Our Christmas Family Photoshoot



All Photos by Melissa Mowrey

It’s that time of year when we do our obligatory family photoshoot for our Christmas cards. I can’t say that I look forward to picture taking day because finding outfits for three boys and actually convincing them to wear those outfits IS A CHORE! I love glitz and glam which is kind of hard to go all glam on these boys. Don’t get me wrong, I think each one is model worthy (I may be a little partially biased) but they just won’t do GLAM! And then there is the actual photoshoot day and I hear, “mom, do I have to wear this ridiculous bow tie??”  Yes, son. Yes you do.  I may throw in a bribe or two (don’t judge, we’ve all done it!) Then there’s the hair combing process and I hear that I’ve put way too much gel in their hair or sprayed hairspray in their eyeballs.  Oh boy{s}!!  At least I didn’t make them tuck in their shirts but I did make them put on chapstick! No crunchy lips allowed on camera! Ha!  So here we are, perfectly posed for our Christmas Family Photoshoot….

But this one is more our reality.


Big brother pinching younger brother, it never ends.  But that precious little one squeezing me so tight with the cutest expression ever…ya, he melts me and is our 100% little love bug!  It takes an awesome photographer to capture these candid moments which are really the photos I love and absolutely cherish the most!  The ones that reflect our personalities! It seems like so many photographers tend to want you to pose in front of the camera all perfectly and lose sight of what the purpose of those photos are.  To capture moments in time of families interacting with one another.  Lord knows we don’t stand around in our home with happy smiles on our faces and ironed button up shirts on.  Not reality.  I’m usually playing referee between the boys and most of the time we have a chaotic life.  I wouldn’t change it though! That’s what makes our home!  I found that photographer who truly captured some of those moments!  Melissa Mowrey is a local family photographer in Colorado Springs who is such a gem to work with!


I warned Melissa that we needed to make this photo session short and sweet before the boys fizzled out.  I had a vision in mind of an industrial setting, something more unique and different from year’s past where we have had photos done in a field or on the beach. Melissa found this great little spot downtown Colorado Springs at the Mining Exchange Hotel (you locals should really go check it out!)  There is this fun large courtyard with strung lights.  It was quite magical actually!

Communicating with your photographer is so important, but it’s equally as important for your photographer to listen to you. Going into our photo session I was telling Melissa that I wanted her to just capture those candid moments. Sure, the posed shots are great, especially of my boys, but I want to look back at these photos five, ten or twenty years from now and remember that moment and what made my boys laugh or smile or even wince {remember pinching brother.}  Most of the time we didn’t even know she was shooting away with her camera.  We would be settling into our pose but the moments she caught before we actually “posed” turned out to be my favorites!  She even got smiles out of my boys and made us all laugh!

I love this one of my youngest looking up to my oldest. He has so much admiration for his big brother and this one just gave me a big pitter patter of the heart!



Isn’t this the perfect industrial setting? Those lights, the brick, the oversized metal, the street light…oh it was all so perfect for the look I was going for!  I see this image of us holding hands in motion and have memories of our trips to NYC and literally walking the streets like this, especially through busy areas such as Time Square, because I’m so afraid of one of us getting lost. The boys were good sports about holding hands and all…they actually were so cooperative!  I don’t know if you’ve ever visited my ABOUT ME page, but there I mention that you’ll often find me wearing cheetah stilettos in the midst of Converse sneakers {in this case…Vans} in my home of boys. Well, there you have it! My stilettos will always stand out amongst those cool dude shoes.


These three boys and my super hunky hubby are the loves of my life!!  They may all drive me bonkers half the time but I can’t imagine my life any other way. They each have such unique personalities but they all have one thing in common, actually two…brown hair, brown eyes.  My blond hair blue eye genes got overpowered! But they do have my scattered freckles.

Meet my oldest, Austin. He’ll be seventeen on December 28.  He was almost a Christmas baby!  I know I say this a lot, but I’m saying it again MELT.MY.HEART!!!  He’s incredibly smart and wise.  He is taller than my husband now….how did this happen???  It seems like yesterday I was rocking him to sleep at night!  Seriously, isn’t he so handsome??



Be still my heart.

