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RMP Blog

Professional Photography Behind the Scenes.....

April Cannon


So why are professional photographers SO expensive? What are you getting that is so different? You just want a couple of photos right? I really get it, I really do, especially in today’s visual market it is so hard to understand why some photographer’s are much more expensive, while others are just cheaper.

Think of it like restaurants or stores. Why do you sometimes shop for a drive through burger with fries and run by the store, versus planning a shopping day ending at your favorite high end restaurant? The answers are simply: the experience and the quality of the product.

So I decided to break down what your actually getting when you hire a professional photographer:

  1. They have a legitimate business and they have taken the time to do it right. This means they will do it right for you! The caveat for the pros that legitimize their business is that they have to pay taxes and at a much higher rate (almost 40%) because they are self employed. When you look at the prices posted - automatically think 40% less is their take home.

  2. They have insurance because they care about both you and their business, which again means they are highly invested in their product therefore highly invested in you.

  3. They invest in continuing educating to improve and fine tune the style of photography that initially attracted you. They want to get as much right in camera as possible to make the final outcome of the photo as magical as possible. They see light and learn the best ways to manipulate the light in a frame to best highlight you and/or your family.

  4. They have taken the time to learn what products are out there and how this will best suit your needs. This includes prepping and ordering these products for you.

  5. Most spend on average for every hour of shooting - 20 hours behind the scenes prepping for the session and working on the session afterwards. They take the time to edit and get skin tones correct, to edit any background distractions, to make sure the colors are accurate and correct.

  6. They invest in YOU- how? They take the time to get to know you via online questionnaires, talking on the phone, researching what location will work best for your family (sometimes this involves driving around and location scouting to learn light at the time of day of shoot). All to deliver what best suits your family and create an amazing experience for you and your family.

  7. They of course have the “nice” camera and take the time to update all the software for it and every other, technical device associated (computers, flashes, remotes, online editing, photo delivery, session scheduling, websites, monitor calibration, etc).

  8. They take the time to BACK up their work and make sure you receive yours in more than one format to ensure the product they give you is backed up for you as well. (Pros keep backed up copies of your session via online or external hard drive storage).

So why does the professional photographer charge so much for “just the digitals”? The digitals is where the meat of the work goes (as you see above). The physical products are just the nice display in your home. You would not go to a clothing store and say “I just want the cloth” or to a restaurant and say - “I just want the food”. No you pay for the entire product and how it is presented.

Why not just order a print from anywhere? Local print places either do not know how to calibrate their printers or do not calibrate them often, which often leaves people wondering why the print looks so much different than the digital they see (skin tones look orange or green or gray, photos come out with too much contrast or too dark or too light, etc). Professional photographers take the time to get samples of their work from several pro shops to bring you the best of what matches their work style and give you the most accurate representation of the digital you have purchased. And if something goes wrong, they know how to direct the print company to correct it.

In short a professional photographer is highly invested in you and providing the best experience possible. And hey if you just want that quick shot that is totally cool, but at least now you know what you are getting when you hire a professional.

Many blessings,

April of Running Mom Photography

It Takes a Village.......

April Cannon


I will be honest I did not grow up with a village. I was the kid that moved around and everyone else already had thier friends and support system (usually in the form of family all around). I honestly did not know what that phrase meant until I had kids, then I realized I wanted a village, because raising kids is hard work and lonely with no village.


It took me a while to write this post because I had such a negative feeling about the “village”. For me poeople that would say that already had support. They were are blessed to come by that support from a child on up. I had people tell me with my kids….”.it takes a village”…..only to ask for help and/or advice and have them look at me and shrug their shoulders. I was beyond frustrated, but slowly I realized I needed to change 1. My perspective and 2. Ask the right people.

I had read an article in the popular “scary mommy” posts on facebook about another woman who was envious of “the village” and I could just feel the anger pouring off of her in her post. Rightfully so folks, it is a scary, hard, lonely place to be when you do not have anyone to turn to but yourself. And, damn it, sometimes, just sometimes, something should be easy, right?

So I had to ponder on this for a good 6 months to put this in perspective for me and maybe just be a little forgiving of myself and others (because after all there must be something wrong with me because I have no village, right?).

This is what I concluded, I have to make my own village….easy ….no… I need to ask for help?…..yes….do I like to ask for help?….um no, not this self reliant chick (lol). So to all you Moms out there, it will not be easy to build a village, but here are some pointers on how to start.

  1. ASK FOR HELP. Yes, asking for help does not mean you have failed in some way, it means you just need freaking help. We all do, get over it and ask. And FYI do not be offended if someone says no, it takes a strong person to admit when they are unable to help, because - guess what we all really want to help!

  2. HELP others. Yes you may be struggling, but you are not struggling in everything, something that comes easy to you, fill that gap for another Momma. Be each other’s strength. Forgive your weaknesses.

  3. ACCEPT help. When some one offers, good God momma - say yes! And dont be ashamed! I had to learn to do this when my husband had to be gone for months. I accepted help from other momma’s in the forms of meals. It was so amazing and meant so much more than those mom’s could possibly know.

  4. LEAD. Sometimes you have to get the ball rolling. Believe me there are other Mom’s out there just like you. Check on each other, help, show up. Doing something for someone else helps your sanity too, believe me.

  5. REALIZE we can not all help each other in the same ways. It is NOT a quid quo pro system. Your strength may be in organizing , another in follow through, another on wrapping up. Focus on what you CAN do, not what you or others CANT do.

  6. FORGIVE yourself for the things you can not do and move on. Let go of the fact that you do not live close to a built in support system and be honestly happy for those that do.


Build your village Momma and be proud of being the self reliant person you are. However do not let self reliance become a crutch. You know you can do it if you have to, but accept help when it comes. We are all in this together!

And realize Mommas people WANT to be your village you just have to let them. Even if they have to do it from 3 hours , 6 hours, or half a world away away, they are doing what they can for you!

We all struggle with something, just be there, have an open heart and be the awesome Mom your kids love.

Blessings always.

