After I had my two children my sensual self totally died. I worked hard and did a lot of exploration and soul work to discover where she had gone and how to get her back. What I realized was that a completely new version of a sensual self needed to be born. The process of getting to know this completely new side of me was a beautiful journey, one that I knew needed to be documented. What was amazing was that through the process of working with Melissa I thought through all of the ways this part of myself came to life. What does she wear? where she spend her time? what energy does she embody?
Without the concrete event of having a photo shoot to capture this essence, I wouldn't have been able to fully understand who she is. And then during our shoot day to see her come out, be so alive, real, sensual and spiritual was a really amazing thing to witness. It was truly an out of body experience.
Melissa was amazing about helping me with my wardrobe and really pulling out this energy of my essence during the shoot. She pushed me out of my comfort zone (I mean I got in a waterfall in a white dress and was essentially totally naked in front of a bunch of strangers, and felt great about it) and helped me really stand in my power. The real benefit of the shoot was the experience but OH MY GOD the photos I received from it are just incredible. Now whenever I forget that I have this powerful sensual feminine side, I can go back to look at these photos and remember that she exists. I can't recommend working with Melissa enough. sarah jenks, lifestyle coach and creator of Live More Weigh Less and The Live More Method. www.sarahjenks.com.
It's actually hard for me to find the right words to explain how amazing Melissa is. Not only is she INCREDIBLY TALENTED, but she has an ability to make you feel so comfortable in your skin, as a woman, and in front of the camera. Melissa came highly recommended to me by women I've always respected, and her work did not disappoint. I never thought I'd have so much FUN with a photographer. Outside of creating a beautiful boudoir experience for me, Melissa is a phenomenal hair and makeup artist (I made sure to lock her in for my wedding a year before the actual date!). lindsey Franz
Melissa has a gift. She knows how to bring your inner vixen out. I booked a photo shoot to commemorate a milestone birthday. During the weeks leading up to the shoot, I got cold feet. Melissa was patient, supportive, and encouraged me to reschedule when I felt ready. Once I rescheduled, she brought over her magic touch. Melissa is an exceptional makeup artist and hair stylist. The pictures she took were so beautiful, I decided to book another photoshoot for next year's birthday, and continue this tradition for many years to come. Do hire Melissa if you want beautiful pictures. She is professional, creative, supportive, fun, and most of all incredibly talented. julissa perez
As a professional stylist, I have worked with many different photographers across the US and Melissa is definitely top notch. I have spent time both in front of and behind the camera, and from beginning to end Melissa was supportive and made me feel very comfortable in front of the camera. She also made the time in between fun too!
Melissa was able to help bring out my true beauty on camera, which hasn’t always been the case with other photographers, who ended up over-photoshopping me, which didn’t feel like my true essence. I am so thankful to Melissa for the gorgeous photos I know have. They truly capture what I see as my TRUE beauty.
Melissa was great to work with when it came to creating the concept for the shoot, and I’ve used the photos in so many ways beyond what I originally anticipated them for. It made my investment worth way more than the cost of the shoot. crystal cave, personal stylist & creator of style icon academy. www.xocrystalcave.com
Thank you Melissa! It's taken a bit for me to figure out the words to thank you!
Really... I feel like our day together was surreal and healing in so many ways. What I know is that the pictures are here and a reminder of that open, free, surreal day and they allow me to remember that I can be free and open anytime! The day meant so much more to have had the opportunity to 'just be me'... real, and exposed in a way I never have. Thank you for taking the pictures and for your time in making me look and feel pretty! Thank you! Thank you!!! tara smith
Ahhh! I love them Melissa. Thank you so much! I think you did a wonderful job and I am so happy with the final shots. I feel that they capture me! I had such a great time and it was a really positive experience for me. Thank you. :) mary katherine patterson
When Melissa reached out to me to do a shoot with her, my first reaction was “No thank you. I am not happy with my body right now”. But I resisted that critical voice and said yes to Melissa. The boudoir shoot surprised me. There is power in accepting yourself wholly and completely and letting yourself be seen. I let go that day and let the camera see me. I didn’t hide. I let my hair down, messy and raw. I tapped into the feminine strength of vulnerability and softness that so easily gets buried by perfectionism and fear.
