• 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!

I am Back from Maternity Leave! | Los Angles Newborn & Baby Photographer

I can’t believe that it’s been 3 months already since we welcomed our little one.  I feel like each month is flying by faster and faster.  My baby girl, Amelia, is smiling so much and we have been enjoying snuggling with her, but at the same time, I couldn’t wait to come back to the photography world!  And now, I am READY!!  I have started taking new appointments and January & February are completely booked (thank you so much for the inquiries received during  my maternity leave)  If you would like to book a session in March/April, please send an email to info@cathymurai.com or use the contact form at the top of the blog.  Don’t wait until the last minute to book your newborn/baby session as I will only be taking on a limited amount of sessions each month!  I look forward to meeting my new & old clients in 2014!

Here is my mini photo assistant!  I’ve been wanting to capture this image of my baby girl since I was still pregnant. :)   This adorable Photographer’s Assistant onesie is from Amy Tangerine.  Thanks to Amy for customizing it with the shade of pink that I wanted for the stiches!  And Amelia’s first camera is a wooden teething toy from Little Spling Toys.  I love that it is made with all-natural wood and personalized.

3 months old baby girl wearing a grey photographer assistant onesie from Amy Tagerine and holding a wooden camera teething toy from Little Spling Toys.  Los Angeles Newborn & Baby Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography is back from maternity leave
Personalized wooden camera - a teething toy from Little Spling Toys captured by Cathy Murai Photography

Effie L. - January 17, 2014 - 11:12 am

OMG I love love that onesie!!
Adorable baby!

Katie Brockpahler - January 17, 2014 - 11:47 am

She is sooooo adorable and I want her onesie and teethring! Perfect on the pink fur!!

Donna - January 17, 2014 - 11:56 am

Oh my goodness, your assistant is adorable! Congrats momma!

Matt - January 17, 2014 - 2:02 pm

Best photographer’s assistant!

Keely - January 17, 2014 - 2:15 pm

Oh my gosh that is so cute! She’s beautiful :)

lorena1 - January 17, 2014 - 8:16 pm

Congrats. & what a precious name (Amelia). Shes gorgeous!

Shayna Hardy - January 20, 2014 - 12:01 pm

Oh my goodness, she is beautiful! Love that custom toy!!

Eden - January 20, 2014 - 1:11 pm

She looks so adorable in that one side! Love!

Beth - February 2, 2014 - 5:57 pm

Amelia is adorable! I love her shirt and toy. Congratulations!

    

Newborn Twin Girls | Los Angeles Professional Newborn Twins Photographer

When I had a maternity session with this wonderful couple, I was like …Twins? In there? Really?!  I couldn’t believe it until we had the newborn session. Twins were really in there…both girls!  They look so adorable together.  I’ve always had so much respect for parents of twins /multiples! I can’t even begin to image the patience it takes. Bravo to momma who carried them for 9  months!  And doesn’t she look gorgeous?  These photos were taken only 10 days after she delivered them!!! Just a.m.a.z.i.n.g how great she looked!  Daddy didn’t look tired at all either!  I am sure it had to do with the help they had from their wonderful  grandma!  She also helped us with soothing and posing the twins throughout the session and it was nice to have an extra set of hands so that mom could sit back and relax.  I love photographing twins! They are really difficult, but so fun!  I absolutely had a blast working with these precious two sisters.  My favorite  image is the first one.  What are the chances that both of their eyes will be opened looking straight at my camera!!  So happy that the family picked this image for one side of their announcement cards!

Family portrait including newborn twin girls sisters / twins, awake, pictures,  captured by Los Angeles Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Mother and daughter, father and daughter,  newborn twin girls sisters / twins, awake, yawning, pictures, captured by Los Angeles Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
 Beautiful mother and daughter picture, image, portrait - captured by Los Angeles Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Father and twin daughters, twins,  black and white picture, image, portrait - captured by Los Angeles Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Newborn baby girl, blue headband, posing while sleeping, picture, image, portrait - captured by Los Angeles Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Newborn baby girl wearing a pink pettiskirt and headband, posing while sleeping, picture, image, portrait - captured by Los Angeles Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Newborn baby girl, twins, twin sisters, posing while sleeping in the round basket,  picture, image, portrait - captured by Los Angeles Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography

Matt - January 17, 2014 - 5:00 am

Very nice shots! Great work

Katie Brockpahler - January 17, 2014 - 5:19 am

Gorgeous! I am drawn to the photos with the parents!

