Featured Senior Portrait Session - Lauren

Welcome back!

Today I want you to meet Lauren. Grace, adventurous and highly intelligent are the words that come to mind when I think about this young woman.

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Lauren is a senior at Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts High School in Salt Lake City High School (SPA). She is part of the Dance Conservatory at SPA and specializes in Jazz. Lauren won a gift voucher for $550 to our studio when she one Best Jazz Dancer during a competition at SPA in May 2017.

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I loved the outfits that Lauren chose brought to the shoot. For example, her black leotard and tights were ideal for her black on black moody jazz portraits. She also brought a cute blue and white leotard we paired with some material during her leaps and jumps.

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Lauren chose a couple of outfits from our studio wardrobe. My favorite for her had to be her very last one. She wore a goddess style gown with lots of loose flowing material. She threw the material around while flying through the air like bird on the wing. It was nothing short of beautiful to watch.

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After high school, Lauren plans to continue dancing in college. This year, she is submitting her applications to various colleges all over the country. She stated she would like to get into a college that has a Jazz dance program.

Best of luck to Lauren! I know you'll do wonderful things.


The Vendors I Love

 I am constantly doing research and development to make the best experiences possible for my clients. But, honestly I am woman too, just like my clients. I am a consumer first and business owner second. I want to provide an experience I would enjoy myself. That is why I put a lot of time and effort into building relationships not only with you, but those who will take care of you when you are in the studio.


In the studio, I have built an extensive wardrobe to  make your session the very best it can be. I am often asked, “Where did you get this dress?” Well, here is a list of my favorite places to find wardrobe for your sessions. 

1. NASTY GAL Don’t let the name full you. This company has some of the most beautiful vintage and modern dresses out there today. I have quite a few of them in my client collection and they NEVER disappoint.  

2. Local Designer Cas Reich, Owner of Strange Beauty. Cas and I have collaborated a few times over the last few years. She has specially designed two gowns the studio and I have photographed her line. She has an unique style and is open creating something special for your dream photoshoot. If you can dream it we can do it.

3. Vintage Dress Shops. I am always on the lookout for those hidden gems that I can put on a mannequin and give an upgrade. I have been known to design and sew dresses right on the set in a matter of minutes.

4. Rent the Runway One of the greatest things about Rent the Runway is for as little as $30 you can literally rent a gown off the runway for 3 days, accessories and all. When you’re done, you put it in the return bag they send you and ship it back. They clean the gown or do whatever needs to be done to it.

5.  Etsy. has so many wonderful handmade custom gowns. One of my favorites though Atelier Kathrin. Particularly for maternity sessions.

Hair and Makeup Team

I feel pretty blessed to have a wonderful hair and makeup team ready to pamper you. Each of them also have their own salon's outside of working with me in the studio. They truly are the finest.

Myke Huncharek Dy  Myke is my primary stylist in the studio. He is nothing short of amazing and has one of the best chair side manners around. I have never had a client who did not enjoy her hour and a half pampering session with him.

Angela Woodward AngelaWoodwardCosmetology.com Angela has worked on clients for me a few times. I love her work. She has a very gentle disposition, but an very creative mind. 

Jolsina Hung of Jolie Couture on Main is another stylist I adore. 

OK, so these are just a sample of some vendors I love. Of course, our wardrobe is always available to you, but should you decide on a more personal touch by choosing, these are great places to start.

Not a Little Girl Anymore: Actress Micki Martinez

“I like the idea of being whoever I want to be.” 
― Dita Von Teese

I am verklempt! I cannot help it. I have been photographing Micki Martinez since she was a sophomore in high school. I have taken her acting head shots at least once a year since that time. Although I knew even then, this driven, beautiful, spicy Latina was headed for great things, I did not imagine one day I would be photographing her as the budding young woman. I mean I expected she would be my client for life, but she has changed so much over the years.

When she arrived at the studio last week for her session and met with my makeup artist, Myke, it hit me like a brick, she was all grown up. She has become one of the busiest stage actresses I know, some times in three to different projects at the same time while attending the University of Utah. She will be 20 next month and I can only imagine the awe her wonderful mother is in every time she looks at her daughter.

Personal message to Micki's Mother- "I certainly understand Chris, I see it myself. But know this, you are an amazing mother to Micki and you have done a stellar job of raising an independent princess."

Enough of my chatter, see for yourself:

Self-Care is Important for Every Woman, Even Me.

"Love yourself first and everything else will fall in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." - Lucille Ball


It would appear lately the universe has been sending me a steady message about the importance of self-care. The messages are subtle, but they are certainly not wasted on me. This time of year, I look toward the inevitability of aging another year and what that means for me going forward. I will be 45 on August 11th and for the first time in many years, I was not dreading the wrinkles, laugh lines in the mirror or prospect of having to change the way I dress to what is matronly or age appropriate. Whatever that means. But, just may be I feel this way, because I had not allowed myself time to really look inside.   It wasn't until my stylist referred to me as an "older woman" that it really started to sink in. Once he said this, it brought me right back to my singular role of wife and mother. Feeling like a beautiful woman was something I was no longer allowed to indulge in, I have a role to play that does not allow for such luxuries. Right? 

