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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Here is what I love about photography….. I can pursue it for the rest of my life. I can learn new genres, techniques, and soak up the knowledge of others. I will never have reached “the top” or achieved “all that I can learn.” At the beginning of the year I took a class just for those reasons – to shake things up and explore night and landscape photography (soooooooo not my forte) from one of my favorite experts. Loving travel, I wanted to nail my images a bit more. And that is no easy task for me because here is the thing about landscape photography – it is the total and complete opposite of everything I do in my portrait work. For one thing, the actual event is time consuming (whereas when I work with clients or even my own children I am on a VERY short time frame). It’s often like finding a hidden treasure – the researching, location scouting, the slow enjoyment of what is in front of you, and the dedication to planning make it a complete 180 for me. Which is good. But it made my brain hurt a bit :).

Mike Mezeul II is a Dallas photographer who travels across the world photographing some of the most jaw dropping images you could imagine. I have followed him for awhile and jumped on the chance to take a class from him with a photography pal of mine. We met up on a Friday night to get a few shots of Dallas and then had a full classroom day – which honestly I initially felt like could go one way or another. It’s been awhile since I have sat in a classroom allllllllll day listening to one person. But long story short Mike was awesome. A natural teacher, he peppered his lecture with funny travel stories and behind the scenes information from some of his favorite images. His love for photography shows in his attention to getting the shot right in camera – stressing quality over quantity.

Do I sound like a fan girl?? Well, join me in my fangirl ways and give him a follow. You won’t be disappointed.

Here are a few shots I took before our workshop. I really enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone! Also…….. who wants to do some night photography with me????

bank of america building at night with light trailsreunion tower at night with light trailslight trails at night by dallas reunion towerdallas skyline at night along streetdallas pegasus at omni hotelpegasus at night by the omni hotel


Win BlogStomp3 AND a copy of The Organized and Efficient Photographer PDF and Video Guide by Missy Mayo thanks to Bloom and StompSoftware!

Are you spending hours away from your family, editing images and trying to run a photography business? Do you search aimlessly for old images, live in fear of hard drive failure, or struggle to find a workflow that doesn’t eat away at your free time? Unchain yourself from the computer with practical and easy to implement time saving techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop. Learn faster methods for importing, culling, editing, and sharing your images. Stay organized and learn to find any image in your catalog in less than three minutes!

Included in the guide:

– Lightroom PDF, Photoshop PDF and a Bonus Business Time Savers PDF that detail easy to follow methods for making your workflow work FOR you and not against you.
– Video walkthroughs that follow the PDFs and demonstrate step-by-step fast and free methods to manage client communication, create back up systems, learn lesser known Lightroom hacks, master Lightroom Mobile, automate in Photoshop, and much more.
– Exclusive vendor discount codes (although you won’t need to purchase a single thing to reap the rewards of the guide)!
– Computer wallpaper image to help your desktop stay tidy.
– Handy printables to keep you organized.

Whether you are a business owner or the family documentarian, a newbie or a seasoned pro, you will gain practical methods for staying digitally efficient and organized!

It’s easy to enter and you can complete multiple entries to increase your chances of winning! The contest will end on Sunday, August 20th at midnight CST and the winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter Monday morning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last year, when I taught at Clickaway Seattle, I was incredibly fortunate to be sponsored by Color Inc Photo Lab. Through emails and phone conversations I got to know the owners and when I finally hugged them in Seattle, I knew I had met friends. Since then I have been to their lab location, Grand Rapids, to teach at their School of Photography. I toured the lab and learned about the process of professional printing. I met their employees, most of whom had been with the company since it started. I left Grand Rapids feeling so incredibly proud to teach, spoiled from having a few days in a new city to myself, and grateful for the opportunity to partner with a company that supported their customers and employees in all of the little and big ways that matter.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and my dear friend Liz LaBianca and I traveled south to teach at the Austin School of Photography for Color Inc. Whoop Whoop! We were teaching to a packed house, with photographers attending from all over Texas (including many of our friends from Dallas!). Although Liz and I are both teachers and LOVE to share, we were both nervous and just wanted to nail it. One minute into the four hour event and we knew the evening would be filled with a-ha moments, big laughs from the crowd (yeah, mostly directed at us), thoughtful questions, and a camaraderie amongst each other. Seriously, it was an amazing night!

