Clothed in Confidence

A message from the 24th World Scout Jamboree…

Scouts from 4 countries connect at 24th World Scout Jamboree, on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Check out other photos and videos at (Photo by Mary Oakes)

“To me, clothing is a form of self-confidence – there are hints about who you are in what you wear.” -Marc Jacobs

Self-confidence is knowing that you can do anything you put your mind to. It is no longer doubting your abilities or identity but relying on yourself and an inner voice that you know what you’re doing. You know who you are! As I photograph World Scout Jamboree, I recognize a single thread pulling these young people from over 125 countries together… CONFIDENCE.

Scouts learn about other faiths and beliefs at the 24th World Scout Jamboree, on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Check out other photos and videos at (Photo by Mary Oakes)

Normally, one of the hardest things is stepping outside the comfort of your home and feeling confident in what you are wearing. There are so many trends and social expectations for how people should dress. It ultimately causes people to all look the same. Here they are each unique. Each one has different traditions, cultures, beliefs and styles of dress. Here each one is encouraged to live into their own unique identity and celebrated for those differences.

The opening ceremony at the 24th World Scout Jamboree, on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Check out other photos and videos at (Photo by Mary Oakes)

So, here is my encouragement from the 24th World Scout Jamboree…Be YOU! Have confidence in yourself. Ignore those who criticize. Have the confidence to do so because you are your own person.

Be comfortable, happy, and know that you can take on the world. Express yourself. Don’t let anyone take away your power to be your genuine self.

Celebrating differences at the 24th World Scout Jamboree, on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Check out other photos and videos at (Photo by Mary Oakes)

Meet the 2020 SpokesModel Team…

For our third year Mary O. has offered the MOST-SOUGHT AFTER EXPERIENCE in the San Antonio Area to a select group of Seniors… The applications to be part of this one of a kind team are live and coming in daily!!! I’m so excited to meet each of these amazing young people with hearts of gold and a passion to match. Here is your chance to get to know the team and apply to become a part of this unique program.

Raya, Warren High School 
Class of 2020

Construction Careers Academy
Ace Mentorship
Food Bank Volunteer
Sea Scout 

“To me, beauty is a describing term given to those who stand out against the others in the world.”

Annika, Steele High School 
Class of 2020

Drum Major
Tumpet Player
Director for Journalism
National Honor Society
Key Club

“Beauty is both on the inside and out. I feel that everyone is beautiful on the outside but the most important part is what’s inside. To be beautiful on the inside you must display good character and be kindhearted. These characteristics show a greater sense of beauty than any display of physical beauty.”

Morgan, Clark High School 
Class of 2020

Silver Valor Varsity Unarmed Drill Team

“What beauty means to me is no matter a persons size, shape or color, beauty lies within the soul and heart. You can be so beautiful on the outside but what really matters is what’s on the inside. An amazing, positive, kind personality that is the utmost representation of yourself and who you believe you want to be in this world. We need more of those beautiful people that bring light to anyone who bumps into them. Someone that people will wish to be around more. That is an accurate meaning of beauty to me and my personal aspiration.”

Harlee, Floresville High School 
Class of 2020

Color Guard
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
Culinary Arts

“In my eyes beauty is all around us and everyone has it. Some people may not show it but I promise everyone has beauty. Some of us have it in the inside and others show it on the outside, but some lucky people have both. Beauty is not always about looks, it’s about how you treat yourself and other people. If you treat yourself like nothing and always say you’re ugly, then you’ll have this aura that pushes off that negativity. I’m not skinny, I’m a little bit of a big girl, so I have experience of this but through Barbizon, my teacher showed me that I am beautiful no matter my size and that I can do most things if I stay positive. Beauty is all around we just have to find it and let it shine.”

The SpokesModel Team is still GROWING!

We still have openings for class of 2020 seniors, as well as, openings for each of the 2021-2023 classes.Do you know someone that has outgoing and FUN personality? Loves having their picture taken and making new frients? LOVES  Social Media? Share this email so, they can learn more and become a part of a program that is impacting lives!

Loving Baby’s Eyes

Can blocked tear ducts cause newborn eye infections?