April of Running Mom Photography

The "Geriatric" Mom.....

April Cannon


 After I had my son, I read my doctor's notes on my pregnancy and did a double take when the word "Geriatric" was used. My first thought was the wrong note was in my record. But no it was mine - because I was over age 35 when I concieved my children,  I am considered a geriatric mom! For my first pregnancy my doctor was kinder and labeled me "advanced maternal age" - not so with my second child! Yup if you have concieved any children 35 or older you belong to the exclusive Geriatric Mom group!  So, Yes this desciribes me - both of my children were born when I was 35 and older. It took me a very long time to finish writing this blog because I had to put a picture of my "Geriatric self" out there! And who wants to call themselves a Geriatric (at any age)? So if you had any babies at age 35 or older - Welcome to the Geriatric club!

It took 12 years to conceive my children so I do not mind the label too much..... but DUDE, GERIATRIC? I am not 70 years old and pregnant. Or like one of my physical therapy clients was so nice to point out when they found out I was pregnant - "Oh just like Sarah in the bible" , really? really? Come on I think she was supposed to be 90 or something. Sheesh!

Now I was lucky and had two normal, healthy pregnancies ( big babies- hello split abdominals), I can not imagine older moms with complications. Because the truth is older moms are more likely to have complications, and lets face it we do not bounce back as quick (no matter how good of physical shape we may be in!) 

I was blessed to come from an athletic background and thought I would just breeze through even though  I was an older mom. Umm yeah - Nope. To those Mom's who come from a place of not the best health and still are amazing!

Some of the challenges us "older" moms face: 

1. The skin is just not as elastic. It just does not come back like the shrink wrap it used to be. 

2. Obgyn does not blink an eye (or warn you) about Diastatis Recti because you are older. Really they should be giving every mom the simple instructions on how to prevent or treat split abdominals if it happens during pregnancy - it would help so much post partum. Just "being active" during pregnancy does not cut it (believe me I know). And if you are an older mom - please ask your doc about kegal exercises - because ....well....things are just not as elastic.... and you REALLY need to do those exercises! Here is what is involved for those of you wondering.

3. Everyone assumes because you show up at your childs class room looking older you must know what to do....I may appear more confident because of life's lessons learned, but I am just as clueless as everyone else. 

4. When you have kids as an older adult (true for your spouse too), it is a major life changer. Because my husband and I were VERY used to life without kids, the dynamics that need to change after that can be harder to adjust to. 

5. Any weaknesses you have in your body will be magnified x 100 and so much harder and longer to recover from (even after pregnancy). 

6. Older moms feel like we are starting over... everyone around you appears to have -" been there and done that" -when it comes to children however we are just starting our education.  Most friends my age are at a completely different life stage and having young children usually does not encourage them to spend time with me. So it can be lonely to be at a different stage in  my life than my peers. 

To keep this short,  ( maybe I am becoming a Geriatric - getting long winded here!) My point: dont be too hard on yourself older mommas of younger kiddos, there are a lot of us out there! Here's to the Geriatric Mom!!! We totally have this!








The Truth About Stay at Home Parents.

April Cannon

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I write about what I know and live, I know what it is like to be a stay at home, work from home Mom. I wanted to write this blog because of the misconception about what a stay at home parent is actually about. I just love when I read posts on facebook about " oh I could totally do the stay at home parent thing and not work", or when on vacation someone writes "oh how I wish I was a stay at home parent - my life would be great" (which cracks me up because these same people panic when their kids are out of school on vacation and they have no clue what to do with them). Well I am here to tell you - the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. I used to have those same misconceptions too. Now this is in NO way a comparison of the two camps. Because guess what? I do not know how the other camp lives, because it is not my life and I will make no assumptions (ie ASS - U - ME). So rather instead I will educate on what being a stay at home, work from home parent actually is all about. 

1. I do work. 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. My work is home with me ALL the time. My office is my home.  I have so many things left undone at the end of the day and it lives with me, I cant leave it at work. Mentally I have to be ok with always having something over my head that has been left undone for another day. 

2. I work from the home. Almost all stay at home parents I know still feel the need to financially contribute in some way. So we take on work from home jobs which is usually done either in the wee hours of the morning or late at night. I myself have 2 jobs in addition to taking care of my children. 1. I own a photography business - and for reference for every 1 hour of shooting, I do 12 hours of work at home (editing, sales, accounting, etc). My other job ( I am blessed) is to be able to still do some physical therapy duties from home for my old work place. Now I have to do both these jobs while having 2 young children pull me away about every 5 minutes ( I have already stopped 4 x 's up to this point writing this blog). 


3. We volunteer. All those people who work for free? Yup that is us. We volunteer to be room mom, PTO president, preschool or school volunteers that are endlessly needed. Not because we have an overabundance of free time but because we do have the benefit of having a flexible schedule that is always being rearranged and we feel the need to contribute. 

4. Entertainment. Kids do not entertain themselves. At home they are generally into (or trying to get into) whatever I am doing - or if not they are getting into something they usually should not. What this means is that I am always multitasking. Which leads me to the next one.

5. I can not afford to spend my days going from one fun activity to another. For one, I still have cooking, cleaning, bill paying, work from home duties, etc. to get done at home( ie no I don't have a maid - I am it). Two,  being a stay at home parent means that  my husband and I have sacraficed and decided to have a  one steady income house - not because we make a lot of money, but because it was a decision we made together, which therefore means we dont have the money to spend on going out to eat and frolicing all day.

6. My house is all about function. I have children in my house 24 hours a day, there is no such thing as "decoration" in my house (unless I hang it on the walls). You know how daycares look? That is basically what my house is. 


7. Go to parent. My husband is always amazed when my kids will climb upstairs to ask me for something rather than ask him who is already downstairs and usually standing right beside whatever they need. 

8. My house is never clean all at the same time. I have had to accept this and move on - kids in home all day = mess.  Literally while I am cleaning one thing they are making a mess somewhere else.