When I got the photos, I cried. I saw the woman I had been striving to be- the one I want my daughter to see. I saw strength, power, trust, softness, beauty, femininity, acceptance. I saw fierce self-love. The experience reminded me to put myself first, love myself loud and clear and to be who I am. I cannot recommend Melissa and her boudoir shoots enough. michelle long, founder of bloom retreat and the practice.www.bloomretreat.com
Melissa is talented, fun to work with, and totally down to earth. Her goal is empowering women and helping them see their true beauty, and that shines through in everything she does. She gave me the gift of many amazing photos, plus she got me all glammed up for it first with makeup and hair, so I felt really confident during the shoot. The whole experience went beyond the superficial and was a memorable way to celebrate who I am at this stage in my life. As she says, a photo shoot is self-care. I highly recommend her! suzanne shore
I loved getting all dolled up with Melissa! She made me feel totally at home, and beautiful in all my outfits! She was great at coaching me through any awkward moments (as I am clearly not a model) and I felt so confident! The photo's turned out beautiful, and I definitely felt like my sexiest self! Would do it again in a heartbeat! quinn marina
I was absolutely terrified of doing a boudoir shoot. After having lost over 100lbs some years ago doing a boudoir shoot seemed so scary with my soft stomach and arms. Melissa made me feel and look so beautiful! She has a calming, genuine manner that you feel from the moment you are in her chair right through the last shot. I have never had professional photos taken so I was also nervous about posing etc. Melissa is a true pro and guided me through the process. I love the photos! Melissa was able to capture my sensual side and I love the way I look in them! april foster
I am literally obsessed with my new photos!! Thank you so much <3 It was such a pleasure to work with you and thank you so much for making me feel so comfortable, confident and beautiful during our shoot. I'm not going to lie, I was a little intimidated when I reached out to you (you're always your own worst critic) but it really turned out to be such an incredible experience and seeing the pictures actually makes me feel more confident somehow. I adore the photos. Thank you for capturing me and my family <3 I am forever grateful. caroline zwickson, MA, certified women's health and life coach, www.carolinezwickson.com
Melissa is incredibly talented and just a wonderful person to be around. I love that she does the whole package - makeup, hair and photography and makes the shoot comfortable and fun. I absolutely recommend her for boudoir sessions - thanks Melissa! kaitlynn halawani
Melissa is AMAZING! She made my rebranding photo shoot flow with complete ease from start to finish. She was incredibly intuitive when it came to capturing the essence of what I wanted to create and had the talent and creativity to deliver. She exceeded my expectations on every level and I can't wait to work with her again. I am a devoted fan! valerie yager, esthetician, valerie yager skincare
I hired Melissa for a Boudoir shoot and can not say enough about how wonderful she is! I am not comfortable at all in front of the camera, let alone showing some of my body. Melissa completely put me at ease and made me feel so comfortable. She knew exactly how to guide me thru the process to get the most organic shots that made me feel beautiful and also like me. I was still nervous about how the shots would look because of my own lack of comfort in front of the camera, but wow! The images were so amazing and I could not be happier. I can not recommend Melissa and her talents enough! alissa dimaggio
I learned of Melissa's work through a friend. Seeing her work and reading her bio, I knew that she was the right person to work with. Having my picture taken - especially for branding and marketing - has never been something I've enjoyed. Melissa took the time to ask truly meaningful questions so that we could both feel like the time together was not only going to provide photos I wanted but images that I would truly love. I LOVED working with Melissa because she is funny, real, and a badass at what she does. I felt loved, cared for, and seen as I am and the results were amazing. I love the images she captured for my future website and can't wait to share them with the world. I HIGHLY recommend working with Melissa. elsa dean, health coach
Melissa, as always was professional, fun and did an amazing job. My makeup was flawless and the photos turned out so beautiful and sexy, I almost don’t recognize myself. I would recommend her highly to friends. And now I have these gorgeous photos to remind me how sassy I am.
