Five More Minutes | Thoughts on Motherhood | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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I have a new alarm clock.  It’s a 2 year who wakes up at 6:35am on the dot every day without fail saying, “Mama come in… come in Mama…please Mama, come IN” at regular intervals, gaining volume for 30 minutes straight until I come to terms with the fact that there is no such thing as a snooze button anymore. (my husband is somehow blissfully and annoyingly unaware of this new alarm clock). 

And so the day begins, hoping I remembered to set the coffee machine to start the night before, getting the babe changed, fed, dressed, and out the door in time, trying to put my own self together without her getting at my makeup, answering my husbands 10 million questions about the day (including what the weather will be, as if he has no other way of finding out...) and suddenly it’s 9a and I am (already!) worn out.  There’s nothing like running around town with a top knot (and not the fashion-week kind) and a purse filled with raisins to help us forget that we are intelligent, indepndant and desirable women with layers, personality, and a life outside of school drop off.

For years I’ve been an avid reader of Brooklyn Blogger Joanna Goddard, who recently joked about motherhood on her blog: “Everyone here wants to touch my boobs for different reasons, but kind of the same reason.”  This rang SO TRUE for me.  I think about it all the time and share it with all of my other mom friends, to which everyone busts out laughing, then turns inwards and nods quietly to themselves. 

Being the center of everyone’s universe is a double-edged sword: on one hand it's so sweet & flattering, truly the greatest blessing, AND ALSO it's the most taxing, stressful, and exhausting experience. If you hope to survive it, not to mention find joy in it, then you need to care for yourself.
 

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After drop off, a full day of work, deadlines that never end, pick up, dinner, baths, story times, and then back to the computer for more work that I could not finish in my work day, I am often too tired to do anything for me, other than put on my pj’s and go to sleep, knowing that tomorrow will be a similar grind. I found myself taking absurdly long showers just to get “5 more minutes” (my daughter’s current favorite negotiating phrase) to myself.  And then I realzied — this is crazy!  I shouldn’t have to hide in the bathroom to allow myself some ME time!  And I resolved to start making more time on the regular to look after MYSELF with the same care I look after my daughter & husband.

We moms share so much in common. Yes, you are a caregiver but you are also fierce, you are proud, you are resilient.  You’ve brought life into this world and most likely struggled to do so (even with the stongest epidural) and there is NOTHING more amazing than that. We love and care for our children, sacrifice our time, energy and money for our families, and too often put ourselves last — especially when prioritizing personal wants, needs, and desires.  There’s only so much we have to give and we shouldn’t forget to give to ourselves.

It’s not like I’m disappearing for hours on end, or partying into the night. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a walk around the block by myself to listen to a podcast, an afternoon having a glass of wine with a friend I never get to see anymore (because she is probably also a mom in the same boat) or shutting myself in the bedroom to reading a book (read: trashy magazine) for an hour.  

It doesn’t always come easy.  I still worry if my daughter will feel abandoned, or end up at school with 2 different shoes on her feet because I tasked my husband to get her dressed in the morning.  But the truth is, EVERYONE in our house is better off when I feel like myself, as opposed to a strung-out, harried juggler.  Even a small amount of time helps revitalize and enrgize me.   I find myself appreciating my daughter and husband more, smiling more, being more productive at work, feeling more satisfied with life in general and even wanting to have sex to more!

Well ladies, I encourage you — hell, I CHALLENGE you — to resolve to honor yourself: that beautiful, seductive, alluring, phenomenal woman you know you are.  There are big ways and small ways to do this.  I’ll tell you, one fantastic way to do this is by treating yourself to a boudoir session. Boudoir is a classy, elegant way to show off your sexier side and celebrate the beauty of YOU!

At Brooklyn Boudoir I love taking beautiful portraits of women.  But that’s only part of it.  The other, equally important thing that I give my clients is a few hours that’s just for them.  You get to feel beuatiful, have a glass of wine and enjoy the feelings of freedom and womanhood.  You get pampered.  You'll walk away with a pep in your step that maybe you haven’t felt for awhile.  Fast forward 2 weeks to your reveal when you get to see your photos for the first time… I have had women cry seeing them because they can’t beleive the woman in the photos is them.  Because the photos show them that they ARE still beautiful, and yes, also sexy.  That they ARE a sensual person, a feminine powerhouse, AND ALSO a boss/wife/mom.  YOU CAN BE ALL THOSE THINGS!  For the first time in maybe a long time they see themseves the way they used to and begin to feel that *spark* again.  They are energized and proud, and after we hug goodbye, I see my clients walk away with a new twinkle in their eye.  

And THEN, on top of it all, you get to hold on to those images in an album or a piece of wall art to remind you of who you are when you need it. Trust me: there isn’t anything like seeing a portrait of yourself looking and feeling your very best to inspire even the most tired women. 

