Mandy was one of the winners of my Women’s Day Giveaway, 2018. She’s a writer for the Mke Mom’s Blog and was nominated by a close friend of hers.
Scroll to the end of the post here to read the beautiful nomination from her friend and to learn all about why Mandy is an amazing person who totally deserved and needed this experience of being photographed.
I was so excited to photograph her – and it ended up being just the most fun day, ever. I’m super happy to share her images, and now I’d like to share Mandy’s write-up on her experience:
“When I won the photo shoot, I had no idea what to expect. But meeting Jennifer made me instantly feel at ease and I knew that I was in great hands. I was beyond excited for the shoot based on the outfits that we picked out. I made a few changes and Jennifer was more than accommodating about it all! Jennifer completely understood me and the looks I was going for! The day of I was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be, and entering the studio took the rest of the nerves away! Theresa completely nailed the hair and makeup with little direction – the concept came together seamlessly! I really enjoyed chatting with the two of them as they made me feel so comfortable!When I put the first outfit on, I had to stop myself from tearing up because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in the mirror. I couldn’t believe it was me! When I stepped out of the dressing room, I felt like a new woman! Between the music playing and Jennifer’s laughter, the soundtrack for the day was set and kept me empowered and ready to go! Working with Jennifer was an absolute dream! She gave all of the right cues, let me know everything that was going on and was consistently encouraging.She made me feel like a superstar bombshell and I had a confidence I’d never seen in myself. She made the shoot easy and fun and I was sad when it was all over but excited to see the outcome!I was more nervous to see my photos than I was to take them, but I knew I was in good hands with Jennifer. She was ready for me with a Diet Coke and I had no idea what to expect. The slideshow was absolutely incredible and the behind the scenes footage of getting ready was a great touch – it made me feel like I was there all over again. From the moment that I saw the first photo, I sat with my mouth open wondering who that person on the screen was. I recognized bits of myself in each photo, of course, but I could not believe I was looking at myself.I didn’t expect to see the wall of photos but it was an incredible touch. I just stood there in awe and Jennifer reassured me and complimented me when she captured these works of art. Jennifer was patient as I made my selections, and it was evident that she takes such pride in her work because she kept coming back to them time and time again like she hadn’t seen enough of them. The care taken in the packaging was fantastic and I couldn’t wait to take them home and show my family.It’s incredible how each of my family members has a different favorite photo. My mom audibly gasped when she saw one and my son’s face lit up when he saw the one in my signature polka dots. My husband and my father both had looks of pride on their faces and I’ve never felt better about myself.Thank you Jennifer, for giving me this experience. I can never truly put into words how much this has meant to me.” ~Mandy
“I nominate Mandy Reilly! She is not only my best friend but she is a wife to Blake, Sister to Kyle, daughter to Mark and Mary, niece to Uncle Joe who sadly passed away and most importantly a mother to amazing and wonderful CJ!. She IS the glue that holds the entire family together. An activist and support for her Autism Awareness in honor of her son and brother. She has done the Milwaukee Climb for Air Fundraiser in honor of her mother who suffers from COPD. She is also an employee and a regular contributor to the MKE Moms blog.There is nobody she puts herself in front of, (even though she should and does try) She is ALWAYS there to lend a helping hand and listening ear. She is the one everyone goes to for everything they need especially in times of tragedy. Strong is not the word that covers her and I believe that Mandy above so many others deserves to have this amazing opportunity. She has recently been continuing to work on her weight loss and has broken a plateau and THIS experience I believe is exactly the thing to not only recognize her efforts of taking care of herself but to continue to propel them forward. I LOVE her and the only thing I wish more for is to be able to share in this experience with her.