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Photography by Alyssa Michelle » Blog

Who is Killian? | Orange County Boudoir Photographer

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Killian is my biggest support system, my rock, my coffee maker, my tear wiper, my tight hugger, and my one and only love.

Our story is definitely one for the books!

I’ll start with the fact that I used to be the basic white girl with a Java Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks in my right hand every day walking into work. I have always been a very outgoing and friendly person, especially to the fabulous employees of Starbucks. They get so much crap day in and day out from people who are angry, in a hurry and unappreciative. I always went through the drive-thru on Lake Forest & Dimension, and I knew a lot of the employees there by now, and they knew me… I know, it’s embarrassing.

So on December 5th, 2013 my dad asked me to take him to Starbucks at 8:00 at night, something that I never do. I said yeah of course and we drove around the corner to the Starbucks. Killian was working, he took our order at the speaker box, and when I pulled up to the window, Kill was there with a huge smile on his face. I sat there panicking.

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I’ve seen him before… WHAT THE HECK IS HIS NAME?!

Have you ever seen someone, and thought “I should know his name, what the heck was it?!” Yep. I thought very quickly for an answer to this problem, and BAM! I figured out a better alternative.
“Hey, we should be friends on Facebook! What’s your Facebook name?!”

(YES! I’M A GENIUS.)

He responds with “Oh my gosh, that would be awesome! It’s Killian Tynan”
Then I pondered. Well, I never knew his name. HAHA! Killian wasn’t familiar to me at all, at least I didn’t make a fool of myself!

We Facebook messaged all night, and then he messaged me with “I had no idea you were a photographer, I’m an artist, and I’m always looking for other creative mediums! I would love to learn photography… would you teach me?”

I thought to myself that I do need to get out more, and make friends, so I said what the heck, and we made plans to hang out the very next day!resizedkillian-10

 

We went down to San Juan Capistrano and I taught him camera settings, exposure, aperture, etc!

As the day went on, I started liking him more and more. He was hilarious, spunky, very smart, and witty. He was different. He cared about the world, he saw it with a new perspective. He was a deep thinker, a believer and a romantic. We hung out ALL NIGHT. I didn’t get home until around 5am the next morning, and all we did was drive around, went to top of the world, watched the stars, talked about life, and about ourselves. I fell for him pretty hard that very night.

The rest is history, he kissed me for the first time three days later, and asked me to be his girlfriend on Christmas Eve. I love you so much Killian. <3

 

berbs

 

 

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Angela - Aw, this post is so cute. I’d like to read more posts like this one.

Tory Grinner - You guys are very inspiring I’m so happy that you guys have found each other an have such a fun love story . Everyone an anyone who hasn’t found that one hey u may never know he might just be at Starbucks waiting to take your order lol .. Although I found my love of my life 3 years ago still seems like it was yesterday an that’s what I love the most !

Thank you for sharing who killian is with us in your blog an how you guys became

“You can only be sexy if you are a size two and under” | Orange County Boudoir Photographer

You can only be sexy if you’re a size two and under.

Or this is what society wants us to believe.

You are your own worst critic. We spend so much time picking out all our imperfections and striving to enhance the natural beauty that each and every one of us already possess.

We are too flat chested, not curvy enough, we have too many curves, we don’t have perfect skin, we aren’t tall enough, our hair is too curly, our face is too round… Stop right there.

When did being different become negative rather than unique?

I for one would think this world would be a very boring place if we all looked the same.

Sure, some of us are skinny, and some of us have bigger boobs…

But only YOU can define what your own standards of beauty are.

So take another look in the mirror and try and see past the imperfections and realize that these imperfections are what make you, you. And you are beautiful!

Just remember, sexy is what ever you want it to be!

And sexy should never be defined by a size.

 

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Lauren - Love this blog!!

julia - Thank you Alyssa for these incredible shots of all very sexy women. I too am on a quest to break the barriers of how we define beauty and to show every woman that her inner sexy truly lies within herself. I style boudoir shoots and do it so that I can remind my fellow ladies around me that they should look beyond the magazines and the celebrities and define their own beauty which often is in so much more than appearance. Your work is beautiful.. Thank you for what you do and what you represent.

