Missy Mayo – Dallas Family Photographer » Dallas Photographer Missy Mayo captures joyful and genuine family, child, and senior portraits throughout the DFW metroplex.

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Category Archives: Families

As I am editing these images, my daughter comes up to me and says “that’s my Coach Chris!! He’s my friend! But why does he look fancy?” I guess she is used to seeing him in soccer attire :). Aren’t three year olds the cutest?

I did, in fact, meet this awesome family through my daughter’s soccer. Three year old soccer is a hilarious thing. Our soccer games had plenty of group hugs, pink cleat comparing, tears, dirt digging, and butterfly chasing. Oh, and some soccer too :). Actually the girls really progressed through the season and became more and more confident each game. They ran hard, scored goals, and cheered each other on. Some good life lessons! And it was all thanks to our awesome Coach!

We took his family’s photos in Downtown Lewisville. I loved shooting there because of all of the variety. The morning light was gorgeous too!

 

It’s always a dilemma, right? What in the world do you wear for family photos? For most moms it is the first thing we worry about when it comes to having our family photographed. I’m often asked my advice on clothing, so I thought I would share a few tried and true tips on what works. (And, for the record, I didn’t have a single thing to do with this beautiful family’s wardrobe. Don’t they look amazing??)

 

TIP #1: Choose two main colors and a “pop” of another color. This gorgeous family is in maroon and navy, with a pop of gold. It is a perfect fall choice! Other ideas might be….

Fall-ish (generally warm colors)

  • maroon, navy, pop of gold
  • rust, tan, and a pop of blue
  • plum, gray, and a pop of forest green

Spring-Summerish (can be warm or cool colors)

  • turquoise, cream, and a pop of yellow
  • light coral, baby blue, pop of yellow
  • baby blue, peach, and a pop of white

Urban (often cool colors)

  • grey, black, and a pop of red
  • gold, grey, and a pop of teal
  • cobalt, plum, and a pop of white

Natural

  • cream, tan, and pop of blue
  • cream, tan, pop of dark brown
  • grey, white, pop of blush

Suggestions

  • I would avoid choosing forest green as your main color, if you plan to be in a natural setting. You don’t want to be camoflauged.
  • Your eye tends to go the brightest colors – think about that carefully! For instance, if you don’t want the viewer’s eye to go straight to your mid-section then do not choose a light colored top for yourself.
  • I suggest using white sparingly, since the viewers eye goes right to it. If you choose a white dress, for instance, it looks best if the fabric has texture to it.
  • Neon shirts (like a bright color or turquoise) can reflect that color onto your skin. Sometimes I can fix that in photoshop and sometimes I can’t!
  • Consider your home decor. If you know you would like to have a canvas printed in your living room, think about what colors that room already has!

TIP #2: Add in bits of pattern here and there. This mom did an awesome job of fitting in unique patterns without going overboard. The dots of brother’s shirt, floral pattern on little sister’s leggings, and floral dress print all add visual interest.

Suggestions:

  • Generally, I recommend avoiding graphics and labels on clothing. However, I think it can work really well in an urban session!

TIP #3: Add layers and texture! Leggings, vests, cute jackets, thin scarves, belts, ties, tall socks, jewelry, cute hats, cardigans, etc. all look fantastic! For texture – mix it up with the fabrics! Here, little sister’s plain dress is actually perfect because the skirt is a different material. (I believe she scored this at Old Navy.)

Suggestions:

  • For babies, I suggest avoiding collared shirts, jumpers, or overalls because they tend to bunch up and cover the face. Also, most babies tend to not like to wear shoes – barefoot baby toes are always fun to see!

TIP #4: For little girl’s hair I strongly suggest you keep it out of their face. A cute hair bow to the side or a fun braid looks adorable and makes sure the hair isn’t covering their eyes. I can’t tell you how many times a shot is ruined because the little girl’s hair is in her face!

Suggestion: I do NOT recommend hair bands for little girls! They fall in front of their face and or are constantly being fiddled with.

