Friday, June 10, 2011

Getting Inner Beauty to the Surface

I have worked for my entire adult life in the field of womens health.  First as an obstetrical nurse delivering babies, then as a lactation consultant, and now as a feminine photographer.  And through all of this I have realized that 99.99% of success in anything is what goes on in a persons head.

So much of this internal dialog is scripted by other peoples input into the wiring of our brain.  I have seen women who are absolutely classically beautiful who see nothing but flaws in themselves.  And I have been inspired by women that through the challenges they have faced have learned to see the exquisite beauty in their earthly form. My best example of this came when I was a young nurse working with a woman who was admitted to hospital because she was pregnant with IVF Triplets and was getting to term.  Her stomach was the size of an inflated beachball and was riddled with stretch marks made more obvious by her beautiful mocha skin.   She was 40 years old and had not been able to have children but was happily laying in that bed tracing the spider web of stretchmarks on her amazing belly.  One of the young corpsmen (this was in my Navy days) came in and asked her if she was worried about the stretch marks... She looked at her and laughed and said "Honey, they are the most beautiful lines in the world because they are decorations from my babies."  This woman with no makeup, serious bed hair, bloated belly and ankles in that moment was the most beautiful and inspiring woman I had ever seen in my entire life.   She radiated a very quiet confidence in the miracle of her body.  The angel inside of her was dancing on the surface and was plain for all to see who took the time to look.  I think I hugged her...Yes I am pretty sure I did or if I didn't I did in my spirit.

That beauty... that I saw in her that day, is the beauty I look for in all of the women I photograph.  I watch it hiding quite deep many times and as we start the session I tease it and pull it and dance with it until that amazing confidence and inspiration is just humming right there on the surface for all to see.   It is a dance I do with my beautiful clients.

About a month ago I had a moment of doubt as you do.  I started to worry about the choices I had made going into photography full time.  I had spent my adult life training to be a healer, and becoming quite good at it.  Then over the course of a couple of years I slowly pulled myself out of that world and answered the call of the artists in my soul who had been silenced for too long.  I reached a point where I was doing very little classical nursing work and 99% art.   I started to look at it and think that I was being a bit selfish.  I mean I was given this gift of healing and helping and now what was I doing but creating art that pleased me.   It seemed so self involved and I wondered if I had made the right decision.   My life before that had been all about service and this was the first time I wasn't working for the government or an NGO and now I had the gall to be in business for myself....This was the little girl who wanted to run away and join Mother Theresa when she was little.

This was still all swimming around in my head...How do I align my service, healing, midwifery/doula part of my soul with my art?  Then I rocked up to my Museum Hotel Shoot.   6 women, 6 deliveries of confidence and pride.  Just like the births I used to attend, not one was similar.  Each woman brought in her own layers of fear, and concern and trepidation to the shoot and my gift was to help deliver her inner beauty to the surface so that the world could see it shining.  Some came in and it took champagne, girl talk, and play to wrestle that confidence out.  Others showed up crowning and ready to go from the start.  The tipping point for me was  watching the women's faces when they saw their images and having one break down in tears of joy and relief when she saw how absolutely stunning she was.  I asked her why she was crying and she said it was because she didn't in her heart believe I could make her look as beautiful as the women on my website.  I told her she was nuts, and she was a stunner and she absolutely was!  I realized that I had not forsaken midwifery spirit at all....I had just finally found a way to fuse it with my art.  Sometimes we just need to spend a bit of time in the dark scary places of our confidence to really appreciate the brilliant "ah HA" moments.  So that is me now, I am a midwife of inner beauty...I like the ring of that.

Eva Strangelove | Wellington Fashion Photographer

Model: Eva Strangelove
Designer: Voon
Milliner: Liza Foreman
Hair: Derek Elvy
Makeup: Kerry Taylor
Photography and Post: Mandi Lynn

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What can you say about our gorgeous Andrea.  She is sunshine in a corset.  This woman never seems to stop smiling or just throwing out genuinely giddy vibes.    Her happiness flows over as much as her corset and is an absolute dream to work with. 

