I can’t speak for everyone, but boudoir photography was a natural progression for me from doing figure drawing and painting in college and incorporating my experience there with my photography business.
When I finally decided I wanted to try a boudoir shoot it was quite awhile into my business career. I asked around to a few friends, but it just wasn’t what they were looking for. I took the dive and put up an ad on craigslist (yes that was me!). I offered a free boudoir shoot to someone in trade for the ability to share them in my portfolio.
Of course, I had to be careful. There were certain emails I didn’t respond to and I’ll leave you to fill in the details. I required that before the boudoir shoot everyone interested in scheduling one would have to meet me at a Starbucks. Public place, safety and I also wanted them to get comfortable with me before they made the choice to do it.
Thankfully my caution paid off and that one free client turned out to be a great referral and things grew from there. I wouldn’t recommend this method of getting into boudoir photography for everyone. It was a bit risky for some, but it worked for me.
If you guys are interested in getting into boudoir photography start with the clients you’ve already had and see if they’ll come back and do a trial boudoir session for you. Ask your friends, ask your booked brides…eventually if you keep asking around you’ll meet that one gal who has always wanted to do it and it’ll happen. It might take awhile. If you decide to go the Craigslist route – please use caution and be safe!
The hardest thing I hear about getting into boudoir photography is trying to find poses that are classy. Look up boudoir photographers and take some images with you. I used to load up image pose ideas into my iPad and bring that along to fish through if I got stumped. The more you get used to it the more natural it will become. If you would like a boudoir posing guide we have one >in the shop<.
Once you start boudoir photography know that your clients are going to need a lot of attention to detail in preparing. Help them figure out what to wear, put a limit on outfits (some clients come overwhelmed with ideas), pick a location that’s out of their norm. Boudoir shoots at home work for some ladies who can do the mind over matter thing, but it doesn’t work for everyone. It’s easier to feel sexy in an environment that’s new to you. Sometimes it’s hard to picture classy, sexy images done in your own home, but it can be done if you bring a few clever props. Not only do we discuss the location heavily, but we also discuss a lot about what to wear and how to relax. Some clients practice poses in the mirror. I encourage my clients to get their hair and makeup done. While I don’t offer those services as part of a package I do recommend places and people they can go to who I have worked with before. Have your clients really get ready so they feel sexy and special. Compliment them, have fun and laugh! I always bring a cheap bottle of wine and some chocolate for those who want that help relaxing.