Blocked tear ducts can definitely cause eye infections in a new baby. At least 20 percent of babies are born with one or both of their tear ducts blocked or partially blocked. The blockage can lead to conjunctivitis-like symptoms, such as white or yellow discharge, or full-blown conjunctivitis.

How to recognize these baby eye infections

If your baby’s tear ducts are blocked, you’ll probably notice the discharge about two weeks after birth, when the first real tears form. (Until that time, babies have enough tears to coat the surface of their eyes but not enough to collect and run from their eyes.)

Once your baby’s tears start to flow, they should drain into his nose through tiny ducts in the inside corners of his eyes. If the membrane that covers these ducts doesn’t break open by itself shortly after birth, or if it opens only partially, fluid backs up into the eye. There, it can easily become infected.

You may first notice that your baby’s eyes tend to be watery. If the tear duct is clogged and not infected, you may notice a little white or yellow discharge in the eyes. The discharge may crust over during sleep and even seal the eyelid shut.

Once your baby’s eyes become infected, you’ll see lots of yellow or green discharge that continues throughout the day.

How to treat a blocked tear duct in your baby

First, have a doctor look at your baby’s eyes.

If it looks like there’s an infection, drops or an ointment will probably be prescribed to clear it up. The doctor may also recommend that you try to unblock your infant’s tear ducts by carefully massaging the skin near the corner of the eye next to the nose.

Putting gentle, upward pressure on this area repeatedly throughout the day can help pop open the membrane, leaving the duct clear. Lukewarm compresses may also help.

Until the duct opens fully, you’ll need to clean the discharge from your baby’s eyes regularly. Dip a cotton ball in plain warm water or saline solution (sold at drugstores) and gently wipe the eye from the inside corner out. Use a fresh cotton ball for every wipe.

A few drops of breast milk (if you’re breastfeeding) several times a day may help clear the discharge and prevent infections, too

Blocked tear ducts in babies 6 months and older

If a duct remains clogged after your baby is 6 months old, your doctor may suggest a simple outpatient surgery to clear it, or suggest waiting until your baby is at least a year old.

Once a duct has opened – by itself or with help – it should remain open and not cause any more trouble.

Summer Set-Up

3 Elegant Ways to Impress at Your Next Soiree

Summer is a season when you often find yourself entertaining guests at a moment’s notice. (Sunny weather is always cause for celebration, if you ask us.) So. having everything on-hand is key: dishes, flatware, glassware, linens, seating, and serving staples.

But number one on your to-do list? Host the most memorable soirées of the season.

In this guide, we provide the ultimate hostess plan start to finish, starting with cocktails at the bar cart to snacking self-serve style and, lastly, lounging at the dining table for an effortlessly elegant meal. Here are some great party-planning secrets for effortless fun—because it’s summer and the living is easy (and so should entertaining).

The Bar Cart

For adult gatherings, the party starts with a signature cocktail or wine that complements the meal. Whether it’s a light white wine to compliment the fish or something bubbly to welcome and toast guests, have something special selected for the gathering. Whether your drink of choice is wine, whiskey, or a punchy sangria, there are so many options to make a memorable impression. Need Ideas for a signature cocktail?  Check out these Bucket List Cocktails HERE. You can always opt for her summertime go-to: Popsicle drinks! Ice cold and refreshing, fun to eat, and incredibly Instagram friendly! 

The Server Table

Summertime offers such a colorful bounty of stone fruit, garden vegetables, and berries. Let the menu double as décor: Look for the freshest ingredients, prepare easy no-cook appetizers, and collect serveware pieces—tiered stands, hand-carved bowls, gilded salad cutlery—that make everything display-worthy. (Who doesn’t love an edible centerpiece?)

A cheese board loaded with Snap Peas beans, red peppers, stuffed olives, and fruit is always a hit. Enjoy a little apple or pear slice on top of a bit of cheese to add a hint of sweetness!

The Dining Table

Enter the pivotal moment of the party: where guests are seated, appetites are indulged, and the real memories are made. This time is fleeting so set yourselves up for chilling and chatting: You can opt for low seating around a table with tufted seat cushions and breezy, lightweight throws. This keeps the affair cool and casual. Also, beautiful umbrellas for shade and décor.

