Farewell Miami | A Love Letter

Miami Beach has been my home since the day I was born. My love for the arts started in the dark room at the Art Center of South Florida. My summers were spent at the Bass Museum of art. I grew as a passionate artist thanks to the teachers and education at Design and Architecture Senior High School. 

My upbringing in this beautiful town has helped shape me into the woman and artist I am today and I am so blessed to call Miami Beach my home town.

The women of this community have helped give me the strength and support to grow a thriving studio. So I thank you all for believing in me and trusting me with your portraits.

I love Miami and the people in it but, I have always dreamed of living in the mountains. I want to hike to waterfalls, spend the summers listening to bluegrass, be closer to horses, and see a change of seasons for the first time in my life. 

I have made a big decision and am excited to share that I will be MOVING to Asheville North Carolina at the beginning of next year to start a new chapter and open my next portrait studio.

I want to thank you for believing in me. For supporting me. For being my friend. This is not a goodbye and I will be in touch with all my Asheville adventures, the growth of the business, and how I can bring new energy back to Miami. 

I am not going far and will always call Miami Beach my home. I am following my gut and heart to take a leap for a life changing move.

Thank you so much Miami and I love you. 

With Warmth, Gratitude, and Love, 
Michelle Citrin

A Look Into the Beauty & Magic of the Asheville Headshot Marathon

MichelleCitrinStudios_Asheville_NorthCarolina_Headshot

Words are hard to describe how breathtaking the Bed and Breakfast on Tiffany Hill is, located just outside Asheville at the foot of the national forest.

 

Can a place be both quaint & charming, while also being supremely luxurious? I think so and I believe I found it at Tiffany Hill!

 

If you have been blessed enough in your life to have ever driven along the Blue Ridge Parkway, visited Asheville North Carolina, or hiked through Piscah National forest, you would understand my love for this part of our country.

So how did the Asheville Headshot Marathon come about?

 

Would you believe me if I told you with “manifestation and magic”?

 

I’ve been vacationing in North Carolina with my family for years. I am always blown away by the beauty and majesty of the Carolinas and had hopes to one day build a clientele there as an excuse to get to visit more often but this was a far off dream.

 

Well, when catching up with an old friend, I shared these “pipe” dreams. Later that day his mother, Linda emailed me. She has been following my work for years, and said “let’s make these Asheville photo shoots happen”.

 

It all came together effortlessly, my clients told their friends and family who lived in the area. Linda invited her daughter and introduced me to Selena the lovely owner of Tiffany Hill B&B and like that “BOOM” within a month we sold 5 spots to the first ever Asheville Headshot Marathon!

So I packed my car, kidnapped my always supportive boyfriend Justin (aka my assistant on this trip), and hit the road with my studio & backdrops in boxes.

 

The days were spent with the girls, having breakfast on the porch, and afternoons in the forest or floating down the French Broad River on inner tubes.

 

I fell in love with this magical place. It was hard to say good bye. Therefore, I will be back this Fall for more sessions at Tiffany Hill!

 

I am honored to now be able to call Tiffany Hill my second studio and new Asheville studio location!

 

So if you’d like a weekend get-a-way along with your headshot session, I’d love to have you join us for any of our Asheville Headshot sessions taking place at Tiffany Hill.

 

Or if you live nearby in Tennessee, Georgia or South Carolina, I am that much closer to you now!

 

Thank you to the ladies who attended and came from so far! I am honored and loved working with you all!

 

Personal Branding Tip 3 | Showcase Your Personality

Your headshot and personal branding images are the best and quickest way for your clients to get to know you. They are your first impression you will make online.

 

When a potential client looks into working with you; where do they go? Online to find you. Your online presence is now more important than ever.

 

Branding your business with your authentic self is key to attracting your dream clients.

 

Your brand is so much more than your logo or business card.

 

Your Voice + Your Vision + Your Visuals = Your Brand

 

“Clothing is a form of self expression- there are hints about who you are in what you wear.” - Marc Jacobs

 

 

Your personal style is the quickest and most efficient way to express who you are in a portrait. When considering who you are targeting with your brand, and dressing appropriate for what you are selling, now let’s showcase your authentic personality.

 

Showcase your personality in your headshots. When you are thinking of what to wear, I recommend you choose outfits that you love and will make statement. I recommend you use images that are also eye catching and unique.

 

Choosing a little black dress is always a great option but you can choose to update it with statement jewelry or finding a dress that is out-of-the-box.