Here are some behind the scenes images, as well as a few favorites from photographing the models…..

Clickaway 2016….where do I begin?  I guess back to the start, when I first learned that I was selected to speak at this amazing photography conference.  Thrilled, honored, and proud best described my emotions this spring.  And, I also had a lot of fear…….. let’s face it, teaching in front of your peers and with some of the biggest names in the industry is nerve wracking.  The months of build up helped nurture that fear.  It spread into the corners of my mind and replaced some of my thrill with a bit of self doubt.  Sure, I knew my material and have a background in teaching but questions began to surface that I just couldn’t answer with authority.

“What if no one wants to come to my class?”

“I’m going to be awe-struck at my fellow presenters…. those immensely talented women won’t even give me a second thought.”

“One thousand things could go wrong…. my microphone won’t work, it will rain, someone will answer a question I can’t answer.”

“I”m going to screw up.”

The spoiler alert is that EVERYTHING went great.  My classes were filled with eager faces –  women who asked questions, got that “a-ha!” look on their face, then gave me hugs afterwards.  I met some of my photography idols  and they were so niccccceeeeeee.  Truly.  No egos.  In fact, I met so many empowering, talented women in my classes, the lobby, and out to dinner….and they became more than an idol – they became my friends. Also things DID go wrong.  It rained, there were questions I couldn’t answer, and my presentation didn’t go exactly according to plan.  But it was ALL good.  Each little challenge was easily overcame, which gave me back my confidence.


And while I had the honor of teaching at Clickaway, my  love for learning means I am an even better student.  My schedule didn’t allow me to attend many classes, but I soaked up what I could….


Amanda Jane Jones  – your talent for design inspired me.  I am looking at my photography through refreshed eyes.

Meg Loeks – attending your class (pictured below)….whoa.  I look forward to every image you post and it was incredible to meet you in person.  Plus, you are really super duper nice :).

Lissa Chandler – Your infectious giggle, grandma florals, and talent at adding FUN to every image made me exceptionally eager for my high school portrait sessions.  You rock, lady.

Yan – You are a warm mug of hot cider (sweet and unexpectedly spicy) on a rainy Seattle day.  I soak up every word you say, and am now adopting the mantra to “set the bar low.”  I learned from you in Austin.  I learned from you in Seattle.  And I sure hope to learn from you at Yan Fam Way 2.0 in NYC.


And from my own classes – here are just a few favorites from my sweet model family sessions.  Both families were amaze-balls and it was a BLAST to photograph at the Seattle Center.  Bright colors, bold lines, and cool architecture are a match made in heaven for me.

It was the BEST weekend and I am so PROUD to be a part of the Clickaway Community.  We represent the best of the best in the industry.


A couple of months back an email went out to all of the Clickin Mom Pros letting us know that we could begin applying for instructor positions for Clickaway 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  It was an email that I honestly didn’t think too much about.  I mean…it was obviously meant for those famous-crazy-talented-big-name-photographers, not me who is just kinda doing her thing here in Dallas.  I chatted with a friend about it and got my hopes up a bit about applying, but then decided against it.  After all, “I’m just me. What could I offer to a huge photography conference with some of the leading talent in our industry?” Weeks later I met up with a friend who IS one of those famous-crazy-talented-big-name-photographers (her name is Sally Kate, by the way).  She casually asked if I had applied to teach.  “Uhhh, no.  No, no, no,” I replied.

“Well, why not? You should,” she answered.

She didn’t press me much farther and just said to do it, and do it quickly as they were deciding on instructors soon.  What Sally didn’t know is that those words are kinda my mantra with photography and the foundation of my business.

Let me back up a bit.

When I first left my teaching position to stay home with our newborn son I was scared.  Of a lot of things – being a new mother, leaving co-worker friends, a new financial picture, etc.  Mostly I was scared of losing ME.  I didn’t JUST want to be a mother and wife (although they have always been my #1 priorities).  I wanted an identity outside of keeping floors clean and diapers changed.  Enter photography and the rest was history.  I fell back in love with the art and never looked back.  Not to say that starting a business was easy.  Far, far, FAR from it.