Alice and the Wellington Wind | Wellington Pin Up Photographer

Ah Alice, What a honey!  This gorgeous girl was kind enough to go on the Telethon with us on just a moments notice.  And not only that was posing for me by the mirror rocks in front of TePapa and the lovely Wellington wind decided to treat passers by to a lovely Marilyn moment.  So glad the camera was ready.  Priceless.  No amount of wind machines or clever posing could have created such and authentically wonderful moment.....I just love serendipity. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Liza Limpecka Series

One of my favourite Artists is Tamara Limpecka and I have always wanted to do a photography homage to her.  When Liza Foreman asked me to do a photo essay of her beautiful pieces of millinery I thought it was a perfect opportunity to combine the two.  We put together an amazing team of 6 models, 4 makeup artists, 3 hair stylists, two clothing designers and a Milliner to complete this project in one afternoon at the Museum Hotel.
Model: Ellen Jean Stewart
Hair and MakeUp: Ellen Jean Stewart
Photography and Post: Mandi Lynn
Designer: Kerrie Huges

3 cheers for Vogue Italia 3 + size models on the cover!!!!

Today I would like to celebrate Italian Vogue's decision to put 3 beautiful plus size models on the cover. Outstanding!!! And a long time in coming.   Personally for me, feminine beauty does not come simply in one package only but in multiple shades and multiple sizes, and our societal fixation solely on one look only saddens me.  Tall and skinny look great on a runway because of their ethereal like quality but there is something to be said definitely for the shimmy and shake in the walk of a girl who has padded out her curves too.  So today I will walk the streets applauding everyone I meet for the sheer beauty of the frame that their soul walks in, from a diminutive granny and all of the life she carries in her beautifully sculpted wrinkles, to our stunning pacific island sisters with their mocha skin and thick abundant dark hair, to the sprightly teenager trying out different looks to see which one resonates with her soul I will walk with a secret smile for every lady I meet.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mandi Does Burlesque

So those of you that follow my antics on the Facebook fan page will have heard my proclaiming that I was going to challenge myself to lose 45 kg (100lbs) and do a burlesque dance for my 40th birthday.  I have till November 2012 to pull this off and figured I better get started.

I decided to do this for several reasons.
1.  I grew up as a tomboy and I somehow missed  learning basic girl things,  like how to walk in heels and flirt for that matter, that an just going from serial monogamy to married at a very young age I kind of skipped the whole flirtatious dating scene thing (I went to a 80% guys school and was in the U.S. Navy, I could have had 3 boobs and a watermelon growth out my head and I would have still had plenty of suitors).
2.  I am a Scorpio and we are naturally sensual and seductive.
3.  Now I am almost 40 haven't a clue how to flirt, overweight, and am single....but the brilliant part is I am free to go learn this stuff without anyone being able to say squat about it!!!!   And I want to.  It looks like so much fun.
4.  I have spent the last 7 years mucking in on a farm...enough was enough the girl in me wanted to come out and play.
5. After opening my photography studio and mulling for three years on my logo it finally manifested itself as a bright Barbie doll pink and I have completely found my groove photographing women and empowering them to look their most amazing and celebrate their bodies what ever size they came in, now I wanted to look as amazing as them somewhere.

So when I heard about Miss LaBelle's Burlesque class I thought.  "Right I am at my top weight ever.  I weigh more now than I did when I was nine months pregnant with my son and if I can learn to embrace myself at this size and stand tall proud and sexy with it then I will rock it even more when I am in a physically healthier space."  So I went along tonight in my red "hooker shoes" as my mum likes to call them and wobbled in.    Grace the teacher was disarming lovely and her studio "kitten" was in a corset fishnets and was roughly my size in the posterior regions.  I took one look at her and relaxed significantly.  Now learning the steps I reminded myself of a slightly less than graceful giraffe as in my three inch wedges I towered about a foot above most of the class and my legs seemed to not have a clue what my arms were doing.  But it was fun and by the end of the class I had a semi semblance of a swish to my walk...which I promptly practiced (a much subtler version) all the way up Cuba street to the photography meeting I was late for at Southern Cross.    But I felt sexy, and swish, all 120+kgs of me and that felt divine.

So if you have been thinking about it, but haven't had the nerve to try it.  I say go for it.  Grab a friend if you need to, but take the class.  Claim your feminine powers back! And stand strong and proud in your 3 inch hooker shoes with your new confident swish to your stride.  Get your girly on!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Marvelous Maddie | Wellington Pin Up Photographer

Maddie is absolutely stunning and came with a very cool concept for how she wanted to be photographed.   She brought in images from a magazine shoot that she really liked the hair and make up on and the styling of the shoot and we did our own take with the dramatic makeup and sultry chic feel to it.  I just adore her in this shot and there were so many more delicious ones.  She is already concocting what she wants to do for her next shoot in August.