9. I am tired at the end of the day too. The only difference is my duties have not ended. I need to get dinner cooked (refer to number 5 - no money = cook at home), prep kids for next day, then get my work from home duties done (this means late bed times every night for me). 

10. I am never alone. No bathroom time to myself (I literally have had a child sitting in my lap while I am on the toilet), no personal grooming, nothing by myself. If I am not in the room my children immediatley notice and come find me. That is how it is. I get lots of laughs all day but any personal space is gone.

11. There is no such thing as talking on the phone without a lot of background noise. My sweet kiddos are with me all the time and have figured out that when I am on the phone is the time to- 1. Get into something or 2. Run around the house screaming and wrestling. Now this is not a problem if the person on the other line is a parent - they get it. But if the person on the other line is not, they are so annoyed. Unfortunately I can not just leave my kids unsupervised to make a call. 

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12. Flexible schedule. This is not because I have lots of free time but rather I am able to rearrange my schedule and move things to another time or not do them at all (i.e. anything that would just be for me). 

13. Snuggles - yes I do get lots more of these during the day. I also get a lot of "I love you's" all day, making everything totally worth it.  

14. I see the milestones. I get to see my kids develop and grow everyday. I know work out of the home parents - this must be a huge sacrafice. Again another plus that makes the crazy, no shower, yoga pant wearing with stains, bed head, touched out days worth it.


15. No time for myself, I saved this for last because as a stay at home parent, this is where the priority for anything for me goes - last. (Although quite honestly I think this one is true for all parents). Now for those that have family available to allow you time to yourself - count your blessings and go give them 20 hugs, because not living close to family means I do it all the time with no breaks. 

Lets face it we all work hard because we are parents and the struggle is real, we just all go about it different ways. 

Blessings Always

April of Running Mom Photography

How do your kids eat?

April Cannon


My friend and I (Stacey) were talking one day about taking our kids out to eat to 1. Get us out 2. Teach them how to behave in restaurants 3. Expose our kids to different cooking and 4. Obviously Eat! Well our kids are polar opposites when it comes to eating - mine are picky and/ or will not eat when in public ( too excited), Hers- although they are pint size and smaller have the appetites of hobbits (for those not familiar with the lord of the rings - although they are small, they eat as much as an adult eats - several times a day!).

So our thoughts were to find local restaurants where kids eat free or reduced ( for mine I will not be wasting money on food if not eaten, for hers - they will - maybe - get their bellies filled). Well my friend started compiling a list based on social media recommendations and research on her own! It is extensive and she gave it to me. I included links to all restaurants and we have decided to share it with all moms, so we can all benefit! If there is any we do not have on the list - please feel free to comment on what we may not have on here! Enjoy and eat well!

1. IHOP in Rock Hill - Mon - Thurs kids eat free with $5 + adult meal.  I would call ahead because sometimes they limit the dates this deal is available.

2. Red Bowl Asian Bistro - Stockbridge Dr. Fort Mill - Kids eat for 99Cents with adult meal purchase on Mondays.

3. Steve and Kelly's Grille house - 2150 Gold Hill Rd. Kids under 10 ead free with adult meal purchase on Mondays. 

4. Moe's - Kids eat free with paying adult on tuesdays - confirmed in Arsley and Rock Hill - check the one in fort mill

5. Chick Fila - Tuesday's 530 - 730 kids eat free or for .99 cents with a paying adult.

6. Carolina Ale House - Tuesdays - .99 cents kids meals

7. IKEA - Tuesdays - Kids eat free in food court

8. McAlisters Deli - Tuesdays - kids eat free 5-9pm up to 2 kids per adult entree includes a drink. Dine in only.

9. Beef O Brady's. Tuesdays - 5 - 8 pm Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entree purchase.

10. Firehouse subs - Wednesdays- two free kids meals per one adult meal.

11. Mellow Mushroom Rock Hill - 2 kids free/ 1 paying adult (Cheese slice, cinnamon pretzel, drink)

12. Fort Mill BBQ - Wednesday - after 5 pm one free kids meal per adult plate or platter purchase.  

13. JJ Red hots- Wednesday - Two free kids meals per one adult combo purchased.  

14. Jason's Deli - Wednesday - One free kids meal per adult meal.

15. Thai House - Gastonia - Thursday - Kids eat free with paying adult. 

16. Roasting Oven - Saturday - 4-8pm Kids under 8 free with entree purchase.  

17. Maggianos - Saturday - Under 5 eat free all day.  


I hope everyone finds this list helpful, always call and check before going, in that I know some places may only have these specials certain months of year, or they may change the day, but  regardless - happy dining!!!


April of Running Mom Photography




Movies that go well with wine.....

April Cannon


If you are like me after having children you have much more gratitude for that glass of wine at the end of the day....well I decided to have some fun and describe the benefits of wine and great movies to watch and enjoy your wine with at the end of the day!

I have always heard wine is good for you but decided to do a little internet search and see what popped up first about the benefits of wine. Feel free to do research of your own for more details than what I have outlined below! Obviously drinking too much wine is most definitely not good for your health. But for healthy consumption here are the benefits:

Red Wine: Has Resveratrol, good for heart, lowers cholesterol, healthy for skin, controls blood sugar, boosts brain, and slimming affects (oh please let that be true!)  

White Wine: Antioxidants, disease prevention,  good nutritional content and lowers diabetes risk.  

Now that you know it is good for you, time to grab a glass and enjoy a movie! ( I love a glass while I am making and eating dinner too). 

