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

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For this unique, bright, and handsome guy, we needed a session as special as he is. Jacob is part of the Cinco Ranch High School Class of 2019, and I was so excited to hear he wanted his senior photos in his kayak! I’m always up for a challenge. Jacob has a great laugh and a wonderful personality to match! He has many things he’s involved in these days, including biking and kayaking. He’s an important part of the Cinco Ranch Marching Band (on percussion), and has been putting some important hours into the Young Men’s Service League (YMSL) in Katy, Texas. The YSML is amazing, and is a philanthropic organization that encourages young men to get involved in their communities with causes that matter to them. It also is a really cool opportunity for teens to serve alongside their moms, which creates a lasting memory, especially during that last year of high school.

Jacob also enjoys a great cup of coffee, and listening to Lake Street Dive when he can! His kayak is one of his most prized possessions, and it also has an important memory attached: when their family home was flooded during Hurricane Harvey, his kayak actually helped them escape their flooded home and neighborhood. I loved that were able to tell that part of his story with images. He is also a gifted student who works very hard in school, and I am thrilled to share that he is headed to the University of Texas at San Antonio in the fall to study Computer Security.

Contact us today to book your senior shoot!


When it comes time to choose a senior photographer, it often comes down to the wishes of the parents and the wishes of the graduate. Not only are these factors important, but there is another aspect of choosing a photographer that many people forget: the connection. The person who captures your senior year is someone you need to feel connected to, and trust. So, how do you know who to entrust such a special moment with? We have a few tips, based on our years of experience in the senior portrait industry, that will help this big decision:

  • You and your senior should meet with the photographer BEFORE the shoot. This is key in developing a connection which will come across in the portraits.
  • Have a general idea of what you want before you step foot in that meeting: Look on the photographer’s instagram, facebook and website. Consider the images you’re drawn to, and decide as a family (or grad/parent) what will fit into your home decor, or the things that you want to use them for (invites, graduation party, etc). 
  • Ask lots of questions: Ask what makes the photographer unique. What is their signature style? Do they have a few signature poses or locations? Will you be dealing with many classmates using the same locations/poses? These are important issues to consider when you are wanting photos that are different and special. 
  • Decide how many you want and need: For some seniors, they want the whole kit-and-caboodle, with many outfit changes and locations, and we make it happen. For other seniors, they don’t enjoy having their photos done, and only want an image for mom and dad. For these, we try to really hone in on the things they DO want, such as props included or a special location. Communicate these wishes to your selected photographer. We want you to feel confident you are getting what you need.

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  • Ask about logistics: Depending on when you need your images done, you will want to choose a photographer who can accommodate you. Worried you won’t know where your senior is attending college when you take the fall photos? But want photos in the selected college shirt? Ask about this! At Maureen O’Shay Photography, we offer a College Shirt Mini-Session in the late spring for our clients who had their session before the college decision was made.
  • Timing: Remember to book early, and allow plenty of time for the photographer’s turnaround, and allow time to order graduation invitations, prints, albums, products and more. Our ordering process allows you to only buy what you love, rather than restricting you. We also offer beautiful, heirloom quality collections to suit your needs. Even if you want spring photos, book early to get the best date during prime flower-blooming time.
  • Ask how long they’ve been in business: Finding a veteran photographer is key to success. They often have extra tips and ideas that they have gained with experience in the industry. Here at Maureen O’Shay Photography, we have been in business since 2010, and have become a full-service portrait service and studio, which means we have plenty of years of client work and experience that will only enhance your session! (To learn more about Maureen, click HERE). We also work with a great veteran team of hair and makeup experts!
  • Remember that this experience only happens once: Your senior photographer shouldn’t be a choice you take lightly. The right photographer will make a true connection with you, and will celebrate the many accomplishments that have brought you to this moment. 

Learn more about our custom portrait sessions HERE!

When you graduate high school, it’s not only a major milestone, it is the first part of your very own legacy. It’s the story you are telling with your life, and graduation feels like that first page. Bailey is bright and academic, and also very sweet and thoughtful.  I couldn’t wait to do a shoot that celebrated all the amazing facets of this beautiful young lady. To start with, she absolutely loves living here in Houston. It’s a vibrant city filled with art and culture, incredible sports teams, and she fits right into the modern and urban atmosphere. She requested a downtown session to mark her love of the area, and it came out perfectly! As a student, she’s an incredibly talented scholar; earning a national merit commendation, and is highly involved with Cinco Ranch High School’s FFA. Of course, her pursuits don’t end there; she also enjoys philanthropic work, putting in a tremendous amount of hours with the National Charity League, Azalea Chapter. Her church (Tallowood Baptist) is also an integral part of her life, and serves as a cornerstone for so many of her passions and inspiration.