Thank you Melissa for a beautiful day. erin cadd
Ready to feel beautiful and confident in your own skin by doing a boudoir shoot? Then CLICK HERE to contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation call.
MAKEUP AND HAIR
Melissa is the only person I let touch my face.
I’ve worked with Melissa in two ways, one where she’s done my hair and makeup start to finish, and two where she teaches me how to do it. When I first hired Melissa to do my hair and makeup for a photo shoot for my website: SarahJenks.com I felt like it was a huge luxury, something I could’ve saved money on and do myself. But during the process I realized that the success of my shoot was dependent on how beautiful I FELT and making that extra effort to hire Melissa, have her pamper me and make me look amazing helped me really step into my best self and really glow. I also looked frickin’ amazing and didn’t think I could ever make myself look like that on my own.
Since then I’ve hired Melissa to do my makeup for special events, parties and speaking engagements, just because it helps me feel centered and my best. Guaranteed confidence and poise is totally worth the money.
I know it can sound frivolous or vain, but the reality is that beauty comes from the inside, but it doesn’t have to stay there, and thanks to Melissa, I finally feel like a the full expression of myself.
sarah jenks, founder and ceo www.sarahjenks.com and live more weigh less.
I am really picky about my hair and makeup. After working in the cosmetics industry for nearly 9 years, I am rarely ever happy with the way other people do my makeup. It usually looks too caked-on, too heavy, too…not me. So when my friend Sarah Jenks suggested we hire Melissa for a photoshoot, I reluctantly braced myself for disappointment. Melissa blew my mind. My hair and makeup were not only exactly what I wanted, but done much better than I could do myself. Best of all, it still looked fresh at the end of the day, which included a 2-hour trip each way to the shoot, and a few hours of photographing out in the hot sun. I was amazed.
Since then, Melissa is absolutely the only person I’ll let touch my face. We worked together again for a branding photoshoot, and again, she knocked it out of the park. She’s a master at her craft and I’m so grateful to have found her!
nisha moodley, women’s leadership coach and creator of fierce, fabulous, free, the freedom mastermind, and the virtual sisterhood. www.nishamoodley.com.
Using Melissa for my hair and makeup on my wedding day was one of the best decisions I made for my wedding day. She was incredible. Not only did my makeup look natural and flawless, my hair stayed all night, and Melissa was a joy to work with. She was incredibly calming on what is inevitably a stressful and emotionally-charged day.
I had Melissa stay through my ceremony. During photos, she helped adjust my makeup, veil and hair so that it looked amazing in every picture. She also touched up my bridesmaids. And after the ceremony, which I cried through, she did some major touch ups so that I would look perfect for my party.
I highly recommend Melissa!! She is the best! Lesley Prusansky, Manhattan, NY
I am not sure that I could have made a better choice than choosing Melissa for my wedding day hair and makeup. She was a joy to work with throughout the whole process. She is so warm and wonderful to be around. Melissa listened so well - it felt like she could read my mind. She helped me to feel confident and comfortable throughout the process.
I would highly recommend Melissa to help you look and feel your best for your big event! I simply cannot say enough nice things about her!! mary afton keeton
I ADORE the look Melissa put together for me for both of my brand photo shoots. I had a clear picture of what I wanted and she delivered! I’m so proud to “show off” those shots!I loved how she listened to what I wanted and made it happen. I’ve worked with so many hair/MUA in my career as an actress and also for business and I always felt like they would make my hair poker straight and use really unflattering colors on my face, never listening to the “look” I wanted. Melissa took my idea and made it applicable to me and I love it! I wish I could hire her to wake up with me every morning and make me beautiful, like Rachel Zoe does.
