"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. 

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"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."

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"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.)

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"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."

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"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."

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How did you feel when you saw your images?
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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. 

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"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!"

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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. 

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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. 

Win a Complimentary Session | Boudoir by Mandy Merino Photography | Orange County, CA

One lucky Southern California woman has the opportunity to win a complimentary luxury boudoir session with Mandy Merino Photography.

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Part of our mission at this studio is to empower women. To tell them they’re beautiful, and help them celebrate who they are in a judgement free zone. To curate a stream of content that makes you wanna kick-ass and conquer the world (or at least comb your hair that day). I also want YOU to contribute to that stream, by participating in our private Facebook group “BOUDOIR by Mandy Merino Photography”. If you stumble across an inspiring article/quote/link that represents female empowerment, feel free to share it in the group!

Help me grow this awesome group by adding all your fiercest, bravest and most awesome girlfriends and family members. Then, engage with each other! Tell another woman she’s beautiful. You’ll put a smile on her face – I promise! In a social media world where women endure so much scrutiny and social pressure associated with their physical appearance, let’s make this group a departure from the negativity; and a place where you can complement a stranger.

As a way to thank you for helping be grow this awesome group and joining in the community, I’m giving away one complimentary session!  

Here’s how this works:

Invite 10 ladies to join the group, and get one entry into the contest. Invite more friends to get more entries. Example: 50 members = 5 entries.

Must be ladies who live in Southern California and over 21 years old.

Women only, please! I want this group to be a safe place for women to celebrate themselves through intimate portraiture, and recognize how badass they are. A place of “girl power” and female empowerment.

The complimentary session will include a wardrobe consultation, hair & make-up on your shoot day, 1.5 hours of studio time and $100 product credit to use at your viewing & ordering appointment (a $450 value).  

For your entry into the contest to be complete make sure all of the following are complete:

- Minimum of 10 entries required to qualify

- Must like “Mandy Merino Photography” and be a member of the “BOUDOIR by Mandy Merino Photography” group on Facebook

- Lastly, comment on this blog post when you’ve finished all steps

This contest will end once we reach 2,000 members. Winner will be chosen at random once the contest ends and announced LIVE in the group.

The lovely lady who adds the MOST friends to the group will win a $25 Victoria’s Secret gift card.