1. Bottleshock: This is based on  the true story of how the California wines finally became internationally acclaimed. There is great wine info, funny moments, and a tiny bit of romance (not too much guys - my husband enjoyed this movie). Check out more info here: bottle_shock    

2. Somm - Into the Bottle: I really enjoyed this documentary, I reallized all that goes into making and appreciating wine and found the tidbit where a mushroom growing from a cork of a wine bottle is actually a good thing! Read more here:

3. Somm - About how to become a sommelier ( those people that can tell you everything about the wine- region, year (any natural disasters that year), etc. Apparantly there is a high fail rate for this test! Check out more here:

4. A very good year: I had never heard of this movie, but enjoyed it a tremendous amount, a surprising find! It is a fictional story staring Russell Crowe about a vineyard his uncle owned. There is stories about lots of different relationships woven in: lost siblings, family, romance. There is good comedy as well! Read more here:

5. French Kiss: Warning guys this is more of a romance movie. Enjoyable with wine simply because of the scenery and discussions of vineyards and wine during the romantic comedy. Stars Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. One of my favorite movies to watch with my mom growing up! Read more here: French_Kiss_(1995_film)

 I plan on discovering more movies that go well with wine, but for now enjoy several evenings partaking in wine and watching fun movies! If you are lucky like me I have different boutique wines from around the world delivered every month! If you are intereseted check that out here:

As always, 


April of Running Mom Photography


The Sweet and Sassy of Toddlerhood!

April Cannon


As my son turned three and is looking less and less like a baby and more like a little boy, I realize there are some things I am going to miss about the toddler stage (and some not so much!). 

1. The ability to be monkeys - they can climb any and everything!

2. Really truly, I know it is cliche' but the pitter patter of little feet accompanied by that swish, squishy of the diaper. 

3. The smell of the top of their head as they sit in my lap.

4. Observing the complete abandon and interesting positions they fall asleep in.

5. The little charming grins when they know that you know they are getting away with something they shouldn't.

6. The complete innocence, fun and enjoyment of the new things they discover.

7. The inexplicable and rapid way they can get into anything (even baby proofed) faster that I can!

8. The sweet way they can get into my personal space that I dont mind. (i.e. waking up with a toddler eye 1 inch from mine, looking straight at me).

9. This one I most definitely will not miss: finding poop and oh my finding it everywhere! GAH! And for that matter toys in couches, floors, cars, every room everywhere!

10. The appreciation for true dramatics that I now have - dramatically falling on the floor, flailing, crying (fake) and/ or all 3 combined (the best right?).

11. Their uncanny ability to to know exactly where you are going and getting into that spot a millisecond before you do (I know some football teams that could take lessons!). 

My point, we all say it goes fast, and I try to enjoy every moment because some day I will miss it! Onto the next stage my daughter is now in - little people - you know - the ones that now have opinions and have developed thier own little personality!

Blessings always!

April of Running Mom Photography

Hit the Summer "Reset" Button!

April Cannon

Summer time is not only for kids to recoup. It is also the time I hear a lot of families say they are ready to slow down and reconnect. Which must be why June seems to be the most popular month for family vacations. Once the kids are out of school, families can not wait to get started!

But a  reset comes in so many forms, we use these precious 3 months (or more) to renew our goals, discover new things, and do what I call the "Summer Purge". Getting rid of old, ill fitting or out grown clothes for the family, removing old or broken toys, taking on home projects (like painting or cleaning out the garage- that is the catch all). 

Summer time is also the time to use memberships purchased through out the year and take advantage of  all the fun activites planned at those various locations. Some local favorites:

1. The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens - household membership is $75. the-garden-membership

2. The Discovery Place - $200 for family- for all 4 local spots.

3.Carowinds- $99-200+ per person:

4. The Columbia Zoo- $99 - 189 for family:

5. Anne Springs Greenway (has concerts every Thursday in the Summer with food trucks) Family Membership - $99,

6. Keep up with local happenings and actvities through -   - always great info on local places for adults and kids. As well as - great info on kids activities in/ around Rock Hill, SC. 

Summer is also the time kids reconnect with thier siblings, parents enjoy late evenings watching the sun go down and hearing the crickets chirp, watching kids run in the sprinkler, boating (the smell of the water in the morning!), and in general sitting back and enjoying what we wait all year for. 

My wish for you all this Summer  is lots of blessings, fun , and "resets". 

April of Running Mom Photography

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Front porch sitting and family visitin'!

April Cannon

The time of year most popular for visiting family is approaching! Summer is around the corner and the anticipation of traveling to see extended family that lives far in distance (but not from our hearts) has the little ones just wiggling in their seats (or bouncing off the walls). We all look forward to stepping into our family's house after a long trip and feel like we are coming back home. In our heads we can see long summer evenings visiting, laughing, sipping on our drinks and just feeling like we belong. 

Family is where our heart is and where we love to return as much as possible. Cousins love builing forts, running in the grass, hopping rocks in the creek or just eating ice cream together! 

I love photographing extended families, while it is chaotic it is also so much fun! The glow of grandparents finally having thier family together just can not be beat! 

I love seeing who looks like who, I love seeing grown siblings act like they are 10 again (laugh in a good way!) . I adore seeing the family together in one large group and laughing with the individual family units that make up the larger generations of families. 

I love the smiles I get from the littlest cousin to the giggles of the most grown cousin. The feel of the excitement of families getting together after distance and time has kept them seperate just cant be beat. The joy of mom and dad as I photograph them together.....

The most patient and happiest of all are always the grandparents, I can not get them to stop smiling (even if I tried). I love getting the last photograph at the end of a session of  the ones who started it all......

So my point? Get pictures of your extended family together. Distance can keep you apart but photos and memories can lessen that distance. So pick up your camera or have a photographer do it for you but make those family reunions memorable!


April of Running Mom Photography

Want to book a session this summer? Click here and tell me about you and your family!!

Great Family Gifts!

April Cannon

Whether this is a gift for a birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day the following list are great ideas that I have gathered from families around me that they have greatly appreciated.

Gift a Membership: the discovery place, the Childrens Rock Hill Museum, the Anne Springs Greenway, Carowinds, a local pool, If you buy the membership it gives the family a place to go together. 

No Money? Give the gift of time - your time to give Mom and Dad time: Offer to babysit and pin Mom and Dad down to a certain date - which means you will need to remind them so they know you mean it.

