editing to this pictures -- I simply took a picture of them, collaged them together, and tossed the print shop's name over it.  That's it.  I have been skeptical of these posts in the past thinking that surely a bit more editing was done to exaggerate the quality and color differences but I promise you I have not done anything to alter these -- they are as close to having all of the prints in your hand to compare as I could get!

I included the original image and then chose 4 of the most popular 'quick print' places to have these printed at (Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart, and Shutterfly) and then my 3 top recommendations (mpix, WHCC, and Diversified Lab Services (local STL print lab)) where I recommend my clients get their pictures printed.  The differences are astounding.  Some more evident than others, but still, such a variety of qualities across the board!

I want to note that this post is in no way bashing drugstore or 'quick and cheap' photo labs...more so to educate you, the consumer and client, as to the differences and qualities in where you are having your images printed!  Those drugstore print labs are definitely quick -- and I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't use them every now and again when I need some prints ASAP (like when I find out the night before I need to send in family pictures for my kids' preschool projects for the next day: Walgreens to the rescue!).  However, if I'm printing images to display in my house or give as gifts, you bet I want to make sure they are printed well and as close to my original as possible.

I hope this post has been informative to you in showing you the differences you can get when printing your snaps.  I want all of my clients to be as happy with their prints as they are with their images, so I hope this insight proves helpful in your choosing of where to get your snaps printed!

Snap Patrick, Snap!!!

Dude loves to snap.

I mean, this Pixltoys camera is ahhhhhhmazing and he can't get enough of it!

Clearly I can't get enough of him using it either! HAHA!

This is nothing more than a gigantic photo dump of pics of my favorite little dude using his camera!  It was SO WARM on Monday (like 56 degrees!) albeit a bit windy, but we had to take advantage and get outside for some snaps!  Some snaps of me snapping Patrick snapping!  (Follow that??!)

Anyways, if you have a kiddo who likes to take pics, get them one of these cameras!!  Patrick has a discount code for you PIXLPLAYBR30 at if you'd like to save 30% and grab one.  Promise you won't regret it -- they are awesome!!

Monday, December 11, 2017


Okay friends, it's that time of the year again...time to take the kids + Scoots to see SANTA!

Here's a nice little link up to last year's adventures if you'd like to walk down memory lane with me.

Anyways, this has become a yearly tradition for this Mooney gang so Santa pictures will be happening in early December from here on out!

Way back before Thanksgiving I made Santa reservations for a Monday night because 1. reservations make things go soooooo much faster 2. we can only bring Scoots on certain days/times so I wanted to make sure to snag one of those 3. they fill up SO FAST!

So the time had come and I was actually really excited and had some optimism on how this would go.  All of the kiddos had these adorable and cute matching outfits (which, spoiler, they'll wear again on Christmas Eve and day too.  WOOT WOOT.) and I had a game plan that Patrick and Rosie would stand next to Santa (since Rosie is okay with him as long as she's not sitting on him!) and that Santa would hold Annie and Scoots.  I mean, freak out pics are kinda amazing too (last year's was so good!) but a cute smiling pic works as well.

Anyways, so once the big kids and I got home from school we had a chance for a quick snack before we got Annie and Mike up from their siestas and loaded up in the van to go see Santa!

Here are 2 gems from literally about 5 seconds before we loaded them up in the van to go -- I am SHOCKED with how these turned out!  SO GOOD!  My spirits were lifted with their couch snap cooperation and I was hoping for the same kind of luck at the mall.

Now, my expectations were looooooooowwwwwww and totally expected a freak out or four (uh-hm, ROSIE), but I was shockingly surprised!

I should first mention it is always packed and it was not at all this year.  Like we were in and out in less than 20 minutes -- the longest part was getting our pics printed!  So that was a nice treat.  I hate crowds and avoid them at all costs cause they give me major anxiety but I always let that go for these pics, cause, TRADITION.

New this year was they do a 'practice picture' before you see Santa and shockingly it went well!  Lots of fake smiles!  Haha!

And since I'm a mothersucker I bought all of the digitals so here are some other gems from the 'practice' session.

After the practice pics they went to see Santa -- I told Rosie to just stand next to him (cause she told us in the car on the way over she did NOT want to sit on his lap! Just hold his hand!) but the next thing I knew she was taking off and ran into his arms, gave him a hug, and climbed up on his lap.  I kid you not.  I had to pick my mouth up off of the floor cause I was totally expecting another freak out a la last year's pics.

Anyways, I am sooooo happy with how this year's pic turned out!  Everyone is looking!  No one is crying!  Fake smiles all around!  Just the best.

And some outtakes for good measure too.  Gosh, it really was a great night and the kiddos had so much fun and were SOOOO good.

Ro thoroughly enjoyed the escalator ride too, by the way.

The big kids took turns holding Scoots and then tackling each other on the super soft tile floor 😑 while we waited for our prints.  That took the longest, and had we gotten them faster we'd have been in and out in less than 10 minutes which was AWESOME and I'm blogging for next year when I dread doing this because of my crowd anxiety but I will read this and it won't be too bad.

Anyways, what an awesome year 2017 was for Santa pics!  I cannot wait to see what 2018 holds!! EEEKKKK!  Kids really do make this season so much more fun and magical.

Ohhhhh, and I can't leave you without my 2013 to 2017 comparison snap...I live for these!

Merry Christmas my friends!  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!!!
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