Lisa Aamold - January 17, 2014 - 6:02 am

So beautiful! I can’t image having twins. Phew . . . makes me tired just thinking about it :)

jennifer beitchman - January 17, 2014 - 8:07 am

OMG, I love these. Such beautiful little girls and family! Perfect!

audrey - January 17, 2014 - 8:12 am

They are soooo gorgeous! You do great work as well :)

Kyle H. - January 17, 2014 - 1:58 pm

Wonderful pictures! Love how you incorporated the parents in the shoot.

    

Christmas Session with Newborn & Dog | San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer

I’m so excited for this post as my friends have welcomed their first little baby, Jamie, into the world.  As expected, she’s gorgeous and sweet – just like her momma!  I was thrilled when Jamie’s mom asked me to photograph Jamie and her family for their X’mas cards / Birth Announcements as I was itching to photograph newborns during my maternity leave.  Since she’s a good friend of mine, I decided to take a break from my maternity leave to capture their precious little one at 11 days new, who also was accompanied by her beautiful furry sister, Kona.   

I specialize in newborn and pet photography, and I love it when I get to photograph both at one session!  Including my family,  so many couples have a dog prior to having a baby, and they are such a huge part of the family that this special moment should be captured.  Jamie’s mom had this cute idea of dressing Jamie up in a fox outfit to look like Kona.   Don’t they look cute together in their sibling portraits?  Kona was very gentle throughout the session and I could tell that she’s gonna be a great big sister!

Thank you Jamie’s parents for letting me capture your precious little one and your beautiful family!  It definitely was one of the craziest, but funnest sessions that I ever did – having two newborns (Jamie and my one month old baby) and two dogs around us!! I hope that you’re enjoying your first Christmas together as a family of four!

Newborn baby girl wearing a purple flower head band and lace diaper cover sleeping and posing. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Newborn baby girl wearing a purple flower headband and wrapped with white scarf sleeping in driftwood bowl. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Newborn and dog. Newborn baby girl wearing a crocheted fox outfit / prop to look like her fury sister (German Shepherd and Chow mixed dog). Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Beautiful mom kissing her newborn baby girl on the wooden bed during Christmas newborn portrait session. Edited with Christmas lights backdrop. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Christmas family portrait / picture including a newborn baby girl and a family dog. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography

 

Mary Hill - December 1, 2014 - 6:35 pm

Would like a package that includes Christmas postcards and portrait with husband/wife and two dogs.–

cathy - December 1, 2014 - 7:44 pm

Hi! Thank you for your message! Could you please email me at info@cathymurai.com? Thanks!

    

Why Hiring a Professional Newborn Photographer is Important

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was super excited to photograph my own baby while I was pregnant. It was my dream and I had endless ideas of the images that I wanted to capture. However, since it was my first time becoming a mommy, I was clueless about how I would feel physically after delivering a baby. But luckily, I knew where to go… Anamaria Brandt Photography, a professional photographer who specializes in maternity and newborn portraits! Ana has played a very important role in my journey to become a newborn photographer. When I wanted to become a newborn photographer, I knew that I would have to prove my imagery and handling of the baby to my clients and show them that I knew what I was doing, especially since I didn’t have any kids.  In order to do that, I took Ana’s workshops and learned as much as possible, including how to handle and pose babies with care and safety. The most important thing that I walked away with from her workshops was confidence, and for that, I will never be able to thank her enough.  Since then, I’ve been keeping in touch with her.  She’s an incredibly sweet, talented, creative, and giving person who I enjoy hanging out with …. so our newborn portrait session became sessions – I went to her studio three times within one week!  Yes, I could never have too many pictures of Amelia, my newborn baby!  