On the table itself, and especially when dining al fresco, choose dinnerware that will withstand the elements. Melamine plates make a durable and stylish choice. A cake stand at the center of the table adds a dimension of height and can display all manner of things: a bundle of vases or votives, condiments and spices, or a scrumptious summery dessert.

Don’t neglect the smaller details. Include gold flatware and linen napkins. This type of tonal on-trend flatware works beyond the summer season (“all year round!”) and your napkin is a great way to add color or personality to the display. 

Smile, Blush, and Make Up

Here are the key makeup items for your go-to bag for Summer…

Summer brings the best out of our skin (for most of us).  Fresh tans, glowing skin, and minimal makeup required, all great things right? Yet, we still try to find our summer makeup staples time and time again.
Must-haves have been right in front of us all along. Summer makeup must-haves are a moisturizer with SPF (they usually give a subtle glow), an earth tone highlight, chapstick with SPF, clear lip gloss, and a little eyebrow gel!
The harsh rays from the sun mean that we have to protect our skin as much as possible (but make it look cute, of course). This means trying to use skin products that have SPF, even if it’s only a little bit. The easiest ways to fit your sun protection on your face is with moisturizer and lip balm.
My the Summer makeup must-haves for 2019?

Sandal Up!

Are you jumping on the platform sandals bandwagon but not sure quite how to wear them?

Platform sandals are so versatile, you can dress up or dress down an outfit with them. With these sandals, you can leave the battle of cute versus comfortable as a problem from the past.

Dressing up an outfit with platform sandals is easy. You can take a pair of ripped skinny jeans and a boyfriend fit v-neck short-sleeve shirt and pair them with a pair of platform sandals and your look will instantly become cuter!

A way to dress down an outfit can be a pair of platform sandals with a tie-back slim fit gingham dress.

If you don’t want to dress up or dress down and are looking for a cute and comfortable shoe choice, two piece outfits are always a killer look with platform sandals.

What new styles are you going to try next?

Give Your Skin Some Love

Do you want to improve your relationship with your skin?

I know, it can be time consuming trying to give your skin the love it needs, but it’s important. Your only get one body and treating your skin right is important.

When it comes to your skin it needs care. Think of your skin-care routine as consisting of three main steps:

  • Cleansing — Washing your face. 
  • Toning — Balancing the skin.
  • MoisturizingHydrating and softening the skin.

The goal of any skin-care routine is to tune up your complexion so it’s functioning at its best, and also troubleshoot or target any areas you want to work on. “Beauty routines are an opportunity to notice changes within yourself,” says the San Francisco skin-care specialist Kristina Holey. Still, she adds, “it’s not about creating perfection.”  Something to remember is everyone get blemishes, and no people are not staring right at your blemish.  Allow these three steps to become your daily ritual that fortifies your skin and grounds your day. Keep in mind, sometimes no make-up is what’s going to help your skin the most.

Also, it’s not just your face either, your whole body needs a little TLC. Lotion is a must, it gives your skin the hydration it needs and leaves you with glowing skin. Face/body oils nurture the skin well giving it extra nutrients and also giving you an amazing glow! Whenever you can, it’s important to keep your skin hydrated and to always remember you’re beautiful. You’re given the skin you have for a reason, appreciate it and love yourself. It’s easier said than done but just knowing that you are you and your skin is your and only yours. Love your uniqueness and the skin and body you have.

Give it Time

The science behind skin-care products has come a long way but there’s still no such thing as an instant fix — you need time to reap the benefits, says Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a Manhattan dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group. “Results are only seen through consistent use,” she explains. Generally, aim to use a product over at least six weeks, once or twice daily, to notice a difference.  Just taking time to consistently wash your face and put lotion on can make a big difference in completion and will have you feeling good.

Tip: With any skin-care product, apply in order of consistency — from thinnest to thickest. For example, cleanser, toner (if you use it), serum, and then moisturizer.

Medicine Guide for Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a blessing but also comes with a whole new world of aches and pains. The following is a list of recommended medications for use during pregnancy. We sourced these from various online medical sites and our local OB/GYN office, so please consult your personal doctor before use. See disclaimer below. Medications marked with an asterisk (*) is safe to combine with other medications listed. If you have any questions regarding any medications you are taking or combining medications, speak with your health care professional.

