Maureen O'Shay Photography » Katy's Family Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

Anyone who has ever had family portraits knows it can go one of two ways – the photographer captures your family unit the way you really are or the photographer didn’t. Knowing how to capture a family unit does not start on the day of the photo shoot. Photographers and clients have to work together well in advance of the session day to maximize the most of their time on the day of the session.

Last year, I met a family who was scheduled to be the cover of January 2017 Cinco Sprit Magazine. Immediately I thought of doing some sort of New Years-theme photoshoot. I do not normally have themes in mind before I meet a family, but for a magazine cover it seemed like a great idea; plus, my publisher told me the family “would be up for something fun” so I was hoping my idea would be something they would like.  The mom and I touched base and talked about the her expectations of the session and her willingness to do something a little different.  I was excited to learn they had moved to Katy from New York City.  I proposed the idea of an urban shoot with a post-New Years Eve party theme and she was so excited. They were totally up for getting dressed up and have fun in downtown Houston. Then I immediately thought of those fun, HUGE, gold number balloons. Just like themes, I don’t use a lot of props, but these seemed to fit the bill and would be a really fun way to tie in the New Year’s theme. After a few more family-specific questions that I needed answers to, we scheduled the session date and were ready to rock and roll!


Having a pre-consultation doesn’t have to take a long, drawn out process but you need to allow enough time to for your photographer to figure out what your family is like and where they will be most comfortable. Working with your photographer before hand will help create a shared vision for your shoot. If your photographer doesn’t offer a pre-consultation, ask for one. Or find a photographer that does. When I first started out photographing families six years ago, I did not offer pre-anything. And trust me when I say, it makes all the difference in the photos and the experience.

But this is a two-way street – and you know all the details! My advice for clients is to be totally upfront and honest with your photographer. Give them the details about your family – the good, the bad and the ugly so they know what they are working with. If you really want to capture the details of your kids, like the little freckles, etc, – then let the photographer know. Want to make sure you get photos of just you and your husband together? Make sure you communicate that, too. Know child #1 and child #3 don’t get along and cooperate? Let her know.

Additionally, give thought to the end result of your session – what are these photos for? Holiday cards? Wall art? An album? Gifts for family? Letting your photographer know your vision will really help you get exactly what you are looking for in a final product. 

Robin and Matthew’s downtown urban session really turned out well.  But you know what happens to the best laid plans, don’t you? My gold balloons didn’t do too well with the wind on the deck of the parking garage.  We lost the number one balloon in our “2017” but the their sweet daughter, even through her tears (who wouldn’t cry if a big shiny balloon floated away!?) was determined to be the number 1 and held her hands up high! And it turned out to be one of my most favorite photos! I prefer the black and white image – which do you like?

All images Copyright Maureen O’Shay Photography






It’s almost here!  On Saturday, November 19th I am hosting a charity portrait event benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at Pottery Barn Kids in Highland Village.   I am really excited to work with PBK again and to help make a difference this holiday season! You may be wondering what portraits taken at Pottery Barn Kids look like. Check out this link to view a variety of portraits from my summer sessions and read more about one mom’s take on how the PBK session went HERE. For this event, Pottery Barn Kids will be decorated for the holidays (mostly red and green) so dress your kids festive!
Charity Portrait Event
Saturday, November 19th 10am – 4pm
PBK Highland Village 4047 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027
Space is limited – sign up before the session is required and can be done at
With the donation $99, you receive:
  • A 20-minute portrait session for up to 4 children with Maureen O’Shay
  • One 8 x 10 print
  • A private, in-person ordering session week of Nov 29-Dec 1 (All orders will be placed at that time, to ensure prompt delivery in time for holiday gifting!)
  • Complimentary portrait wall design for your home or office
Questions? Email or call 850-321-6119.
If you aren’t able to make it to this event, would you please consider sharing this link with a friend? Help me spread the word and together we can all help the children at St. Jude’s.

Happy November! Allow me to introduce the Mills Family – The Cinco Spirit’s November family of the month.

It was a pleasure to work with Norma and Bob Mills along with their two daughters, their husbands and the grandkids. There is something special about a multi-generational portrait session, as you can tell by the portraits below. These are portraits they will treasure for a lifetime and I am honored to have been able be a part of that. Be sure to read more about the Mills family in the November edition of The Cinco Spirit! 

Interested in a session, let me hear from you! 

All images © Maureen O’Shay Photography 2016

Maureen O’Shay Photography is so excited to offer in-store holiday portraits at Pottery Barn Kids this Holiday Season!

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, November 19. To reserve your session time, visit – once you fill out that form, you will then receive a link to pay the $99 reservation fee. Once that is paid, Maureen will call you and discuss wardrobe ideas, provide you information on the color scheme in the store, and go over all the fun products available for you to choose from at your in-person ordering session which will take place during the week of Nov 29 – Dec 1.

Maureen will offer in-person ordering sessions in both the Highland Village/River Oaks area and in the Katy/Cinco Ranch area. During the ordering session, Maureen will not only show you all the images from your session, but also with a patented program she can show you exactly what the images will look like on you the walls of your home or office. The design service is a considerable help when deciding on sizing for your portraits – it completely takes out the guess work and is a complimentary service provided for you by Maureen.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Thank you for being a part of this amazing event!

So often my clients become my friends. I am a full service photographer which means I meet with my clients at least once before the session and once after the session and usually in their home. We talk on the phone. We email. We really get to know each other. It helps me to create a custom photography experience – but it is also pretty cool because I really get to know and become friends with so many great families that otherwise I might have never  met. And every once and while you realize that you and your clients were living very similar lives but just had not met yet! Meet the Mathews Family. Soon after our session, we realized we go to the same church. The Mathews girls are both counselors at the VBS my kids attend (and now they babysit for us!). Sidney and Emily are such good role models for my two girls – Kelly and Joel have raised some really great girls and I really hit the jackpot on this one! Thank you Mathews Family. I am so happy you love your portraits and thankful that you are part of my family’s life, too!

Thinking about a session with Maureen O’Shay Photography? Here is what Kelly and Joel had to say about their experience:

Please tell me about your session experience:
The session experience was very easy-going and pleasant. The photos were very impressive which made it hard to decide [which to purchase].

Tell us a little bit about your family
We are a spirited and opinionated bunch.

What did you like about your session? What was your favorite part?
It was quick, easy, and Maureen made it more pleasant because she was well-organized and efficient. Our favorite part is that it was enjoyable.

Any advice to other families before their photo session?
Be ready and flexible due to weather. Have fun picking out the family attire.

Where was your session held and why?
It was held at the pond and rocks by the Cinco Ranch Waterpark. It was specifically picked because it was located in Joel’s HOA territory in Cinco Ranch.