TIP #5: If your daughter is wearing a short dress, please have some playground shorts or tights underneath! We will run, swing, tickle, and do all the things that can cause unlady-like shots. ūüôā

Tip #6: Consider the details. Don’t forget to clean and trim nails and toenails. Moms, getting a blow-out is a great idea! It will help ensure your hair is smooth – I often shoot with the sun BEHIND you, which means all of the flyaways show up! If you choose to do your hair yourself, I suggest using a flyaway cream :). If you are getting your hair colored, please do this several days before our session.

Finally, in general choose clothes that are comfortable and “you.” If you are constantly tugging, sucking in , or worrying about your clothes it will show in your images. When planning for my own family photos, I like to start shopping with the person who is hardest to please……. that would be ME, ha! Once I find an outfit that I feel lovely in, I then shop for the rest of the family.

I hope these tips help you plan your photo session with me!

Sooooo… photographing two year olds. You never know what you are going to get, right? And I LOVE that. I adore getting to play with children, see what makes them smile, and learn a little about them in a short time. I usually have some ideas about how a photograph might turn out, but with kids (a 2 year old especially) I never count on it…. almost always the kids do something WAY better than what I had envisioned. One thing I *thought* I knew about photographing little ones is that the ole “say cheese” line doesn’t work. 99.9% of the time they give a very forced, or even odd, smile. But that other 0.1%?? Well, that is THIS little guy! ūüôā He brought his A-game to the “say cheese” line. Amazing! Now we just need to have him teach the other two year olds just what to do, ha!

 

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I am obsessed with taking pictures near the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge. I have only take clients there one other time, and it was magic for me. I adore photographing families in nature (fields, lakes, creeks, etc) but it’s super fun to break out of my Flower Mound bubble and shoot in the Big-D. Funnily enough, I had two clients email me for this spot the same day! I am so excited to share them both (I’m on a blogging roll, so I am crossing my fingers that I share the other amazing one too!).

Anyhow, I started off the morning with the two cutest guys around (and a lovely momma too). Do you see that hair?? Those lashes? The killer smiles?? Dallas better watch out…. these two handsome boys are going to break some hearts one day. In the meantime, they pretty much made mine explode. Big brother being sweet to little brother, loving on their momma, and pretty much being the easiest brothers to photograph. They made my job easy!

I had been looking forward to this family session for awhile. I am internet pals with the mom, and just knew that their family would be wonderful to photograph. (Sometimes, you just KNOW.) Anyhow, we settled on Harry Moss Park in Dallas and I was also really excited about the location. I hadn’t been, and I LOVE to go to new spots. I arrived a bit early to familiarize myself and took a quiet stroll through the paths, enjoying the solitude and peace. You can imagine my surprise when I walked right into a samurai man! Ok, he wasn’t really a samurai, but he DID have a huge sword that he was swinging around with vigor. hmmmm, not really what I was expecting! ha! Anyhow, he was friendly :). It was a funny way for me to start a photography session!

Thankfully, there were no other unusual surprises. My intuition was correct about photographing this beautiful family – they are so kind and loving. Their session was filled with playing with their children – cuddles, pretend monsters, swinging, and lots of laughter. Enjoy these favorites!

 

Question. My (very green) yard is still getting mowed once a week. It is 92 degrees outside. I am still wearing tank tops and shorts daily. When, or when, will Dallas get the memo that the middle of October qualifies as fall? My PSL (pumpkin spice latte, for those of you NOT in the know. gasp!) just doesn’t taste the same when I am simultaneously sweating, ha!

Well, despite the hot weather we are forging on with fall family sessions. ūüôā It has been a treat so see so many amazing families again, and meet new ones too! I have been photographing nearly every day and I am so pitifully behind on blogging, but I did want to share a few images from fall petite sessions that we did last week. Lots of laughs!! (please be sure to scroll ALL the way down to the last few images…. SO MANY LAUGHS at that little ham!)

I tried out a new location in Highland Village and loved it! What do you think?

 

I’m pretty picky about photo locations. If I choose a location for my clients, most of the time it is secluded, filled with beautiful light, and SCENIC. The scenic part is key for me. I love images that show off the Texas landscape – although we don’t live in a state like California or Utah that is jaw dropping gorgeous, Dallas DOES have some beautiful spots.