When my friends found out that I had another photographer capturing my baby, they wondered why I couldn’t just do it myself.  Here are the reasons why I believe people should hire a professional newborn photographer (even if you’re a photographer yourself):

1) So that YOU and the father can be in some of the pictures too!   Even though you’re not feeling 100%, I truly believe that this is important so that your child can see one day how excited you both were to have her/him.  Plus, you will probably have many pictures of your husband and the baby, but not enough of yourself in them!  When Ana took our family portraits, we had fun kissing our baby’s face, which I wouldn’t have experienced if I was the one photographing.

2) They are only this little once!  We all know that babies grow tremendously fast.  The newborn portraits that you see on my website are usually taken within the first 6-14 days after birth while they sleep deeply and are flexible to get into those curled up poses. The “fresh newborn” look of a baby does not last very long and babies grow and change every day. When my baby turned 2 weeks old, she began losing the “newborn” look and it will be gone forever. Many times baby acne appears after that 2 week mark. Having a baby is a HUGE thing and deserves to be captured in quality photography. You have a limited time frame to get these photos done, so hire a professional to document/record one of the most precious times in your child’s life.

3) You won’t have the time or the energy.  The first two weeks after  birth is such a difficult adjustment time for the parents.  In-between late night feedings, caring for the new baby and recovering from delivery….  I didn’t have any energy to grab my camera and photograph my baby until she was already 2 weeks old.

Lastly, you won’t want to hand your sweet new baby over to just any photographer.  You want someone who is trained to safely handle newborns.  Posing a newborn baby is a great responsibility – their little bodies are still adjusting to life outside the womb.  You must be able to trust the photographer to hold your precious little one.  After being on the “other side” and in front of the camera, I learned more about the importance of my career – I am capturing a moment in time that can never be replicated.  Also,  I am so thankful to my past clients who had spent time with me while they were still recovering from delivery and more importantly, putting their trust in me and my photography!

A very special thank you to my friend, Ana Brandt, for capturing these precious moments of our life!  We are so glad to have these timeless images that will remind us of Amelia’s early days.   I look forward to seeing her again in her upcoming Maternity and Newborn course at creativeLIVE on Nov. 14th~16th, 2013!  

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beforeandafter

Ana Brandt - November 12, 2013 - 10:01 am

I will love YOU forever!

Thank you for your trust.

Congratulations on being a Mama. You are amazing and your daughter is so lucky to have photos from you as well.

Thank you for the privilege.

Forever grateful

Ana

Deb Moran - November 12, 2013 - 11:29 am

What a wonderful post. I do believe I’ll link to this from my own blog. Especially since I agree 100% with the importance of hiring a professional. I, too, have learned about newborn photography from Ana (online), and other professionals, and am very much looking forward to next week’s Creative Live Workshop. “See” you there!

Jennifer Beitchman - November 12, 2013 - 1:03 pm

Excellent advice, gorgeous pictures, beautiful mom and baby! Congrats!

cathy - November 12, 2013 - 8:49 pm

Many thanks Ana for inspiring me. Good luck at creativeLIVE!! I can’t wait to see you!
Deb Moran, glad that you can relate to this blog post!
Thanks Jennifer for your kind words!

Eden - November 13, 2013 - 9:02 am

She’s beautiful! Congratulations, Cathy and good job, Ana! Wonderful article to help moms-to-be make their decision about hiring a photographer instead of doing it themselves. I did my own newborn session and I’m not in any of them. :-(

Jennifer Wilcox - November 13, 2013 - 4:31 pm

Ana did a fabulous job! You and your princess look gorgeous:-)

Angela Ramsey - November 14, 2013 - 4:47 am

What a wonderful and informant post. I completely agree. Thank you!

    

Introducing Our New Baby Girl! | San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer

I am happy to announce the arrival of our new baby girl, Amelia!   We’ve been home from the hospital for a little more than 2 weeks now and she has brought so much joy into our lives. She’s getting along with our furbaby, Charlie (our 3 year old Labrador Retriever), very well and we are all adjusting to being a family of four now.

