"I've never felt more like a woman" | Orange County Boudoir Studio | Mother's Day Celebration

I have been LOVING all the mamas in and out of the studio this past month, as we've been celebrating Mother's Day. Yes, yes...I *planned* to feature a beautiful Southern California mom on the blog each week this month, but, well, things got a little busy and I fell behind on my blogging schedule. I also NEVER feature a woman on the blog without her getting to see her images first and choose her favorites. So, screw it - we're going to celebrate all the way into June. 

Today, we are featuring Miss S. I had the pleasure of photographing her sister last year, who had such an amazing time that she told Miss S she just had to do this. As a photographer, that is seriously the highest compliment someone can give me. I found both of these women to be absolutely beautiful and genuinely good people.  I could ramble on and on, but I'll let her tell you about the experience herself. 

orange-county-boudoir-photos-MMP2017-2.jpg
orange-county-boudoir-photos-MMP2017.jpg

"This is something I have been curious about in the past but never really thought I would have the guts to pursue. Then my sister told me about how great her experience was, and after seeing the amazing pictures I was hooked. I don't think I actually knew what exactly boudoir pictures were but after I saw how classy and tasteful Mandy's work was there was no question this was something I would definitely need to cross off my bucket list. I also wanted to be able to capture this time in my life. Becoming a mom has been such an amazing and life changing experience."

orange-county-boudoir-photographer-MMP2017.jpg
orange-county-boudoir-photos-2-MMP2017.jpg

"I did have my usual hang ups about my body that I had been carrying for years, like I always thought I had broad shoulders that made me feel I look like a line-backer, my moms hook nose and my super skinny legs but then I had a baby 6 months ago and that added a whole new list of things to feel insecure about, like my even bigger gut and that I no longer have a butt. But I figured Mandy knows what she's doing."

(As a boudoir photographer in Orange County I've come to hear many - often somewhat crazy - self perceived "flaws" that women see in themselves (i.e. line-back shoulders). I love being able to help women move past those insecurities and realize that NOBODY else sees those things in them, and learn to be a little kinder to themselves.)

orange-county-boudoir-photographer-MMP2017-1.jpg
orange-county-boudoir-photography-2-mmp2017.jpg
orange-county-boudoir-photographer-3-mmp2017.jpg

"I was so pleasantly surprised and relieved to see how relaxed and comfortable Mandy made the whole experience. She was so laid back and honest about what did and didn't work. And she really seemed to keep in mind all the hang ups I did have and reassured me she wouldn't do anything that made me uncomfortable or didn't look good on camera. She was also really clear during the shoot so there was no question as to what to do...she takes all the guess work out."

orange-county-lingerie-photos-MMP2017.jpg
orange-county-sexy-photos-MMP2017

"I have never felt as empowered as I did after that photo-shoot! I thought I would have felt a lot more nervous but as the shoot went on the more comfortable I felt. Once we were done there was not one part that I regretted and left feeling like I could do anything! Also it was a great excuse to get out of my granny panties I had been rocking since I got pregnant and treat myself to some cute panty sets that get me in a good mood every time I wear them."

orange-county-intimate-photos-MMP2017.jp
orange-county-intimate-photos-MMP2017-2.jpg

How did you feel when you saw your images?
"
I think this was the part that I was the most nervous about. After the shoot I knew Mandy did everything to make my body look it's best but I was worried about what I had done with my face! Was I too stiff? Did I look relaxed enough? But once we got to the viewing session I should have known there was nothing to worry about. Mandy is a true professional, down to the little details. She started the [viewing] session with a cute video that got me right back into the mood I was in for the actual photo shoot, but this time all the hard work was done and it was time to just relax and enjoy the show. 

southern-california-boudoir-photo-MMP2017.jpg

"I'm not too proud to admit I was actually lead to tears, a reaction I was not expecting, especially since it was one of the last pictures that elicited such a strong response. It wasn't even the most 'flattering" and actually showcased what most would try to hide- my belly rolls! But at that moment they felt like such a badge of honor and I felt like such a Mom! It felt so honest, natural and real. I never felt more like a woman. It was such a relief to see how good all the photos came out, some sexy, some cute, some silly, all beautiful!"

los-angeles-boudoir-photo-MMP2017.jpg

To any women reading this, considering their OWN boudoir experience...this is what Miss S has to say to you:

"Do it! Do it! Do it! I am a tomboy at heart and tend to keep it safe and comfortable but I'm so glad and proud that I got out of my comfort zone...And now I have amazing pictures to capture such a transformative time in my life.

The whole experience was Awesome! Mandy was Amazing! And the photos came out great! From her professionalism to her attention to detail you can tell she loves her craft and she loves bringing out the best in women! I loved the stories she told about her experience as a mother which led her to this work so you can tell she is genuine when working with other women and especially moms. Thank you for what you do Mandy."