I’m so proud of my photos that look like me at my best!
Would I recommend her to friends and other entrepreneurs? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY 🙂 I am definitely going to hire her for a hair/makeup tutorial sometime soon and she is the only hair/makeup guru I will ever hire! So, when my HBO pilot gets picked up, I hope she plans for a move to Detroit for a few months (hehe).
melissa cassera, ceo cassera communications, www.casseracommunications.
Melissa did hair and makeup for my bridesmaids, my mom, and myself on my wedding day. Every single person look amazing. Melissa was great to work with throughout the planning process and even better the day of! She was a calming force during the most anxious parts of the wedding day. I loved my hair and makeup, and I have never felt more beautiful than I did that day! I highly recommend Melissa for anyone looking for hair and makeup for the wedding and I am confident that she would be great in any setting or for any event! laura kerr, Seattle, WA
I had first received amazing referrals from two ladies that had nothing but praise about working with Melissa for my branding photo shoot. It was a done deal before we even connected 🙂 She made me feel completely comfortable….like we had been friends forever. I felt completely confident during my photo shoot because I felt amazing and looked amazing and it shows in the final images that were produced…the photo shoot wasn’t a waste of money because I didn’t feel the need to knit pick my appearance.Actually, if I could, I’d have Melissa fly with me everywhere I could go so she could be all mine. But that would be selfish, right? I just loved and appreciated Melissa’s presence, professional but personal.
alicia caine, ceo & founder, alicia caine international, www.aliciacaine.com.
Usually makeup artists can be very heavy handed and the makeup can be caked on – but Melissa wasn’t like that at all! It looked so natural and beautiful, and very fresh and clean. I’ve noticed that since I worked with Melissa I have been more motivated to work on my makeup! I realized a little goes a long way. Melissa was very easy to work with! She was responsive to what my desires were and didn’t try to push other ideas on me.I looked amazing in all my photos! I always send my friends her way when they need hair and makeup done.
I just want to thank Melissa from the bottom of my heart for being SO AMAZING on my wedding day!!! I have never felt so beautiful in my entire life- and that's what every bride dreams of on on their big day. (I'm pretty picky too!)
She was so supportive throughout the whole process. She was great, so fun to work with and be around- and she pulled it off with just two gals instead of the planned three- which is pretty amazing. Even my mother and bridesmaids- I have never seen each of them look so beautiful before. Everyone was thrilled.
I also have to add that she was so creative, and made my fantasy of sewing flowers into my hair a reality- AND she even took time to text with me from her family dinner when I was buying extensions to make sure I got the right ones. She stayed and helped with touchups after the ceremony and during photos which was super helpful. She remained professional throughout it all, even when our bus driver got lost and the ceremony started 90 mins late! Above and beyond! I'd give her more stars if I could.
Thank you so much Melissa! I will definitely be hiring her for any formal events that come up in the future!!! Can't wait for the opportunity to work with her again!
xo jenni gardner, San Francisco, CA
I recently got married and hired Melissa to do my hair and makeup for both our engagement photos and wedding and couldn’t be more thrilled. She is super friendly, organized and a great listener. Also, she was very prompt in returning emails, which made it easy to communicate and plan. It was such a pleasure working with her and I hope to work with her again in the future.
For our wedding, we met prior for a consultation and trial. I loved my hair + makeup after my trial- she beautifully created the exact look I was going for. Luckily, it was my (now) husband’s birthday that night so I got to show off my look at his party and his exact quote was “you need to do your makeup like that every day”!