We shot at one of my favorite locations to kick off the “fall photo season” and it was with one of my favorite families. Those girls are growing UP and they couldn’t be any cuter or sweeter! The lake was a perfect setting to enjoy an evening together.

 

We all have bucket lists – things we would love to see/do/accomplish in our lifetime. I like to think that I have a “reality bucket list” and a “dream-world bucket list.” I’m going to go ahead and give you a spoiler alert – being hired to photograph a couple in Banff, Canada was most definitely in the “dream-world bucket list” pile. Having a severe case of wanderlust and a love for all things travel, I have long dreamed of moonlighting as a¬†vacation photographer or even doing travel sessions in other states (so, feel free to contact me about that LOL).

I first met Jessica, of Fat Baby Photography, a couple of years ago at a photography workshop I hosted. She had just given birth as a surrogate to TWINS!¬†I was amazed at her selflessness and her passion to follow an instinct that she knew in her heart. On top of that she was incredibly friendly and sweet. Fast forward to seeing each other at a few other photography meet ups and I eventually took family Christmas photos with her girlfriend and their sweet doggies. When I met Ana she immediately gave me a big hug and told me how she had heard great things about me and was excited to meet me – you know those people that do that, right? That make you feel special, immediately comfortable, and relaxed? That’s Ana. She is easy going, funny, and the perfect match for Jess.

A few months later I had heard through facebook that Jessica and Ana were engaged. What happy news!! Then I heard from Jess, asking if I would take their engagement pictures.

Would I mind traveling? Maybe Austin?? 

ummmmmm….. Are you kidding? Of course! I felt honored that they wanted ME to photograph them again. Of course!

Well, as you can predict, Austin never happened. The location wasn’t quite right and Jess and Ana wanted their photos to be EPIC. In a random moment of serendipity, a great deal on flights to Calgary, Canada popped up just as we were feeling the time pinch of nailing a location. In a matter of hours Banff was given a quick google image check, flights were booked, and we were all squealing that WE WERE GOING TO CANADA!!!!

I won’t lie – there were plenty of things I had on my mind….

Travel to another country, rent a car, stay in an Air BNB – all by myself???

Photograph at a location I know NOTHING about? 

What if it rains?

Or I get eaten by a bear? 

What if my gear gets stolen? Or I somehow lose their images?

I like Jessica & Ana, but what if we annoy each other? 

But, my greatest fears were not even close to being realized. We shot the images on our first full day and everything went perfectly according to plan. Banff is every bit as gorgeous as its reputation boasts and I did not lose my gear/images/limbs due to bears. (Although take a moment now to please scroll down to see that we were, indeed, just feet from a real live grizzly bear that was munching grass on the side of the road. Surreal life experience, for sure.) Also, Jess and Ana were a dream to travel with  Рin fact, we spent quite a bit of time together apart from the shoot and had an absolute blast. We made SO many great memories and insider moments cemented a friendship (pizza + honey, mosquito swatting, glacier crossing, gondola riding, and more!). They were so sweet to me and I will forever treasure this trip with them.

 

And, now, a peek at some of my favorite images from Banff!!

 

At Vermilion Lake – first look at Jessica’s wedding dress:

 

After leaving Vermilion lake we headed to Johnston Canyon to hike and take pictures by one of the waterfalls. Along the way we saw “The Boss.” You guys. We were seriously FEET from him. (Don’t worry, Mom, we were safely inside our vehicle and were ready to hightail it if needed.) I will say that there were a few other vehicles that had stopped to admire him – some of those people actually GOT OUT of the car. crazy! I later heard about it on a Calgary radio station – the game warden came and had to get people back in their car! Nuts!

 

 

Our second stop was Johnston Canyon. The paved trail follows the Bow river, cutting through the forest and leading to several waterfalls along the way. It’s an easy and very rewarding hike.

 

 

Our final shoot location was actually in the town of Banff. Although sunset isn’t until almost 10:00pm, we were able to get some “golden hour” light as the sun slipped behind the mountains. It truly couldn’t have been more gorgeous! I love these images because I think it shows the playful relationship that Ana and Jess have – lots of laughter and fun!

