Guest Post: Tips for Choosing Lingerie That Flatters

7.11.2014

Hi there! I have a guest post here from Heather McNiel. I figured since someone want to write here, I will let them! I have several posts cooking and not enough hours in the day. Enjoy!
MJ


I know (or at least hope) I’m not alone when I say that finding clothes that both fit right and flatter is a challenge sometimes. Pressures of American society to look a certain way aside, coming across a pair of jeans that fit my hips, legs, and tush (and make all that jazz look awesome at the same time) is hard. And when it comes to shopping for lingerie? Multiply the challenge by a hundred, because of the near-nakedness factor, of course.

I’ve always found that a second opinion comes in handy when shopping, but it’s not so easy to ask the woman in the fitting room next to yours at Victoria’s Secret what she thinks of the mesh teddy you’re trying on. But never fear. With these tips for choosing lingerie, you’ll be more than prepared to venture into that lace and satin jungle.




Know Your Size


Whether you’re getting ready for a boudoir photography session or just shopping for some new lingerie pieces, knowing your proper size is of utmost importance when it comes to undergarments. You’ll want to keep the girls supported and looking their perkiest, and getting professionally fitted for a bra is the way to do just that. Any lingerie store worth their salt (or in this case, underwire) will offer a free fitting and guide you to options that are perfect for your true size.


According to Fox News, as many as 80 to 85 percent of women are in the wrong bra for their body. Not only does an ill-fitting bra look bad (I’m looking at you, back bulge and cup gap), it can also have negative long-term effects on your breasts, back, and posture. Because underwire is the foundation of many pieces of lingerie—whether it’s in your everyday bra or a special occasion slip—make sure you start off right.




Flatter Your Shape


You may be a pear shape, or a little on the leaner side, hourglass, petite, muscular, plus-size—every figure is equally as sexy in the world of lingerie. To feel your most confident, focus on the parts of your body you want to show off and pick pieces that work for you rather than against. Love your small waist? Try a corset to make it look even tinier. Not crazy about your tummy? Opt for a babydoll chemise or slip that will draw attention to the neckline while camouflaging a fuller lower half.



Woman’s Day showcases a ton of flattering lingerie options for every body type and occasion, from essential pieces to racy numbers that will (hopefully!) never make it out of the bedroom. Just remember that no matter your shape or size, there are no set rules for what you should be wearing. Choose the pieces that make you feel good, sexy, comfortable, beautiful, and completely yourself.


Hit the Dressing Rooms


The only way to know if something is working for you is to try it on. Just like with dating, the first one isn’t guaranteed to be a keeper (but if so, you lucky girl, you!). So slip on as many options as you can manage when shopping. Though shampoo, purses, and late-night infomercial offerings are great to buy from the comfort of your very own home, lingerie is not. It’s important to brave the stores and bare it all if you want to find the most flattering pieces.


Maybe more important than how lingerie looks in the mirror is how it feels against your skin. Pay attention to the fabric of a piece—do you prefer the silky caress of satin or the light sensation of sheer chiffon grazing your skin? It’s tough feeling like the sex goddess you are when a scratchy sequined G-string is riding up your derriere or when you’re worried about how your tummy looks in that sheer nightie.


What's important here is that you're comfortable and confident, a notion that's backed by Adam and Eve in their take on lingerie: "When you wrap your body in the finest lingerie, you may discover a whole new level of confidence and sexual inspiration!" To that end, don't be afraid to dabble outside of your comfort zone when shopping for lingerie, because who knows what you may find yourself loving with an open mind.


Now that you’re armed and ready with these tips for choosing the perfect lingerie pieces, you can shop the racks with confidence knowing exactly which kind of sexy suits you.

Tip: Shoes for Boudoir session

5.08.2014

I might have a small shoe fetish. I can't wear them, but if no one is looking, I will caress them. I have like 6 pairs that I just like saying hi every now and then. I am an awkward high heal walker too. Like my grandma used to say: You walk like a chicken with thorns on your feet. A thorny chicken. It sounds as ridiculous in spanish.

Anyway. Since then I kinda know how to walk if I practice for a bit before I have to actually go anywhere, but in reality the occasions to wear them are very few and far apart. And I feel like a giant if I go out with hubby. So flats are my thing.



As a general tip, when you come to a boudoir shoot, it is nice to have a newish pair of shoes for the shoot. Your heels go all over the place in weird positions that I make you do, but you can see the heels in some shots.

HERE IS THE TOP SECRET TIP: 


"Buy a new pair and return the pair the next week." You really are not walking anywhere except from one corner to the bed.

A suggested this to a client that wears flats and has the one pair of very used high heals, you know, thinking she is getting a $60 dollar pair at winners or something. She came in with a freaking pair of $1,200 Louboutins. OH NO SHE DIDN'T, YES she did!

She is my hero now. I am making room on my credit card so I can do that. To at least feel what a nice pair of shoes feel like. Apparently this is done a lot for styling photo shoots and movies. The trick is to use the non-stick painters tape if you are going to practice your walking. If you are just lying down for photos then you do not have to worry about it.

There is something sexy about that darn red sole...








It might be the proximity to the butt as well. :) 
It's funny I started looking in the archives and apparently I have shot a lot of Louboutins. Even those pink ones. Pink and red look good together without looking like roger rabbit. Who knew!

Oh and if your credit card doesn't have the room for a pair like this like me, just paint a newish pair.

Old jar of red nail polish here I come.










How to choose your boudoir photos... part of the FAQ's

1.29.2014

So! I don't know why I didn't write a blog post before about this, since I practically have written novels on how to choose your images on clients' emails.

I usually have 3 types of clients:

A - the one who loves photos of herself  - knows angles and how to pose - I hardly have to direct her.
B - the one who loves only 10% of the photos of herself - kinda stiff at the beginning but gets the hang of it.
C - the one that just wants pics and is not picky - mostly relaxed, but still have to work to bring the sexy out
D - hates the camera

I think most of us are a under the B category.  Some days even D. Sure we have our non- awkward moments and those you pray that no one uploads and tags you in. Like the image bellow. Totally me.



Here is the thing, you are trusting me to narrow down the pictures I take and not show you the not- so flattering ones. And it helps that you have your hair did, your make up is expertly applied (ahem) and you are working those peepers with those fake eyelashes that are awesome. See example bellow: From smokey eye, to cat eye to a "natural" look.




AND THE STUFF THAT NO OTHER BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER WILL TELL YOU:

You get the unedited 50ish to choose from. You are going to LOVE about 3 - where I caught you just right. You will like and see the potential of another 5 or 10 (depending on the package). Then! here is the tricky part you have to choose some with a guys perspective in mind. Yes that one with the butt- or the boob- or your finger in the mouth.  Those ones.

So no matter how picky or how much you do not like your picture taken- someone is waiting to see those pictures and you have to choose those too.

AND THEN THERE IS THE PHOTOSHOP CONTROVERSY:

Extreme photoshop :(
For me, is a case of "hell, remove that cellulite and those stray hairs and that extra roll on top of the underwear". I know about all that self respect, that airbrushing just perpetuates an impossible standard of beauty and all that jazz. Which I agree with 100%. The airbrushing goes sometimes too far. Like this sample of Jennifer it's just ridiculous. The angle of this pose would make a twig look chunky. I worry more about how flattering the pose is than trying to edit it later.

I have a light hand. It will still look like you but no extra stuff. The lighting helps, the pose and the lens, I am just going over little things. My philosophy is that guys don't really pay that much attention to all the bumps, lumps and marks we care about. They are just happy to see you naked. I don't think they even know what thigh gap is. So this "enhanced" version of you is just how they see you and how you should feel about your self.
We women are often too hard on ourselves, dissecting every little flaw, but I say we should not aim for the photoshop skinny, we should just aim to be healthy.

So there! Let's celebrate nakedness and bodies of all shapes, and the clone tool that deletes stress pimples. Because nobody wants to see those immortalized.









Studio set up for portraits and family shoots

11.11.2013

With my latest set up I am able to welcome families and folks who do not need boudoir pictures and still take advantage of a natural light space with several options.

It's great for small family shoots or for people that don't have a space to do a session at home, plus if you are getting your make up done as well, I have everything I need.


For boudoir it looks like this: http://marlenjames.com/tips.html

And here is a sample of a maternity shoot I had the pleasure to shoot for a returning client with her husband and her furry baby.
:)
MJ

Make up tips for family pictures

10.25.2013

Hi! I am on a roll, I made this as a quick reference guide for your next family pictures. We are going for natural day time make up with emphasis on eyes and a bit of colour on cheeks :)
And brave person that I am posting my mug everywhere, I took the pics and didn't retouch them.  But wanted to show you what a little make up does, even if you have a bit of age spots freckles.

The main trick here is to use a little bit and blend! Even when you feel you are a bit too rosy, the photos tend to wash you out. You want to look like you just ran a block to get the bus (the only running I ever do)

And here it is so it can go viral on pinterest. wink wink.
yeah that is a wonder woman mirror :)



Wedding season

7.22.2013

I am not sure how this happened - since I really don't advertise for weddings. There are waaaaaay too many wedding photographers out there, just google Wedding photographer Toronto and you get close to 2,400,000 results. HA!  I tried finding my site through that and after page 30 I gave up. who has the time to compete with that. I ain't paying those bleep SEO people a penny, ever, I refuse- stop calling me. I focus on boudoir really so a lot of my non-boudoir clients stumble upon my other work, weddings and family by pure luck. Which I don't mind.

Thanks for the couples that trusted me to be part of their day!
I have to update my wedding gallery that is for sure.
In the meantime here is one and a reason why I haven't posted in a while, besides the boudoir and baby Lily that is keeping me busy.

Karina and David







To view more highlight samples click here
Group portraits: Queen St. and Augusta Ave. (graffiti alley)
Couple portraits: Lakeshore and Kipling area park
Reception: Mississauga Grand Banquet Hall 



Tips for your family pictures at the beaches or park

5.29.2013



With Lily and Ander around, and almost being nice outside, it comes naturally to go back to do a lot more family pictures. For the beaches area or Woodbine park ( in Toronto ) there is no travel fee! so have a nice day at the beach and book your session.
Do not worry though, I still do sexy shots, but when you hire me you have the advantage that I am looking out for you and making you look good. It's not just about the kids. All though they are cute.


My bat babies - indoor shoot since it was crappy out

STYLE: We are going for casual dressy - or depending on the season to match.

1- Just bring your individual taste to the picture. A good rule is parents neutral and kids can go crazy. Avoid the typical jeans and the exact same white t-shirt. A nice one is for boys to wear jeans and girls dresses. 
2- DO NOT WEAR BUSY PATTERNS. I can date a picture from a pattern. Keep it simple. Also avoid big trendy logos on boys shirts. Except batman. ( I love batman- or any super hero motif for that matter ). Boys look with with a shirt with a collar, even if its a golf shirt.
3- Wear something that you've tried and tested. I has to be comfortable, it has to fit, it has to boost your confidence. It shows in the picture.
4- Makeup. For this one put on some mascara, blush and lip tint as a minimum. Foundation and eyeliner are a bonus. Lips stains are the way to go to have a natural reddish pout that lasts through the shoot. 
For guys: brush your eyebrows, if you have dark eyes circles you can even wear a dab on concealer. Be careful when you shave to avoid nicks and do wear lip balm for a smooth pout. 
5- Hair. Natural is best, hats... only if you really want to and you wear it every day. Style your hair the day before, it looks more natural and less done. Spray fly aways.
6- Shoes- slip on shoes so we can go in the sand. Heels for mom look great but have a extra pair of flats so we can walk around grassy areas without sinking

EXTRAS
- A baby or picnic blanket to avoid grass stains and sand travelling other places.
- A favourite toy for me to hold to keep baby/kids attention.


LOCATION

- Your home is easier for the smaller members of your family. Clear a room of toys and  that is it! We will venture outside if weather permitting.
- The beaches! Where I mostly shoot. it has everything, a park area, a dock area with water and the sandy beach.

TIME


Best time to shoot outside is before 10 am or before sunset ( spring and summer around 6:30 - 7 pm )
Indoor shoots - around your babies nap time - babies have a good mood window - usually mornings.

POSING


We are aiming for natural and casual but have some things in consideration.
Keep it touchy-feely, look into each other, tickle - play and interact. 
For group shots inspiration: http://pinterest.com/marlenjames/group-family-poses/ will keep posting!
Toddlers are specially tricky and buzzfeed agrees: http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/reasons-kids-are-pretty-much-just-tiny-drunk-adults. It makes me giggle. The thing is to keep them occupied, that's where the park comes in handy. And the action shots are sometimes my favourites.

FACE
Keep your face expressions happy but not too exaggerated. Watch out for the double chin ( I do that a lot) and the wrinkly forehead - don't worry I will remind you with a: neck up or smooth the forehead.

PINTEREST!
feel free to share with me your inspiration boards! 

And the most important one smile! smile tons! 







MJ
Update: I created this infographic with this information for easy reference. And it looks cool :P


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