After the trial, I was confident that I would be happy with my look, however I was blown away with how awesome my hair and makeup turned out. She added a little more flair to my hair; and the airbrush makeup was flawless. Melissa met us at the venue and stayed through ceremony and the after-pictures making touch-ups when necessary and changing up my hair a little bit for the reception before she took off. My hair and makeup lasted all night- through some joyful tears and plenty of dancing. My husband still talks about how beautiful I looked! ashley ponce morrison, rn
Melissa was an epic delight to work with. She made us feel so comfortable and relaxed, and any worries we had quickly disappeared. She really took the time to listen to us and hear how we desired to look in the shoot. And the results were ah-mazing! She is a true talent and anyone who works with her is blessed.
jordana jaffe and genavieve shingle jaffe, business and legal coaches, and founders of the magical business academy. www.magicalbusinessacademy.com.
Look no further – Melissa is the one for you! She did my hair and makeup for a boudoir shoot and I fell in love with her work so I hired her to do my wedding, and I have no regrets! Melissa listens to what I wanted, and was able to suggest looks when I was unsure. During the trial, I showed her a photo of the updo I wanted and not only did she do it, she put a little twist in it (literally!) and it came out better than I ever imagined! After the trial, I asked her to make a few tweaks to hair and makeup and she did so without any hesitation.
Everyone complimented me on the day of, with folks saying my hair and makeup went so well with my dress and that I looked so stunning.
Melissa is super organized, very professional, and has a wonderful attitude. You won’t go wrong with her! andrea maranon guinto
So, I’m pretty picky when it comes to hair and makeup. I really don’t like to look too “done,” and nearly every time I’ve had professional primping, I ended up looking just… not like me. I’m usually tempted to just do it myself, but this shoot was special. I knew I could trust Melissa. I’m not kidding when I say I partially chose the location of my shoot because I knew I could work with her!
From the moment I hired her, Melissa went above and beyond. The questionnaire she sent me before (and the Pinterest board she assembled!) made me feel so loved and tended to. The looks she came up with were exactly what I was hoping for, so I felt immediately at ease about the day itself. At the shoot, Melissa’s presence is at once completely confident, soft and warm. She is responsive and attentive. She notices every detail. She offers skilled opinions but defers to your desires. Her work is very intuitive — she knows how to call forth the facet of your range that is needed for the moment. She conjures your shininess, without making you feel inauthentic or plastic. Basically, she is a beauty shaman.
I love the pictures that were taken with Melissa’s support more than any others that have ever been taken of me. Including my wedding photos. Hands down. I’m so spoiled now, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to work with another hair & makeup person again. Book her!
ginny muir, body & soul guide www.ginnymuir.com.
I’ve done two Personal Branding Shoots with Melissa and Wendy Yalom. After my shoot, I could see myself differently, and my confidence increased. Melissa made me feel super comfortable and supported the whole day. My first shoot was pretty nerve wracking and I had no idea what to expect. I loved my hair and make-up, I actually looked in the mirror and said ‘wow’, which is not something I’m used to saying! Having her there the whole day to do touch-ups, change my hairstyle and lip color was amazing, I’ve never felt so taken care of! I was done-up, but my make-up didn’t feel (or look) heavy or cakey. Thanks so much for making both of my shoots really fun days and making me look beautiful and feel confident!
joanna turner, business & success coach; www.missionforbalance.com.
Melissa did a great job on my makeup! I was so happy with how I looked and felt so pretty! I received so many positive comments! She came up with some great ideas and everything looked so flawless and natural on me! She is so friendly and personable as well as professional. I highly recommend her!
jessica slatt, rn.
Melissa was so wonderful to work with on our wedding day! She arrived early and gave each of my bridesmaids and mom the personal attention they deserve! She is so sweet and calm that we were all at ease, which was particularly great on such an important day.
The makeup was flawless and I am now a life-long supporter of airbrush foundation. It makes such a difference in the photos and made me feel like a more confident bride! Oh and the eyeliner was to die for! So gorgeous!
I cannot recommend Melissa enough. I received so many compliments about how I was simply glowing that day and I owe that partly to Melissa and partly to my husband! whitney grant, handwriter at www.roseycalligraphy.com