 

If you love art, you may want to wear a one-of-a-kind necklace. If you love yoga and often work in casual clothes, you may want to wear pants and keep it casual for your portraits.

 

Images that are a little more “candid” or capture your true laugh and smile are a great for a snapshot into how much fun you are to work with.

 

“Style is the quickest shorthand to who you are” -Stacy London

 

 

Personal Branding Tip 2| Dress the Part

Long over are the days of the boring old “headshot” from the early 2000’s (more than a decade ago if you can believe it) when you needed just one “decent” picture of yourself.

 

Now in the digital world with your personal Facebook page, your own website, Linked-in, featured press releases, news articles, and the list goes on; are all part of your personal brand no matter what career you are in.

 

This whole “one decent image, shot with a decent camera” is no longer a good representation of you or your business!

 

People want to see who you are and get an idea for your AUTHENTIC self!

 

It’s all about building trust with your followers, clients, and leads. You need images that speak to them, engage them, and show off your unique style.

 

Tip #2 DRESS THE PART

 

When thinking of what to wear for your personal headshots, you should dress the part. Consider who your target market is and what it is you are selling.

 

Also, consider what your current logo and brand colors are. I recommend choosing clothing that either matches or compliments those colors. Visualize how the colors of your clothes will work with your logo or look on your website.

 

Then, consider the personal image you want to represent for your audience. Do you want to appear serious or laid back? Strong or gentle? Trendy or classic?

 

For example, if you are an interior designer, you may want to appear stylish, fun, but classic. So you could choose a classic cut dress and accessorize it with a unique statement piece of jewelry. Maybe bring your funky reading glasses to add a touch of personality too. Or go with a bold bright pattern for that one-of-a-kind statement.


Your headshot is your first impression you make with your clients online. The more effort you put in before your personal branding photo shoot, the more polished your images will appear and inevitably the more high end your services will appear.

What's the Big Deal About Your Headshot? | Personal Branding Tips

What’s the big deal about your headshots any way?

 

News Flash: The days of just popping in for a quick generic “headshot” from the early 2000’s are over!

 

We are now in a digital world where your personal image is key to your brand and personal image. Not to mention, your personal images are now the first thing everyone sees all day everyday.

 

With facebook, linked-in, your website, book cover, featured articles, press releases, the list can go on. All of these need your portrait aka your headshot. Or what we in the industry refer to as your branding portraits.

 

Years ago, an everyday run of the mill “headshot” from a “good camera” shot on a white wall, would have cut it. It may have been just “good enough” for your website or “it will do for now”.

 

Well this is no longer the case NOW in 2016, your clients, readers, followers, leads, bosses, all want to see who you are and why you’re worth it!

 

What do you have that sets you apart from the rest? Are you someone worth the time, money, or the job?

 

Your portraits are now an essential part of you and your business.


So for the next few weeks I want to help you find clarity on your personal brand and your personal image. I’ll be sharing my tips and tricks for the creating the most captivating, authentic, and impactful headshots for your business.  

 

TIP #1 KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

Or better yet, make sure you understand your audience. 

Who is your dream client? If you could paint a picture of her/him, what does your client's life look like? Where does this client live? Where do they shop? What are your client's major struggles?

Once you can identify who you are targeting and attracting with your website and full marketing, you will be able to speak to them on a true authentic level through your images.

 

Ladies, Let's Talk about Guilt

I was with a client recently and she is a international business coach working with huge corporations and especially female CEO's. The topic of guilt came up and guilt specifically pertaining to women!

How woman feel guilt when they do something just for themselves. Especially if it involves spending money on only themselves. 

Why is this that we feel this way? Why can't we do something for our selves and feel good about it?

Why can't we see that making ourselves happy WILL benefit everyone in our lives?

I had this realization also this week while my boyfriend was away for work over the weekend. We do not have children nor are we married, so a weekend to myself should result in the ultimate girls weekend right?

I began to dream of a day at the spa and a mani-pedi, brunch with old friends. Then, I started rationalizing against all these fabulous ideas and had thoughts of "no you shouldn't spend all that money on just yourself" or I thought "we could spend this money on a weekend together".

I caught myself discrediting my worth and rationalizing why it's not worth the money....to spend it on JUST ME!

What?!! Where does this all come from? Why do I have GUILT about spending MY OWN money on myself and my happiness. 

As woman we often put "the greater good" of our loved ones above ourselves. Then, we feel guilt when we do something wonderful for ourselves.

Everyday Glamour and finding balance starts with ourselves and making the time to find that little part of self-love everyday.