The gift of memories (of course I would include this one). Nothing is more priceless than looking at a photo or an album and remembering the time when:

1. Your child was a snaggle tooth.

2. You went on the family reunion vacation all together and there was 30 of you! (All the laughter and fun!!)

3. Your baby was still a baby and their first birthday.

4. That favorite dog growing up and how you were inseperable.

5. Your extended family annual family photo and the fun you have planning for it all year.

6. Your grandma and grandpas hands....

7. Your Mom with a towel over her shoulder...

8. Your child playing soccer, ballet,  or swimming for the first time.

9. The blessing of your family all in one photograph together.

These are just to name a few priceless memories.

When you are giving a gift remember time and memories are the best and most priceless gifts ever!


April of Running Mom Photography

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Always keep your promises.....

April Cannon

The best parenting advice I have ever recieved came from a 90 year old woman who was talking to me about raising her 7 children and even some grandchildren. She asked me "Do you want to know the secret to being a good parent?" Me who was expecting "YES!! Of course". This woman who has been through having and losing children ( and definitley qualified to give advise!) said "Always keep your promises: whether they are promises of a reward, punishment, time you will spend with your child....Always keep your promise. If you can not keep the promise - don't say it." 

You guys this is awesome, everything about parenting really comes down to keeping your promises...

- You tell them they will get ice cream if they are good, take them!

- You say "If you do that one more time..... " follow through on that threat

-You say you will play with them (outside, singing, games whatever) after you finish something you are doing, guess what? You better do it! Spending time with our kids is so, so valuable, every parenting article out there essentially boils down to  "Spend time with you kids".

The above examples are very oversimplified, but come down to one thing, when you keep your promises your kids know you mean what you say, they know they can count on and depend on  you.  And bonus - they will LISTEN when you speak because they have learned you mean what you say!!! They learn to honor and keep promises they make themselves. They learn words are not shallow, not just window dressing, but have meaning especially when spoken as a promise. They take this into adult hood, they learn to be on time, they learn to be good friends, good workers, honorable and happy people. 

Kids do not understand broken promises, actions speak louder than words. If you follow your promises with the action, your word becomes trustworthy and you are considered honorable. If you do not know if you can do it, then just dont say it!! Don't be a "YES" man - saying yes to everyone and then not doing what you said you would. 

I love this qoute: 

“In a world where vows are worthless. Where making a pledge means nothing. Where promises are made to be broken, it would be nice to see words come back into power.” 
― Chuck PalahniukLullaby

Please, please if you promise your kids - keep it!! (The best parenting adivise from someone who knows - unnamed 90 year old mom, grandmother and great grandmother!)


April of Running Mom Photography

Always trying to keep my promises

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April Cannon

" I wanted you more than you ever will know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go." - Nancy Tillman

I recently did a Mommy and Me session giveaway for Running Mom Photography.  To enter,  a 2 word description comment of Mom's were required.  These are the words that were used to describe Mom's: selfless, best friend, ray of sunshine, amazing, endless love, wonderful, kind hearted, brave, devoted, always there, strong, fighter, unconditional love, funny, the best, admirable hero, fierce, loving, loyal, rock, best friend, giving, hardworking, supporter, patient, and super woman, just to name a few. TAKE NOTE: nothing about appearance and everything about who these mom's are.

When I see a picture of my mom I do not think she looks......(fill in blank).......I think "thats my mom". Guess what? When you are in a picture, especially one with your kids, that is what they think. They do not care what your size is, how you look in pants, that you have on no make up, that your hair is in a pony tail (or just crazy hair) all they see is the woman they love and can describe in two amazing words (or more) what counts the most about her! Your kids see you better than you see yourself. Honestly I think they see the truest version of "Mom".

I started making it a point last year to get pictures of Mom's with thier kiddos in my family photo sessions. Because lets face it, mom's are usually the ones behind the camera. I have also made it a point to do special "Mommy and Me" mini sessions and giving one away every year  to get Mom's in front of the camera with thier kids! My favorite photos to catch of Mom's are the ones where they have the truest interactions with thier kiddos (i.e. the candids). Posed and looking at the camera is nice, but nothing beats a momma hugging, comforting or playing with their kids, because guess what?? That is what we do!

When my Mom's book a session with me I always encourage them to pamper themselves - i.e. buy a new outfit, get their hair done, buy new lipstick.....because lets face it once we are momma's we like to have a very good reason to spend time/money on ourselves! 

But MOM, even if you are not doing a professional photo shoot, please, please get yourself in the picture! Hand that phone to someone and have them take your picture with your kiddos. Find a girlfriend that you hang out with and agree to take pictures of each other while you are playing with your kids then text them to each other later!

MOM, GET in the picture!


For those interested in my Mommy and Me mini sessions, I still have a few openings left on March 25 or April 22! Contact me here:

April of Running Mom Photography (Getting in the picture myself!!)




Full Circle Moments.......

April Cannon

I was recently sick on a Sunday and did not want to bring my germs to church.  I then decided to  watch my favorite televised church program: Elevation Church. I had the privelage of meeting the founders of this church before it started (about 5 couples), this church has done amazing things and I always come away inspired by what I hear.  The topic of the day was Full Circle Moments and closing the loop. Since the new year is here I thought this would be a great topic to reflect on. We all have days where we feel like we are getting no where and are literally "running in circles". But if we stop and reflect on where we were 5 months ago, 1 year ago, 5 years ago, etc. we have a full circle moment. I realized that we all have to come full circle to see where we have been, where we are going and to connect everythig in our lives. 

Now I am not the inspirational speaker that Steve Furtick ( is by any means, but I thought it would be great for all of us to reflect on our blessings over the years and look to the future with hopefull  eyes. I will share some of my moments and encourage everyone to think on theirs - feel free to comment with yours!

1. Disney- hahaha - WHAT?? -  for me and my husband who love Disney there was a time in our past after 14 years of marriage where we accepted that kids were not in our future. We would feel a tug on our hearts every time we went to Disney where the theme is families. Fast forward to this year where we had a trip to Disney with our 2 kids in November. We frequently would meet each other's eyes accross a space on our trip and knew we were thinking " Wow- what a blessing - we are here with our own kids!" without either one of us speaking a word. 

