One of the fastest growing niches in the photography industry is boudoir, and with good reason.
Have you ever tried to take a boudoir selfie? Nope, it just doesn’t work.
There’s a special art form to creating a really great boudoir image. Yes, anyone can say they shoot boudoir and snap a few images outside. But to get really creative and have your work stand out from the crowd, it takes time and commitment to the art form.
What can you do to improve your images?
Study Boudoir Photography
With the Internet at your disposal, its easy to find very good photographers within this industry. Dedicate an hour or two to research and head out and find sites with the images you love and are comfortable taking and presenting to your clients. Yes, you can create a “hidden” board on Pinterest to mark your favorites and have immediate access to them at any time. And in fact, this is a great way to have your cheat sheet with you on your shoots. Just pull up your Pinterest app on your iPad, pull up your hidden board, and have inspiration at your fingertips as you shoot. Don’t be afraid to use those images as inspiration as you set up your own images – your style will come as you gain confidence and discover what works for you.
Don’t Assume Your Clients Know What To Do
When a client books a boudoir session, they have some understanding of what they want. But they still need direction. Instead of a quick conversation – bring this and that – establish a marketing kit that provides them with the details. You can provide guidebooks on how to get comfortable in front of the camera. You can provide ideas for clothes and props to bring. You can provide sample images from other clients. Make it distinct for each individual client. This alone will give you an edge on looking and acting professional – your clients will love it.
Set Your Rules From The Beginning
Will you shoot in your studio or your clients’ homes? Will you shoot outside? Will you work with nudity? Will you work with individuals or couples? Just because you define boudoir photography in one manner doesn’t mean your potential clients might not have a different definition. And it can be very uncomfortable if you aren’t working towards the same goal. Be very specific about what is acceptable and what isn’t. Don’t be afraid to have guidelines available – share them before you book with a client, and consider placing them on your website for anyone to see before they decide to book with you.
Does your client want the full treatment for her special day? Why not work with a makeup artist and a hair stylist who can come together with you for a complete package deal. Give her the royal queen treatment! Not only will she feel great, she’ll look happier and sexier for her final images too.
What’s The Final Product?
Sure she wants a boudoir session. But the session itself is only half of your service. What will she be taking home? A few images on a CD won’t cut it here. This is where you should have many options available for her to present her “surprise” to her significant other. A secret photo album? A framed image she can unveil? You can set the scene – and the excitement – by teaching your prospects what the outcome of a session will be.
Teach The Session
While many women love the concept of boudoir photography, some will definitely be more comfortable than others with the actual process. As a photographer, it’s your job to put your client at ease from the beginning. Can you create special videos to showcase the process? Can you show them the experience before they book with you? How do you talk with them when they first connect with you? How much detail can you put into your sales process to show them they can be comfortable every moment of the shoot? Boudoir isn’t like a family portrait. You can’t just show up and wing it. Put time into every aspect of it and it will improve your process immensely.
Understand Your Clients
Instead of reaching out to “all” women, choose a specific niche to work with. Maybe you live in an area where you can work with military wives wanting something extra special for their husbands’ homecoming. Maybe you work with cancer patients wanting to feel sexy with their bodies again. There are many directions you can take with boudoir photography, and it all can stretch beyond “every woman”. The more specific you are from the beginning, the easier it will be to create your marketing materials and reach out to your niche market.