Meet Andrea



It’s not often that I find a fellow Fort Worth senior photographer or newborn photographer in the Fort Worth area talking about their love of writing. In fact, I may be the only one! I’ve always loved writing. In the midst of writing, I discovered this new found love for the story that can be written with no words. You could say that I’m captivated by photos and the stories they tell. When I was younger, I would go to my grandmother’s house, and I would stare at albums for hours completely drawn in like it was page-turning novel. The more vintage the photo, the more I was intrigued, and begged my grandmother to tell me the story.

I’m just a mom who became interested in photography after having children of my own and became a self-confessed mammarazzi. My husband has always been the creative one of the bunch and was usually the one behind the camera. I was tired of feeling scared of my DSLR and it being a glorified point-and-shoot camera. I began playing for two solid years trying to  figure out how to get my camera out of auto mode. I read as much as I could get my hands on and practiced. I must say that I had some really good subjects to practice on with my precious children.

In 2012, I went through one of the roughest times in my life; I lost my sister to breast cancer when she was only 41. It was tragic to say the least. One particular photo she sent to me really shook me. Her cancer was back and chemo started again. Just when her hair was growing back from the last round, she began to lose it in the shower. She texted me this photo and it brought out so much emotion.

Following that moment, I went on a hunt to find every possible picture from childhood that I could get my hands on where she had the most audacious hair style. Since we grew up in the 70s and 80s, it wasn’t too hard to find. My newest mission in her life was to prove to her how over-rated hair was anyway. In the midst of looking for bad hair day photos, I realized how much photos meant to me and particularly of her. After losing her, whenever I find a photo of her, I just stare. I stare at it because I don’t want to forget a single thing about her, or her memory. My photos of her are all I have left besides my memories.

This is what lead me to pursue my newly discovered passion as a Fort Worth family photographer and senior portrait photographer. I realized how much we take for granted and how much we rely on just our memories while our loved ones are alive and well. When you lose someone close to you the value of printed photography takes on a whole new life!

I began doing portrait photography the summer after losing her as more of a distraction than anything else while I was out of school from my job as a teacher. Before I knew it, my “distraction” became my passion without me giving it my permission. I once read a quote that said, “If you want to know where your heart is, look to where you mind goes when it wanders.” (Author unknown) Well it was wandering, alright. I looked at buildings and thought about what a beautiful texture it had and how it would look on as a backdrop to a photo. I started charting sunsets to find the best light of the day or “golden hour.” I know, photo nerd. After months of prayer and contemplating, I turned in my resignation as a teacher and now I am pursuing my dream of doing photography full time. Which, if you know me as my OCD, planning-every-minute-of-my-life self, you would realize how crazy and out of character this is for me.

I’m thankful for a family who is supportive, friends and clients who trust me with their memories, and a husband who is my biggest cheerleader, creative mentor and babysitter so I can follow this dream.

More than anything, I love the story that photos tell. The emotion, the feeling and most of all – the memories it helps us all hold on to. If the memory is treasured, or the photo sparks an emotion as it did with my sister, that is my ultimate goal in this journey.

“You will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory” (Author unknown).

Andrea McDonald

7Missy Mayo Photography_20151114

Fort Worth Newborn Photographer, Fort Worth Family Photographer, Fort Worth Senior Photos

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