Cold & Flu and Allergies

  1. *Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or *Extra Strength Tylenol
  2. *Actifed (Chlorpheniramine maleate and Phenylephrine HCl)
  3. *Tylenol Cold (w/ Dextromethorphan HBr & Phenylephrine HCl)
  4. *Sudafed-PE (Phenylephrine HCl)
  5. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine HCl)
  6. Claritin (Loratadine)
  7. Zyrtec (Cetirizine HCl)
  8. Mucinex (Guaifenesin)
  9. Saline Nasal Spray


  1. *Robitussin or *Robitussin DM cough syrups (Acetaminophen, Diphenhydramine HCl, Phenylephrine HCl)

Sore Throat

  1. *Chloraseptic spray or lozenges (Phenol Oral Anesthetic/Analgesic)
  2. *Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or *Extra Strength Tylenol


  1. Warm and cold compresses (alternate and use 20min on, 20min off)
  2. *Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or *Extra Strength Tylenol


  1. *Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or *Extra Strength Tylenol – 1000mg every 6hrs, if fever is above 101 for than 24hrs call your health care professional


  1. Avoid milk products, spicy foods, and greasy foods
  2. Increase intake of clear fluids
  3. Eat Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast (the “BRAT” diet)
  4. Imodium AD (Loperamide)


  1. Mylanta (regular or extra strength) (Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesiumhydroxide, and Simethicone)

Leg Cramps

  1. Avoid beans, peas and legumes
  2. Decrease caffeine
  3. Increase dairy intake and fluids


  1. Rolaids (Calcium and Magnesium)
  2. TUMS (Calcium)
  3. Maalox (Aluminium and Magnesium)
  4. Gaviscon (Sodium and Calcium)
  5. Mylanta (regular or extra strength) (Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesiumhydroxide, and Simethicone)
  6. Tagamet HB (after 20 weeks) (Cimetidine)
  7. Pepcid AC (after 20 weeks) (Famotidine)


  1. Unisom (1/2 tablet at bedtime) (Diphenhydramine HCl)
  2. Vitamin B6 (50mg 3x/day)
  3. Eat smaller meals, more often (every 2 hrs)
  4. Eat a bland diet, avoiding spicy and greasy foods
  5. Sea Bands (acupressure treatment)


  1. Increase water and fiber intake
  2. Fiber con (Calcium Polycarbophil)
  3. Metamucil (Psyllium Husk)
  4. Colace or Dialose (Docusate Sodium)
  5. Surfak (Docusate Calcium)
  6. Miralax (Polyethylene Glycol)


  1. Tucks HC (Phenylephrine Hal)
  2. Tucks Pads (Witch Hazel)
  3. Preparation H (Witch Hazel, Hydrocortisone)
  4. Sits baths (a warm, shallow bath)


  1. Tylenol PM (Acetaminophen and Diphenhydramine HCl)
  2. Benadryl or Unisom (Diphenhydramine HCl)

Yeast Infection

  1. Monistat Cream (Miconazole Nitrate)
  2. Mycelex
  3. Gyne-Lotrimin (Clotrimazole)

Urinary Tract Infections

     Help prevent UTI’s by drinking plenty of fluids and call your health care professional if you have a UTI


     Call your health care professional if you see any spotting

Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes only. Mary O. Photography & Design does not represent or warrant that the nutrition, ingredient, allergen and other product information on our Web or Mobile sites are accurate or complete. On occasion, manufacturers may improve or change their product formulas and update their labels. We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented on our Web or Mobile sites and that you review the products’ labels or contact the manufacturer directly if you have specific product concerns or questions. If you have specific healthcare concerns or questions about the products displayed, please contact your licensed healthcare professional for advice or answers.

Questions, Questions, Questions

People get so excited about my work and have oodles of questions. Here are my most commonly asked questions…

Can I just have the digitals? Absolutely! The Archive Collection is just for you! You not only get ALL of your amazing image but your slideshow as well. I really want you to enjoy your images and see them displayed throughout your home or office/dorm room! Oftentimes, I see clients purchase the digitals, and then never print them! This is why I include a set of 5x7s in a Custom Designer Box so you will know how they will look printed and offer heirloom quality products, so your images will not be set aside in a drawer.