 

BALANCE IS BULLSH*T | TAKE BACK BALANCE

“We need more balance in our lives” is something we have heard for years and throughout the the media. This term typically refers to women, working moms, career women trying to do and have it all, right?

 

Well, we have been fed a lie. That we CAN have balance and NEED it in our lives.

(Bare with me this is a long post because you've gotta hear this!)

 

By definition “Balance” means “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions”, which is not intended to be applied to “balance” in one’s life.

 

To do two things simultaneously and equally efficient, is actually IMPOSSIBLE!

 

You may think, well it is physically possible to do two things, Michelle. I can walk and talk or sing and drive at the same time.

 

But have you ever noticed how when you need to fully concentrate, say in the car when you are lost and looking for directions; you may lower the radio?

 

Or when you are walking and talking but then need to focus on the important key point you are trying to make to your boss; you will stop walking?

 

The term “balance” when pertaining to women’s lives was first introduced in the public mainstream in the 1980’s when women began to take over the American corporate work force.

 

By nature, humans, are not able to equally distribute our “elements in correct proportions”. The word balance is a noun, it is a “thing”. It should not be used to describe a human behavior.

 

It’s better to say that we as women need to practice the act of “BALANCING” which is a verb and an action we can do in our lives.

 

I want you to no longer say “I need more balance in my life”, what we need to shift our mindset to say “I am actively balancing my priorities by valuing myself as a priority”.
 

 

Have you ever noticed that on Airplanes during the introductory safety drill, the flight attendant says “in case of an emergency, place the oxygen mask over yourself before assisting children or others”.

 

We can not help the ones we love in our lives if we do not take care of ourselves first.

 

Since practicing more self love and self care for myself, my business has grown beyond my dreams, my relationship with my boyfriend is stronger than ever, and I have more energy and motivation for everyone. I’ve created healthy habits that will carry on throughout my life so I can one day care for my family and my clients with all of my self. A happier, healthier, more confident version all from showing myself a little love too.

 

The Dali Lama once said “ The world will be saved by the Western Woman”.

 

 

If we take care of ourselves, we have more of ourselves to give. We can volunteer, create companies that change the world, raise children that are mindful and respectful of our world and humanity.

 

 

5 Tips | Learn to Quiet Your Inner Critic

How many times have you heard an inner voice? An inner voice that is usually a big fat meanie? She criticizes your hair, your body, or intelligence? She makes you doubt yourself and your decisions.

We all have her living inside us. She is not your friend and should kindly be told to “shut up”. 

I have struggled for years with this voice that is so mean, she is evil and in no longer welcome to speak to me. I have learned to quiet her voice so that my stronger, kinder side can speak LOUDER. 

This has helped me love myself more, launch a thriving business, and rock my life. 

 

I have learned to do this with 5 easy tips to Quiet your Inner Critic. 

1- Name your inner voice because she is not you!



 This will allow you to see her as someone outside of yourself and this way you can kindly tell her to “shut up.” So that you can go on to love yourself and do amazing things with your life. 

 

2- Acknowledge your fear but do not let it stop you.
 

Taking on a new job, starting something new, or doing something right, can all be scary but fear is temporary and if we acknowledge that it is there then we can conquer it. 

 

3- Remind yourself how amazing you are!
 

When that little voice creeps in, say out loud, what makes you amazing and awesome! Point out how gorgeous you are and why your rock! 

 

4- Get productive.
 

How can you be negative if you are actively working towards your goal? At the end of the day you will feel amazing and happy. 

 

 

5- Ask yourself, “would I say this to my best friend, mother, or sister?”
 

We are so hard on ourselves and so often we are so mean that we would never speak these words to women we love. So why on Earth would we say these negative and hurtful things to ourselves? So next time you hear that “inner critic” say something mean, stop her because you do not speak to ones you love like that!

SPEAK TO YOURSELF LIKE YOU SPEAK TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE. 

What A Bad $300 Hair Cut Taught Me

At the beginning of this year I decided it was time to update my very own portraits for myself and my brand.

I was just like any of my clients, nervous before the shoot, running around to get new dresses, and make sure everything was ready for my big day. It’s not everyday, I actually turn the camera on myself so, this was a BIG DEAL!

Then I realized, that I should really invest in this so I look and feel like a million bucks! I was going to go the full mile.

So, I booked a salon appointment with a high end Miami Beach Salon.

There is actually one thing I am pretty self conscious about and get very nervous with, it’s my thin hair.  So all too often, I don’t fuss over it or spend a lot of time or money on it.