 

 

The next few days exploring Banff were nothing short of incredible. It is a photographer’s paradise, for sure. And there is so much to do! One day we took the gondola up to Mt. Norquay and spotted this incredible view. Those red chairs are placed by Parks Canada at some of the most scenic locations in the Rockies. It was fun to see them! We also knew that the location was too good to pass up – so on our final day we did one last mini shoot to capture a few images in this scenic vista.

 

 

And that is a wrap! I’ll leave you with a few “behind the scenes” images of the rest of the trip. Some of these were taken with my DSLR and others were taken with my GoPro. It was an incredible experience and I am so grateful that I was able to capture these images!

 

Oh goodness, what a sweet little family I met! This morning I drove over to Argyle (a most beautiful drive from Flower Mound, by the way) and met this darling family at their home. By early morning it was already a bit toasty and humid (gotta love Texas summers) but that didn’t seem to effect this sweet girl one iota. Goodness, her smiles and chubby cheeks gave me some serious baby fever. There was discussion of me just taking her home with me, but I *suppose* her momma and daddy thought they should keep her around :). I think what I loved most about this morning was seeing how much they doted and loved on their little girl – I have to admit that I miss the days when my husband and I just stared and stared at our babies and fawned over their every move. Nowadays I spend most of my time literally running behind them and trying to keep up, ha!

This was a 20 minute petite session, which was perfect for capturing the four month milestone without wearing anyone out. I am now booking fall photo sessions and have almost filled up my petite session dates. If you are interested in booking either a regular or petite session with me, please get in touch! missy@missymayophotography.com

 

There’s something a bit magical about photographing a family of five. ¬†The parents are outnumbered and the dynamics and unique personalities of the children make for the funnest sessions. ¬†It’s funny how I can see patterns with families – when I photograph a family with one child it is usually a quiet affair. ¬†The attention is completely focused on that boy or girl, and they always soak it up. ¬†With two children, parents are still trying to gain some control of the situation – much like they did when they just had the one. ¬†(I can say this with authority, being a momma of two). ¬†Typically there is one child we try to “wrangle” and one that is easy-peasy. ¬†But with three kiddos??? ¬†Oh, now that’s fun! ¬†Most of the time the parents have given up. ¬†And, ha, not at all in a bad way!! ¬†They stop trying to control the chaos of managing the kiddos and just relish the “is what it is” approach. ¬†And IT WORKS! ¬†As a photographer, that is my dream! ¬†The magic happens in all of the silly giggles, stinky toots, and unexpected reactions.

This sweet family of five was no exception. ¬†We did a quick “petite” session and was able to get tons of beautiful shots – some smiling at the camera ones and many candid shots (what I personally adore!).

 

Is there anything more bittersweet than the ONE year birthday? ¬†So many emotions are wrapped up in that day. ¬†For both of my children I felt this countdown starting from the minute they were born…….. the days of their true babyhood ticking down to their first birthday. ¬†And while there is just nothing better than sweet baby snuggles (in my humble opinion), the daily surprises of learning and personality that come is also pretty dang amazing.

This sweet boy was having a woodsy nature theme birthday party (And if I remember correctly, it was later on the same day we shot these.  Talk about a super momma!).  Everything from the teepee to the woodland cake was thought out perfectly!  Happy First Birthday, Sweet Boy!

 

As my own family gets older, expands, and puts roots down in other towns and states, I have learned how remarkable it is to have ALL of your family back home during the holidays. ¬†For these sweet grandparents, they finally had their children and grandchildren together again for Christmas. ¬†Capturing them together was important…. because after all, who knows when it will happen next?!?

Also, I love their color combinations of navy, burgandy, gray, and a touch of black.  Those are colors that everyone has in their closets, and can easily pull together to match the group.  They looked fabulous!

Finally! ¬†I have been a pretty patient photographer over here. ¬†Just biding my time for Dallas to finally get some fall foliage. ¬†Aside from just wanting the beautiful amber and golds to make an appearance, I have just felt sorry for my poor clients. ¬†They have been SWEATING in thick sweaters, cozy vests, and stifling scarves. ¬†But, alas, this week…. FALL HAS ARRIVED! Wahoo!

