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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

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!

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

What to wear for your Boudoir session

27 Aug 2012 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

“What should I wear?”

Is the number one question I get when I start to talk to a women about doing her boudoir session. Everyone usually wants to know what other women have worn or if there is one particular style that looks good. But honestly, figuring out what to wear is going to be so personal. It makes a huge difference when a woman wears something that they are comfortable in and know it flatters their own body because then she isn’t fussing or worrying about how her body looks like. A boudoir session is really about feeling and looking amazing during the session and this can only come through if you are 100% comfortable in your own skin.

How do I get comfortable in my own skin?

Start with identifying something that you LOVE about your body and then play around with styles that enhance that feature. Then go out and find the best version of that style in an amazing color that will compliment you. Do you love your waist? Try a corset. Do you love your cleavage? Try a beautiful lace demi cup bra. When you feel comfortable in your own skin it will be undeniably beautiful. As a photographer I will always seek to bring out the best in you. I promise not to highlight anything you don’t want highlighted!

Also, it doesn’t have to be lingerie. Experiment with different looks that are inspired by lingerie like this beautiful lace body suit Penelope Cruz is wearing. I know she is gorgeous and she probably doesn’t have to stand in the mirror looking for one part of her body that she loves, but this suit compliments her womanly curves perfectly. Is it a swimsuit, a bodysuit, or an under garment? Who cares! It’s gorgeous and she is totally rocking it!

La Dolce Vita

I'll Be Happy When...

15 Aug 2012 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

I know you are looking at all the beautiful boudoir images out there and thinking “I would LOVE to do that…but not until I lose 5, 10, or whatever number of pounds” Stop that way of thinking right now. It’s that ever elusive when I get “X” I’ll finally be happy. I’ll be happy when I lose 10 more pounds, I’ll be happy when I get that promotion, I’ll be happy when I get my dream job. You get the point. Thinking in the future is never going to allow you to enjoy what you already have right now. It’s also a form of punishment for not appreciating your unique beauty.

So how can you stop hating on your body and start feeling the love? To start with, try focusing on what you do like about your body when you look in the mirror today.

If you have shiny straight hair then focus on that because there are a ton of people who would kill for shiny locks (yes, my hand is up in the air). If you have full lips then start loving those kissers because there are people who spend a fortune on plumping up theirs for a sad temporary fix. After focusing on what you do like about your body you’ll hopefully begin to relax a bit about what you can’t change at this moment, or not at all, and hopefully you’ll begin to see yourself in a different light. You will be giving attention to all the wonderful things about yourself and you might just change the way you think about your body to reflect a more positive, loving, light-hearted frame of mind. Aren’t we tired of all this negativity towards our bodies anyway?

Here are a few images of the gorgeous Emily who wanted to do a Boudoir session for a while but was hesitant. She mentioned that she was trying to loose a few pounds before the shoot. I finally told her it’s now or never and promised I would make her look good. Remember, we are professional photographers with a keen eye so if something doesn’t look good we’ll know right away. I worked with her in a variety of flattering poses and made sure she felt comfortable every step of the way and looked what transpired! Jaw dropping images that she could not believe were of herself. Emily turned out to be her own super model with unique assets to focus on. Look at her vibrant red hair, her creamy skin and those beautiful blue eyes! Emily told me she cannot stop looking at these pictures of herself and is so glad she did the session now instead of waiting to loose those pesky few extra pounds.

Stop living for future elusive goals of being happy “when”. Be happy about your body, or one part of your body, and focus on what makes you unique. How can you do that?….

…WITH A BOUDOIR SESSION!

If you’re still on the fence about doing a Boudoir session that’s ok. Just stop thinking this is something you could never do. Start by picking out one thing about your body that you like and start focusing on it everyday. This may seem small and pointless, but it’s a big step in getting away from viewing our bodies negatively.

HOW TO BOOK A SESSION…
Ok so you’re feeling pretty good about taking the next step towards a Boudoir session. What next? You can email me if you are interested and would like to set up a time to speak about your session. You can also ask me more specific questions if you have them.

Check out my Boudoir page some more information detailing what goes on in a session and pricing. If you have specific questions or want to book your session then feel free to email me directly at info@michellehayesphotos.com or give me a call 347.684.1088.

Michelle

What is Boudoir photography?

Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

This post is to clarify what Boudoir photography is and to give you a sense of what goes on during one of these sessions. It’s not as intimidating as you might think and a lot of women have expressed genuine interest in this type of photography. So, here we go

Boudoir Photography is back in style…

…and it’s more popular than you might think. This isn’t the bad Glamour Shots of the 80′s. No cheesy boas, no awkward sexy pouts, no harsh glamour lights. It’s about real woman celebrating how beautiful they are through photography. It’s that simple, yet so powerful. Today, it’s all about capturing the essence and beauty of a woman and letting real women be their own supermodel.