The July Pin Up shoot at the Museum Hotel is booking up already so make sure you get your space if you are keen.  $250.00 will get you primped for and hour and a half with the amazing crew of Natalie from Hil Cook's team and Emily from Belles Bombshells then you get an hour and half photo shoot with me (yeah!).  They are so much fun!  I LOVE doing these shoots so much!!!
Book your shoot here

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Liza Limpecka

Our next shoot for the Goddess on the Cliff Collective will be a shoot of Liza Foreman's Hats taken atop dresses by Kerrie Huges and Sophie Voon.  The setting will be the Museum Hotel...can you tell it is one of my favourite haunts.  Ansu Singh, Nicola Pepperill, Hope Burns, and Grier Birkinshaw have agreed to be our models.  The shoot will be taking inspiration from the Great Gatsby as well as the paintings of Tamara Limpecka.

Gatsby images

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brilliant Body Painting Artist | Ellie Stewart

Now this girl can paint.  I could not even begin to believe the beautiful work that Ellie did on our model Jepha for the calendar.  If you ever get the whim to be body painted for an absolutely OTT photoshoot....this is your girl!

Get your spot booked

To book in for one of our sessions first you need to tell us a bit about yourself by filling in the form below.

If you would like to reserve your space and make sure you don't miss out then visit our paypal by now feature below.

Private Session:

Girly Day Specials

Museum Hotel Wellington
July 2 $250.00 special (4 spaces)

July 3 $250.00 special (2 spaces)

August 27 (4 spaces)

August 28th (4 spaces)


I have the best job in the world.  I get to prove to people how beautiful I see them!  Women come to my studio often nervous somewhat shrinking violets, and by the time we are only halfway through the photo session they feel so amazingly beautiful that they are just about ready to strut down main street in their nickers.  It is a beautiful transition watching someone inner beauty bloom right in front of my eyes.  Magic really.

I have worked for years with women, first as an obstetrical nurse and now as a multi award winning photographer.  I used to deliver I deliver women back to their own sensuality and power as feminine creatures.   Stunning...and so much fun.

So what is it gonna cost?  Returning to your true feminine nature and getting magazine worthy photographs of the occasion....Priceless.  So really everything I do is an extreme bargain.  

To get my team of crack make up and hair artists undivided attention for 1.5 hours....$150.00
To get my creative eye for an hour and a half plus a mini modelling lesson $290.00.
Prints start at $290.00.
Portfolio Packages start at $1200.00 and can go up into the thousands depending on how much you want to pamper yourself.  The choice is yours. 

Fashion | New Zealand Fashion Photographer

a sampling of the Commercial Fashion Work by Mandi Lynn

New Zealand Fashion Week for Basquesse

Vogue Italia

Some of our work featured in Italian Vogue  for full credits please click on the Vogue button.

Angela Lewis
(waiting for release date but Summer Range just shot)

Return to Eden 
Elegant Children's Clothing | Editorial for Oh Baby Magazine

Mandi loves to shoot modelling portfolios for adults and children of all levels of experience.  And also just for women who want the experience of being a model for a day. 

A 40th to Remember | New Zealand Pin Up Photographer

Donna just had her 40th birthday last month.  I want to look this great at 40!!!!

Americarna Alamode | Wellington High Concept Image Producers

Americarna A La Mode
The wait is over!  Americarna Calendars are finally available.  These little babies are raising money for Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and the Hutt Hospital's Neonatal Unit.  They are limited edition only 2000 of them will be made and a quarter of them sold before they were even printed, so make sure you get yours before they are gone.

Order Yours today!
Get them while they are still getable!

Signed or Unsigned?

One persons crazy idea turned into 60 peoples play time creating this whimsical calendar...we even got the fire service involved!

Over 60 volunteers from around the country chipped in to make this calendar to support the Special Care Baby Unit and when the Christchurch Earthquake hit in the middle of filming they all said lets print some more and help them out too!

Middle of summer and dead freezing for this shoot.  Check out the blue jacket Georgia was wearing in the behind the scenes while her poor sister was in her bikini in the blustery Petone Foreshore. 

This beautiful Packard is one of only 7 in the world.  The model on top is a one of a kind :).

Our angel was our 13th month.  I just thought the dress was so pretty I wanted to use it and then into my studio walked Nicola...I hadn't seen her in a year or so (she is the daughter of a good friend), and I thought...there is my angel...and so she was.

All proceeds are being split between the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and the Special Care Baby Unit at the Hutt Valley DHB.   So make sure you buy one for yourself and one for someone you love.
Pay it forward it forward.

Own a business?  Wanna make your clients really happy and do something good for the community too.... then get them a pin up calendar.  If you pay for 9 calendars we will send you 10 in your package.  Yeah!!!!  The calendars are G rated, and appeal to both men and women, and the cause is just lovely and will give you good business karma.

Signed or Unsigned?