• Cathy Murai Photography specializes in maternity, newborn, and baby photography in Orange County areas including but not limited to Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach... The studio is located in Irvine, CA.

  • If you would like to book your custom photography session or have any questions, please contact me. I would love to hear from you!

Happy New Year! | Portrait Studio in Orange County

Fun and colorful New Year photo shoot with Confetti - Portrait Studio in Orange County, California. 

Happy new year photoshoot photo ideas
Happy New year photoshoot ideas kids 

Happy New Year! 2021!  A girl wearing a black metallic dress and a boy wearing a black vest and tie are celebrating New Year with 2021 eye glasses and metallic colorful confettis around them.

For all of us,  2020 brought many challenges and many of us struggled with increased anxiety, but 2020 also allowed us to slow down, enjoy the simpler things in life, such as our family, and appreciate our health.  Thank you to all of my clients for keeping me in business despite the challenges of homeschooling, lockdowns, and other restrictions. I apprecaite your support and help throughout this rough year.

Good bye 2020 & hello 2021!  I am happy to turn the page from 2020 to 2021, as I am sure many of you are.  I am currently working on my 2021 calendar and I am truly looking forward to a brighter new year!  I hope that I am able to spend more time with my little clients and capture more memories for families in my portrait studio in Orange Counthy, as the pandemic (hopefully) comes to an end.

Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Cheers to 2021!!!

    

Holiday Mini Sessions 2020 “Let It Snow!”

Merry Christmas!! The pandemic has been extremely hard on small businesses. This year we had to get creative to capture our holiday mini sessions while keeping everyone safe. I initially thought of offering outdoor holiday mini sessions this year, but I ultimately decided to set up my holiday minis indoors next to a large accordion door that allowed for excellent air circulation.

This was perfect due to the Silverado fire in Orange County, California that started at the end of October. After that, the air quality was unhealthy for a while.

All COVID-19 safety measures were put in place. It was quite the production! Temperatures were taken before the families entered the studio, hand sanitizers and disinfection wipes were available, and props were sanitized after every session. My helper elf (fantastic husband!) and I also wore masks throughout the sessions.

I added the Illness and Cancellation policy which allowed clients to easily reschedule. The safety of my clients was my top priority. Last year we had sessions with Santa. Even without Santa due to safety measures, the pictures turned out very festive and the focus on family was perfect.

Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured these adorable siblings portraits during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured this beautiful family including a baby and a dog as well as the siblings riding on the sleigh during the holiday mini sessions in Irvine, CA (orange county). 2020 Christmas mini photo session
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured this adorable girl sending out a letter for Santa during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured this wonderful family (Father dressed up as Santa, Mother dressed up as Mrs. Clause, and a daughter dressed up as Elf. This Holiday Mini Sessions were held in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured this family portrait in snow during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. A boy baby is smiling while riding on the sleigh during 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured these adorable siblings portraits during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA. Siblings holding Christmas gifts.
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured these happy siblings while using a snow machine during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured these family and siblings portraits in the snow setting during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured this adorable siblings wearing navy, grey, and cream outfits during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured these adorable siblings portraits during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured these adorable siblings portraits during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured these adorable siblings portraits during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured these adorable siblings portraits during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured this beautiful family portrait during holiday mini sessions in Orange County. 2020 Christmas mini photo session in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured a beautiful family portrait and an adorable sibling portrait during holiday mini sessions in Irvine, CA. 2020 Orange County Christmas mini photo session.
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured  this adorable sibling portrait and the beautiful family portrait during holiday mini sessions in Irvine, CA. 2020 Orange County Christmas mini photo session.
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured this beautiful family portrait and the adorable girl portrait during holiday mini sessions in Irvine, CA. 2020 Orange County Christmas mini photo session.
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured this happy boy (handsome toddler) with a snow globe on the sleigh during holiday mini sessions in Irvine, CA. 2020 Orange County Christmas mini photo session.
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured  this adorable girl holding snow and the beautiful family, including a puppy during holiday mini sessions in Irvine, CA. 2020 Orange County Christmas mini photo session.
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured  this baby
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography created  this family portrait using a snow machine and photoshop during holiday mini sessions in Irvine, CA. 2020 Orange County Christmas mini photo session.
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Cathy Murai Photography captured  this 1 year old baby boy riding on the sleigh during holiday mini sessions in Irvine, CA. 2020 Orange County Christmas mini photo session.


The snow machine and snowballs might have even won a popularity contest with Santa. They were a hit!

Holiday mini photo sessions near me Kids are having fun throwing snowballs in the snow - captured by Cathy Murai Photography in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Kids are having fun throwing snowballs in the snow - captured by Cathy Murai Photography in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Kids are having fun throwing snowballs in the snow - captured by Cathy Murai Photography in Irvine, CA
Holiday mini photo sessions near me Kids are having fun throwing snowballs in the snow - captured by Cathy Murai Photography in Irvine, CA

Making Memories with Holiday Mini Sessions

With so many holiday events canceled this year, these fun sessions were a blessing. Getting dressed up and going somewhere festive is something a lot of us have missed this year. The holiday memories this year will be a little different (and sanitized!) than years past, but I am glad that I could be a part of these special moments.