What are you waiting for? What's holding you back? Let me help you work through those insecurities and learn to see yourself as others do - BEAUTIFUL. All you need to do is reach out, and I'll take it from there. 

Name *
Name

Mandy Merino Photography is a Fullerton, California based boudoir portrait studio. We're an all female staff specializing in fine-art style sexy, nude and intimate portraits in a loving and judgement free zone. Our clients come from all over Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego and through-out the Southern California area. We love photographing all women, but really love helping moms break out of day-to-day grind and reconnect with the sensual woman who hides within. 

She hadn't felt sexy in years | Mother's Day Boudoir Celebration

It's May! A month full of holidays & celebrations - Star Wars Day, Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, National Burger Day, Memorial Day...but the most important one, is Mother's Day! I dunno, maybe it's the whole baby-in-my-uterus thing, but I've got moms on the brain in a big way this year and feel like celebrating motherhood ALL month long. 

I love photographing all women and making them feel beautiful, but I'll admit it - I have a special place in my heart for my mama clients. Probably because I am one and it was my rocky start at motherhood that actually lead me to the empowering world of boudoir photography. So, I decided to focus my blog on MOMS all month long. Each week I'll be featuring a different beautiful mama and her unique story. 

First up, we have Miss S. This lady here captured my heart in one single sentence in her very first email to me, "Honestly, I haven't felt sexy in....the PC answer is years....but the true answer is decades." UGH. That right there breaks my heart, and is why I do this. I'm positively certain that she's not alone with these feelings, and it's my mission to change the way so many women see themselves. To show them that they ARE beautiful and sexy. 

Sometimes we like to sneak a few headshots in too...you know, since you're all glammed up. 

What made you want to do a boudoir session? 

"I had been feeling for a while like it was time to break out of the norm, but I couldn’t quite figure out what that next step needed to be. I was a 50 year old, divorced, single mom - so much of my life was defined for me that I was feeling like I just wanted something that was me. 

I saw your post looking for women for a boudoir shoot and I thought - that’s it!  I had never considered a boudoir shoot before. I literally submitted an application before I had a chance to think about it. Once I hit send….I panicked.  I thought, who are you kidding Sandy? You are definitely not a boudoir model."

(You see, most of my clients don't walk in feeling like "models" who are ready to take it all off and have their photos taken. They're doing this because they don't, and they need a little pick-me-up.)

[On the day of the shoot, when I left the studio I felt...] 

"Liberated, like nothing was off limits now.

I was always that kid who followed the rules, colored inside the lines, raised my hand, finished my homework before playing. 

I did the same in adult life - married my college BF, had 3 kids, made my family my top priority. But then divorce, going back to work full time, and raising 3 boys alone - it felt like there was simply nothing left of me. And I had completely lost what it was like to be and feel desirable."

After seeing your photos and getting your heirloom box, how did it make you feel? Did it change the way you see yourself and your confidence? 

"Without a doubt, yes! Desire is in the mind. The photo shoot opened that door back up. 
Free the mind, the body will follow where ever you want it to go."

(Rawr! Yea, girl!)

What would you tell other women who are considering this experience for themselves? 

"Do it!  Do it now, Do it today, Do it for yourself. If you want to become the best version of you, you have to be willing to step outside of your box and go where it is uncomfortable.

There’s an old fable about the lobster.  The lobster stays in his “home” until he starts to outgrow it. He knows it’s time to shed it and build a new home when the old one becomes uncomfortable. Everything he tries to do becomes harder and harder with the old home. So, when he’s finally had enough, he sheds the old, crawls under a rock to retool a new one, and then emerges when it’s ready. He would never know he needed a new one without that discomfort."

"Doing the boudoir shoot with Mandy was my discomfort. But the funny thing was - the only discomfort I had was in making the decision. Because from there - Mandy made it so incredibly comfortable, I literally left her studio laughing at myself for making such a big deal out of it in my head."

Thank YOU, Miss S for sharing your story and photos with us. Helping you reclaim a portion of yourself that had been lost, gives me the warm and fuzzies. 

To all the mama's out there, I see you. I know how much this joyous life can give, and take of you. If you're in need of a day all to yourself, to reconnect with the WOMAN who is there at your core, lost in the daily grind of #momlife...get in touch. Mandy Merino Photography is a boudoir portrait studio located in Orange County, CA (with a trip to Central Kentucky on the books in June). We're dedicated to empowering women via intimate portraiture in a loving, empowering and judgement free space. It's way more than just sexy photos - it can be a life changing experience. Each session is planned unique to you, and your comfort zone. 

Trust Miss S - reaching out truly is the hardest part. After you send that initial email, I'll take care of you every step of the way. 

Name *
Name