I don’t want to spend very much on senior pictures. Budgeting is so hard! I understand this can be quite a strain on your finances. Let’s work together to see if we are a good fit. What kind of budget are you working within?

Can I see all the pictures you took? I’m so excited that you want to see all your pictures. However, one thing that I’m really proud of is that I take the time to view all the images that were taken at your session and narrow it down to show you the very best. Was there a particular image that you were thinking of? I’m happy to share a sneak peek of the back of my camera while we are shooting.

Why are the digitals so expensive? I realize that custom portraits are an investment. I pride myself in being a boutique photographer who offers a custom lux experience for my clients. The digitals are your masterpiece, and an heirloom to cherish for generations to come. I take time to tailor each session to you, and you’re paying for the best!

Can I order online?   I want my clients to get the ultimate in customer service experience, so I work with you at the outset to make sure your choices are perfect for your needs. YES, after your reveal and ordering session, if you selected a package that includes digital negatives, you are more than welcome to order additional gift prints online. I will upload your gallery and you’ll have two weeks to place any additional orders for people you may have forgotten during your ordering appointment. In addition, the online gallery will be set to retail pricing, which is higher than the premiere pricing that is available at your ordering session only. 

Can I order at a later date? I understand this is a very big, important (and often overwhelming) decision. I am here every step of the way to help guide your decision, and find what is best for you and your family. However, I only offer the initial, premiere pricing for one night. If finances are a large concern for you, we can discuss the payment plan options that may be available for you.

I can’t afford your packages. Custom portraiture is a large investment. Please make sure we are a good fit before booking with me, by asking about our payment plans and our pricing. You are getting what you pay for, with quality service and custom portraiture.

I’m paying for my own session (not parents) and I can’t afford it –  Wow! What a responsible action you are taking. Good for you! Let’s chat to see if we are a good fit for each other. What is your budget?

I didn’t realize how expensive you were. Custom portraits are a true investment. I really want my clients to feel that they are receiving the very best from me. Each session is unique, and thus requires my time my vision and my creativity to make it a one-of-a-kind experience. A lot goes into creating a portrait experience, and I know I’m not for everyone. If our services are too high for you, I hope you can find a great photographer to meet your needs!

Uncle Bob (or my friend) has the nicest camera from Costco! That’s great! When you purchase a custom photo package, you are getting much more than a few snapshots. You are getting the time, experience, and education of a veteran photographer! Do you want to leave your once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot in the hands of an amateur?

Can’t you just tell me the locations you use? I have spent several years honing my craft, and I have several unique locations that bring out your personality! To avoid my special locations becoming publicised and over crowed, these locations are exclusively known to my clients who have already booked with me. I am more than happy to discuss these with you after your booking!

Am I going to have to wait a long time to get these back?  My current turnaround rate is typically 2-4 weeks, but I’m so glad you’re excited to see your images! A lot goes into preparing the gallery for you to see. I take my time and hand-edit each image to make sure it’s the very best and shows your personality and beauty.

Can you do a “mini” session? I don’t need a full session, just a few snapshots- I currently don’t offer a mini session except prom and caps & gowns. I realize you only need a few snapshots, but my clients are here for an amazing experience. I think you’ll love having a variety of images instead of just a few! A full session is the best way for me to ensure a quality shoot that captures all of your personality.

Wait, your creative (session) fee doesn’t include any prints or digitals?! The session fee is used to reserve your date, your consultation, and reveal ordering appointment. I understand it might be easier for you to see a flat fee, but that wouldn’t help me customize each offering to your individual needs. We have collections of products that will meet any need and a la carte options for discerning individuals.

I just don’t know what I’d do with all those pictures. – It may seem like a lot of images, but please know there are lots of options for your gorgeous photos. Plus, your gallery tells a story, your story. You can turn your gallery into an album to showcase them all at once, you can display a collage of them on your walls, and you can create custom photo prints and products for your loved ones.

