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

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As a parent of two elementary age kids, I love when I get to work with parents who have older kids than my own. Enter Kristi and David Haley and their four children John, Jared, Katie and Anna ranging in age from middle school to college graduate. Watching young adults and teenage “kids” with their parents is so fun and this family does it well. Whether giving a noogie (see below and is that how you even spell it?!) or just making jokes and enjoying their time together, the Haley Family has a great time when they are together. I was happy I was able to document the love and affection they have for each other!

So without further ado, meet The Haley Family: The Cinco Spirit’s Cover Family for April 2017.

Okay, moms, this one is for you.

When choosing your photo session wardrobe it is easy to become overwhelmed but I do have a very simple tip: Pick your outfit first. That’s it. TRUST ME. Get your look together, your favorite colors and you pull everyone else outfits from there.

Now more specifically for moms, I love a long dress or skirt (especially if you have little kids at the session) – it ads movement to the photos and is always elegant. There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to a photo session so indulge in a beautiful dress or skirt to feel your best. Then plan all other outfits around yours.

When considering the length of your dresses or skirts, it’s also a good idea to factor in whether or not there will be little ones in your photos. If you have smaller children, I will likely have you sitting or crouching on the ground to interact up-close with them. Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses photograph beautifully, but if you have little ones in your photos, a floor-length dress or skirt will make moving around with your kids much easier, and look perfect on camera, too.

Just like Stephanie did here in these gorgeous portraits!

This skirt is perfection. I love the movement and the color. She looks stunning in this outfit with a simple, feminine touch.

Next up is your husband’s outfit. He should be in a long, fitted pants and closed-toed shoes. And yes, I know this is Houston and it is hot here, but that look is most sophisticated and masculine look out there. His outfit is normally neutral colors (brown, blue, khaki, etc) but a pop of color that coordinates with your outfit in the form of a bow tie, pock square, vest or suspenders will help pull the look together. If he is not a “pop-of-color guy” that’s okay, too!

Wardrobe details are a lot of fun but sometimes can be overwhelming. Meeting with your photographer before your session and getting additional tips and tricks can really help and make you feel your best on your photo session day. We want you to look your best, also!

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