Thank you so much for allowing me to continue to do what I love during these unusual unprecedented times. We had to give up a lot this year and you made it possible for me to continue working and using my passion to make great memories.

I am excited to make these mini sessions an annual tradition and have another round of fun holiday minis next year! We will be announcing 2021 Holiday Mini sessions via newsletter first so please make sure to join our newsletter here!

I hope your home is surrounded by Love, Peace, and Joy this holiday season.

Melanie - December 26, 2020 - 7:29 am

Thank you!

    

2020 Holiday Mini Sessions ~ Announced!

(Update) All of the Holiday Mini Sessions are SOLD OUT. 

These mini sessions are perfect for:

  • Updating your family portraits
  • Getting your family heirlooms to decorate your home
  • Creating your Holiday cards
  • Ordering gifts for your favorite family members! 

We will have a beautifully-styled winter snowfall setup that you won’t want to miss! The snow machine will get the cutest reactions… and genuine happiness! (Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Santa will not join us this year for everyone’s safety.)

Holiday Mini Sessions | SOLD OUT

Sunday, November 8th

Sunday, November 15th

Sunday, November 22nd

• 15-minute holiday-styled session+ 5 high-res, retouched digital files
• At Cathy Murai Photography Studio in Irvine, CA (Orange County)
• Immediate family only
• (Option) Additional digital files and products will be available to purchase after the photo session. Proofs will be ready in about a week via Zoom. Your retouched digital files will be ready for download within a week after you place your order.  This means, your order can be ready in November or the beginning of December and you have plenty of time to order your Holiday cards + gifts!

The health and safety of my clients is my top priority – All COVID-19 safety measures will be in place.

Cathy Murai Photography is taking all precautions advised by the WHO and the CDC and will apply them to all of the portrait sessions.

  • Disinfecting and Masks – We will be photographing indoors right next to an 8.5 ft accordion door, which will be fully opened for optimal air circulation. You must hand sanitize upon arrival and departure (The studio will supply hand sanitizer). We will clean and sanitize in between every session. We will be wearing masks throughout the portrait session. (Clients are not required to wear the masks in front of the camera)
  • No Personal Contact + Social Distancing – There will be a designated entrance and exit to ensure minimal contact. I will not be hugging or shaking hands at the start or end of our session. I will do my best to direct you from a distance of 6′ or more.
  • Immediate family only – Please do not bring others with you to your session to help minimize the number of people in the studio.
  • Illness and Cancellation Policy – If you had contact with an individual who has a confirmed positive test result for COVID-19, or if you or your family member is sick, has a fever, or experiencing any Covid-related symptoms, please contact me to reschedule your session.

Thank you for your support and cooperation!

I look forward to seeing you and your family at Holiday Mini Sessions!

    

First Birthday Smash Cake Session | Orange County Baby Photographer

Just before I temporarily closed down the studio due to COVID-19, I had the pleasure of capturing a very special first birthday smash cake session!

The birthday girl, Lavente, was a dream to photograph. She was happy and joyous throughout her rainbow and clean white themed portraits. Sadly, Lavente’s grandparents were in Italy and unable to visit and celebrate with her due to the coronavirus pandemic.

I am hopeful that grandma and grandpa felt the joy of her birthday celebration when they saw these photographs and that the entire family will have happy memories of their daughter’s first birthday smash cake session when they look back at these images for years to come.

Including family in your first birthday smash cake session

As mamas, we rarely make it into the frame these days. It’s us behind the iPhone, snapping away, never actually IN the photographs.

Because of this, I always encourage my clients to pose for a few family portraits at the beginning of the sessions. Whether it’s a newborn shoot, baby milestone, or a first birthday smash cake session, like this one, I love capturing the whole family.

When your children look back at these images–these portraits that are telling the story of your family–they will want to see YOU in the photographs too.

If you feel shy in front of the camera, I can always capture more candid images, instead of posed portraits.

Including family in your first birthday smash cake session
Retouching the glare on glasses. How Cathy Murai Photography removed glare from glasses

This is something that I’m excited about that allows me to deliver even BETTER photographs to my clients. I learned a new technique in Photoshop for retouching the glare on glasses! Pretty cool, right?

A candid shot of a family portrait in the studio - natural family photography
A candid shot of a family portrait in the studio while a daddy holding his happy smiling baby girl up in the air
First birthday girl baby crawling towards the camera smiling while the happy parents are sitting behind looking at her
Pastel rainbow themed first birthday photo session using props including a rainbow wooden toy, o.n.e. letters in the pastel color, pastel banner, and a pastel outfit for the first birthday girl.

