best grooms gift

The Best Gift to Give Yourself | Bridal Boudoir Session | New York City Photographer

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There’s one phrase you will hear me say all the time, in life, on social media and in this blog: do it for you. While a boudoir shoot makes a great gift for a loved one, it ultimately is really the best gift you can give yourself. Still, I think it’s tough for many women to come to terms with that idea, and feel they need a reason to have a boudoir shoot. Personally, I think just being a woman and loving yourself is reason enough for a shoot, but I am biased ;) It’s hard for us to justify spending money on ourselves. It’s hard to play hooky from life for a few hours and indulge in some self-care. We’re busy after all, and if you’re like me, you are always putting the needs of your loved ones in front of your own.

So it makes sense that most women look for a reason to come to be for their boudoir session. If you do want a reason for a boudoir shoot, there are several popular ones: a milestone birthday, a physical goal that’s been met, a new pregnancy, and of course, a unique and special grooms gift to gift your finance before you get married.

Ms. J came to me for this reason… at first. She was getting married in a few months and was looking for a special gift for her future groom. She has a sparkling personality and was so game to have fun and try new things. We had an incredible suite in Willimasburg that overlooked the New York City Skyline and just had the most fun afternoon taking advantage of it (hello that TUB!) We even incorporated one her fiancee’s shirts into our shoot which had been a private joke between them over the years. It was all very personal, and made for a modern twist on your traditional bridal boudoir (no veil required!)

He of course, loved the album. But the best part of meeting Ms. J was watching her come out of her shell as she discovered (as most everyone does over the course of their photoshoot) that it’s really all about YOU. Gift giving truly is, the icing on the cake.

In her own words, Ms. J said:

I went into this experience thinking this was a gift for my future husband and it ended up being the best gift I could have given myself. This was so much more than a photography session, but a way of making any woman feel so much sexier in her own skin. I was worried and self conscious about being so exposed, but Stephanie made me feel so comfortable and so empowered and it showed through the photos. Stephanie is extraordinary at what she does and has a true talent for capturing the natural beauty of a woman. I would do this 100 times over to feel as good as I did walking out of our shoot and can't wait to do it again! Thank you for giving me what I deem one of the best experiences of my 20s!

It just makes my heart sing when I hear a woman say these things. Because my relationship, ultimately, is with the woman in front of my lens. Of course, I want her future husband/wife/partner to enjoy the photos, but what I really want is for the woman I’m photographing to LOVE her images and feel absolutely amazing about them. I want her to feel like she can take on the world after her shoot, feel powerful & sexy gifting her images, and look back on her album or wall art every time she needs to be reminded how badass and beautiful she is. There is no gift better than that.

So yes, gift your boudoir images… just don’t forget YOURSELF when you are writing out your gift-list. Because loving yourself is the best gift you give yourself.

xoxo, Stephanie

Want to gift yourself something fabulous? Contact me and let’s chat!

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A Busy New York Woman's First Anniversary Gift | Client Testimonial | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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I often get asked if the women on the Brooklyn Boudoir instagram and blog are “real” women. Um, we are ALL “real” women, aren’t we?? But I know what they mean: the women LOOK like models, but in fact are lawyers, entrapeneaurs, business women, other photographers, moms, and in the case of Ms. D., surgeons.

Ms. D. was about to celebrate her one-year wedding anniversary and was looking for the perfect gift. The traditional gift for a 1-year anniversary is paper, so a boudoir album is an amazing and personal option. But, given her crazy on-call schedule, it was really difficult for us to find a time that worked for both of us AND would turn around her album in time for her anniversary.

So, as we women do, we made it work and Ms. D. came to me after she was on call overnight. That’s right - she had spent the night at the hospital, performing heart surgery of all things (!!) and came to me in her scrubs on about 2 hours of sleep directly afterwards. Not ideal when you want to feel sexy. Or… is it?

Before you even see a single photo, it's the EXPERIENCE that you need and deserve as a woman. The more women I meet, the more I believe that however we spend our days, we are ALL professional jugglers. Whether you are a stay-at-home-mom, a work-from home-mom, a work-out-of-the-home-mom, or a busy working woman, we are women and New Yorkers, so I can guarantee that you are juggling TONS.