2. Pools- whenever my husband and I see a pool we think of the summer we met working at a pool when we met and the 24 years since then. We always reflect on where we were and how much we have changed and "grown up". We were 16 and 17 when we met. Do any of us ever really "grow up?"

3. Workouts- I have worked out for 30+years of my life. Yes I am that old! I used to do ( and plan on getting back to someday), 6-7 hour bike rides, 1-2 hour swims and 2 to 4 hour runs. I was an endurance junky. However now that I have kids (and darn it no family around to babysit them!), I have to get more bang for my time. I look at it as another chapter - now I get to focus on speed, strength and core which have always been my weakness. Coming full circle - I want my kids to see me active and I want them to emulate this healthy behavior! No matter what the activity it is. Plus lets face it, I am an older Mom and need to stay in shape to keep up with these kiddos- whew!

4. Speaking - both of my kids are late talkers, looking back to where they were a year ago is such a drastic difference. My daughter never stops talking now!

5. Family and Friends - we all have times where we are emotionally closer and further away from our friends and family in our lives for many reasons. The core of being family or friends is knowing we love each other and will be there when needed. My goal is to never stop telling/showing my family and friends I love them in many ways. Reflecting on our past times always helps close the circle and makes it a hug. 

6. Belly - yup, I do not know many women that are happy with their belly. I have a love/hate relationship with mine. I love that it gave me two beautiful healthy children. I hate that no amount of exercise will ever make it look normal again! But in my full circle - I will take my flawed belly with the blessing of my kiddos!! After all my stretched and imperfect belly makes me a warrior (grrr - for effect)!

7. Photography - I have been on the most amazing journey doing something I never in my wildest dreams, ever, thought I would be able to pursue. I had no idea the confidence I would get starting my own business and the happiness I would have photographing beautiful memories that bring smiles to my client's faces!

8.  Home - 5 years ago I would never, never, never have guessed I would be a stay at home, work from home mom, but here I am - and I have never been happier (or busier). 

Please, please wherever you are in your circle, remember that all circles are created not to start us over but to show us where we have been and where we are going. Enjoy your full circle moments and help others to see and celebrate theirs!!


April of Running Mom Photography

Want to make your memories tangible? Start here:


Christmas makes the BEST memories.........

April Cannon

"I solemnly swear I am up to no good". Love the Harry Potter hat here!

"I solemnly swear I am up to no good". Love the Harry Potter hat here!

There are literallly millions of songs about Christmas and for good reason, it really is the happiest time of the year. You ask anyone what some of thier favorite memories are--guaranteed at least one of those memories happened at Christmas!

Recently I have asked my friends and clients some of their favorite Christmas memories. I have loved the answers and I just adore hearing about other people's happy memories....the far away look with a smile on thier face while they are recalling their memory. I will share some of them here to help everyone remember some of thier favorite memories or traditions! And please feel free to comment with some of yours - I LOVE hearing about them!

1. That last holiday with someone we love always sticks out in our memory as a shining light.

2. Hot chocolate, new Christmas PJ's , a traditional movie ( a christmas story, its a wonderful life, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, just to name a few) and popcorn with lots of blankets and snuggles.

3. A personal one for me: Going to the candlelight Christmas Eve mass, then waiting up til midnight and opening presents on the first minute of Christmas -( we did this one year for a particularly warm christmas that we wanted to pretend it was cold with snow). We had Christmas music playing in the background.

4. That special present that was so thoughtful from a person you love. Especially because you knew how much effort went into getting you that present whether it was time or money. It really is the thought that counts!

5. The first Christmas a family of two become a family of three and each new addition after that.

6. Another one for me: the Christmas we handmade our ornaments for each family member (pinecones decorated with sparkly spray paint and other decorations) to take to my grandfather's house in Kansas. We woke up Christmas morning to find my grandfather had pinned cash to every persons ornament.

7. The Christmas of a special play at a Child's school or church play. Or any memory where your child has the chance to shine!

8. The Christmas tradition of snacking all day and pigging out on the Christmas meal later- then dessert after to "fill in " the empty spaces!

9. The Big family Christmas!

10. Any Christmas filled with laughter!

I recieved my first camera at Christmas.  Every Christmas after I always took pictures, as most of us do on Christmas. I became the families historian and made albums every year.  My family still enjoys looking at these albums many years later. Please, please, please, make sure you make your memories tangible. A couple of easy sites to use -, you can directly download your instagram photos - it includes times and captions and is put together very well. Another favorite site of mine I use for photo books, cards, gifts that has beautiful quality:

Just please, please find a way to make those memories live on!

On a more serious note: although it is a myth that suicide rates are higher during the holidays the feelings of loneliness and depression are not. If you know or suspect someone who may be alone during the holiday season, please find a way to reach out to them on Christmas. Because everyone wants to be remembered on Christmas!


April of Running Mom Photography

Rock Hard......

April Cannon

This is my Mom's story of her mother. I published this blog a few months ago, but thought it was worth reposting in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (By the way she will kill me for putting her picture on the blog - she is beautiful she just never believes it!)

Rock Hard. What Would You Do?

She looked in the  bathroom mirror…..


She felt her breast…..




She had throat cancer 10 years ago and lost her voice….


She does not need this right now.


Her daughter just had her second child.


She needs her mother here.


This is when you need your Mom the most. When you have kids of your own.


She feels her breast again. The breast is hard as a rock. She knows what this means in her heart of hearts.


She starts crying. She calls her 18 year old daughter into the bathroom. Still a baby herself, so much to learn, a new mom herself.


She shows her daughter and tells her someday she will be grateful for her daughter. She is…… and wishes she could watch her daughter grow into the great mother she knows she will be and already is…… But she knows it is too late for that. 


She knows she has to be at peace with this. She does not want to make this any harder on her kids. 


This is the story of my Grandmother who passed away when I was 3 years old from breast cancer. My Mom was 19. My Grandmother was 53 years young. By the time my Grandmother faced what she was afraid was true her cancer was too far advanced. She lived with us another 6 months and was cared for by my Mother, who was a new wife and mother of 2 herself. In that time my Grandmother also said goodbye to her husband, my Grandfather. She followed him 6 months later.