Ladies — it’s still in there.  When you take care of yoruself, you start to remember who you really are at your core, and you can be a better caretaker for others.  You’ll be more present with your kids, feel warmer towards your partner, smile more to the other parents and pickup.  And when you FEEL good, you really do look your best.  

So Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard working, strong, badass mothers out there.  You are doing great.  And you deserve to be pampered, not just on mother’s day, but every day.  

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to pamper yourself a bit?  Contact me and let's schedule your boudoir session!

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Smart, Sporty & Sexy | NYC Valentine's Day Boudoir Photoshoot

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The email, phone & text correspondence leading up to Miss W's boudoir experience told me that we were going to have a fabulous time way before we even met.  She wanted to gift her husband a sexy valentine's day present and had a myriad of amazing wardrobe options she wanted to capture herself in.  

She was so excited, and attitude is EVERYTHING when it comes to making the absolute most of your shoot.   I knew well before meeting her that we were going to make some magic together.  We had our location booked, wardrobe selected aaaaannnnd... then a few days before our session she got the flu. UGH. 

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Fortunately we were able to reschedule her boudoir shoot for a few weeks later, but not in time for her album to arrive before V-Day.  So instead, we gifted him a little teaser on Valentine's Day and gave him the full album a few weeks later.  Miss K videoed him opening his gift, and trust me when I say his reaction was PRICELESS -- surprised, intrigued, delighted, not to mention in awe of his smokin' hot wife and her stealthy moves keeping the photoshoot a secret from him.  I love that I got to see that - it kept me smiling for days.  

This woman was so awesome, we had an absolute blast, and I'm obsessed with her final images. They show off her personality and her other... ahem... assets so well.  Here's what Miss W had to say about her photo session:

I was made to feel comfortable right away, like I was speaking to an old friend. You were honest and so helpful with the direction of the shoot and were so open to all the ideas that I had. I didn't feel shy and it was an amazing experience to see my ideas combined with your artful eye in the final photos. Even if you don't have a boyfriend or husband you should do this as it was such an amazing and empowering experience. I can't explain the excitement that I had between my reveal and when I finally was able to share my photos with my husband (obviously he loved them as well). I also was so happy to share his reaction with you as you were such an integral part in keeping this a special secret for him. This became something for my husband and something for me... a chance to encapsulate me now - a me that I am proud of (not to be mushy lol). The advice would give another woman is I let go and just relish the moment. 

My heart is bursting. What a sweetheart (not to mention a BABE!). She was lovely inside and out and it was an absolute honor to work with her to capture her femininity, her personality, and her badassness. Thank you, Miss W, for joining the Brooklyn Boudoir club. I adore you.  

xoxo, Stephanie

It's never too early to start planning for NEXT Valentine's Day ;)  Contact me to plan your shoot!

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Behind the Scenes of a Boudoir Party | Destination Boudoir Photographer

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I recently took a trip to New Orleans with a few of my closest girlfriends in celebration of our knowing each other for TWENTY (20!) years.  We met in college and are now spread all over the country -- LA, Chicago, Brooklyn New York (holla!), New Jersey, Florida, Boston & Virginia, AND we are all moms, so it's particularly rare & special when we are all able to get together. We hit up Bourbon Street, ate some incredible food, drank A LOT of excellent wine, went to a huge Mardi Gras ball and of course, I took the opportunity to photograph all of these beautiful women. 

Admittedly, not all of my friends were initially enthusiastic about having their own boudoir shoot.  I heard many of the same concerns/excuses I hear from some clients -- they wanted to lose a few pounds first, they didn't know how to be sexy,  they said they didn't photograph well ... but then just as with all the other women I've photographed, they shed their insecurities and self-doubts within the first few minutes of being in front of my lens and were THRILLED when they saw their images at the reveal (this was right before Valentine's Day so I dare say their partners were thrilled as well.)  

After the individual shoots, we took a few group shots together.  I'm absolutely in love with them. We are all nearly 40 (plus or minus a year), and while we're all different, we are all smart, fierce, fabulous and full of love. 

 SO. MUCH. FUN.

SO. MUCH. FUN.

Check out this fun behind the scenes video of our shoot.  Video by Ashley Glacel via Triller, music by Madonna.

See how much fun everyone is having?  Many women think a boudoir shoot is going to be an intimidating experience, but in reality it's very comfortable!  We laugh a lot and it is a really fun time for all involved.  These women have inspired me for years, so it was incredibly meaningful for me to give something back to them -- to capture them as they are now, help them realize their beauty, feel their sensuality, give their partner's a kick, and make them feel like they're 20 again...only better.  