Needless to say, I’ll be continuing taking some time off to take care of this new little one.  Sessions will be resuming on January 15th, 2014 and I will be taking a limited number of sessions per month.  If you’re interested in booking a session after this time, please email me at info@cathymurai.com or fill out the contact form under ‘Contact Us’ at the top of this page.  Thank you for your patience while I am recovering from my delivery and enjoying being a new mom for the first time.

Before I went to the hospital, I set up my photography equipment as I could hardly wait to photograph my own newborn baby!  I had endless ideas of how to photograph Amelia, including specific props, poses and background, however, what I didn’t consider was that I would still be recovering after we got home from the hospital and extremely tired since I was getting no more than four hours of sleep each day.  I wasn’t ready to grab my camera and bend down to get all of the usual newborn shots until she was 12 days old.  Here’s one of the few photos I took of Amelia with the crown that I made just for her! (I’ll be adding more images as they are ready!)

Asian 2 weeks newborn baby girl wearing a handmade gold lace crown and white diaper cover, posing and sleeping on white blanket.  Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography

————————————————————–   UPDATE   ————————————————————–

Instead of doing one long session within a day, I spent a short period of time each day photographing Amelia during her first six weeks.  Here are some of my favorites!

Asian 2 weeks newborn baby girl posing and sleeping on brown furry prop / blanket inside the wooden puzzled bowl on float rug in front of tan, ivory, cream background. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, CA  Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
The hardest thing about photographing her was to keep my dog, Charlie, away! LOL! Ever since he was a puppy, I photographed him a lot and he was always my model whenever I needed to test my studio lightings. So, to him, photo shoot = lots of treats = happy!!   So he often wanted to be a part of the pictures too :)

Asian 2 weeks newborn baby girl posing and sleeping on brown furry prop / blanket inside the wooden puzzled bowl on flokati rug, in front of tan, ivory background with a family dog. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, CA  Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Asian 2 weeks newborn baby girl posing and sleeping on brown furry prop / blanket inside the wooden puzzled bowl on flokati rug, tan in front of ivory background with a family dog. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, CA  tudio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Asian 2 weeks newborn baby girl wearing a lace headband, posing and sleeping on tan blanket Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angles, CA  Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Asian 2 weeks newborn baby girl wrapped by grey wrap posing and sleeping on grey float rug. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, CA  Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Asian 2 weeks newborn baby girl wearing a DIY /  handmade birthday calendar white onesie, posing and sleeping on pink float rug. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley,  Los Angeles, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Asian newborn baby girl wearing a red flowers halo, posing and sleeping on brown furry prop inside of the brown bassinet on the wooden floor. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Asian newborn baby girl wearing a red Santa hat and stocking posing and sleeping on ivory cream float rug during Christmas session for Christmas cards,. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography
Asian newborn baby girl wearing a white wings and snowflake headband / prop, posing and sleeping on wooden bed next to Christmas tree and reindeers during Christmas session for Christmas cards. ivory float rug, cream, tan background. Alhambra, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, CA Studio Newborn Photographer, Cathy Murai Photography

 

melissa - November 3, 2013 - 2:50 pm

congratulations and oh my goodness she is adorable!!

Jennifer Wilcox - November 4, 2013 - 9:07 am

Congrats! She is a definitely a princess!

Angela - November 4, 2013 - 3:22 pm

Congrats! Just beautiful!

natalie - November 4, 2013 - 3:51 pm

Congrats! She’s a doll!

lorena - November 5, 2013 - 8:10 pm

So adorable!!

Michael and Carina - November 6, 2013 - 5:11 am

Great work! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!

Jackie T - November 6, 2013 - 5:44 am

That crown rests so comfortably upaon her beautiful little head–indeed you have yourself a little princess. Such a pretty photograph.

Starla Wise - November 6, 2013 - 6:59 am

That is a beautiful shot. Perfect crown for a perfect princess. Congratulations.

Jennifer Beitchman - November 6, 2013 - 10:11 am

Congratulations. She is beautiful. Enjoy every moment.

Eden - November 6, 2013 - 11:09 am

Congrats, Cathy! Welcome to motherhood! She’s is ADORABLE!