This story I have heard growning up from my Mother and it has had a profound effect on both her and I. We are very close. Breast cancer screening was not done, talked about or cared about in those days. We live in a time where we have been educated on breast cancer in both men and women and what to do to self screen for it. 

Please make sure you learn how to self exam for breast cancer (men this applies to you to!). This is one site you can learn:

I also have a friend and neighbor, Kelly Kashmer, a breast cancer survivor,  who has an amazing story herself and has decided from her experience to help women get the genetic testing they need through her organization:

Be sure to check out her story and both websites above. Never be embarrased to ask if you are not sure! Have it checked.


April of Running Mom Photography

Woman Speak......

April Cannon

As I observed my daughter and the women around me I realized that we also have "tendencies" behind our words. This is the promised follow up to my man speak post, and again meant to be light hearted and funny! Enjoy reading!

1. "Yes we are sure..." That is until we change our mind, yup this in a woman's perogative! To be fair we usually have good reasons to change our mind!

2. "How do I look?" Yes I know, I know this is a loaded question, but we took time to get ready so you better comment on it, and for your own safety it better be a compliment.

3. "I need time to myself..." If you hear a Mom say this, she is pretty desperate, make it happen!

4. " Can you clean......"  whatever this phrase is followed up by, what we want cleaned takes longer than 30 seconds or we would do it ourselves.

5. "I need to get ready...." be prepared to wait and then refer to #2 above!

6. "Can you help....."  HELP, not take over.

7. " Do you like......" you better pay attention this can be a very loaded question in so many ways.

8. .....Pausing before we answer...... we are trying to come up with a nice way to say what we mean.

9. " Let me think about it" .....aka I am not convinced.

10. " You don't have to get me anything". This is a true statement however it does not relieve you of showing your thoughtfullness in some way.......

There are so many more, and while not all are true for every woman, a lot of them are! Note to the wise: Always let someone (Man or Woman) finish their sentence or you may miss the important ending!


April of Running Mom Photography

Man Speak....

April Cannon

From the moment I had my son I finally understood the terms "He is such a boy" or "boys will just be boys". He was so different from my daughter from day one. As a newborn when he was hungry - he used to what I call "baby bird" me. Which meant that he would lift his head and let it drop back on my chest repeatedly. He was messier without trying to be, he is like a bull in a china shop - he is a boy! Having a boy helped me understand my husband so much better. Boys just think different and percieve the world different than us girls. Which I find is a good thing, if everyone thought the same - we would never progress! So this blog is meant to be funny and light hearted. I am going to take some things that men say and tell you what it actually means to you! Now do not worry guys - I will do the same about women in a later post!

1. "I am going to the bathroom" - what this means is he will be in the bathroom for 20 + minutes (which is why he took the time to announce it) and he will have a magazine or phone in there with him. Magically he gets to stay in there without being disturbed by the kids.... I get jealous.

2. " I will do the dishes" - he will put as many dishes in the dishwasher that will fit and start it. The rest will be piled in the sink with soap and water (hopefully but not always). 

3. "You look nice"  or "you look good in that outfit, pants, etc" - Ladies he really means this, if your man took the time to notice how you look AND comment on it, he is very genuine - take it as the compliment it is.

4. " I will watch the kids"- he will leave them in their PJ's, give them snacks and turn on the TV. Just be glad he is watching the kids so you can do something. 

5. "I will clean the bathroom" - yeah, never have heard this one said, by any guy, they just dont see the mess in a bathroom. LOL

6. " I will fix it for you" - ladies if it is an electronic device - let them do it - they love it and usually do a great job figuring it out. If it is the car, plumbing, etc, and he has no talent in these areas, hurry and call a professional - then claim you did not hear him!

7. "I will cook dinner" - He will cook dinner - not clean- just be happy he is cooking for you!

8. "You need to go....." - if he has uttered these words no matter what they are followed by - he realizes you need to get away and is trying to help you do that. 

9. " I know how to get there" - get a map out - especially if your surroundings look unfamiliar. 

10. " I cleaned the house" - he vacuumed and did dishes.

There are so many more but alas I will stoop here. I am up before the kids writing this and I hear them stirring in their rooms! 


April of Running Mom Photography

Why Moms DONT Judge!

April Cannon

Me trying to convince my daughter to wait a little longer for our annual family photo shoot - I had just chased her down, you see what a mess my hair is in! It is hard to do a photo shoot and be in it, especially with little ones!

Me trying to convince my daughter to wait a little longer for our annual family photo shoot - I had just chased her down, you see what a mess my hair is in! It is hard to do a photo shoot and be in it, especially with little ones!

As I was reading  yet another parenting blog about how some Mom said "THIS" and made someone feel like "THAT"  and they should......... Well you get the picture. I decided to take a different approach. 

 I was inspired by my fellow Mom's who do totally get "IT" and I wanted to put out a positive blog out there about mom' s and why we don't judge each other (yes I know, I know, there are some that do - but this is not a blog about that!).  As my readers know I like to organize my thoughts in lists so here is your list of why Mom's do not judge each other! 

1. ALL kids are strong willed about something. We all know that just because our kid is not throwing a fit about one particular thing, they will find something else to test us on.... so we sympathize when your kid appears not to be budging. 

2. Us Mom's know as we are watching another Mom deal with thier unruly kid, that our time is coming, maybe not now, but oh honey we know it is right around the corner and we totally sympathize.

3. We all know that Kids and parents have bad days, and just because this is not a good one, it does not mean all days look like this. 

4. Persistence is NOT always the key with children. Doing the same thing the same way does not give different results, it is just insanity.  Some things just do not work and us mom's know that sometimes it takes time to find the right combination with a particular child in a particular situation ( and note while we are trying to figure it out, we are usually removing said child from said situation). 