 

 

As a boudoir photographer I strive to highlight what makes each woman unique. Yes, EVERY woman has something special about them but we never focus on it because we are too busy harping on the things we hate about our bodies. Here’s an article that I love which talks about why every woman should do this at some point in their lives.

WHAT BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT:
Boudoir photography is not trying to look like a a size 4 Victoria Secret model in the most revealing lingerie. We all know they do not represent the average woman plus they are professional models who have a team of people making them look good at all times, makeup artist, hair stylist, clothing stylist, lighting technicians, post production editors, etc. Boudoir sessions are not highly stylized productions to market to the world. They are intimate and about YOU. So you can be as sexy and as daring as you want to be or you can can be playful and sweet. It’s all up to you.

WHY SHOULD I DO A BOUDOIR SESSION?
Do this as a gift for a significant other for an anniversary, birthday, engagement or wedding present. Can you just imagine his face when he sees these striking pictures of you? An album of your top 10-15 images is all you need for a gift that will be unforgettable. Forget those boring cuff links!

Get a few of your girlfriends together and have a party! Boudoir Parties are a great way to get your girlfriends together for a Bachelorette party, bridal party or birthday party. If you have a minimum of 4 people you can have your own Boudoir Marathon session at a great price.

Do this as a gift for yourself, birthday, Christmas, graduation, whatever! A Boudoir session is a great opportunity to really feel beautiful inside and out. Not only will you look amazing, but you will feel amazing about yourself. It’s a guaranteed confidence booster! It’s time to stop being so hard on yourself and appreciate how good you look NOW, And the ultimate way to embrace your beauty? Through beautiful images of yourself that will last forever. You can make a small book and flip through to remind yourself how awesome you really are. A perfect reminder that you can go back over and over again for those not so fabulous days

It doesn’t matter who you do it for. Either way, I can guarantee it will be a fun, once-in-a-lifetime, confidence-boosting experience!

WHAT GOES ON IN A BOUDOIR SESSION?
A typical Glam session lasts about two hours and I will guide you every step of the way. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to pose or don’t know what you are doing. I have a ton of flattering pose ideas and will help you throughout the session. Remember, I am a professional photographer with a keen eye for what looks good so I promise to make you look amazing! During a Glam session you will have time for 2-3 outfit changes and for a Marathon session 1-2 outfit changes.

WHERE ARE BOUDOIR SESSIONS HELD?
Typically a Boudoir session is done at a chic hotel here in NYC. If you do a Boudoir Party with three of your friends you can spend the afternoon in a cool Manhattan hotel. This is a great idea for a bachelorette party or a bridal shower. If you have a specific location in mind we can work together to create your own package.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
This is entirely up to you. What ever you choose you should feel sexy, confident and comfortable in. If you need help in this area a good place to start is a store like Journelle, here in NYC. They have a knowledgeable sales staff who make you feel really comfortable. Remember, you don’t have to wear sexy lingerie if that’s not you. You can wear something like a white button up shirt and stockings if you are a little conservative. If you are more daring then the sky’s the limit! If you have no clue then a black bra and panties work every time. Bring a pair of sexy heals to make your legs look a mile long and some accessories to complete the look. If you don’t have any, don’t worry I have a lot of jewelry in my boudoir collection. We can play around with your outfits to come up with some different looks.

WHAT ABOUT HAIR AND MAKEUP?
Hair & makeup is included in all my sessions. It is a huge part of this experience and I have the best artist that reflect my style. Remember, these are glam shots and you’ll want your hair and make up to compliment the look and feel of the session, which is going to be sexy and fabulous!

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR IMAGES
So, you have these amazing images of yourself sitting in a folder on your computer and you’re not sure what to do with them. The session will be a great experience in itself, but you’re going to want to do something with these images to keep reminding yourself of how fun it was, how you felt, and how damn good you look ! Here are a few suggestions…[divider]
If you are doing this for someone else, you can make a small book out of the top 10-15 images. You don’t need a wedding sized album, you just need a simple and sleek album that can be flipped though easily. This would be a great wedding, anniversary, christmas, or birthday gift. If you are doing this for yourself then you should have a small book made so you can look at yourself in awe any time you want. Another option would be to print out a few and frame them for your dressing area, bathroom, nightstand or any private place in your home. You can do whatever you want with these images, but the point is to get them off of your computer and have them visible in some form so you can appreciate how good you look and to remember how you felt that day.

HOW TO BOOK A SESSION
Ok so you’re feeling pretty good about taking the next step towards a Boudoir session. What next? You can click here to email me if you are interested and would like to set up a time to speak about your session. You can also ask me more specific questions if you have them.

Boudoir Marathon sessions happen every few months so if you’d like to be notified when the next one is going to happen click here to sign up to my newsletter and you’ll be the first to know about the session and get priority over others. Keep in mind these marathon sessions that I put together will have limited spaces so act quickly.

If you have specific questions then feel free to email me directly at info@michellehayesphotos.com or give me a call 347.684.1088.

  • 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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