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How to prepare for your boudoir session – Michelle Hayes Boudoir Studio San Diego

05 Apr 2017 | Categories: Boudoir, Make up tips, What to wear | Posted by: Michelle

Planning and preparing for your photo shoot is a big part of the Boudoir experience and I want you to enjoy ever step of the process. Plus, getting ready for your session is the best excuse to take sometime to pamper yourself and get in some ME time. When was the last time you had any of that?

I  give you permission to take some much needed time for yourself whether it be to finally book a facial, get some highlights put in, have a body scrub or just taking the time to lather your body with that expensive body lotion you never seam to use. 

“Prepping for the shoot can be a great excuse to pamper yourself”

Here are a few tips to do (a month before and leading up to the day of your shoot) to ensure you are well prepared for your session and arrive ready to have some fun. 

Boudoir + Glamour Photography Michelle Hayes Studio NYC

 

After our consultation, where I get to find out all your ideas an desires for the shoot, I will ask you to create a Pinterest board. This is a great way for you to find inspiration, get ideas for wardrobe and hair + makeup and be a little creative. I have many boudoir boards where you can find inspirations. Feel free to pin anything that catches your eye and doesn’t have to be boudoir related at all. Then you can share the board with me and we can go over what you came up with. If you have no idea and don’t think you are the creative type, don’t worry. This is not mandatory, it’s just to have a little fun creating your ideal shoot. 

 

 

Once we have an idea of mood, clothing ideas, how you want your makeup applied and your hair styled, it will be time to get your wardrobe together. You have two options.

1. Go shopping in your own closet and use pieces that you love and feel good in. Here’s my “10 Ten Wardrobe Ideas guide” I put together to give you some inspiration. We can make anything look sexy it doesn’t have to be lingerie.

2. If you want to splurge and get yourself something new, go shopping! Have fun trying on different styles and colors and if you don’t know what you  look good in then ask a knowledgeable salesperson.

I  highly suggest asking a knowledgeable sales person in a lingerie store for their help and opinion.

They have a trained eye and will gladly fit you to ensure the proper garments for your body type. I have a list of boutiques I can guide you to for assistance. 


We all know that photo shop can fix many out of the ordinary “imperfections” that pop up, but I suggest prepping the skin beforehand as best as you can to reduce the amount of post processing. I don’t do a lot of editing to my images to begin with, but if we can start with a good canvas then you will not need any extra “fixing”. Here are some helpful things you can do to ensure your skin and hair look it’s best and that you feel good in general… 

  1. Get a facial (at a spa)
  2. Try a body scrub and facial scrub treatment (in-home)
  3. Start moisturizing you body with something decadent
  4. Get your teeth whitened (whitening strips work wonders)
  5. Start to increase your daily water intake
  6. Get a bikini/leg/armpit wax
  7. Get your roots/highlights touched up/hair trimmed
  8. Deep conditioning treatment (at home or salon)
  9. Treat yourself to a massage to relax
  10. Start moving your body with non strenuous exercise like yoga, pilates, walking, or this amazing practice called Qoya. It’s a great way to feel comfortable in your own skin!

 

You absolutely don’t need to do everything on this list. It’s not mandatory, but it will get you in the mood and we all know feeling and looking good will lead to being more relaxed in front of the camera which will give you natural and beautiful images!

 

Day of Shoot Checklist:

  1. Double check everything you will be bringing the night before and make sure that you leave plenty of time to get to the destination without stressing
  2. Eat something! You will need a lot of energy for all the posing. It can be a lot of work so please eat something!
  3. If you didn’t get a wax then shave necessary parts, legs, armpits, bikini area, etc. 
  4. Come with a freshly washed and moisturized face and dry, clean hair so that my hair stylist/makeup artist can start right away. 
  5. Don’t wear clothing with tight elastic bands that could leave a mark on your skin

 

Shoot time! This is where the fun begins…

If you want more info about designing and getting prepared for your shoot download my free Dream Shoot Planner and start dreaming up ways to pamper yourself before your shoot!

Top Boudoir Photographer San Diego & NYC

Feel beautiful now with my top 3 beauty products…

03 Jan 2017 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir, Make up tips | Posted by: Michelle

Beautymixscreenshot2

 

LL  Look4 Back Office

As you know, I am so passionate about helping women to feel good about themselves, inside + out. Think about it. Don’t you just want to feel good about being YOU, and not worry about looking or being a certain way? Doesn’t that sound/feel so liberating and way easier on yourself?