Warmest regards,
Julia D. Whitley

My journey | Orange County Boudoir Photographer | California

I was not a popular teenager. I was not the smartest kid in school, I was not the most confident person in the world. I struggled throughout high school with my grades, not because I wasn’t competent, but because I didn’t care. I didn’t know what I wanted out of life, I had no idea what my path was to follow.

What I did know is that I wanted to help people. I finally set my path up to be a psychiatrist, why not? I was good at giving a lending hand, and talking. I helped some kids in high school see the light when they were stuck in a very deep depression. One of which tried to commit suicide, and then I stepped in. I became his friend, and we were inseparable buddies. Although I had a high school boyfriend, I also had a best friend that was a boy. Nobody seemed to mind. We were always together. I think that’s all he really needed, was someone to pay attention to him.

I never took any photography classes in high school, and I was convinced on the psychiatrist career path. I had taken a few classes, and loved it.

It wasn’t until senior year of high school that I was exposed to photography. I had a few girlfriends that I hung out with regularly at school and after school. My best friend and I were hanging out at her house one day and her oldest sister asked us to pose for some fashion shots for her college class assignment. We dressed up in the outfits she gave us, I resembled that of a pirate, and my best friend was an Egyptian goddess.

We went around the corner of the house and started just having fun and shooting some pictures. Once the shoot was over, we went back to the house and started going through the photographs one by one. We laughed… so hard that we almost peed our pants, we had NO idea how to model, and that was very clear!

 

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But when my best friend’s older sister came by this one photo, a portrait non the less, of myself, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe that was me! I looked incredible, my eyes were sultry, I had my hair and make up done perfectly (for the time, heavy undereye liner was huge back then…) and I felt like a million bucks!

What did I do next? I went out the next day and bought my first camera.

I thought the horrible and dreadful common misconception of “Wow! her camera is so amazing, and takes great pictures!” *cringe* I quickly realized it was not the camera, but rather the person behind it creating such amazing art.

I practiced and practiced. I asked friends to pose for me, I taught myself all of the settings, and different features of my camera. I was pretty dedicated. My school work started suffering even more, and then, I just started skipping school all together.

I received my first car as a gift from my parents at 17, so when I was learning about this whole new world I discovered in the form of photography, I “went to school” or so my parents thought, but instead, I drove around taking photographs of beautiful things.

I eventually accumulated 30 days in a row of missed school. I was in huge trouble. Thank god my principle loved me, he called me “Smiley”. With only one month until graduation, he gave me an ultimatum. Come to school every day for the remainder of the year, do EVERY SINGLE homework assignment, and he will let me graduate with the lowest GPA that’s considered “passing”.

I was very grateful, and I did what he asked of me. I graduated. YAY!

After high school, I took a few psychology classes, here and there, and continued with photography.

I had no idea that one day it would turn into more that just a hobby!

When people started asking me what I charged to photograph them, I thought to myself “well this is a cool way to make some cash on the side”

So I started charging. I quickly realized I hated photographing families and babies. Never again.

So I stuck with what I knew and loved, fashion. I went to F.I.D.M for 6 months during this time (bye psychology!) studying Product Development.

I dropped out of F.I.D.M and just photographed fashion shoots along with working at my part time retail job. My job paid for my camera equipment.

When I started working for my mother at the sports bar that she owns, I was making MUCH more money, so I upgraded, and upgraded, and spoiled myself rotten with all this new equipment and goodies.

I finally transitioned into weddings, and engagements, which I loved for a little while. I realized after 3 years of photographing weddings, that I really actually hate them.

People just don’t realize how much hard work it is to photograph a wedding. We put our all into our clients weddings, long before the day of the wedding, during the wedding, and 40+ hours of editing after the wedding. We get paid close to nothing for weddings, even $5000 is not worth it to us, because most of that goes to taxes, editing time, emails, equipment etc.

So the last year and a half I decided that the photography I enjoy most is boudoir, and to help women see their true beauty. So I created my brand, my website, my style, and Photography by Alyssa Michelle was truly born.