My husband consistently reminds me that while we are saving for future endeavors we need to budget our wants and needs to avoid becoming tapped out. The things I find a womanly necessity are of no consequence to him as a man. His haircuts are inexpensive, because he does not have a need for color or the latest trend. He does not wear makeup so $40 for lipstick is unfathomable. He does not get his nails done, so $100 every time I go to the nail salon is unnecessary. Lets not even start on my wardrobe. He is right, we do save a fair amount of cash this way, but my femininity takes a blow. My responsibility as homemaker can feel like a game of "whammy" at times.

In June, I made the decision to join a studio in Cottonwood Heights to offer clients a better service experience. In all transparency, until then I was taking clients part-time while working a full-time position that allows me to telecommute. Creating balance has not been easy for me, but I am getting it done. I love my clients and I do everything I can to give the best service.

In addition to running a business and working a second position, I am a wife, a mother of two; one is a junior in high school and the other is a sophomore in college. I can truly say keeping up with their needs and my responsibilities as a wife can be a challenge. So much so that I began to let my own needs take a backseat to whatever is needed elsewhere in my life.

I had not meditated or had a haircut in a year, I had not had my nails done in six months and I recently put off going to the physical therapist for a Grade 2 tear in my calf, because the time was not available in my calendar. I simply was not doing the things I needed to do to care for myself the way I use too. My stress level was hitting critical levels. I knew I needed to make some efforts to change it and soon; however, I had trained myself to smile and keep going.

I began feeling like I had unrealistic expectations by my friends, co-workers, family and even some clients. I felt like if I didn’t jump when someone called on my I was not being the best version of myself. The fact is I needed to start participating in some self-care. I needed to take some time out for myself daily to decompress from all that is going on around me.

So, I have. I bought a book to read that is not business related, I started watching mushy stories about romance on Hallmark Channel, because I love them so much. I started cutting myself some slack if dinner was not on the table by 6:05 pm, which is literally a expectation I have for myself. I started to break my calendar up into sections so I don’t get overwhelmed and I allowed myself to take a few minutes to sit quietly and just breathe.

I started to wonder if other women are going through the same thing and posted a question about it on my Facebook page. I found women do not practice as much self-care as they need too. While we all have things we want to do when we are stressed beyond our limit, many women are ready to sacrifice their self-care for the needs of those they love. I received comments like getting out into nature, breathing, eating a bowl of ice cream, and not caring about the calories. One gal stated, “take yourself on a date to a movie and don’t talk down to yourself.” It’s like the safety instructions on the airplane we have all heard at least once. “…Put the oxygen mask over yourself first, before you turn to help someone else.” You do not do anyone else any good, if you are not taking care of yourself.

The real importance of self-care is so you pay attention to what is going on with you mentally, emotionally, and physically. While many will reap the benefits of women putting someone else first, it could quite literally be our downfall. Heart Disease and Breast Cancer are two of the biggest risks to women medically. Lack of self-care impacts them both and could cost lives.

It’s important as women, wives, and mothers to remember we have a life of our own to live and not to forget to do things we enjoy for ourselves just as much as we do for others. Altruism is a kind gesture, but not at the cost of our own well-being.

With Love Ladies,



Why We Choose to Work with a Makeup Artist

A few of our HMUA team members. Myke Huncharek Dy, Meshech Bentalha, Rochelle Krizek, Sharlene Mitchell, Jolisna Hong.

A few of our HMUA team members. Myke Huncharek Dy, Meshech Bentalha, Rochelle Krizek, Sharlene Mitchell, Jolisna Hong.

We often get asked why we use makeup artists and how they can really benefit our seniors. There are many reasons why we choose to work with a MUA. We want to make you feel like a glamour model – using a makeup artist adds a special treatment that you don’t get every day. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a little pampering?

Most importantly, they also help you look your best. Even though I’m sure you do an excellent job with your makeup on an everyday basis, when it comes to photo shoots, you have to apply your makeup a little differently to make your best features really pop on film. You may not put on enough makeup normally to please the camera, but may put it on too heavy when trying to get it right for your session.

We choose to hire a professional so you don’t have to worry about it – just sit back and let them work their magic. They’ve done this a million times before and know what looks best on camera. Cameras are very technologically advanced and pick up everything, even things that may not be noticeable to the naked eye. Makeup artists know what to look for, what to enhance, and what to cover.

MUAs also know which shimmery shadows will photograph weird and what colors to avoid for photos. Some things that look good in person tend to look strange on camera. They know what eyeliner to use to make your eyes pop instead of hiding them in shadows, and they’ve got the 4-1-1 on photography makeup. I prefer to leave this matter in the hands of the professionals. We include this service with most of our packages. If you have any questions, you can contact us at info@kristiemontrois.com.