I know everyone wants to feel good about themselves, but from working with a lot of women I know that it’s just not that easy for most of us. We have a hard time doing things for ourselves that make us feel good. So, in addition to my photoshoots, I want to offer more ways for women to feel good about themselves …

I would love for every woman to experience a fun, pampering and transformative photoshoot with me, but I know it’s not for everyone (yet!). So, I’m making things a little easier for women by offering non-toxic skin care and professional grade makeup that will make them feel pampered and beautiful.

You know how you feel when your skin is glowing or when you put on that fab red lip?

You see, whether you book a photo shoot with me or buy some luxurious skin care to take care of yourself, the end goal is the same – to feel good about yourself, inside + out.

I’ve teamed up with LimeLight, a family-owned beauty company, who helps women everywhere look their best every day with their all natural skincare line and professional grade makeup. I’m so excited to use the products on every woman who comes into my studio for a shoot and to have them available to purchase for anyone who wants to feel good at home.

 

Here are my Top 3 Products to help you feel good…

Quench Therapist Collection

Have you been thinking of switching out your unnecessarily-chemically-filled skin care with something less um, toxic?

The luxurious, yet affordable Quench Therapist Collection is the best place to start. Your skin will thank you for taking such good care of it by giving you a healthy glow.

Enduring Lip Color All Shades headline

Are you interested in a long wearing lip color that doesn’t dry out or smear? 

The Enduring Lip Colors are sooo luxurious and wearable. I’m obsessed with the color Macaroon. Just swipe on once and feel a little fancy all day long…

Perfect Mascara

And finally, if you’ve been searching for the perfect mascara then you have to try the Perfect Mascara.

I’m a mascara junkie. One xmas my sis-in-law gave me a collection of 12 mascaras and I was beyond excited! I’ve tried every mascara out there and this one is my favorite. It doesn’t smudge on me and that is a miracle in it self.

Bonus Product (I couldn’t pick just 3 y’all!)

skincare v2 skin polish

If you want your foundation to glide on, and not cake throughout the day, you must exfoliate, especially in the winter. It’s a little tougher to keep your skin glowing during these harsh months.

My new favorite way to take time for myself is to have a little spa night. I’ll break out the wine, exfoliate and then mask my face. I have a product that will do both!

The amazing Skin Polish starts off as a scrub… and then turns into a mask. What?! Yes. And it smells like a lemon cookie. Heaven..

If you’re interested in learning more about these fabulous products, check out LimeLight where I know you’ll find something that will make you feel good. Go on, you deserve it!

You’ll also be supporting a family-owned business who really has a heart, wants to clean up the beauty industry and empower women to create a business on their own.

That’s my kind of beauty power.

***

I  hope you have a Healthy, Happy & Beautiful New Year!…

…and don’t forget to do something special for yourself. You deserve to feel good.

Love & Beauty,

Michelle

Interested in a Boudoir or Beauty session with me and want more info?

Start here. Sign up for my free Dream Shoot Planner that will give you inspiration on what to wear for your very own shoot!

Let yourself have an experience – Michelle Hayes Studio Boudoir San Diego

05 Jun 2015 | Categories: Boudoir, What to wear | Posted by: Michelle

I  just had the loveliest shopping experience at Journelle in NYC. I went in to browse the latest lingerie styles to suggest to my boudoir cients and I couldn’t help try on a few pieces for myself. I was taken back to the dressing room area, which could have been a chic NYC apartment, as my salesperson offered me Evian water and asked about the types of bra’s I was looking for. I also passed a big bowl of chocolates in which I had to restrain myself from plunging my hand in. Control yourself Michelle this is not the checkout line at Duane Reede!

As I tried on my two bras my salesperson came back with a few other pieces that fit the bill perfectly for what I was looking for and then some. So I have to admit that I have been purchasing my underwear from H&M and I was getting tired of having to buy new bras every year because they just didn’t hold up. I decided it was time to invest and after the inviting experience I just had I felt totally ok about buying a bra for three times the amount I would normally spend. The fabric felt amazing and I know this bra will last. Besides, they gave me free water and chocolates people! Sold.

I  wanted to share this because it was a mini pampering experience that didn’t take all day and didn’t break the bank. I finally let myself be taken care of while I shopped and treated myself to beautiful piece of underwear. I could have gone to H&M and found a three pack of t-shirt bra’s after digging through rows and rows of merchandise to find my size (which the never have, ugh) all by my sad little self and without any Evian to quench my thirst and chocolates to soothe my worries. But I didn’t. I  let myself have an experience.