Maybe we're rocking a few extra pounds between us, maybe we go to bed at the same time we used to head out for the night 20 years ago, maybe our smiles lines have deepened a bit, but we also have a hell of a lot more experience & wisdom behind our eyes, and THAT is something a 19 year old simply can not possess.  Collectively we are more confident, more comfortable with ourselves and I truly believe more beautiful than ever.  I'm proud of us, and feel so privileged to be part of this tribe.

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to celebrate with YOUR tribe?   Email me or contact me below about a boudoir party for you and your closest friends.

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Single This Valentine's Day? Celebrate YOU! | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography

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Women choose boudoir photography for all sorts of reasons. It’s certainly a popular gift for a significant other, but at Brooklyn Boudoir, I say, do it for your own.damn.self.  You will get beautiful images of yourself, yes, but it’s actually so much more than that.  It can be a meaningful way to mark a milestone birthday, a pregnancy, the arrival of a baby, or to celebrate a recent improvement to your life.  Most of all, it’s about celebrating and embracing your womanhood and capturing yourself exactly how you are at this very moment. Oh, and it’s also a hella lot of fun.  So this Valentine’s day, I urge all the single ladies out there to celebrate themselves with a boudoir portrait session. Need some convincing?  Here are a few reasons why you should consider a Brooklyn Boudoir photo shoot:

Celebrate Your Single Life
Valentine’s Day can be tough on single people, but it doesn’t have to be. Toss out the pre-conceived notions of what makes a good Valentine’s Day —you don’t need candy, flowers, or a fancy dinner to feel appreciated.  Why not celebrate being a strong, single woman and relish the terrific, rich life you have built for yourself?  Even better, gather your single women friends and book a group photography session!  I’m about to do this myself in New Orleans with a group of women I have known for 20 years.  Believe me, you’ll leave feeling like you can conquer the world, and you might just be the envy of your non-single friends. 

Banish Your Body Issues

Society has twisted the concept of beauty into something virtually unattainable, and our collective body image has paid a steep price. EVERYONE has insecurities, and we often spend too much time focusing on what we don’t like about our bodies. Instead, why not focus on what you love about yourself?  As a boudoir photographer, I sincerely see beauty in every woman -- that means YOU!  You are perfect just as you are. Not on a “skinny day,” not after you get in shape.   My hope is that by seeing yourself through my lens, you’ll be able to see yourself in a way you perhaps never have before, and that in itself is a reason to celebrate.

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You’ll Look & Feel Amazing

Who doesn’t love getting primped, and how often do we allow ourselves such a luxury in our busy lives?  Part of the fun of a Brooklyn Boudoir Experience is getting pampered by my amazing hair & makeup team, which offers a chance to unwind before the session and indulge in a real treat.  Prefer to do your own hair & makeup? TOTALLY FINE!  Don’t wear makeup, period?  I fully support you!  I want you to look like the best version of you, not to feel as if you are playing dress up in someone else’s eyelashes.  Makeup or not, the sudden surge of self-confidence you’ll feel after your session will make you want to go out and celebrate how amazing you look and feel.  

Embrace Your Inner Goddess

OK, “goddess” isn’t a word I often use, as overused as it is right now.  BUT hear me out.  A big part of boudoir photography is, of course, the sensual nature of it.  I am proud to be a sensual being and encourage all women to embrace and celebrate the sensual and yes - sexual - expression of themselves, however you choose to express that. If you don’t engage that aspect of your personality very often, it can be very powerful to remind yourself of it.  You might find that the photography session reignites a spark within you that you can carry with into many other aspects of your life. You think Beyonce looks at herself in the mirror and tells herself she is anything short of a goddess?  My bet is she doess’t, and neither should you. 

Do It Because It Scares You

We easily fall into certain habits in our daily life, completing the same tasks at work or wearing the same hairstyle or outfits. Comfort and routine can make us stale; it can kill productivity and imagination.  Sometimes it’s good to take a leap of faith, even if it terrifies you. We grow as people when we’re challenged, and that includes trying new things. That’s why it’s important to sometimes engage in something that makes you feel a little uncomfortable.   When you stretch yourself and try something new, you’ll find a new appreciation for life again. Imagine the terrific sense of self-confidence and empowerment you will gain from your boudoir session!  

It’s Fine Art
Under the care of the photographer’s trained eye, boudoir photography is much more than just sexy pictures. It’s a work of art, worthy of hanging in a gallery, and you play the starring role. Every grown woman should have a photo of herself looking her fiercest casually (or not so casually!) displayed in her home.  Plus, you have an amazing keepsake of your experience and a lifelong reminder of how beautiful you are, inside and out.

Ladies, boudoir is having a moment right now, and for good reason.  DO IT FOR YOU — and there is no better time than now.  Want to learn more?  Hit me up!  

xoxo, Stephanie

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Loving Yourself | New York Bridal Boudoir Photography

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On this second day of the new year… the day that we all have to get back to the “real” world, I’d like to share a little inspiration and practical advice regarding the most important and meaningful love of your life…

YOU.