I get very nervous letting a stylist run their fingers through it. Especially in a town that has so many gorgeous women with gorgeous hair. I didn’t want to be judged or shamed for my painfully thin hair.

So with hesitation, I booked an appointment and told myself “it will be worth it and relaxing, I’ll treat myself".

Well it was ANYTHING BUT RELAXING! My stylist took me to his chair and immediately began what he thought I needed. I was terribly nervous and only spoke up a little, “I’m not sure if I like highlights”.

He told me, “you really need them to cover the damage”. So I went with it.

I asked for a glass of wine to calm my nerves, he almost laughed and said “oh no, we don’t have wine”, so he brought me water in a plastic cup. (YUCK)

Then, he proceeds to totally process my hair, wash it in painfully cold water, and chop the crap out of it.

I HATED IT! It was nothing that I wanted and looked dull.

I left and went to my car and cried after forking up $300 for that experience. (I did go back the next day to have it re-adjusted but I still wasn’t happy.)

It wasn’t so much about the cut or color. They were fine, I guess. My friends and family reassured me that it looked “nice”.

It was the fact that entire experience left me feeling horrible! I felt unloved, unheard, and terrible for spending that kind of money without LOVING it!

I took this experience to completely relate to what my clients are probably feeling before they step in front of my camera.

They are terrified, they are vulnerable, they are a little self conscious. They need to be listened to, they need to comforted, and they need to be pampered!

I told this story to my entire team! I told them that “no woman should ever feel this way in our studio”!

This is a safe place, a place to be creative, and to feel loved. Together we need to create portraits they LOVE for a lifetime.

But most of all they need to leave the studio with a smile on their face!


Every moment in life is an opportunity to learn and grow. I will take this experience to learn from it and turn it into something positive for others.

 

Take Back Balance | A Self Love Challenge

Do you struggle with finding balance in your life? Do you ever make yourself a priority?

Do you feel guilty about spending time or money on your self?

As women we rarely make time for ourselves outside of our career and personal lives.

After struggling for years to find a way to love myself for who I am and now, after mastering the art of photographing women, I have come to realize we all struggle with this.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

I want to help you begin your own journey towards more self love and higher self esteem though daily practices of mindfulness, gratitude, and self care.

I have created a fun, easy to follow FREE 15 DAY Beauty & Empowerment Challenge for women only! 

I hope you will join me and join the movement! 

The challenge begins March 28th!

When My Friends Become My Clients

Thankfully, I have created a career that I love, that feeds my soul, and is actually a lot of fun! As a result, my clients often become my good friends. We often keep in touch and meet up for lunch and cocktails.

If you know me well then you know, I am obsessed with the TV hit show, FRIENDS. Just this week a client had to call me Sunday night to tell me FRIENDS had a reunion Live on NBC. (Which I had no clue about and thankfully we are close enough she knew to call me for such an epic event!)

 

So, what happens when my current friends choose to trust me with their own portraits and become my clients?

 

This month, I was blessed enough to actually photograph 6 of my dear girlfriends. Women that make me laugh, pick me up when I am down, and inspire me to do better and strive for greatness.

 

As I grow older and approach the next chapter in my life as a “30 something”, my girlfriends become that much more important to me and my success in life.

 

These relationships are more than surface level friendships. My girlfriends have now become my mentors and my inspiration.

 

These women are already mothers, successful business owners, artists, entrepreneurs, and some have overcome heart breaking loses. They are strong, uplifting, and resilient.

 

So what happens when I am blessed enough to work with them?

 

It actually makes me nervous! Why? I know these women well, I know how beautiful they are, how much they do for others, how hard they work! Yet sometimes they can’t always see it themselves even though we all see their true beauty.

 

It is my personal mission to bring out the beauty in all women, but when it’s my dearest friends, it means so much that they see it too.


It’s the biggest compliment that these women now love themselves in photographs and embrace this time in their gorgeous lives.


Why Do I Share Transformations?

What is the deal with showing a Before and After image of my clients?

I don’t know about you but I am a fanatic about TV “Makeover” showsWhat Not To Wear. LOVE LUST or Run, The Biggest Loser, are some of my guilty pleasures to watch. 

It’s not just the end result that I am fascinated by, it’s that, that person has always been inside of the participants! 

That stay-at-home mom who has baby spit on her sweatpants; she IS a gorgeous goddess and a rockstar!

We all have busy schedules. Things to do, work, and the kids all become what is most important and sometimes we ourselves take a back seat. Our health, our wardrobe, our hair & makeup, are ranked at the bottom of our priorities list.