I distinctly remember crying to my husband the day I started my business Facebook page.  “What will people say?  What if I’m made fun of for doing this?  What if I’m not good AT ALL and now I’ve put myself OUT THERE.”  Pretty much my husband gave me the awkward man “there, there” pat and simply said –  “You should do it. You can do it.” It was right then I realized that I was scared.  Scared to death and it felt good.  I had been craving a challenge and a way to grow myself personally.  After all, no one was giving me a promotion for serving up a healthy dinner that the whole family would actually eat.

So being scared has been a business motto of mine. If a photography opportunity presented itself to me, I took it – even if I was petrified.  And so far it has panned out well for me.  I was scared to death about applying for Clickin Moms Pro.  But I was accepted and it has thrown open HUGE doors for my business. I almost threw up the first time I taught an intro to DSLR camera class in front of 100 people.  I HAD A MICROPHONE AND A PODIUM.  Oh, and when I started teaching photographer workshops and offering mentoring to other photographers?  Freaking TERRIFYING.

But every time I have had an opportunity I have told myself, “why not? I should.” I don’t expect that things will always work out the way I want or am hoping for, but I do believe things will work out the way I need them to.  So I have embraced this fear. And YOU SHOULD TOO.  What are you afraid of?  What is the WORST that could happen?  Whether it is following your own passion, pursuing your goals, or even wondering if you should go to Clickaway…. begin by thinking what is the BEST thing that could happen?

As the very wise Elizabeth Gilbert says –

I decide every day that I love Creativity enough to accept that Fear will always come along with it. And I talk to Fear all the time, speaking to it with respect, saying to it: “I understand that you are Fear, and that your job is to be afraid. And you do your job really well! I will never ask you to go away or to be silent, because you have a right to speak your own voice, and I know that you will never go away or be silent, anyhow. But I need you to understand that I will always choose’s Creativity’s ideas over yours. You may join us on this journey — and I know that you will — but you do not get to choose the direction in which we will walk, and you will not stop me and Creativity from making plans and decisions together.”

And then…onward we march: Me walking right beside Creativity and Fear, who are enmeshed forever, limping along, definitely a little weird-looking, but forever advancing despite each other.

Well, back to the present.  I did apply to teach at Clickaway.  And, as you have guessed, I was accepted.  I cannot even explain how excited, nervous, honored, overwhelmed, and SCARED I am.  But most of all I am proud.  I am proud of myself for moving past fear and doubt and being included with an incredible group of leaders, learners, and lecturers.

Clickaway 2016, I am coming for you!

And if you want to join me, I would LOVE for you to use my link to sign up! Even better, come sign up for one of my classes.  I’d love to chat with you!


Here are some images I took at Clickaway 2015 in San Antonio.  Although I am not a “styled” children’s photographer, I had an absolute blast trying on a new photography hat with the best of the best in the styled children’s world….. Shalonda Chaddock of Chubby Cheek Photograph and Sally Molhoek of Sally Kate Photography.  Shooting alongside of them  – amazing!



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Sometimes your creative well just runs dry.  I think everyone feels that way at times, but for a working photographer chasing the elusive creative spark can feel like herding squirrels.  Ideas run wild, but sometimes they are just beyond your grasp.  And at times, the ideas just aren’t there.

I had been feeling this way after the rush of fall family portraits.  And in Dallas, the weather is nice right through Christmas, so I had a long stretch where I just felt a little off when I put my camera to my eye.  The spark was a little dimmer and it felt discouraging.  In the past I have done things like try a new lens (effective although quite costly), “push” through it (sometimes works, sometimes backfires), take a break (has never worked for me), and learned a new “genre” of photography (as it turns out I am obsessed with night photography).  Occasionally I have also sought continuing education opportunities, which is what I decided to do this fall.

When looking for a photographer mentor to learn from there is much to consider – What aspect of their photography do you admire? What is the time and money commitment? How will their talent/skills better yours?  At the exact time I was asking myself these questions, I happened to see that Michele Anderson of Pinkletoes was offering her highly coveted weekend workshop in Austin, TX. For years I have admired her view of the world, business savvy, and technical knowledge.

