Bio: Dallas Photographer Missy Mayo is known for her joyful and genuine family, child and senior portraits. Most days you will find her laughing at Mr. Mayo (her charming better half), playing soccer with their all boy son, and playing dress up with their spunky daughter. Fueled by a morning cup of joe (and the occasional afternoon indulgence), she spends her time playing with her family, working on the newest Pinterest craft, immersed in her Kindle, plotting an upcoming Girls Night Out, or behind the lens capturing priceless family memories.
Missy’s work is characterized by bold color and sun-infused light, as well as her unmatched blend of sentiment and breathtaking scenery. As a former educator, she is passionate about connecting with children capturing natural giggles, connections, and milestones. Named a Top 10 Dallas/Fort Worth Photographer in 2015, 2016, and 2017, she prides herself on delivering magazine worthy images and an excellent overall client experience.
How did you get your start in photography?
It seems like I was born with a camera around my neck! Growing up, I was the self-appointed family
historian and was always taking pictures and documenting our life through scrapbooking. After
starting my own family, I fell back in love with photography and in 2014 started my family
photography business here in Dallas.
What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
I focus on photographing families and children, although I also enjoy working with high school seniors
as well. Drawing on my own love for a child’s world, I use playfulness, creativity, and interactions to
enhance family connection and capture images that make others smile and feel joyful. In the last two years, I have also traveled across the country teaching at various photography conferences and workshops. I am passionate about mentoring other photographers and specialize in teaching Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, digital organization, and working with families for candid interactions. As a former elementary school teacher, combining my love of photography and education has been the icing on the cake!
Did you experience any challenges as a woman entering into the photography market?
I think it is easy for women photographers to fall into the “just a mom with a camera” label. I value
both my jobs as a mother and a photography business owner, and each has required me to develop
patience, an enormous work ethic, learn boundaries and priorities, and settle into accepting
challenges and “scary” things. I am very proud of being the best mother I can while creating a
successful business on my own. Women don’t give ourselves enough credit.
What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?
I don’t think any artist can claim a smooth road! I have had many fears along my photography
journey. From the first time I announced my photography business on Facebook to being flown to
another country by my clients, I have definitely not been a stranger to fear! But, I have learned to
actually cherish those unknowns – they are opportunities I would not have had to grow as a person.
As a mother, my family isn’t awarding me any prizes for making a healthy meal that everyone ate or
keeping the living room clean all week! But building a business here in Dallas has given me a great
many accomplishments, and sometimes failures too! Learning to not overbook and overcommit
myself has been one of my biggest lessons. I think I am actually still learning that lesson, ha!
Who and/or what inspires you most?
The great thing about working with children is that they are completely unpredictable! I may have a
vision in my head, but kids usually surprise me and do something that is even better than my idea. I
am always inspired by a child’s zest and curiosity for life.
What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot or are there any specific techniques you use?
Kids are always on the move and they are generally pretty happy when they are running, skipping,
dancing, etc. My “poses” typically involve asking kids to hop over a puddle, run as fast as they can,
squeeze their parent, etc. In the end, my goal is to create images that show joyfulness.
Why is accurate color important within your workflow?
Working with my camera is just one step of my photography process – I am also just as passionate
about editing in Lightroom and Photoshop. I love images that are characterized with bold yet
true-to-life color. This process starts with accurate white balance and screen calibration. Obtaining
accurate colors in my images has enabled me to stand out as a photographer.
Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
Make sure you are legal! Learn how to legally establish yourself as a business, pay taxes and sales tax,
and insure your business. The peace of mind for protecting yourself is worth every minute and penny!
Photography Type: Family, Child, Senior Portrait Photographer