So once in awhile, it’s great to take that back! To take back balance. To take back you! 

So, why do I show you transformations? To show you that we are all human and imperfectly perfect.

 We all get busy but we ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!

We are in a tribe of mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives. We do so much for everyone in our lives but we must not forget to give ourselves a little love too

I would never ask my clients to do something that I would not do myself. 

So here you have it! My straight-out-of-bed to full on Glam transformation! 

I just think they are so cool to do too! Please feel free to share this with your friends and girlfriends. 

The Most Photographed Generation Will Have No Photos

It's interesting and thought provoking to consider that the most photographed generation of history may not have any photographs to show in years to come.

The idea that all of your digital images from your iPhone, Instagram, Facebook are just a series of pixels and that they are stored on the "magical and mysterious cloud".

What would happen if Facebook or Instagram no-longer exist or became obsolete?

What would happen if their programers and designers decide on a new policy that they will no longer store your images after a certain date? 

Where will these social media platforms be in 10, 20, 30+ years? We have no idea what will come of it all and what the future holds for social media.

So what will happen to all of your incredible visual memories? Your birthdays, weddings, the birth of your children.

Professional photographers are well aware of the downfalls of digitals and we realize that digital images are actually an impermanent object. We understand that in just one system crash, glass of water, or human error, everything can be deleted in one fail swoop. 

So, how do we save and preserve these cherished images? PRINT your photographs! 

When you are old and gray, and want to pass down the visual story of your life, will you hand over a hard drive of images to your children or present a leather bound, archival printed, album to be passed down for generations?

Printed portraits are timeless and will exist regardless of the advances in technology.

Who remembers the floppy disc? Not many people do. 

Choosing to invest in professional photographer is an investment in yourself and family legacy. Create timeless and elegant visuals to add to your story.  

"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still." -Dorothea Lange.

Helpful and easy on-line print shops to print from your phones and computers: Mpix, SnapFish, or use Apple Print Products for books albums and calendars. 

 

 

Why Do I Photograph Women?

This year I had the incredible pleasure of turning 30 years old! Yes, I said it. I am happy and feel blessed to age one more beautiful year!

I didn't hide away or cry that, "OMG I'm now 30! My 20's are over" (like many of my friends).

Rather, I rejoice in being given the gift of aging. So many other young girls were not as fortunate to reach the age of 30 in their lives and I could have been one of them. 

Not many people know that at the age of 24 and just a month before graduating college, I was in a terrible car crash. My car was completely totaled and I broke over 6 bones, including my clavicle and a portion of my ribs. So, turning 30 was a real reason to celebrate. 

As women, we have been conditioned to believe beauty is only for the young but, I disagree.

We complain about our wrinkles, our weight, our hair, our bodies; the list can go on. I hear it everyday from my clients.

I want you to turn off the "itty bitty sh**ty committee" inside of you. We need to change the way we think about ourselves and what we choose to believe. We should practice mindful self-love and not debilitating self-hate.

We should speak to ourselves the way we speak to our loved ones. Would you ever tell your mother, sister, or best friend the things you say to yourself when you look in the mirror?

We need to choose to see our beauty and celebrate it. No matter what age you are.

 

This is why I photograph woman. I want you to see what your husband and children see. I want you to love yourself so you can love your life and spread joy to everyone and to your children which will create a better future for our world. 

To grow older is not guaranteed it's a blessing and you should rejoice in every new stage of your life. You've earned those wrinkles from loving, laughing, and living! Try to remember that and be grateful for all your uniqueness. 

Savor the Success | Tips for Self Confidence

SelfConfidence.jpg

It’s no surprise that I specialize in photographing women but why? This is not just about the art of photography, it’s about my mission to empower the women in my community.

We are often so hard on ourselves and strive to have it all and do it perfectly.

I want to show you that you are beautiful exactly the way you are and where you are in your life right now.

 

 

The Dali Lama once said that “the world will be saved by the Western woman.”

 

 

What would happen if every woman you know were to be a little more confident, stood a little taller, or loved themselves a little more? I think we could maybe save the world too!

 

I can only photograph so many women a month but I want to share some tips for feeling more confident everyday starting today.

 

#1 Stop Comparing yourself to others.

I know this is easier said than done. We are all unique and our lives are unique. The moment you believe that you are exactly where you need to be and begin to love yourself for who you are the better you will feel and the more confident you will be.

 

#2 Start your day with positive affirmations.