I fully enjoyed being pampered AND I left myself feel good about it, AND I left not caring that I spent way more than the usual $16.99 for a bra.

Ladies, you don’t have to have a grand and luxurious spa experience at the Plaza to finally let go and enjoy. Look at something you’ve been skimping on, or not letting yourself have, (even if it’s free), and give yourself permission to have a feel-good experience.

The feel-good experience didn’t stop there. My sales person loving wrapped my one bra in paper, tied it with ribbon and included a very detailed wash + care card. It’s a just a purple bag, with a purple ribbon and postcard, yet I actually treasured my packaging a little because it was the chocolate treat on top of the pillow that made me feel special. For once my newly purchased delicates weren’t stuffed into a plastic bag by a teenager. Well done Journelle.

Thank you Journelle!

If you’re looking for a place to shop for items for your next Boudoir session, while getting a little pampered, then I highly recommend Journelle in NYC. Their attitude about customer service mirrors my photography business and I love that. Tell them you are doing a Boudoir session and they can easily help you find something. It will be the perfect introduction to your whole Boudoir experience!

Let’s set up a complimentary call where we discuss designing your very own Boudoir session so you can really let yourself have an experience. Go one you deserve it! Contact me here!

UPDATE!

This morning I received an email from Journelle thanking me for my recent purchase…

How thoughtful is that? I know it’s a general automated email they send out to everyone who makes a purchase, but they didn’t have to do this. But they wanted to continue their awesome customer service and make me feel special again five days later.

This is something I also have implemented in my business. I try to send a “Thank You + Sneak Peak” email to my clients 24 hours after the session. I genuinely want to thank them for doing an amazing job (which everyone does) and I give them an image from their shoot to prove they actually did an awesome job. It really soothes their nerves because as much as I try to show them the back of the camera during the session they always leave feeling a little nervous about how they will look in the final photos. After they see this image they relax and show their girlfriends what they did. 

Tips for Creating Fabulous & Flattering Outfits For Your Photo Session – Michelle Hayes Studio NYC

21 Oct 2014 | Categories: Beauty, What to wear | Posted by: Michelle

Have no clue about what to wear for your photo shoot? Here are some things you need to think about when choosing your outfits.

Choose COLOR

Color is one of the most important things to think about when choosing an outfit to be photographed in. It can change the tone of a shoot in a second. If someone has been wearing black and then they change into something of a vibrant color it changes the mood of the shoot instantly. Here are a few examples of excellent colorful outfits..

 

add some SHAPE

The shape of a garment is extremely important and may not look the same in a photograph. Remember, a photograph is 2D and real life is 3D which means we are able to see the garment at all angles. So many times I’ve seen a cool looking top or dress that looks great in person, but fails to translate well in a photograph. Not only that it just may not be the right shape for your body. This happens a lot with the latest trends. They may not be for everyone. Hello skinny jeans!

Try to find shapes that flatter your own body type. This may take a while to figure out so don’t give up. You will just have to try a lot of  different styles on. There’s no way around this, but when you find the styles that flatter your body you won’t have to guess anymore. Here are s few good examples of people wearing styles that look awesome on their body type. You will notice they are wearing the clothes and the clothes are flattering their bodies…

 

Throw in some SPARKLE!

There’s no explanation needed here. A sparkly-sequined dress, or top, is something that makes me smile and is always appropriate. Sequins for bunch? Sure! How can you not feel fab in a sequined dress? It’s not possible!

 

For more wardrobe inspiration for your Glam session be sure to check out my Pinterest boards..

I have curly hair and I accept it.

16 Sep 2014 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

So as you can tell from my “About” me pic that I have curly hair, really curly hair. But as a kid I didn’t know this because my hair was always brushed out. Check out this sweet Olin Mills portrait…

I  think my mom was trying to brush my hair straight. As you can imagine this lead to a lot of confusion as to what type of hair I had and how to care for it properly. On top of that I never saw anyone on tv or in the movies with curly hair so I really didn’t have anyone to identify with. There were no Taylor Swifts or Sarah Jessica Parker’s around for me to idolize their lovely locks.

