No one comes out of the womb knowing how to be a boudoir photographer, no matter how effortless they may make it seem! There is so much to learn when it comes to photography as a whole, it can be intimidating to start offering boudoir. With boudoir, you are asking someone to be vulnerable with you, and when you are a new photographer, you’re also pretty vulnerable. When you are just starting to offer boudoir services you may not have any experience at all, and that’s okay.
When I first started to offer boudoir, I was very confused about what all goes into it and how to even get started. Did I need special training? A certificate? No one was really talking about these things, so I wanted to run through the top 5 tips that I wish someone had given me when I started out.
Boudoir is kind of like a Band-aid, you just have to rip it off and go for it! There will always be a reason why you shouldn’t, why you can’t, why you aren’t prepared, etc.
Do you see the common denominator in all of those? They are things you believe, and you may be letting them stop you, but they aren’t the truth.
The only thing standing in between you starting your boudoir business and not starting it is just you and your mindset! Once you admit to yourself that you are standing in the way, you will be able to see past these false beliefs that you may have and you can get your business up off the ground!
You CAN do this!
You don’t need a studio, fancy lighting, and the perfect set-up to get started. If you have a camera (and a model), you have all that you need for your first shoot! If you are looking to do natural light boudoir, all you need is a window and a wall. You are already ahead of the game! A nice big bed and a fancy studio may make a difference later on down the road, but you have to get started on the path somewhere! There are so many poses you can do standing up, or you can improvise without a bed and shoot on a comforter on the ground! When I got started, that is exactly what I did! I put a comforter on the ground, opened up a window to let the natural light in, figured out the best angle to make it look like my model was on a bed, and I had my very first successful boudoir shoot.
When you first get started, building your portfolio can seem like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be! Again, use what you have- your social media, friends and family!
If you don’t feel comfortable posting on your social media right now, that is totally fine. Send out a couple DM’s with your offer, letting them know that you are just starting out and are asking them to give you their time in exchange for some free digital images. They may say no, but even if they do, I can almost guarantee you that they will feel honored that you even thought to ask them!
This may be a step outside of your comfort zone, but remember my first tip, YOU are standing in your own way! This means that you will have to push yourself at times, but it will be so worth it in the end!
Having a website, an Instagram, a private Facebook group (or all of the above), will give people a way to discover you! If you don’t promote yourself and your boudoir services, people won’t know that you even offer them! Social media is great because it is a way to advertise yourself and your business for free!
Warning: It can be a little tricky with boudoir because you can’t post your pictures everywhere for everyone to see, especially out of respect for our clients. It is totally understandable when a client asks us not to share their images! Don’t let this discourage you though!! There are so many creative ways to promote yourself and gain exposure for your boudoir services, you may just need to think outside the box sometimes!
If you don’t know what to charge for your first couple of sessions, that is ok! Your pricing is a living, breathing organism. It’s also ok to start out a little bit lower at first while you’re getting your feet wet. You can move up the scale as you get more experience and feel more comfortable about things.
One thing that I do recommend is a disclaimer that prices are subject to change without notice. Later on, you may have a client want to book you at your rates from a few months ago. This saves you that headache, even though it’s well within your right as a business owner to do so. 🙂
That’s it! Those are the 5 pieces of advice that I wish someone had given me when I was starting out! Starting a boudoir business doesn’t have to be as scary as we build it up to be in our heads! The key is to believe in ourselves. Push past the voices in our heads that tell us we can’t do it!
I believe in you and I can’t wait to see your boudoir business take off! Comment below if you have any questions or if any of these tips have helped you!
Boudoir photography celebrates all the ways your crazy beautiful body has held you up, moved you forward, and turned you into a woman who can get. it. done. Sis, that is something that should make you proud.
I’m Emma, a Sioux Falls Boudoir Photographer. Helping people feel their best has always been part of who I am. Before focusing on photography, I worked as a nurse, and now I use that same expert care to help women feel like a million bucks. Oh my gosh, it is the best.