Make a list of 5 self love, gratitude, encouraging affirmations to say about yourself. It is hard to stay negative or sad when you feel genuine gratitude for your life. 

 

#3 Take a break to actually enjoy your coffee!

Before you rush off to work or get in your car, make the time to have 10 minutes just for you. I love enjoying my coffee on the patio with a magazine. It's so simple but just feels glamorous. This can be to sit and read a magazine with breakfast, take a quick walk, or dance before work! 

 

#3 Plan a date with your best girlfriends.

Nothing is more empowering, energizing, and uplifting than our goddess inner circles. Savor the moment and plan a date with the girls who inspire you and love you unconditionally. 

 

#4 Do something you love!

We get lost in the everyday grind and often lose ourselves. When was the last time you went bike riding, horseback riding, or to the beach with friends? Treat yourself once a week, no act of kindness is too small. 



#5 Get a makeover.

I don’t know about you but nothing makes me feel better than a new haircut, dress, or having my makeup professionally done. It doesn’t need to be a dramatic makeover but something new and fresh. Hire a makeup artist for your next big party or rent a designer dress to feel like a movie star for the night. This little act of kindness to yourself will sit with you all month.

Meet the Ladies of the Headshot Marathon

We just wrapped our first Headshot Marathon of 2016 and I had the honor to photograph 6 amazing and inspiring women! These women are writing books, have Ted Talks in the works, are honored by their Universities and are some of the most amazing movers and shakers in Miami. 

So I am so excited to share just a sneak peek with you of some of my absolutely favorite images of the event. We had so much fun together and it was so much more than your "typical headshots" here. The girls brought the glam! 

Meet Chantal! She is a rockstar in Realestate development and one of the sweetest, most fun loving people I know. She always finds the bright side to life and loves to laugh. She loves to travel and finds it humbling.

If you are ever in Savannah GA check out her amazing rooftop bar Top Deck, over looking the river for incredible cocktails and fine dining "bar food". 

 

Meet Kim! She loves helping people feel better with her own Acupuncture and natural health practice in Miami Shores, the Miami Shores Holistic Health Center

Kim loves good food, great conversations and is as sweet as can be. 

LowRes_MichelleCitrinStudios©-1420.jpg

Meet Jessi! Her eyes just say it all. Jessi lets her heart guide her and has a great desire to make a difference in the world. She loves her family, friends, and her job at Baptist Health. 

Jessi loves to travel, be spontaneous, and is so gracious and humble. She has a gift that allows you to feel special when you are in her presence, as if you are the only one in the room. She is a women that understands how important community and heritage is, and one of her many passions is the Miami Jewish Federation. 

Meet Kathy! She is currently writing her second book and is passionate about helping people find their "niche" in life. She loves animals, the outdoors, and hanging with her husband Kevin. 

Kathy is currently working on programs and workshops to help baby boomers reinvent their lives at 50 Plus Reinvented

Meet Magali! She is an amazing Immigration attorney here in South Florida and the mom of teenage twins, if you can believe it. Magali makes appearances on Telemundo TV as a lead expert in immigration Law. 

Last but not least, is Rocio and she brought some of the most epic jewelry and clothes to her photo shoot. She is no stranger to sparkle and glamour. 

Rocio is a mother and a giver. She is in the works now to write a passionate novel and is inspired by creativity and culture.  

 

Thank you all for attending this very special event and I look forward to a long friendship with all of you incredible women! 

-Michelle Citrin

 

 

A Look Into the Headshot Marathon | Behind the Scenes

Last week we finished the much anticipated Headshot Marathon! This is our largest Semi-Annual sale to date. 

My team and I were so honored to have had 6 women join us as we photographed each client for their own private shoot back-to-back. Hence the cute nick name "marathon", we were in it for the long haul but excited for the challenge.

We have attracted so many inspiring and beautiful clients this year.

These women are writing books, planning on doing Ted Talks, were honored by their University Alumni boards,  are designing new websites, and launching a new TV career; just to name a few exciting things in the works for my 6 Michelle Citrin Studios Marathon girls. 

The day was filled with laughs, encouragement, and just plain fun.  Even though, each girl was there for business, specifically professional headshots, we made sure to take time for some personal beauty portraits. Work hard and play hard. 

During our in-person style consultation last week, I encouraged all of the ladies to bring in at least one "wow" dress. Something I like to call your "wild card" dress. This is a dress that you bring for you! A dress that has sparkle or shine. It may be something you bought years ago and love but have no special occasion to wear it. THIS IS YOUR SPECIAL OCCASION. 