I didn’t think twice.  I hit “pay” before asking my husband, securing childcare, or even double checking my calendar.  I don’t recommend doing that, but it ended up panning out for me quite nicely.  Hubby said “good for you!” Grandparents said “yay, we will spoil them with toys & sugar and then happily return them.” Even my calendar had a blank spot (which is crazy as I regularly book sessions 6-9 months in advance).

The stars aligned and in February I drove down to Austin to meet six of the sweetest, most open, and genuine photographers you could ever dream up.

Before I dive into the weekend, I would like to introduce this group to you.  Here we are taking a go pro selfie (it’s like a 10 second video, so give it a watch). Please notice our highly technical skills.  The amazing use of light and hotspots.  The flattering expressions.  Clearly, we are professionals who know our stuff.


Over the course of the weekend we watched Michele photograph an in-home newborn session and an outdoor family session.  As a bonus she even took our head shots.  Watching her in action….. I suddenly felt like herding squirrels WAS possible.  Her effortless style and creative vision was truly inspiring. We were able to take our new skills and inspiration to use when photographing several maternity models.

But probably my favorite aspect of the workshop was her business and marketing advice.  She doesn’t hold back.  Michele openly talked about everything from money, to brand, to marketing…. every aspect of being a photography business owner.

Being in her home was the icing on the cake.  Seeing her own family photographs in every nook and cranny of their unique home was inspiring in and of itself.  She graciously let us pour over her family albums…. she doesn’t know it yet but I shall be coming on their next family adventure (Missy Mayo-Anderson has a nice ring, yes?). Photography is so tightly woven into the cozy comfort of her home that you instantly feel the simultaneous love of her craft and family in warm embrace.

Here are a handful of photographs from the weekend.  It was amazing and now I am in post-workshop hangover.  Soooooo much information and never enough time to digest.  It’s a good problem to have – much better than catching those squirrels.


Be sure to check out Michele’s post at Austin Family Photographer.


Before kiddos I was a 3rd grade teacher for six years.  I miss teaching.  I miss the “a-ha!” moments and the creativity to constructing a lesson.  There’s plenty I don’t miss too (like the smell of a cafeteria lunch room or being thrown up on), but part of me was just meant to teach.  I crave it, just like I do being behind a camera.  Anyhow, I have found a few ways to satisfy the teaching craving.  You can find me at the Flower Mound library, where I offer a class on learning your DSLR.  And for pro photographers I also offer  private mentoring and workshops.  At my most recent workshop I incorporated a mini family session into our day.  I’m a visual learner, so just reading tips off a powerpoint on interacting with families wouldn’t be enough for me.  So I demonstrated the tricks and interaction methods I use with this amazing family.  And by amazing, I do mean that.  They had an audience of twelve photographers watching their every move!

The workshop, “Consistent and Confident Family Sessions,” was a success! I think everyone walked away with new knowledge and goals for their business – tricks to interact with families in a playful manner, ways to efficiently edit photos, and tips on getting consistency with sessions and edits.

I loved this quote from PeachPine Photography about her experience:

“If you are looking for ways to step up your family portraiture, this workshop is for you. Its not always about the pose, but the expression on your subjects face and how their eyes light up when they are genuinely happy and engaged during a shoot. What I found inspiring about her class was that you could actually watch her work during a live family session and have the ability to ask questions before, during and after. She was willing to share in detail everything from planning, to shooting, all the way through to processing and she asked ahead of time what questions we had so that she could put them into her program. She gave us lots and lots of detailed information and easily executable tips. In addition she has posted several videos for even more learning in her private Facebook group. Very educational and loved the small group. She has a genuine way with children and getting the best natural smiles out of them. I took my kids (3 and 4 years) out on a shoot the next night by myself…and guess what….her tricks worked and now I have hundreds of images to go through and edit because I love them so much. Everyone was having fun and I was able to capture the joy and excitement of childhood. I would definitely recommend Missy’s workshop if you are interested in getting natural, fun smiles from children and families.”

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Our workshop ladies: