(I collaborated with Pink Parasol Photography for this post. I did pay for my photo session and hair and makeup, which was 100% worth it. However, additional photos were provided for this review and future posts.)
We’re all beautiful. And I believe that as moms we should all be photographed as much as we photograph others.
Despite this though, I’ve never liked getting my photos taken. I feel like there are just too many bad angles that I don’t want captured for the world to see. Especially as a busy, tired mom with so many other things to focus on than myself…like making sure my kids are healthy and staying out of trouble, helping them get their homework done or signing them up for summer activities to prevent brain drain, cleaning and taking care of an aging house, starting to take care of aging parents, keeping up with tasks at work, etc. etc. etc.
It doesn’t leave a lot of time for dolling myself up every day, eating right all the time, or indulging in sleep (yes, sleep is an indulgence, right? Ha…).
I know I look fine most of the time, but honestly, I’ve never really invested a lot of time learning hair and makeup. I’ve figured out most of it on my own and think I do an ok job, but have always focused on using products that are simple and easy. Gotta save time and money as a frugal mom, right?
So the few times I or my family have had photo shoots, I had no idea what to expect or how to prepare, so I pretty much did my own hair and makeup. The photos turned out ok, but they were nothing life-changing. Until I met Nell from Pink Parasol Photography.
Nell is a mom of 4 here in the Twin Cities. She and I connected a few years ago via another business I was involved with at the time, but then we reconnected earlier this year. As we chatted, we discovered we were related! A distant relation, but still a cool connection. The way she talked about how she does photos really appealed to me. She talked about moms and how we are always behind the camera, but rarely in front of it, and how she feels we should be photographed more. And then I learned something about her photography business that stood out for me – her sessions include professional hair and makeup.
Nell includes this because it makes such a big difference. When you look your best, you will feel your best, and that’s what really shows in photos.
I’ve never known of a photographer that includes hair and makeup – well, except boudoir photography (and yes, I’ve done that – but that’s a whole other type of hair and makeup!). But looking back at all the photo sessions I’ve had done, with my feeble attempts at making myself look photo-worthy, what a huge difference this would have made!
My Photo Session
I was super excited about this, as I’ve been planning some updates to my site and wanted some new professional photos of myself, so Nell and I planned a photo session for me with hair and makeup. It was scheduled for a Saturday morning in her studio in Minneapolis, which is located in the Architectural Antiques building, an old, brick building that used to be a warehouse, complete with the space for an old elevator shaft right inside her studio.
Her studio was big and bright, with natural lighting from the large windows, hardwood floors, and classic couches and chairs for elegant poses. She also provided water and snacks which I did enjoy during the session.
Hair and Makeup
And her makeup artist, Teanna, was all ready for me with her hair and makeup tools.
As Nell had instructed me, I had come with a few outfits, a bare face, and plain hair, ready to be transformed.
Honestly, I arrived with no expectations. I was actually nervous, because I was afraid I wouldn’t like the outcome. What if I didn’t look like myself? But I went in with an open mind.
Teanna was wonderful. She got right to work like a sculptor, fully knowing the outcome even though she had just met me. Even though she didn’t seem to need to know, I told her some of the things I usually do and showed her and Nell some pictures I had of myself that I liked.
Teanna started with my hair, then used some makeup products on my face that I’d never used before. She used an airbrush makeup that she sprayed on my face (which was weird) and then did some contouring (something I had never tried before). As she worked, she gave me tips about what colors would look best on me because of things like my eye color.
Getting some eyelashes! These I know really help the eyes pop in pictures.
I had no idea what I looked like yet but was curious.
After about 45 minutes, I was told to look in the mirror. One look and I was stunned. I couldn’t believe how amazing it turned out – I even thought I looked like Taylor Swift! (Well, at least an older blonde with Taylor Swift’s makeup team!)
Seriously – I was so impressed with how “I” turned out. I still looked like myself, but now had confidence for my session like never before.
The finished “me” posing proudly with Teanna!
The Photo Shoot
Now it was time for the photo shoot! Nell tried a variety of poses with me standing, leaning against the wall, sitting, looking straight ahead, looking down, etc. Posing can be tiring – I don’t know how models can do it, because you hold weird poses that do not feel natural, but somehow look natural.
Nell knew how to get my best angles and in a variety of ways.
I had brought some different dresses but then I saw her studio wardrobe. Wow – she had some stunning options. She suggested using some her own dresses as she had a few that she felt would look really good on me.
Her studio wardrobe has many dresses and gowns for all ages and sizes, and can be clipped to fit if needed.
Nell suggested an emerald dress from her studio wardrobe that I wouldn’t have thought to choose, but I actually loved it and want to get one of my own!
For this and other photos she took, we actually went down the hall of the building to the stairs which had some good lighting.
Nell also used a black and gray background prop for some photos. Here I was wearing a black dress from Nell’s studio wardrobe.
This one is my favorite.
After the Session
After the photo shoot, Nell and I met within the next week to look at the photos on her computer. She had taken a lot so she narrowed them down to the best ones, which were still a lot of photos. I had a hard time narrowing down to less than 10, but once I did, she edited them (removing stray hairs, smoothing my complexion, adjusting lighting, etc.) and sent them to me.
My Overall Thoughts
After this experience, I will never do a photo session differently. This was really the ultimate photo session experience for me. I have never been happier with photos of me, and recommend that others have the same experience. I really recommend this for all moms or anyone who wants a professional photo experience that brings out the best in them. Of course, we’re all beautiful with or without makeup, but this is an experience that really boosted my confidence in myself. I really saw myself differently afterward because of both Teanna and Nell. They work great as a team, and they really know how to make someone look their absolute best.
I also learned some hair and makeup tricks – like how to curl my hair better and how to use makeup to better improve my features. I even bought some of the makeup that Teanna used that very night, and am happier with the results already!
Cost (& A Special Promotion)
The photo session I had with Pink Parasol Photography was her “Modern Headshots” session which is $500, and the hair and makeup was a separate fee of $175.
There are other packages as well, like a Family Portrait Session and a Modern Glamour session, which are $375 (products are additional). Note that she does photo sessions for both women and men, as well as families. (I really like how she does multiple generation photos.) And you get 2 photos with your session – additional products are extra.
I’m excited to partner with Pink Parasol Photography to share a special offer! Save $100 on your portrait order with the certificate below! Just mention it when booking.
Tips for Preparing for Your Photo Session with Pink Parasol
- When deciding which outfits to bring to your session, think elegant. I thought too casual, and perhaps should have bought some elegant dresses (if you’re on a budget, you can get elegant clothing at thrift and consignment stores). Thankfully Nell has a studio wardrobe with a great variety to choose from.
- Remember to bring accessories like shoes and jewelry. I wish I had brought more than I did.
- Definitely include the professional hair and makeup option (it is optional but I highly recommend it).
- Go without makeup or your hair done and trust Nell’s makeup artist (she uses a few different ones but they’re all amazing).
- Allow several hours for your entire experience, including preparation and outfit changes.
- Plan a big night out after your session! You’ll look gorgeous and will want to show it off to the world! I went to a couple of places but wish I had made bigger plans.
Follow Me and Pink Parasol Photography
I’ll actually be sharing more photos from my photo session in the next year with more tips and ideas for your own photo session, so stay tuned for those. But in the meantime, be sure to follow Pink Parasol Photography for examples of other photo sessions she’s done to help inspire you!
Pink Parasol Photography’s website:
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