It's also a safe bet that often times, of all the things you juggle, taking care to make sure that YOU are taken care of isn't one of those priorities. There just simply isn't that much time, I get it. 

As many articles as we read about making ourselves a priority so that the loved ones in our lives reap the benefits, it's downright HARD to find an hour a day to work out, it's hard to schedule a monthly girl's night with a bunch of busy women, it's hard to take 10 minutes out of your morning to stretch, it's hard to not feel guilty booking a 3 hour boudoir photo shoot experience when you know you've got others to take care of. 

But I can promise you, it's worth it. ALL OF THOSE THINGS: worth it.  Do I struggle with doing them, too? HELL.YES. But when I do, my family notices. *I* notice. I'm more productive. I'm happier. I've got a pep in my step. 

So, as we women do, Ms. D. came to me super tired and yet MADE IT WORK. She had an amazing attitude and we captured some incredible images together. Needeless to say, she needed this experience, and LOVED her images. Needless to say, her new husband did too, and I was just happy I could treat Ms. D. to some “Me time” and be a small part of their anniversary celebration.

Ms. D. Said:

Stephanie was phenomenal! She made me feel so comfortable and confident! This is the best investment you can make for yourself! Do not think about it..... just do it! I would recommend her to everyone!!!!! I can’t thank you enough for such and amazing experience.

THANK YOU, Ms. D., for bringing your A-game to our shoot — until the next time!!

xoxo, Stephanie

Have a first anniversary coming up but not sure you have time for a photoshoot? Contact me and let’s make it work!

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When to gift your bridal boudoir photos to you fiancé | New York City Bridal Trends

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Bridal Boudoir has been a growing trend over the past few years.  Nearly all my brides ask the same question: WHEN should I give these photos to my groom?  This isn't always easy for me to answer since it's such a personal decision - there is no right or wrong time!  But here are four perfect times to give your fiancé your bridal boudoir photos!

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  1. The night before!
    Often times the day of the wedding is filled with family, photographers, nerves… it can be a lot. The night before on the other hand offers a way to keep things extra private and to make your groom that much more excited for the big day! Also a good option so you don't have to pack it in your Mary Poppin's style wedding bag.

  2. The morning of!
    Hand it off to your MOH to deliver, but don't forget that there may be more eyes on it than you'd like. You can get around this by sending it over early before the festivities of the day begin. On the other hand, it can be SUPER fun to have your wedding photographer snap a few photos of him opening his gift - you can guarantee his reaction will be priceless! As soon as he realizes what it is, he’s sure to keep it discreet, but juuuuust in case this option is best if you’re not shy. On the other hand, you'll be hot AF and off the market so if anyone accidentally sees, who cares… but that’s just my take on it ;) If you don't want to gift them all the morning of, you could include a single 5x7 print in a card to let them know there's more to come at the end of the night. A fun surprise and something they'll look forward to all day!

  3. The wedding night!
    Give them on the wedding night. You could even drop a hint mid-wedding day to keep them guessing. This way, you know your photos are safe and sound and for their eyes only, and you can have fun looking through the album together. The downside of this option is that you’ll both likely be so tired (and probably a little tipsy) that night that it’s easy to loose steam.

  4. The honeymoon!
    If you're really patient, you could gift them during the honey moon. A perfect time for such a gift, since you’ll be relaxed and in a romantic zone. I'd personally be super antsy to share to wait that long… The other downside of course is packing it for your trip and risking it getting damaged or lost.

  5. Your one year anniversary!

    Don’t forget that it normally takes 6-8 weeks to turn an album around. Didn’t plan ahead? No worries — the traditional one year anniversary gift is paper, so an album makes the perfect first anniversary gift. You can even bring back your veil or a special piece of wedding night lingerie for nostalgia’s sake, and to get more use out of your wedding day wardrobe!

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Whenever you decide to gift your boudoir album, you can’t go wrong, just be sure to plan ahead to keep the wedding day as stress free as possible!

xoxo, Stephanie

Getting married later this summer or fall? Now’s the time to get booked!

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