Lavente’s mom brought all of these cute props for our session! They included Levente’s favorite rainbow wooden toy and a rainbow banner to match. She said she will use these props to decorate her room, which I love! Mom even painted O.N.E. letters in pastel colors! Plus the balloon + artificial garland…yes, everything! And it all came together BEAUTIFULLY.

Simple white first birthday smash cake session using one big white balloon  with artificial garland and a birthday cake with a happy birthday banner.
Wimple white smash cake photo in action - birthday girl getting messy smashing her birthday cake

Delivering the portraits

Because my studio is closed until further notice due to COVID-19, I had to get a little creative with how to deliver the final portraits.

You see, giving my clients their photographs and seeing their reaction is one of my favorite parts of the entire process! Not being able to do this made me a little sad, but we have to adjust for the safety of everyone during this time.

I was able to leave the portraits out for pick-up, and was thrilled to receive a text right away that said, “Hi Cathy! Photos were received, thank you so much, they are gorgeous!”

It’s the little moments like this that allows me to feel grateful.

Celebrating your little one’s first birthday?

Celebrating your one-year old’s birthday is a fun and exciting time! Learn more about scheduling a first birthday smash cake session today.

I look forward to chatting with you and tentatively scheduling a photo session. The session date will be finalized as soon as the studio is reopened. I can’t wait to be back to work soon! Click here to get in touch.

    

Preparing for a Photoshoot with your Vision in Mind – Irvine Newborn Photographer

Today I want to share a recent portrait session that I did with 10-day old Finn. His parents had a clear vision and goals of the portraits they wanted. This can make preparing for a photoshoot so much more successful!

But before I get into that, I need to take a minute to talk about the current situation that’s going on in our world. These are scary and anxiety-ridden times for all.

Without you, my amazing clients, there would be no Cathy Murai Photography. Each time you schedule a session and allow me to photograph your family, it warms my heart and fills me with gratitude.

Photography is my art and using it to capture your family’s special moments is a privilege.

So with your safety in mind, due to COVID-19, all of the photo sessions scheduled for March have been postponed. My studio is temporarily closed.

Once all of this has passed, I look forward to opening my studio back up and having sessions with your families again soon.

Until then, I wish you all safety, good health, and peace in your days during this difficult time.

But today, let’s take a break from all of the coronavirus talk for a moment and enjoy the beautiful portraits with Valentine’s Day baby, Finn.

Preparing for a Photoshoot

Whenever you, my client, book a session with me, I will send you a pre-session questionnaire to complete prior to your portrait session.

The goals of the pre-session questionnaire are to:

  • Help me get to know you and your family
  • Make the session go more smoothly
  • Allow me to deliver the best photos possible!

For this newborn portrait session, I was so pleased with the outcome! What made it such a success? Finn’s parents had a clear vision of what they wanted.

This made preparing for the photoshoot and delivering the portraits they wanted so much easier!

What were the goals of this newborn portrait session?

Finn’s parents wanted multiple portraits for wall galleries in three places in their home:

  • Classic family portraits in their family room
  • Rustic style images using props for their hall and staircase
  • Images with an aqua, brown and cream color palette to go in Finn’s nursery

To prepare for the photoshoot, Finn’s mom sent me pictures of his room prior to the session so that I could coordinate colors and plan out portraits.

In addition to these portrait series, Finn’s parents expressed that they wanted to get photos of him awake and asleep.

I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves!

10-day old baby Finn is photographed with his parents. Dad is holding Finn in his arm.
10-day old baby Finn is photographed with his parents. Dad is holding Finn in his arm. Both parents are smiling at the camera for their first family portrait.
Photo collage of parents holding newborn baby Finn. In the left photo, his mother is holding him in both arms. In the right photo, Finn
Black and white photo of newborn baby with daddy
Sleeping newborn baby wrapped in a teal soft swaddle
Sleeping newborn baby wrapped in a soft blanket
Newborn Props like this wooden basket, blanket, and hat play a big role in preparing for a photoshoot
Newborn Props like this wooden basket, blanket, and hat play a big role in preparing for a photoshoot
Awake newborn baby wrapped in a grey soft swaddle
Artistic black and white photo of newborn baby being held in daddy

This last black and white photograph actually wasn’t part of the plan when we were preparing for the photoshoot. But when they arrived and I saw how big dad’s hands were, I had to get this shot for them!

Finn’s family decided to add this portrait to their wall series. Which goes to show that sometimes, making a few decisions in-the-moment leads to success, too

Are you preparing for a photoshoot? Book your session today!

Cathy Murai Photography specializes in maternity, newborn, and baby photography in the Orange County area, including Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest, Santa Ana, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Tustin, Foothills, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, Laguna Hills, Fountain Valley, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, and Huntington Beach.

While my studio is temporarily closed, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d love to connect so that we can schedule a session as soon as things get back to normal.

Cindy Stramaglia - January 11, 2021 - 11:48 am

Interested in booking a newborn photo shoot for my baby girl. She was born on 12/31/2020.