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: Photography Tips

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


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


  • 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.


  • 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.)


  • 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. 🙂

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!


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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…..

Surprise!  Another snow day!  In March!  It’s certainly hard to believe we are having winter weather so late, but this beautiful snow is a welcome sight for a photographer.  Yesterday I posted photos of my family enjoying the snow and received so many questions that I thought I would offer three tips for you.


1.) First and foremost, be prepared for the weather!  Dress your child head to foot in warm clothes and layers. In fact, I purposefully wore one less layer than my three year old son.  This way I knew when it was time to go inside and didn’t have to rely on a sudden meltdown to tell me my toddler was already too cold.  The best part of dressing for the snow is the opportunity to use bright colors to accentuate your child against the white of the snow.  Bold color instantly adds a bit of joy and punch to your images!  In addition, I brought a cloth to wipe my son’s nose, an extra scarf wrapped around my camera to protect it, and fingerless gloves so that my hands would still be covered as I operated my camera.

Flower Mound Snow

2.) Let your kid be a kid.  Your child is most likely bouncing off the walls to taste a snowflake on their tongue, sled down a hill, and engage in a snowball fight or two.  Don’t stop them!  The magic is capturing them with sheer joy on their face!  My favorite photos of my son are ALWAYS the ones where his smile is genuine and he is being himself.  Focus on playing with your child and even outdoing your child’s excitement!  Not only will you create wonderful memories, but you are sure to take photos that have real meaning.

In this image my son was the “Mean Ice T-Rex” and I was the prey.  He chased me up a small hill.  When I got to the top I turned around, snapped two pictures, then got eaten.  I never stopped our fun to take photos.

How to take photos of kids in snow

How to take photos of kids in snow


3.) Finally, try as many different angels as you can.  Think getting above and below your child.  Don’t always center them in the middle of the camera frame.

For this image I was on my stomach in order to capture my son sledding down the hill.  If I was standing above him, you wouldn’t have clearly seen the the look of joy on his face.

Flower Mound Family Photographer Tips for Photos in the Snow


Here I was standing on a chair above him.

Flower Mound Snow Photography


And for some of my readers that live in an even warmer client than Dallas, you too can STILL take snow photos!  Yep!  Check out my “faux snow” post here. 


I hope these tips help you to get great images of your family in the snow!  We are about to head outside and make a few more memories together.  You can follow our snow day pictures on Facebook or Instagram.  If you have any additional questions about taking pictures in the snow, please feel free to email me at missy@missymayophotography.com.  Have fun!

Dallas Family Photographer

Dallas Snow Photography