Blog Archives

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder…

21 Sep 2017 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

…YOU are the BEHOLDER

Ladies.  I have to admit that most of my life I’ve been waiting around for someone to deem me beautiful. All I wanted was for someone to think of my wild curly hair as beautiful and that desire prevented me from cultivating that love for myself.

Waiting for someone to think that I’m beautiful has been so exhausting because looking to others to feel beautiful always comes up empty.

I’m done waiting around. I’m going to take back that power and claim my own beauty. There I did it.

I  am beautiful.

Does that make me full of myself? Maybe, but it’s better than feeling not enough and looking to others to validate my beauty. That leaves me feeling dis-empowered.

This is how we spread more authentic beauty in this world and the world needs to see more beauty right now more than ever, don’t you think? 

 
It’s called Beauty empowerment and this movement is long overdue ladies. 
 
We’ve sat back waiting around for others to validate our beauty for a very long time now. Who gets to decide what’s beautiful? Is there a committee? A task force of already deemed beautiful people? It sure feels that way sometimes.
 
The most liberating thing a woman can do is to know what makes her beautiful inside and out, claim it, and then shine that beauty back out in the world for others to see and be inspired by. Because when she knows that in her bones then it doesn’t matter what someone does, or doesn’t, think of her. That’s true power.
 
I know it’s easier said than done to proclaim “I’m beautiful!” and to really believe it. Women have been conditioned to believe we must look a certain way and ignore what makes us unique for a very long time. But, there’s a shift that needs to happen in how we think of beauty and it needs to shift back to ourselves so we can discover it and own it for ourselves. 
To me feeling beautiful encompasses everything on the inside as well as the outside that makes you unique. It’s everything from your big beautiful brown eyes, your laugh, your tender heart to your curly hair. I call this your Beauty Mix. It’s your own personal beauty receipt that no one else shares.

Here are a few easy ways to discover your own Beauty Mix

Be compassionate with yourself… 
Nothing good can ever come from beating yourself up about the way you look. This is a fact. You can not fully feel beautiful inside and out if you are shaming, blaming and wishing any part of your body was different. You see to fully embrace the beautiful you, you will need to love yourself. All of yourself. Yes, I know self love is a hot topic these days. But it’s the foundation to believing deep down that you are beautiful. If you can’t love yourself yet, then start with just accepting yourself now and see where it leads.
 
Take exquisite care of yourself…
When you take exquisite care of yourself you will develop deep self respect. Now I said exquisite care and that means giving yourself attention and being present while doing any form of care of your body, mind and soul. Anyone can spend an hour getting a massage or running, but when you are fully engaged in the act of taking the time to pay respect to your body you begin to feel so much better about yourself. You can slow way down and appreciate the delicate and beautiful relationship you can have with yourself. That’s self compassion and we need to be doing a better job at that. 
 
Stop comparing your beauty to others…
Comparison is the kiss of beauty death. We are all so uniquely different it really doesn’t make sense to try to compare oneself to another. I know the media, especially fashion magazines, likes to tell you straight up who is considered beautiful. But the world is made up of so many different flavors and styles we can appreciate just by walking out our front door! Why do we need a magazine to tell us who is considered beautiful? 
 
When you have compassion for yourself, take exquisite care of yourself and stop comparing yourself to others then you can begin to uncover what is uniquely special about your own beauty. 
I challenge you to find at least 3 things you find beautiful about yourself. You’ve done it for other people so I know you can turn seeking out beauty on to yourself.  Let me know what’s your own Beauty Mix. I’d love for you to share it with me and the world. 
 
 
To find out how you can discover your own Beauty Mix in a more in-depth, fun and empowering way email me to sign up for my next online 5 Day Beauty Mix Challenge or contact me to schedule a consultation if you’d like to experience a transformative photo shoot with me. 
 
XOXO
Michelle

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. 

How to wear garter belts for a Boudoir session by L’Ecole Nuit

27 Apr 2015 | Categories: Boudoir, What to wear | Posted by: Michelle

This article by L’Ecole Nuit offers 5 helpful tips on how to wear (and how to fasten!) garter belts for a Boudoir session or for everyday wear. Yes, you can go ahead and wear garters under that pencil skirt to work ;)

If you decide to add this sexy piece to an outfit for your shoot remember to try them on beforehand! I’ve had a few instances where women bring in these fabulous accessories and they have no idea how to fasten them. They can be a little confusing and hard to attach on your own, but don’t fret I can assist with that! As with any outfit you bring to your shoot try it on at home first to make sure you are comfortable in it and understand how it should be worn. There are some ensembles that can take some time to get in to! Remember, we are going to be doing a lot of posing so move around a little so you can see how they wear on your body.