Would you believe that on the very day of this shoot, this beautiful girl received her long-awaited acceptance letter to Texas A&M? She can’t wait to become an Aggie, and was accepted into the prestigious Mays Business School program, with Texas A&M Business Honors and as a Presidential Endowed Scholar. Her dad and grandfather both attended Texas A&M, and so she’s following in some lofty footsteps. As another special touch, we did some images of her in her beloved pink Astros jersey at Minute Maid Park, and she’s holding the little mascot that her dad gave to her mom when they were dating! I really enjoyed the small details (like her Harry Potter books) that encapsulated the pieces of her wonderful personality. Congratulations, Bailey! I know you will be a tremendous success!

Hair and makeup by Andrea with Faceforward

A smile can tell a story of its own. When I first meet a senior, I always notice their smile and their eyes first, because they are so telling about the person behind them. When I met Julianne, I knew right from that first interaction that she has a positive spirit that’s simply unmatched. She has a wide, quick smile that lights up a room, and I felt so lucky to work with her as part of the Class of 2019. For her shoot, we found urban areas that showed off her amazing fashion sense, and celebrated the many passions in her life.  This spunky senior attends Cinco Ranch High School, where she’ll graduate this summer. Julianne is a dance officer on the Award Winning Cougar Stars Dance Team, and it is one of her biggest accomplishments to date. The dance team has been in existence for an impressive twenty years, and they do several performances each season at pep rallies, community events, and and competitions. Not only is she a very involved and active young lady, she’s also passionate about giving back to her community.

Julianne just wrapped up six years of service with the National Charity League (Azalea Chapter). If you’re not familiar with the organization, it is based on the idea of helping mothers and daughters become integral members of their community through philanthropic work. They focus on leadership experiences and social awareness, and I’m so proud of Julianne for devoting so much time to this important work. In fact, my daughter and I will also be joining the same chapter in the fall, so I look forward to experiencing it for myself! College is something she’s eagerly looking forward to, and she’s recently celebrated being accepted into the School of Engineering at Texas A&M, where both of her brothers attend. I have no doubt that she will continue her lengthy history of service to her community and dedication to her studies at her new college home.

Thank you, Julianne, for allowing me the honor of being your senior photographer!

Hair and makeup: Andrea with Faceforward Makeup and Tanning

Clothes from Runway Seven

How is it actually the last few days of 2018? This year seemed to fly by!

Over the last year, I have been creating a more in-depth Senior Experience and finally it is coming to fruition. If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed the shift. In fact, Instagram does this thing called “#top9” – it is the 9 most liked posts in a year. Eight of the “top 9” most liked photos were of senior clients – it has not always been that way.

In 2010, I started Maureen O’Shay Photography for several reasons. I wanted to go back to work, but make my own hours because my daughters girls were so little. I wanted to be creative, work with other people and, be in charge (yes, I said it!).

Photography was a great fit because I loved documenting my own family and always love learning new things. But after 7 years of photographing [mostly] families, I wanted to mix it up a bit. Slightly terrified and excited at the same time, I posted a model call for seniors in the spring of 2017 crossed my fingers and got to work.

Sweet Hannah Embrey was the first senior model I photographed. I had photographed the Embrey Family the year before but I was, although prepared, so nervous. Turns out, the session went really well – like really, really well!

And it got better. Over the next year, I received feedback from the senior parents telling me that I helped their child feel confident, relaxed, and beautiful. And they loved the whole experience I had worked hard to create for each and every client. It was an ah-ha moment for me, for sure. This senior photography part of my business was not just about the pretty pictures, but also about helping the senior see what the world sees in them. What their parents and friends see. What I see.

Knowing all that – knowing how much this experience can positively impact my clients, in 2019, we are taking this empowerment thing to the next level! I recently launched a senior team called Team EmpowHER for my class of 2020. A fantastic group of my past clients and their best friends helped me pull off an epic photoshoot to announce it (see below!).

Team EmpowHER members will have their individual senior portrait session with me and a fun group photoshoot, but also throughout the year, they will have access to empowering opportunities like access to a college application prep expert, self defense class, professional makeup lessons and opportunities to speak with mentors. All designed to help them launch into the next phase of their life with confidence. I can not wait! It really is a Happy New Year!

Team EmpowHER is open to any class of 2020 student in the Houston area. The deadline to apply, as you might have guessed, is midnight on December 31st – click here to apply.


And here’s a quick look at the Behind the Scenes! 

Hair and make up by Andrea at Faceforward Makeup

Studio: Superb Studio

Balloons and confetti: Glamfetti