Boudoir photography is one of the most unconventional photography professions. It’s more intimate in nature and requires a higher level of trust between client and photographer than most other forms of photography. A successful boudoir session requires a level of vulnerability from a client that pushes her out of her comfort zone. On a more personal level, there’s also the worry from clients about how their intimate photographs will be used once the session is complete.
With how much vulnerability is required in a boudoir session, it makes sense that clients should choose their photographers carefully. The question is what are the qualities to look for in a good photographer? While there are many good boudoir photographers, the fine line between being a good photographer and the best boudoir photographer lies in their level of professionalism. This includes how well they can communicate with clients, offer guidance, build trust, and just as important, establish a comfortable work environment. Let’s dive deeper.
Excellent Communication Skills
One very important skill the best boudoir photographers possess is excellent communication skills. This alone will determine how comfortable a client will feel working with a boudoir photographer, and will especially determine their future success in this industry. One aspect of having strong communication skills is the ability to respond to client inquiries in a timely and professional manner. If a photographer responds to client inquiries in a way that feels coercive or puts pressure on the client to book a session, they’re already off to a bad start.
The best boudoir photographers never put pressure on potential clients to book sessions and instead focus on understanding the client’s needs without making them feel embarrassed or judged. The best boudoir photographers answer clients’ questions honestly and communicate expectations clearly. This means explaining every step of a boudoir session from the time of arrival to deciding on wardrobe, makeup, and setting, to the photo session itself, and what clients can expect post-session. The best boudoir photographers help clients make informed decisions about what they want to get out of a boudoir session if they decide to book.
The Ability To Build And Maintain Trust
The other reason excellent communication skills are invaluable is that it helps boudoir photographers build and maintain trust with clients. This is especially important for boudoir photographers who are starting out in this industry because good first impressions are everything. Given the intimate nature of boudoir photography, clients will understandably prefer to work with experienced photographers who are well established. However, even well-established photographers need to possess excellent communication skills in order to stay in business.
Company reviews and feedback from past clients are an excellent source of information in determining the trustworthiness of a boudoir photographer. The number of good and bad reviews is a pretty good barometer for measuring a photographer’s professional behavior and business practices. Trustworthy photographers take an interest in their clients’ goals, listen to their expectations, prioritize their comfort, and respect their personal boundaries. Trustworthy photographers connect with their clients and help ease their feelings of nervousness throughout the entire session, not just during the shooting process.
Effective Guidance During Sessions
A major component of boudoir photography entails guiding clients during their entire session. Since most boudoir clients are not professional models, most are not familiar with the different types of poses and don’t know what to expect during their sessions. This is the third reason the best boudoir photographers prioritize excellent communication skills and building trust with their clients.
Different clients have different expectations and need to feel comfortable communicating those to the photographer. The client may have concerns about the level of nudity during a session and may even be self-conscious about how their bodies will look on camera. Some clients may not have worn lingerie before and may need help choosing an outfit. Additionally, clients may have questions about how their makeup will be done. The best boudoir photographers will help clients feel at ease with their own body type and will help them choose an outfit that will translate well on camera. During the session itself, the best boudoir photographers will instruct and even demonstrate poses for the client to get the best results from their session.
An Established Boudoir Studio
An important aspect of boudoir photography that cannot be overlooked is the setting. The best boudoir photographers always prioritize the comfort and safety of their clients and have a dedicated studio space for boudoir sessions. The best photographers never use their own bedrooms or actual residence for a session. Similarly, the best boudoir photographers never suggest getting the session done inside the clients’ own homes or in a hotel room, all of which raise major red flags.
Another important detail about the setting that cannot be overlooked is the location of the photographer’s studio. Is the studio in a safe location or is it found in a dangerous neighborhood known for high crime rates? Clients should always look up the studio address on Google maps and do a thorough research of the neighborhood before booking a session. Even if the studio is in a safe neighborhood, getting a tour of the studio is still recommended to get a feel for the work environment and the photographer the client will be working with. This will help clients make an informed decision about booking a session.
After everything is said and done, the best boudoir photographers maintain a high level of professionalism. In addition to having excellent communication skills, the best boudoir photographers are able to build trust with clients, and successfully guide clients during a session. They also maintain a safe work environment that prioritizes the clients’ safety.
Another way to assess the level of professionalism in boudoir photographers is by considering the reason they got into the industry. Is the photographer a trained professional who does boudoir full time, or do they provide other services? If boudoir is not the only job they do, what are the other services they offer? Depending on how the photographer answers that last question is a pretty strong indicator of where boudoir photography fits into their priority list.
On the whole, the best boudoir photographers are committed to the art form and celebrate the diversity of women through the medium of photography. The best photographers have their clients feeling sexy and empowered by capturing breathtaking images that reveal the beauty they’ve always possessed.
Rami is an experienced boudoir photographer who started Black Lace as a way of encouraging women from all walks of life to embrace their life stories and take ownership of them. To learn more about how Black Lace can give you boudoir photo session of a lifetime, check out our portfolio and services pages for more details, or contact Rami at 540-369-4088 or by email.