And can I just say that it’s appearance couldn’t have coincided more perfectly with this stunning family? They couldn’t be any cuter. ¬†Plus their outfits were on point. ¬†(They didn’t even have to sweat in them!) I KNOW that lovely momma must have searched high and low to find each perfectly coordinated accessory. ¬†Well, she nailed it. ¬†Bow tie and all.

 

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When I was contacted this summer about coordinating fall photos for this awesome family, they only had one request….. “We’d love something that says Texas.” ¬†Ohhhhh, fun! ¬†That’s easy enough and we could have gone a million different ways with it, but I thought that capturing the Dallas Skyline would be a pretty iconic location. ¬†As it turns out, this family is originally from Chicago but is here for work for one short year. ¬†Now isn’t that fun?? ¬†Of course, I can’t imagine the effort it takes to make smooth transition to a completely different state ¬†– especially when you have young children to consider. ¬†But on the flip side? ¬†An adventure with your family where you can explore, learn, and be a tourist for one year? ¬†Sounds like fun to me!

I was trying to think of a few suggestions on fun “Dallas-y” spots/restaurants/events they should check out. ¬†Here is what I have so far…..

 

Empire Pies (my first suggestion when they were considering an after photo session treat)

Klyde Warren Park

Grapevine Parade of Lights (& other Christmas Festivities)

A day to dine and shop in Downtown McKinney

Date Night at Reunion tower

Kids Museum at Dallas Arboretum

Perot Museum of Science

Fort Worth Stockyards to see the Cattle Drive

Date Night at the Bishop Arts District (Hattie’s Restaurant is my fave)

Walk and Ride Bikes along the Katy Trail

See a Musical at Bass Performance Hall

State Fair of Texas

Dallas Cowboys Game

Pecan Lodge BBQ (I must admit that I have not eaten there, but I hear it’s the best if you love BBQ!)

 

What other ideas does anyone have?  Best of luck to this sweet family!

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“With your loving, there ain’t nothing
That I can’t adore
The way I’m running, with you, honey
Is we can break every low
I find it funny that you’re the only
One I never looked for
There is something in your loving
That tears down my walls”

Adele: “The Sweetest Devotion” ¬†{Written after the birth of her son}

 

Last night I had the absolute pleasure of going to the Adele concert in Dallas. ¬†It was her 99th concert of her tour (of 107, I believe). ¬†I would have thought that after performing 99 times, there might be a weak link…. a little less oomph, a slight mistake, a bit of tiredness. ¬†Nope, nada. ¬†She killed it. ¬†It was AMAZING.

Why am I writing about Adele when clearly I have a beautiful family session to show you? ¬†Well, Adele is a bit of a talker. ¬†She chatted quite a bit (in her adorable accent that made me want to “hop the pond” and visit London). ¬†One of my favorite things that she talked about was her inspiration and the STORY behind each song. ¬†I loved hearing the background and what the lyrics mean to her. The lyrics to “The Sweetest Devotion” were written right after the birth of her son. ¬†She opened up about the rush of love and life changing moment she had when she first laid eyes on him. ¬†I think all of us mommas can relate!

Now I consider myself an artist, but I am NO ADELE. ¬†Yet I felt a kinship last night about portraying a story and expressing what’s on the heart. ¬†Of course, when I take pictures I am trying to tell another family’s story but there is still so much of my own influence there. ¬†Generally I am thinking of my own family and children – their ages & stages and what I would want to have captured if I was in my client’s shoes.

For instance, right now my kids are ALL ABOUT DAD.  They love rough housing and being silly with him in a way that I could never duplicate.  And I love that.  So lately I have been trying hard to focus on the playfulness and silliness that dads can naturally evoke from their children.
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And for the mommas? ¬†Well, lately I must admit to having a bit of baby fever. ¬†I’m not getting pregnant again, but GOSH I WANT TO SNUGGLE MY LITTLE BABIES again. ¬†In this sweet session, that was a priority for me… I wanted to capture baby snuggles.

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So, those are my “Adele Inspired” thoughts behind a few favorite images from this beautiful session. ¬†It was an honor to photograph this family! ¬†(Momma is a fabulous newborn photog, by the way!!)

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