Let's celebrate you and your achievements. Your personal growth and your self love. Let's celebrate being alive to see this day. Being given the gift to age is a blessing my friends. 


We hope you will join us for the next and final Headshot Marathon coming JUNE 2016. 

It Was Time For An Update | My Personal Headshots

So as we came to the end of 2015 and I have so much fantastic magical things planned for 2016, I thought to myself, it’s time for new portraits!

 

Time really flies and it’s hard to believe that it has been almost 2 years or more since I took my formal beauty headshots. I better practice what I preach, and update my own headshots every 2-3 years too! So it’s time for an update.  

 

So you may ask, who photographs the photographer? I am collaborating with my fabulous and talented  studio manager, Andrea to photograph me!

 

 

Ahh, and now just like you, I was a little freaked out. It’s funny to think that even a photographer becomes just a girl for her big photoshoot. (I may have even freaked out even more than most people.)

 

 

The immediate thought popped up, “I have nothing to wear”! Of course once I really looked through my closet I had plenty of options. I then added a huge shopping spree where I bought half of Nordstrom saying “this will work” even though that hot jump suit doesn’t zip up (no one sees the back of the outfit in the photos..wink wink), as I pose in the mirror of the dressing room.

 

It’s time to get some gym time in at the last minute to “tone up” too.

 

I’ve frantically made nail and hair appointments. All in an effort to get it all done and work a full time job and take care of my loved ones and social obligations (who’s idea was it to plan a shoot the week before Christmas anyhow…..oh yea mine).

 

The best thing that has come from all this, is that I now I have an experience fresh in my mind to relate to my clients. All the FEARS, worries, and little insecurities all come to the surface but now I can honestly tell my clients "trust me I totally understand what you are worried about but, you are in good hands and I am here to walk you through this."


After all, I am just a girl and we all just want to look and feel great! I am so honored and excited to share some of the final images (more to come soon.)

 

 


For Photographers | Networking with Purpose

I am honored to be apart of an ongoing blog series for photographers by photographers. Special thanks to Erin of the Business of Beauty and you can read the other amazing posts here: SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS | BLOG SERIES 

Portraits of Alina Villasante of Peace Love World. Featured on Oprah's Circle of Friends.  

Portraits of Alina Villasante of Peace Love World. Featured on Oprah's Circle of Friends.  

Social media marketing is such an important aspect to our brands and as creatives you may say, "why do I need to network in-person"? Or that you are currently frustrated and exhausted from attending so many events and never booking a client. 

The art of networking is so much more than just "showing up" and handing out business cards and then expecting people to be begging you to book. The funny thing is, that at net-workers no one in the room is actually there to "buy" or are looking for your service. Chances are they are also there to sell and represent their own companies. 

So you may say. Oh "that proves it" these net-workers are a waste of time but that's actually not the case. You just have to approach these situations differently and strategically.

The true art of networking is to develop authentic relationships. I once read that it takes "7 touches" for a potential client to develop their trust and to be ready to buy from you. 

You may call me old fashioned but in-person networking accounts for the majority of my leads. We are in a word-of-mouth referral business and I have found 5 key steps to successfully utilizing in-person net-workers to grow and create a thriving business:

5 Steps to Networking with Purpose:

1- Have a plan and a goal in mind. In my early years of business I would go to every single event I was invited to, with a handful of business cards and eager to pass them out to everyone. This left me exhausted and feeling desperate. Now, I am very strategic about which events I will attend...only events that my ideal clients will be attending. These are mainly, high-end women's brunches, fashion shows, and female business net-workers. (Looking into your local Chamber of Commerce, fundraising events, and your local BNI chapters. Find groups that you actually enjoy attending with people you can become friends with).

2- Be positive and feel good before attending. Nothing is worse than forcing yourself out after a long day at work and being in a "bad" mood. Not to mention trying to fake being energized, authentic, and engaging with people. So, I always plan for downtime before a net-worker to take a moment and set a positive intention, touch up my makeup, and leave early to feel at ease. If you are really in a bad mood or not feeling well, then your time is better spent at home. Skip the event. We don't have to do it all and the worst thing is to give off bad energy to potential clients. We want to be authentically excited to be there. 

3- Listen more than you speak. The best way to be engaged is to be present and ask questions. Let the other person or woman speak about herself and her business, ask insightful questions to get to know her better. This is also a great tip if you are a little shy, just ask questions. Everyone loves to talk about themselves which will then help you get to know her. She will naturally ask you what you do and that's when you can show her what you do. I always keep a portfolio of images on my i-phone and let my work speak for its self. 

