Ever wanted to know what it takes to be an in demand boudoir photographer or run your own successful boudoir photography studio?
For over the past 9years, My Beautiful Boudoir has had a strong partnership with a then young, ambitious photographer whose talent, wit and character made him the perfect choice to be our sole boudoir photographer. Since then, a lot has changed with the structure, style and client demands on our studio. However, one thing has remained the same; the urge and true desire to make every woman (or man) that comes through our doors to look & feel damn sexy and totally empowered!
In this post, our photographer (Michael) has been tasked to discuss his top 5 tips to achieving success in the boudoir industry. Our little way to give back for all that we’ve kindly received and learnt over the years. Please, proceed to our Boudoir photography workshop page if you wish to learn more on a 1-1 basis with Michael and a professional boudoir model.
1 – THE PROCESS
- Research & Experiment – Confidence in your abilities as a photographer is no doubt one of the most important factors to consider before venturing into boudoir photography. Having a nervous client and a nervous photographer on a shoot can be an uncomfortable experience for both. You will need to be confident in all aspects of the photography processes from directing your clients poses to fully understanding your camera / light controls. This which can only be achieved by educating yourself, doing researches and ‘controlled’ experimentations.
2 – THE EXPERIENCE
- 1st Impressions – Boudoir photography for a lot of ladies and guys can be an intimating experience and the mere thought of having their pictures taken in less to nothing makes them feel super nervous, and who can blame them for that! We live in a society filled with images that make the most secure women have doubts about their body or looks. As such, from the moment they visit your website or make a phone call, to the ambience at your studio when they arrive for their shoot, has got to be spot on and well thought through. With trustworthiness being the key aim.
- Connection & Understanding – From an early stage in my career, I learnt that you had only a few minutes to make a connection (or not) with your client. They need to feel they can trust you to get ‘the job’ done professionally. The secret here is to go one step further – as most photographers have no problem being professional, you need to have character with your professionalism, as otherwise, you might come off as being cold, boring or prudish. Understanding exactly what your clients require from their shoot is also very paramount to being successful.
3 – THE RESULT
- Photography Style – Your photography is art and like every piece of art, it is subject to judgement, likes and dislikes. Not everyone will be a fan of your style, however, it is imperative to keep some consistency in your work because; (1). You will be different from the next boudoir photographer (2). You will always remain passionate about your work and when you’re passionate about your work, it sells it’s self!
- Photography Products – Your clients want the best products to show off their gorgeous pictures and you can either provide these at whatever the cost or you can offer cheaper alternatives that won’t do your work justice. A few years back, one of our independent suppliers stopped producing an album we felt was perfect for our clients. In replacement, they produced very similar albums which were slightly inferior and lacked the quality the previous one had. It would have been easier and cheaper to use these new albums but instead, we spent several weeks researching a new suitable alternative.
4 – THE BOOSTERS 1 – MARKETING
As the name suggest, Boosters are some key factors that can help take your work to a bigger audience, make your workflow better to manage and increase your success rate.
Like every business venture, your marketing activities have got to be carefully considered and properly implemented. From your digital footprints (website, SEO, social media etc) to offline activities (flyers, exhibitions etc) will have a direct impact on how successful you become. Unfortunately, marketing is a different ‘beast’ on it’s own and the total scope of this cannot be covered in this post. The bottom line is, do not wait for miracles to happen, you will need to be proactive to attain the level of success you wish for.
5 – THE BOOSTERS 2 – EQUIPMENT
I have purposefully left this as the last factor to consider because, one of the most popular questions I get asked during our 1-1 workshops is that; “What is the best camera or equipments to use?”. You can spend several thousand pounds buying the best equipments and gismos but without a solid understanding of your camera settings, lighting controls or how to use these effectively, it will merely be a pointless shopping experiment.
Needless to say that once you had an understanding of these requirements, investing in top photography equipments (computer, software, camera, lighting etc) will totally improve your workflow and add so much more quality to your finished work.
Disclaimer – Success to me isn’t necessarily the amount of money you make, popularity you acquire but effectively what YOU wish to achieve. As such, it is important to set a goal on what YOUR definition of success is and work to attain this goal. I hope these few pointers based on my personal experiences will help you on your journey to becoming a successful boudoir photographer. Feel free to add any other suggestions of yours by the comment box below. Good luck!