In fact, I remember one day being at a friends house and browsing through their Readers Digest (yes the actual paper guide to see what was on tv) and I came across an article about who would be the new girlfriend for Alex P. Keaton on the hit show Family Ties. Yes, I realize I just dated myself with admitting to reading an actual Readers Digest AND watching Family Ties. The article matched up the two potential candidates. One was Courtney Cox (the unknown Courtney Cox at the time) and the other was an actress with curly hair.

Now we all know Courtney has amazing hair. It’s lusciously thick and probably can be curled or straightened and look fabulous either way. The other girl had equally beautiful hair, except it was of the corkscrew curls variety. Finally, I thought, a girl with hair like mine could be on tv! The article went on to list the pro’s and con’s for each actress and let’s face it, it was all about looks since neither of these two actresses were known at the time. I came to the end of the article and the last thing it listed as a “con” for the curly-haired actress was her hair. It said it was “too distracting”.

WTF? Too distracting?!?! At that moment my heart sank.

If this beautiful actress with the perfect-frizz-free-corkscrew curls could have her hair described as “too distracting” what could my unruly and thick be described as? I immediately felt the shame for having too different hair that I couldn’t describe.

I never forgot that article, obviously, and became even more self conscious of my hair. I already considered it wrong, or something I should not have, and I began to actually hate it. Since my pre-teen years my hair has been a major source of pain and shame for me. I had no idea how to care for it so it was a constant struggle to try to get it to look good. After many, many years of trying every product on the market trying to get it to change into something it’s never going to be (smooth and straight) I finally learned to just stop battling with it. It was a part of me and I was actually hating it!

I’m sure most woman can identify with hating a certain part of their bodies whether it be their hair, their smile, their boobs, their hips or their thighs. There just seems to always be something about our bodies to pick on and it really needs to stop. I know self-love is a huge concept and is not something you can one day wake and have, but I believe there is something even more important that needs to happen before that.

You need to accept yourself first.

Just accepting who are, without comparison, is a huge step and can get rid of a lot of turmoil you may have about not liking yourself, or a certain part of yourself. When I finally just accepted that I have curly hair, and that it’s quite awesome, I began to feel better about myself. The simple act of acceptance is saying “Hey, my body may not be anywhere near perfect, but I have this body, it’s all mine and that’s what make me unique” From that compassionate and supportive foundation, you can open up to the possibility of self love.

This is why I’m so passionate about helping women and girls to learn to love their hair. I’m also passionate about having women experience a portrait session with me and see themselves in a different light. To give them the chance to finally say this is me, I accept who I am and how I look at the moment (self-acceptance). Hopefully, when they get their beautiful images they can look at them and then start to feel some love for that woman in the picture. (self-love!)

Looking for more information about learning to love your curly hair and how to properly care for it? Or do you want to celebrate your curls with a photo session? Set up a free 30 min consultation with me and let’s chat curly hair!

A Simple introduction about the person behind the lens

14 Aug 2014 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

HELLO! I’M YOUR BOUDOIR/GLAMOUR PHOTOGRAPHER MICHELLE!

I  wrote this blog post so that you can get to know a little bit about me before your session, or help give you that extra push you need to finally book a session!

I’m a Cali girl living in NYC! I consider myself a native Californian proudly living in the great city of New York, which sort of gives me an edge. Well, not really, but I get a lot of attention in the winter when people find out I’m from San Diego. I often get the quizzical look and then the question, “what are you doing here?”. Luckily I get to visit my parents who still live in San Diego. It truly feels like a vacation every time I go home. I love the constant beautiful weather, laid back lifestyle and glorious beaches. When I return to NYC I appreciate the hustle-n-bustle of the city, the vast opportunities and the electrifying energy that kicks me in the butt to be a better business woman. I have the best of both worlds!

I  also want to share why I write these blog posts. I can add more and more pictures to my portfolio, but I’m sure you want to get to know the person behind the camera as well, right?

When booking a Boudoir session it’s so important to feel comfortable with the person you will be spending this time with. I want you to feel at ease with me during your session which will let you be your most authentic self in front of the camera which will produce better pictures! On top of that, I promise to never photograph something about yourself you don’t want photographed. I am very aware of the level of self-consciousness going on before and during a session, so creating an atmosphere of calmness and comfort is my number one priority. I guess what makes me unique is that I bring a laid back Cali attitude to my NYC biz!