5. Kids develop at different rates, We know better than to compare our childs development with another child. Some are ahead in some areas, while others are behind, it all evens out. What matters is where we finish, not where we start. 

6. All Kids are different. What works on one of my kids does not always work on the other. So by extension I know that what works with my kids does not necessarily work with someone else's kids.

7. We have all struggled and we all have felt like terrible Mom's at one point, which in truth makes us excellent Mom's because we are always trying to improve!

8. We have all felt the other Mom's frustration at trying to enjoy an outing but instead we are dealing with an inconsolable child. 

9. We all know that there is usually more to the story than what we are looking at ( ie child is teething, sick, ADD, ADHD, Autistic, or just plain having a bad day, etc).

10. We have all been there and done that.  We have all had uruly kids, bad days, days where we think to ourselves: "Whose kid is this? Where did my child go?" 

11. We are all Mom's. Period.

To all the Momma's out there getting it done - you are doing a great job!


April of Running Mom Photography

Turning Toddler Negatives into Positives!

April Cannon

 The term " the pitter patter of little feet" was invented by someone with a toddler in their home. Toddlers are always on the go and they want to get there fast!  In a  lifetime it has been shown that we have the most energy when we  are toddlers! I have 2 toddlers and although I am a 3 time ironman finisher these two wear me out! Literally while I am trying to get one thing done the two of them are in cahoots making a mess somewhere else or seeing how fast they can climb and run on the couch while I am otherwise occupied (making dinner is always a good time for this)!  

So I decided to take a positive spin on this wild time of toddler hood and write a blog on how to make "toddlerisms" positive! So here goes!

1.  Sand box play: Playing in the sandbox is great to keep them occupied, BUT it also means sand (and a lot of it) in their hair. The positive? While you are trying to scrub all that sand out their head, their scalp is getting some good exfoliation and at least they had a fun time playing!

2. They climb...... two toddlers means they climb more places and HELP each other get into more places! The Positive: they are developing very strong core and balance muscles that will help them later in life. 

3. Run, Run, Run!! Keeping up with them means you do not need an exercise program - they are it!

4. A toddler has so much energy, they do not know what to do with it. The positive is you get to teach them how to channel their energy and you get to celebrate the "little things" they learn!

5. Toddlers want to be with you everywhere and do everything you do. Positive: Toddlers want to be with you everywhere and do everything you do. It is never a bad thing if your child wants to spend time with you and learn from you.

Trying to make my bed with two cuties on it.....

Trying to make my bed with two cuties on it.....

6. Everything takes longer. With more toddlers this can be multiplied to be  exponentially longer. Positively:  you learn patience and how to take time to enjoy the everyday things in life that you may have previously disregarded. 

7. Staying home with toddlers when they are sick. They are cranky and they just do not know how to express their discomfort. Positively, they do get some down time (laugh - not you though). It can sometimes be the "ebb" in the flow of life - enjoy the time. 

8. Potty training. Personally I think this is way messier than diapers, but in the long run you will be happy to not carry a diaper bag (just some extra undies and bottoms).....but potty training is not for the faint of heart.....

9. They never seem to want to play with their toys. The positive is that they use their imagination to make toys out of everyday objects or they imitate you in their play! Also means you can honestly and without remorse get rid of some of those toys.....

10. They can open doors...... You get to be inventive and on your toes in keeping them contained!!!!

In closing having toddlers brings me so much joy and keeps me honest by making me work very hard. I am blessed by my two and thankful for their antics and the laughter I get to enjoy every day. I get true pleasure out of watching them learn and grow every day!

Blessings! Enjoy your Kiddos!

April of Running Mom Photography

Making Your Memories Tangible......

April Cannon

Ever heard a good song from your child hood on the radio?  

-Can you remember where you were when you first heard that song?

-Can  you remember what you were doing?

For me the answer to this one is the song "Louie, Louie" it played for a solid two to three weeks on a local radio station, their way of saying good bye and setting a guiness world record. BUT what I remember is driving my brother and I to high school. We would get in the car and look at each other and say" what do you want to listen to"? By mutual agreement we always turned it to that station while that song was playing!  For the whole time that song played over the next 2 to 3 weeks we would listen to it on our 15 minute drive to school. It was funny neither of us got tired of it, and now we always think of each other when we hear that song and our fun drive to school listening to that song. 

Ever felt the humid air in the summer?

-Did it take you back to a beach trip?

-A picnic outside?

- A sticky baseball game?

I have so many answers to this question - humidity in the air always brings good outside memories for me, time at topsail beach with my family, cruises with my husband, friends and family. Humidity brings me back to summer camp as a child then later a camp counselor. Humidity paired with the fresh smell of water in the morning reminds me of early morning runs in the mountains in college as well as being a raft guide on the local river - the tuckasegee. And so many more....

What about the smell of your favorite food?

- Where does that smell remind you of?

- What good feeling does that smell bring?

For me the answer to that question would be my grandmother cooking her sausage and potatoes or really...... anything. If grandma made it - it tasted wonderful. The smell of good food also reminds me of sitting around the table with family laughing over a great meal or maybe just snacks. 

My point is that each of our senses is linked to other senses that link an emotion  or  most likely many emotions associated with it. These emotions link to memory and bring to mind stories or feelings from our past or maybe hopes for the future.  

The largest sense used by humans is our sight. We see a picture of waves crashing on the sand. Can you hear the ocean, the gulls, the waves? Can you feel the salty, humid air, the breeze, the warm sometimes hot sand? Can you smell the ocean? Are you remembering a time you were there? Was it fun? Crazy? Relaxing?

A picture is worth a thousand words, many memories, and countless emotions. Please do not lose those memories in the world of digital - back them up there- but please print them out.  By printing them, putting them in a photo album, scrap book, etc. now you have two senses to use to remember -  the touch of the photograph or album and the viewing of the picture! You also have the ability to share those memories with friends when you print your photo. Because in reality a computer screen viewing of a photo is  really only best while one person  is sitting in front of it - not many at one time. 

Happy Memory Making and many blessings!

April of Running Mom Photography