But why do I have to pay you for her (daughter) to model for you?  My SpokesModel program is not any other modeling program. It is an unique way for young women to meet each other, come together in our community, and form lasting, authentic friendships and build skills and resumes for the future. It is not just about modeling, it is about providing the exclusive senior experience. My SpokesModels are my best clients not because they pay more(they dont) but because of the relationship we build and the memories we create.

It’s hard to justify your prices when I know 2 photographers that only charge $250 for a digital session –  Customized portraiture is a large investment, but you’re also receiving my time, expertise, and educational background. This is my livelihood. Remember, if someone is charging much less, statistically, the quality is likely not as good as well. Every client that chooses me knows they can get pictures taken cheaper but they do so because they want more from their portrait experience. Every photographer is different, but when you book with me, you’re truly paying for the best!

I want a huge picture for over the couch! How much for an 8×10?– I’m so excited that you want to hang a huge portrait over your couch, I bet it will look awesome. An 8×10 is what we call a gift print, which would be appropriate for friends and family, but would be quite small over a couch. If you want your portrait to make a statement, I can show you more options when we meet!

Can you hold a date for me, I can pay the session fee next week?– Yay! I’m so excited to work with you. However, the session fee is an important piece used to reserve the date when processed. I have many people asking for dates in the fall and spring, and it would be unfair to hold a  a time without guaranteeing the spot. Can I process your session fee on a credit card instead?

What is required to book a session?  A session fee and signed contract is required to book your session with me. The session fee is $185. I can accept cash, check, and credit cards at this time.

Are you willing to travel and if so, how far?  Yes, I love to travel. This past year, I photographed in Oregon, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida and West Virginia. Where did you have in mind? I typically charge a travel fee which covers expenses like gas, plane or hotel if necessary.

Do you offer payment plans? Yes, I do offer payment plans. I require a 50% deposit and the remaining balance due within two weeks. However, if you need something different, please let me know. I do have a $50 handling fee to set up a payment plan.

Can I have a refund? I currently do not offer refunds because of the unique nature and custom artwork of my services.

I am scared my photos will look the same as So and So’s senior photos! This is a common concern, but I plan every senior shoot individually to ensure that each one is unique. Because every client is different, I try to incorporate each senior’s personality and desires, which means none of them look identical!

Exploring Your New Home

So you’re finally a college student, after months of making decisions you’re finally going to be moving into housing in a new city. Even though you’ve already toured the campus you don’t know where the nearest grocery store is, or how to even get to the grocery store without a car? Oh, and what about gas stations when you run out of gas? Being confused in a newer city can be stressful, but if you prepare beforehand, some stress can be taken off your shoulders and make exploring your new home a breeze.

Learn The Transportation
The most important step is knowing how to get around, if you don’t have a way of transportation then you’re kinda stuck. Either you can ask other students how they get around or you can google it, duh! Learning bus routes, or taxi hours and getting familiar with ride sharing apps like Uber, is the first step to adapting to your new environment.

Find The Closest Convenience or Grocery Stores
Whenever you run out of daily necessities you’re gonna need to find a place that carries those items. Knowing how close a grocery store is can help you manage if you need to go grocery shopping or buy more toilet paper.

Locate Medical Offices
It may seem like much, but knowing where the closest immediate care is can be helpful in case of emergencies or sudden sickness. Rather be safe than sorry. Don’t for get to check and see if your campus offers a clinic. You may find the campus doc is super convenient.

Let’s Get Crazy
Ok, time for the fun part. Now that you’ve got all the grown up locations out of the way, you can find things to do on the weekends whether its a beach, or certain location downtown. Once you’ve found the hot spot on the weekends, make sure to find safe routes of transportation there and back.

College can be nerve-racking and entering a new environment can be even scarier. Make sure you are doing research on your new home before moving in, safe travels!


Welcome to the Mary O. blog! It is my sincerest pleasure to share with you tips on how to get the most out of your personal photography session and how to archive your images and incorporate them into your life. I'll also give you some insite in to some of my sessions and share with you some amazing photographic moments... So check back often to keep up with the happings at Mary O.


232 Buck Mountain
Selma, Texas 78154