Now that I have a beautiful light-filled studio (see pic above I just had to show you!) for these sessions I try to make the experience even more special. I’m intrigued in finding out the “Why” behind booking a session, in addition to wanting beautiful portraits of yourself. More and more women are opening up to me about wanting to look + feel beautiful and confident and they have heard that a boudoir session can give them that boost. So, I’ve been trying to have a conversation with women after the session to understand where they are coming from. I want to know how they feel about themselves before + after the session so that I can let other women know about the wonderful experience.

I  recently had a women say to me during our pre-consultation, ”I think this might be a stupid idea”. She was so afraid of looking silly and I totally get it. I assured her this was not stupid and besides it was no one’s business to judge whether it is or not. She went through with the boudoir session, which she rocked, and she said she ”amazed herself”. She did not think that she could ever feel that confident and beautiful and can’t believe she ever thought it might be a stupid idea.

I  generally know how women might feel before their session, anxious, nervous, scared about looking foolish. They may even think “what in the heck am I doing this for?” or “what will people think?” Now, I would love to hear more about how they feel AFTER the session. I can pretty much guess by the way every woman has left my studio glowing from the inside out once they see some of the images form the back of my camera. It happens every time and I need to let more women in on this little secret.

But, I don’t want it to be a secret! I want every woman to experience this!

So, the one thing I want you to know about why I do this is because I believe ever woman should know her own beauty and accept it because that will make you ok with yourself. And what better way to celebrate this discovery than with a personalized photo session to remember it for years to come?

I  can honestly say that if I didn’t get paid to do this work, I would still do it. It’s part of my journey to discovering the woman that I am meant to be as well. It fills me with confidence and pride each time I get to show a woman how beautiful she is through one of my sessions and that is the most rewarding feeling as an artist, a business person and a woman.

xoxo

Michelle

Caroline Glam Session – Michelle Hayes Studio NYC

22 Jun 2014 | Categories: Beauty | Posted by: Michelle

This is Caroline. She is a Fashion Executive here in NYC and she is smart, beautiful and fabulous.

She wanted to do a Glam session to celebrate her 30th birthday and the woman she has become.

How about we celebrate this every-day beauty instead of all the models and celebrities we see online, in magazines and on billboards? Doesn’t she look just as fabulous on the cover of my magazine cover? Every woman should get a chance to celebrate her own beauty. Besides, why should all the models and celebrities have all the fun in front of the camera? 

 

MAKEUP & HAIR  by Ashlee of Muah Makeup

 

How do YOU want to be photographed?

 

Contact me to discuss your Glam session with Michelle Hayes Studio

Contact NYC Boudoir + Glamour photographer Michelle Hayes Studio

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE! – MICHELLE HAYES STUDIO

28 Dec 2013 | Categories: Beauty, Make up tips, Uncategorized | Posted by: Michelle

Here’s a stylish and figure flattering outfit idea for your next Glam session. It’s a classic sequined dress with a pop of classic red with some gold metal accents. With just the right smokey eye and classic red lip you’ll be sure to shine inside and out in your Glam session…

 

It's time to shine

Glam The Dress – Michelle Hayes Studio NYC

05 Nov 2013 | Categories: Beauty | Posted by: Michelle

Are you are familiar with Trash the Dress in wedding photography? It’s when a former bride puts back on her wedding dress and has a fun and creative photo session that might or might not entail getting the dress dirty or wet. This may appeal to some brides, but I have another alternative that doesn’t involve getting that beautiful, and most likely expensive, gown dirty or ruined…

It’s called Glam The Dress. I much prefer this approach where you can put back on your gown and have a fashion inspired shoot with me. You can glam it up, or make it into an entirely different look, while getting some beautiful portraits done. What a great way to get another wear out of that dress! Didn’t get any glamorous pics of yourself from your wedding? Glam it up! Want to have an excuse to put back on that gown that reminds you of one of the most wonderful days of your life? Glam it up!

This is also a great way to get your bridesmaids back together as a thank you for being in my wedding gift. Make it a Girls Day Out with champagne and snacks. As with all of my sessions the Glam the Dress shoot comes with professional hair and makeup and this can be done in a studio or out on location. 

 

Contact me if you have a wedding dress that you’d like to break out of storage and have a Glam the Dress session with me!

xoxo

Michelle

  • About Michelle Hayes Studio
    Michelle Hayes Studio is a modern portrait studio in San Diego & NYC for the everyday woman. Michelle strives to bring out the inner and outer beauty of every woman through Boudoir and Fashion-inspired portrait sessions.
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