 L’Ecole Nuit is a great place to shop for luxury lingerie for your boudoir session. They have beautiful lingerie sets, corsets, chemises and robes, and of course garters! They have been kind enough to offer my Boudoir clients 15% off their orders! Just use the coupon code MICHELLEHAYES at the time of checkout!

Mini Boudoir Marathon Event! It’s the perfect Holiday gift!

01 Nov 2014 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

Yes, the Holidays are officially here. The count down to getting that perfect gift has begun. No, don’t even think of giving him that practical gift that he probably needs.

How about something he will never guess what is and will knock-his-socks-off?

This is the perfect opportunity to finally get a Boudoir session done if you’ve been dying to do it, but can’t afford a full session. Because I’m able to do multiple sessions in one day I can offer an amazing discount. But I only have 8 spots available because it’s just little ol me that’s doing all these sessions.

Here are the details and be sure to contact me soon to book because these 8 sessions will book fast…

Michelle Hayes Studio NYC Mini Boudoir Holiday Marathon

 

WHAT? – Holiday Mini Boudoir Marathon!
WHY? – Because I don’t want you giving your loved one a boring practical gift. How about a knock-your-socks-off gift?
WHEN? – TWO DAYS ONLY! Sunday November 16th & Sunday November 23rd

VIP CLIENT REFERAL!

If you are a past VIP client of Michelle Hayes Studio then you can get free prints of your own shoot! Refer a friend and if they book you get a free print from your own session.

Just forward the promotion on to your friends and make sure they tell me you sent them to get your special offers.

 

 

Refer 1 client and receive (1) 8×10 print from your own session

Refer 2 clients and receive (1) 8×10 print and (1) Hi – Res Digital Negative from your own session

Refer 3 or more clients and I will give you (1) 8×10 print and (1) Hi – Res Digital Negative and a $100 Gift Certificate to the spa of your choice.

 

Wouldn’t a facial, or a massage, or a deluxe mani/pedi be the perfect gift to yourself after the Holiday madness?

Book now for one of my **8** mini sessions spots!

Email me what date you prefer and I’ll let you know the available time slots.

Or forward to a friend who you know has been dying to do this!

Happy Holidays!
Michelle

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

Firebrand Call + My Message to Women

29 Aug 2013 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

Boudoir + Glamour Photography Michelle Hayes Studio NYC

A few weeks ago I had a mini-branding call with Kristen Domingue. We talked about my business and how to get clear on my message, what I’m trying to say to women through my photography business. Last year I made the decision to specialize in Female Portraiture and it was the best decision for me as an artist and business woman. This is the best way for me to be of service to women who need to feel beautiful again. I feel more connected to my clients and I want to connect with even MORE women who may feel like they don’t feel beautiful and don’t deserve a portrait of themselves.

The bulk of my clients are women who are doing this session for someone else as a gift, brides-to-be or women celebrating their anniversary or a birthday. There is nothing wrong with this reason for doing a boudoir session. Boudoir photography is mostly marketed to this type of client in the media. You hear a lot of “The ULTIMATE gift for your fiance” or “The BEST present he will EVER get”

But then I started to think about the women who were not getting married or didn’t have a partner to do this for. Should they be excluded from experiencing this type of session? Absolutely not. In fact, I believe there doesn’t even need to be a reason to do this at all and you can read about that in my last blog post here.

So check out the extremely helpful branding chat I had with Kristen where we figured out my new message to all women of why you should have a Boudoir, or Glam, session done.

“Feel beautiful for your own sake”

 

 

This is actually my 1 year anniversary of launching this site and I am so honored to be able to photograph so many women and give them the opportunity to feel beautiful for their own sake. Yes, they may still give the album or prints to a loved one as a gift but I know the experience is worth so much more to these women and they will never forget it. 

Love,

Michelle

Looking & Feeling Beautiful For Your Own Sake – Boudoir + Glamour Photography NYC

12 Aug 2013 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

I started shooting Boudoir because a few of my brides wanted to do it as an amazing wedding gift for their fiances. It was an amazing, unexpected gift that always knocked their socks off. But, I also noticed that the women were totally surprised by the whole process and thoroughly enjoyed the photoshoot. I knew it was going to be a blast but I really don’t think they were expecting it to be so much fun. Women are usually so focused on not wanting to look awkward that they are completely surprised by how much they enjoyed to shoot!

