Around the Way PhotoStory: Michelline Chassagne

There's something about energy that draws people into you and your story wanting to learn more and creates this phenomenon of a following on social media. I stumbled on a blog back when blogs were just getting popular back in 2009/2010 and I've been hooked on the powerful yet carefree energy that is Michelline Chassagne.

I loved her eye for art and color and wished I could put together an outfit the way she does so effortlessly. Years have passed and I was able to catch up with the media maven for a day in the life photo session. I love these because you get to see what a typical day might look like and learn a few things about them and they're daily hangouts which I definitely did in her beloved Bed-Stuy.

What does a typical day look like for you? My mapped out days vary from chill, busy to very busy (and sometimes WTF!). I've been a longtime independent consultant/contractor in NYC, specializing in music management, marketing, program management, event production in arts, music festivals and culture in the non-profit sector. A typical day starts off with watching the sunrise, thanking GOD for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, my cat's meow for eat, and WACK alternate side parking. After that, I warm up my tea kettle, or head to one of my top five BK cafes for a chai tea latte (yeh, I know dessert in the morning isn't cool). If I'm home, I light my favorite scent for aromatherapy sake, turn on my music, and get twenty minutes of varied exercise, or movement in. As the morning progresses, I move into my daily work routine, business calls and pull out my tools of the trade (Mackbook, more MUSIC, mobile phone, chargers, black pens, notebooks, guides/books/creative inspiration, and so forth). If I'm not working at home, I can be found at some of my local neighborhood cafes. I'm in the middle of three projects right now, and preparing to take my lifestyle website/blog www.MichiHIGHLIGHTS.com off hiatus. It's an exciting time for me, but my life isn't as carefree as it may appear on IG stories (we curate stories on social media). My days require a wide range of research, original content creation, meetings, and discipline. I thrive off focus like most ambitious people and professionals.

You write of neighborhood swoons, what draws you to the locations you choose? What made you choose the spots we visited?: I'm a lifestylist; a certified explorer in my own city, or when traveling to other cities, states and countries. My #NeighborhoodSwoon(s) are people, pulse & location driven. I selected my neighborhood locations in Bed-Stuy,Brooklyn because I'm a resident of the community. My strong affinity to good vibes, people and aesthetics are straightforward and necessary. We started off at M & D Bodega (absolute favorite Mini Market in Bedstuy), then we walked a few steps over to Willoughby General General Store to pick up a magazine, and skipped across the street and spent 2.5 hours with Janette, owner of Wine-O boutique. It's always a good time in her fully stocked wineshop. I've had many stimulating conversations and laughs with other patrons visiting there. Our last stop was BKLYN BLEND. Okay, let me say that it was love at first site when I entered their doors. It's a warm and inviting space, that is family owned. You can go into the cafe on any given day, and witness attractive and diverse people from all walks of life, ethnicites, ages, on and on. They have make delicious fresh juices, smoothies, shakes, split pea patties, salads and sandwiches. I take everyone there now, with my Macbook in tow. I've deemed BKLYN BLEND the official neighborhood meeting spot — winks!

Where do you find inspiration?: When I walk down an avenue or a street, I often think about the people and families that occupy the space, brownstones or business. I think about happiness, sadness, thrills, joy, freedom, or challenges taking place in their households. We all have plenty of stories to tell, and they're all intricate. Spirituality, inner-peace, my Mother, family, friends, (even family pets), insight, ARTS, MUSIC, CULTURE, STYLE, LOVE, nature, relationships, hopeful romantics, mistakes, hard lessons, experiences, and travel are my greatest inspirations.

What do you think is the best thing about living in Brooklyn?: Hands down... the diverse culture, arts & entertainment, culinary arts, neighborhoods, aesthetic, and overall vibrations. Although, the borough has changed rapidly over the years, I'm still drawn to the little things and vast beauty Brooklyn delivers.

What advice would you give a creative looking to step out in their craft?: Identify your drive and passions. It's one of your deepest lifelines. However, find a mentor, think smart, do your research on your industry, build a strategic plan, and dedicate TIME to your craft. This advice applies to individuals working full & part-time jobs, contracts, consulting gigs + grand careers. You may not get much sleep, but you will be fulfilled when you take an at-a-glance look at your life. Be a free spirit that pays your mortgage/rent/bills. Starving artistry is not agave sweet in NYC, or really in any city. Pray, cultivate, create and continue to build the life you truly want for yourself.

Michi, I had such a great day with you and meeting all of your neighbors and friends (some now my friends lol) where can everyone find you on the inter webs? @MichiHighlights and Michihighlights.com

 

I love getting to work with creatives and catch of glimpse of what makes them sparkle and like me vibes work for Michelline. Meeting social media friends in real life can be hit or miss but this connection felt like we'd known each other for years. Be sure to follow along on her adventures through our beloved Brooklyn, her Instagram stories are EVERYTHING and stay tuned for the relaunch of the space I fell in love with all those years ago.

BABY A'S CHRISTENING PORTRAIT SESSION | NYC FAMILY LIFESTYLE

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

~Kahlil Gibran

She's bright, energetic, smart, and ready to get on with growing up. She is her grandmother's pride and joy, her grandpa's biggest smile, and the greatest blessing to her Mom and Dad. I was there to capture the fun of their baby shower and I was honored when Chrystal asked me to take Little A's portraits.

It really is an honor to be invited in for these special moments and Miss A was the sweetest character to capture.

I was happy to send the family the new Folio Box Collection to keep this part of her childhood forever and ready for framing.

LOVE + BASKETBALL ENGAGEMENT SESSION | BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

One of the best things about being a Brooklyn portrait photographer is the luxury of having a variety of environments to photograph clients that all highlight what makes living in New York City so great. Open fields, cobblestone streets, skylines, the beach...it's a photographer's dream. Mike & Queen are both Brooklyn babies and wanted to tie his love of basketball and her love of Brooklyn together, so we met at Brooklyn Bridge Park for the recent engagement session.

Love&Basketball-Engagement-1.jpg

Taking their queue from the movie, Queen was ready to play for Mike's heart.

All's Fair in Love & Basketball.

There are few things prettier than natural light love sessions, we took advantage of our pretty day and the Brooklyn Bridge provided the perfect backdrop to their love story.

She blushes at the mention of being his wife and her eyes brings out his brightest smile, together they'll blend a gorgeous family and live out the sweetest happily ever after yet!

Thank you guys for trusting me with this part of your story, I cannot wait for the big day!

UNDER THE SEA BABY SHOWER | BROOKLYN,NY

I was over the moon when I heard Beauty & the Beast was being remade but secretly I wished for a Little Mermaid remake was in the works too. When Umoja Events asked me to capture this super cute Under the Sea themed baby shower I couldn't say yes  fast enough!

The shower was hosted by the Aunt-to-Be and she kept the energy fun and light for the expectant parents and the little details made this the sweetest shower.

We lucked out on weather that day so I took Mom and Dad for a quick walk and impromptu maternity shoot around Crown Heights. Let's all send good wishes their way as they count down the days until Little Bailey makes her entrance.