I never imagined that my career would be something in the creative field, but I did know that I always wanted to help people. This is the most rewarding career I could have asked for. To see a woman see her photographs and cry because she’s never felt so beautiful in her life… That’s why I do what I do.

 

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XOXO

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Melissa - Hi Alyssa,
I recently found you on periscope and have begun to follow and get to know you. I just wanted to quickly thank you for being you & so inspirational xoxox
Love,
Mel.

The inside scoop | What it’s like being Alyssa Michelle’s intern!

The inside scoop!

 

Hey everyone! My name is Alyssa Lauren!! I know what you’re all thinking, how in the world did Alyssa Michelle find such an amazing intern with the same name as her? I ask myself that same question every day!

 

I first met Alyssa Michelle at California Pizza Kitchen where I used to be a server. I felt compelled to go up to her and ask if it was really her, and sure enough it was! I was so excited to finally meet her in person and tell her how much I loved her work, since I had been stalking her on Instagram. After that she invited me to her first Boudoir Meet & Greet at her studio and we instantly connected. A few short weeks later, she asked if I would like the opportunity to be her personal intern, and I was overwhelmed with excitement. I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to learn all about the in’s and out’s of photography from such an amazing photographer!!!!!

 

Ever since then, we have been working together as a team. She has already taught me so much over these past few months and I feel like I’m learning more each and every time we meet. She is an amazing mentor who is so passionate about the work she does, and boy does her passion radiate and spread contagiously!

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One of my favorite things about Alyssa is how much she cares about each and every one of her client’s on an individual and personal level. She is always so eager to learn about who they are and why they want to have their very own boudoir session with her. Alyssa doesn’t just send out generic emails, she actually takes the time to sit down, read each client’s unique story, and then respond. It’s so disheartening sometimes when you reach out to a photographer and receive a pre-constructed email that you know everyone hears; you don’t feel a personal connection being made. Alyssa Michelle is so opposite of that I can’t even begin to tell you. So many of her clients even reach out to her after their sessions just to chat or meet up for coffee because they loved the entire process and experience!!!

 

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Alyssa is also one of the most happy and goofy people I know!! Talk about the best combination for a boudoir photographer! Take it from someone who has had boudoir photos taken before. It is so important to have a photographer who knows how to make you feel comfortable, especially when you are getting down into your skivvies!! There’s nothing worse then having a quite, awkward, and all-business-type photographer trying to get you into sexy and sensual poses; it’s a recipe for an all around uncomfortable experience! Alyssa actually gets into poses with you… and so do I! You have complete guidance and direction throughout your entire shoot! Not to mention she is constantly letting you know how you are doing and how beautiful you look! I can literally see a client’s confidence build from the moment they walk in to the time they leave. Who wouldn’t want that?! Many laughs and smiles are shared from beginning to end, and after about five minutes into the shoot, all the client’s fears and insecurities seem to just disappear. It’s like magic! It’s amazing to watch her in action. I can only hope and aspire to someday be half the photographer Alyssa Michelle is!

 

I can’t wait to continue my journey as a beginning photographer and grow immensely with one of the best photographers in Orange County! Alyssa Michelle is definitely a unique individual and I wouldn’t ask to be learning from anyone else!

 

Hope you all enjoyed my little story!

 

As Always,

Alyssa Lauren

 

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It’s all in the details | Orange County Boudoir Photographer

I’m not very good at writing, or blogging. In fact, I’m so awkward that I truly don’t know how to start this blog post.

But what I do know is that, I love boudoir.

 

Boudoir is a beautiful form of expression in a woman, and sometime she doesn’t even know she has the ability to express herself in such a vulnerable state. Women take a lot of time perfecting details, their hair, their nails, their make up, shaving, keeping up on plucking their eyebrows etc. We work hard to look our best. This is why I love photographing women, we are so meticulous in the little things, and that’s why it’s all in the details with my boudoir sessions. I know how hard you have prepared for this shoot, I know how long you spent in the shower shaving your legs, and making sure you didn’t miss a hair, trust me, I know, which is why I pay attention and highlight your hard work.

I complied a few of my favorite detail shots from past boudoir sessions, and maybe this can give you some ideas for your own boudoir session! Details matter!

 

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