I’ll give you a little snap shot of what goes on in a Boudoir or Glam session…

First we go over wardrobe selection and I help you style your outfits. Then you get to sit and have a professional artist style your hair and expertly apply your makeup. It’s a really relaxing process that I’ve noticed many women appreciate and enjoy.

We start the photo shoot where I give you guidance with posing using a mirroring technique., which means I pose and you copy me. It’s very easy. Your nerves dissolve and you are smizing for the camera feeling all Top Model-like. I’m not the noted Nigel Barker with a soothing British accent, but I will be telling you how amazing you are doing throughout the process. I’ll show you the back of the camera to confirm how great you are doing. You begin to see yourself in a new light, then you start to enjoy yourself, which then in turn makes you even more beautiful in front of the camera! In the end this pampering and confidence-boosting experience is all for the women and no one else.

So a year later and I’m still shooting Boudoir for bride-to-be’s, who are doing this to give to their fiances, and women who are doing this to celebrate an anniversary and I’m loving it. But, I begin to think do women really need a reason to experience this? What about the women who don’t have a partner or are not getting married? Shouldn’t they get to experience this as well? Hell yeah! In fact, I believe you don’t even need a reason to do this.

I want ALL women to experience this for absolutely no reason at all!

Ok, if you need a reason then I’ll give you one…

How about to look + feel beautiful for your own sake?

I’d say that’s a pretty damn important reason to do it because I think many women feel like they need to be in a relationship in order to do something like this. It’s that ever elusive once I get a partner, then I will feel ______. Beautiful? Amazing? Worthy? Those are all things you can feel now. And I bet if you start to feel those things now just for the sake of loving your own beauty then when you do meet someone they will appreciate it even more because you are already appreciating it. Win, win all around!

So here’s what I say about when to do a Boudoir, or Glam session (if you’re not comfortable in lingerie)…

Do it for yourself now and once you have these beautiful images that will forever capture your unique beauty then you can decide if you’re going to share them with someone else. A REALLY lucky someone else ;)

In my last blog post I wrote about being featured in Cosmo.com, well pictures of my clients were featured with a snippet of why they did a boudoir session. They are single women who did a Boudoir session just for themselves. You can read about their experiences here and hear about their experiences.

 

Feel free to give me a call for your complimentary consultation about doing a Boudoir or Glam session for no reason what so ever! 

347-684-1088

xx

Michelle

Make sure you stay connected with me via Facebook and sign up for my newsletter to get a FREE uber-helpful wardrobe guide for planning your Boudoir session.

Oh and it’s always fun to share Pinterest boards where you’ll find some helpful pics to plan your next Boudoir or Glam session and cuz it’s ADDICTING to pin!

NYC Boudoir Session – Michelle Hayes Studio

21 Jan 2013 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

This amazing boudoir session was done as a present for a groom on his wedding night by his fiance. Can you just imagine his face when he saw these gorgeous photos? This session was inspired by the pinup look but with a modern twist. Love the cheeky mask ;)

Makeup + hair: Muah makeup

Lingerie: Elle Macpherson Dentelle bra & Culotte Boyshorts (photos 1, 2, 3 & 5) available at Journelle

Hotel: Z Hotel

Photographer: Michelle Hayes

NYC boudoir photography session Z hotel NY

 

NYC boudoir photography session Z hotel NY

Special Valentine’s Day Promotion with MUAH Makeup

07 Jan 2013 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

I am so excited to collaborate again with Ashlee of MUAH makeup for this Valentine’s Day promotion! Ashlee is a very talented makeup artist who really knows how to bring out the inner beauty of the everyday woman, which complements my boudoir + glamour photography very well.

I know that Valentine’s Day is a holiday to give gifts to loved ones, but I really want women to get something out of this holiday for themselves as well. Which is why I think a Boudoir session is the perfect gift that you both can benefit from. Your partner will get totally unexpected, blow-his-socks-off images, and YOU get to experience a boudoir session.

It’s an amazing confidence-boosting experience every woman should do at least once in her life. Not only is it empowering, it’s a pampering experience that most of us feel like we don’t need or deserve.

When was the last time you got your makeup and hair done professionally? You know what I’m talking about when you leave the salon and your hair looks amazing, you actually FEEL amazing. And the same thing goes when you get your makeup done professionally. When you see yourself after a pro has carefully and artistically applied the makeup, you feel like your true beauty has been enhanced perfectly!

Valentine's Day Boudoir sessions by NYC Boudoir + Glamour photographer Michelle Hayes Studio

 

These special packages are only for Valentine’s Day so book now! Have questions or want to know more about the Boudoir session? Feel free to contact me!

Contact NYC Boudoir + Glamour photographer Michelle Hayes Studio

  • 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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