4- Create a true relationship or friendship. People buy from people they like. Point blank. Women are incredible at making connections and helping their friends. Attend these events with the intention to make friends and to connect with people on a deeper level. You are not necessarily trying to sell to the people you meet, rather to their friends. 

Imagine this, the more friends you have out there saying "OMG I know the sweetest and most talented photographer, you have got to call her for your portraits (or wedding etc.), the better! 

5- Follow up & keep in touch. No one at these events is there to book you on the spot but they may have really enjoyed meeting you. This is where the follow up email/call, social media and marketing come into play. If a women did say point blank, "I'd love to hire you!" Then, the very next day you need to call or email her with a sweet message about what you spoke about. For everyone else you meet, add them to your newsletter list, invite them to like your Facebook page, etc. This is how your consistent social-media marketing will keep you in their memory as the "sweet and super talented photographer," So that when the time is right, you are the first person they call and refer to friends! 

Finally met Sue Bryce at the Photo Plus Expo and Photo District News Seminars in NYC, 2015.

Finally met Sue Bryce at the Photo Plus Expo and Photo District News Seminars in NYC, 2015.

BONUS TIP: Ask for what you want or who you would like to meet! I am very clear about the types of people I wish to meet, and am able to always keep an eye out for them as potential clients. I have also trained myself to learn to ask for introductions! If you would like to photograph someone specific for a company, magazine or beauty portraits, then ask for those introductions!

Women by nature are social, love to share and are well connected. We love to support our friends and colleges. 

Thank you for reading. I hope this was helpful. Thank you to Erin with the Business of Beauty for inviting me to blog about my experiences to help others thrive!

Want to read more from the 5 other incredible photographers: 

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS | BLOG SERIES

Day 1: Brittany Griggs- Budget Friendly Marketing for Photographers
Day 2: Feuza Reis – Are You Making These 3 Big Blogging Mistakes?
Day 3: Erin Rachel – How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Business
Day 4: Erin Blackwell – Using Facebook to Find and Book Your Ideal Clients
Day 5: Cindy Reeves – Marketing Your Photography Business with Magazines
Day 6: Michelle Citrin – Networking With Purpose
Day 7: Melissa Lynn Hunt – 10 Strategies to Improve your Business Through Instagram




It's Ok to be Nervous

It's ok to be nervous about the idea of doing a full beauty photo shoot! We totally get it and you are not alone. The idea that you will be the center of attention, being pampered and fussed over, being told "Oh My God you're gorgeous" during your session; this is an unsettling idea for most women. By nature, women are so selfless and often sacrifice so much to better the lives of their loved ones before themselves. 

Every one that calls the studio before their session is a little nervous. Some more than others but every woman is nervous. It's a little scary to come to a photo studio to spend a day in the spotlight as a "model" and you have no idea what to do! Do you? Don't worry, that is not your job to know what to do, wear, or how to pose. That's our job and that is what we do best. 

So you don't know what to wear? We have designed a 10 page Style Guide E-Book just for you and your shoot with specific recommendations and examples to flatter your figure! You'd be surprised what fabulous dresses and outfits you have sitting in your own closet that you may have forgotten about. What about that gown you bought years ago for a friends wedding and feel beautiful in or your "wild card" dress you bought thinking "OMG I love this but when will I ever wear it". Bring it! A beauty shoot is the perfect time to dust off your favorite dresses. 

So you have no modeling experience? You don't need any! All you really would need is an open mind and heart to trust Michelle and her team. We will work with you while Michelle will be your posing coach and direct you all the way from your chin down to your toes. She will be continuously repositioning you and chatting during your session so you won't even get a chance to think about it. 

You still don't know what to expect or what to do? Everything from all the details, timeline, the experience and designing your dream photo shoot will all be answered and discussed during your private style consultation with Michelle. You will come to the studio and together you will plan your custom session, look at our Studio's line of Fine Art products, plan what to wear and ask all the questions you can think of.  Then, after you book you will be receiving reminder emails and a courtesy phone call the week of your session to make sure you are all ready for your day. 

So, there is no reason to be terrified about doing a beauty portrait photo shoot. Especially at a studio that specializes and caters to women's needs and bodies. Having a few "butterflies" in your stomach is a good thing and means that this is something that excites you! Excitement is a good thing! We all deserve a little excitement and pampering in our lives.

Call the studio today to speak with Michelle and set a date for your Style Consultation at the studio. 305.576.7225.