And then there’s our E.B., that’s his nickname.  Ethan is thirteen and this one has so much of me in him.  His mind is always scheming up his next invention or creation.  He loves to decorate too!  You should see his bedroom for Christmas!  We’re talking lights everywhere and synched to Christmas music.  I keep telling him he’s going to be my design partner one day!  After Austin was born, I didn’t think my heart could hold anymore love.  But Ethan filled it even more!  And what a good sport to wear that bow tie for me. He was thrilled. Ha!


Isn’t this such a fun backdrop? I saw that sign painted on the brick wall and was like…THERE!  We want photos THERE!!


I can’t decide which one I like the most, color or B & W?  The B & W looks so retro!  I love it!


Ethan constantly gets mistaken for his younger brother, Dylan.  Most people think they are twins.  They are actually two and a half  years apart. I can see all the differences in their features, but no one else can. I think it’s kind of sweet.

Dylan is eleven and I’m holding on to him being the baby for as long as I can! He has the biggest heart full of love and is the one child that runs straight for me every morning to give me a hug! I always say he has a heart of gold!


This photo about took my breath away! I know, tear jerker right?? I just get all teary eyed looking at it! THIS is the kind of candid moment that speaks so loudly to me! Melissa caught us at the right time and I will forever cherish it!



To see my boys in this moment really makes my heart do big flip flops, back flips, hand springs and all!  I adore that sweet look of Dylan’s as he stares at Austin.  If you have boys, then you know that brotherly love hugs can be a rare occasion. I’ll be blowing this one up and framing it!

It’s a known fact that I DO NOT like my photo taken.  I’ll turn my head to the side or look away from the camera.  Something about looking straight at the camera makes my eye all squinty and lips trembly! Seriously, it’s not my thing! But I have to give kudos to Melissa for catching this image that I actually approve of.  No squinty eye (or lazy eye I should say) and thank goodness my lipstick was on straight.  I guess the trick is me looking up at the camera and her aiming down.  That was her idea and it turned out for the better for me!



One of my favorite things about the holiday season is receiving photo cards in the mail.  I love to see photos of family and friends and how much families can grow in a year.  I keep every photo card I receive and look back at them each year.  This year I was so excited to get our family Christmas card created by Minted. I love how each beautiful card design is created by individual design artists.  There are so many choices to choose from and you can fully customize your card to your specific taste.  I love that!  The quality of the card is unsurpassed with options of thick signature paper, 100% recycled premium paper, or pearlescent paper.  Haven’t ordered your holiday cards yet? You can still order and they’ll get it to you by Dec. 24! Hurry!!

I thought this photo was the perfect depiction of what our year has looked like…always ON THE GO! We have a very busy life with our family business, my new blog launch this year, the boys’ sports and academics, and just LIFE.  But it’s a good busy that we feel very blessed by.  We are surrounded by so many wonderful friends and family in our lives that we are so thankful to have!



I hope you enjoyed our Christmas Family Photoshoot or maybe gained some ideas for your own photos. You can visit Melissa Mowrey’s other beautiful photography on her website HERE.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of services by Melissa Mowrey Photography and products by Minted.  All opinions are my own.







  1. Shauna!!! You and your precious family look absolutely amazing!!! The back drops, your outfit and your 3 adorable little men…it’s all perfect!! What a great post:))

  2. This post cracked me up just imagining the eye rolls and sighs about the outfits and hair. My children are the same way! You’re so sweet – and those boys are so handsome and so good to cooperate with their mom for these pictures! I had to show this post to my husband because we have a little “love bug” too.

    Precious family, Shauna! Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Kim!
      I am so happy someone else can relate! I thought it was just my boys who felt tormented during family photos! Ha! I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

  3. Your family is soooo cute! I have 2 boys, a hubby, and a boy dog. So, I feel your pain 😉 I too, wouldn’t change it either. I LOVE the location and how your pictures turned out! They are sooo good! I am new to your blog and I just have to say, I LOVE your style and your blog!! You are so good at what you do! Have a Merry Christmas ~

    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you so much!I have a boy dog too! Haha! I’m so outnumbered! I’m so happy you are enjoying the blog and I really appreciate your sweet compliments! Merry Christmas!

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