Loving yourself can seem like a vague idea, indulgent or even unnecessary. But it’s vital. Putting self love into practice and creating habits that fill you up is key to a fulfilled life. Daily self love will make you a better human, mother, wife… a better you.  It’s like going to the gym. (I think. I don’t go to the gym, so I don’t really know.)

I’m fortunate enough to have photographed amazing women who have become friends – mothers, entrepreneurs, single ladies, working ladies… all loving, nurturing, evolved humans who value the art of self love.  Ms. M is one of them women who really captured my heart in 2017.  Smart & successful but also sensitive and emotional, I saw a lot of myself in her.  

Ms. M initially contacted me a few months before her wedding.  Yes, there would be the extra added benefit of gifting her groom a beautiful and personal gift, but she more importantly wanted to have a boudoir shoot to have fun and gain confidence while in the midst of the wedding-planning craziness.  As many of us know, the wedding industry can often do a number on women — setting unrealistic expectations of perfection and bringing a lot of stress to a time that should be nothing short of joyous. I mean — not many of us mere mortals look or dress like Megan Markle and — *news flash* — that’s ok!  Imagine how sad it would be to look back on yourself as a 90 year old and only then realzie how beautiful you were.  The thought breaks my heart.  Ms. M wanted to have a boudoir shoot to give herself a day off, have fun and remind herself that she is beautiful and sexy exactly as she is now, in this moment.  And THAT to me is the crux boudoir photography.  There is no need to wait for some arbitray goal - you are allowed to love yourself and appreciate yourself just as you are today, and every day!

We shot at the William Vale, one of my favirite Brooklyn hotels in Williamsburg, which overlooks the New York City skyline.  We wanted to capture Ms. M looking sexy, stylish & fun, and Ms. M really went for it.  She pushed herself outside of her comfort zone, and was game for anything I suggested.  It was a late summer day, the light was gorgeous and we captured Ms. M looking beautiful, bold, confidant, and sexy as hell.  

After her shoot, Ms. M said: 

Thank you again SO much for such an amazing experience. … I had fun and felt fabulous every step of the way and that was due in large part to your creativity, careful guidance, and boundless energy.  I really cannot say enough about what this whole experience has done for me and for my confidence going into my wedding/the rest of my life in general -- you are an absolute gift and I feel so lucky to have met you and had a chance to shoot with you!

What can I say, this was a total lovefest of a collaboration.  I really could have photographed her all day — luckily she had the stamina to shoot for almost 4 hours with me!  I think we both needed a massage the next day but it was so worth it!  We had a blast together and hearing I applaud Miss "S" for not only stepping out of her comfort zone, but for proudly sharing these lovely photos with the world to encourage other women to embrace the experience for THEMSELVES. 

I told Ms. M that I would happily photographer her again for he 1 year wedding anniversary and I am very much looking forward to that day!  

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to celebrate yourself in 2018?  Let's chat! 

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The Brooklyn Boudoir Philosophy | New York City Beauty + Boudoir Photographer

The Brooklyn Boudoir Philosophy | New York City Beauty + Boudoir Photographer

If you are thinking about booking a session, it’s important that you find a photographer who’s style you love and whose ethos you can relate to.  My boudoir philosophy can really be summed up with one quote by Dita Von Teese: "It's not about seducing men. It's about embracing womanhood."   Read on for a more in-depth discussion about Brooklyn Boudoir’s Philosophy…

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Romantic Bridal Boudoir | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography

Romantic Bridal Boudoir | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography

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This past Saturday was my TWENTIETH (20th!!) high school reunion.  Spoiler alert: everyone looked the same or better than they did in high school...

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This bride's gift to her soon-to-be groom is H O T ... 

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Buying lingerie, be it for your boudoir shoot, or for your everyday life, need not be stressful!  I'm sharing some tips on finding the right lingerie for you here.

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Boudoir Photography as a form of therapy?  Believe it.  

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Ms. C's growing bump | Brooklyn Maternity Boudoir Photographer

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Ms. C came to me to capture her beauty and growing bump in both her second and third trimesters.  Check out our maternity boudoir session just a few weeks before her baby boy was born. 

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Do it for your 80-year old you | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

Do it for your 80-year old you | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

Ms. M sought out a boudoir shoot for her 5 year wedding anniversary, and found so much more... 

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She Didn't Consider Herself Sexy | The Anonymous Ms. A | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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Ms. A considered herself more goofy than sexy... but based on these photos I respectfully disagree...

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Size Sexy | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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I am size *sexy* ... the absolutely lovely Miss J shows off her curves at Shio Studio in Brooklyn.  

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