I was meeting with Jay and Alyson to finalize their wedding plans when Alyson pulled me aside, “I was going to get him a really nice watch as a grooms gift, but thought he’d rather have a personal photo album from a boudoir session.” Smart bride!
Boudoir photography isn’t trendy. It’s here. In the age of the selfie there have never been more camera ready subjects looking to get in front of a lens. The idea of gifting such personal images is so popular that if you are not offering boudoir to your client’s, you’re leaving money on the table.
Women have been portrayed in nothing but their altogether in paintings and sculpture, since the beginning of time. However, in the 1920’s photographs of lightly clad women were considered illicit. Despite any puritanical resistance, boudoir photography has had a client base for almost a century. The pin-up girls of the 40’s, the dawn of Playboy in the 50’s, the liberating 60’s and 70’s and even the chain of studios from the 80’s like “Glamour Shots” with feather boas and soft focus filters have all teed up modern boudoir photography’s appeal. Today’s boudoir runs the gamut of style and themes from modest beauty sessions, vintage lingerie, sexy urban, au natural outdoor vignettes and fashion mag chic.
So are you selling boudoir? When I began to shoot boudoir for clients I realized that these sessions and the images made were not solely for sexy gift giving. The experience was a real confidence booster for the subjects. Camera shy women became more relaxed and bold as the session went on. Draped in little more that self-assurance they became at ease with their bodies. They had fun with wardrobe, make-up and posing. They walked out feeling in empowered.
If you’re still feeling bashful about boudoir photography and ordering a boudoir photo album, consider this: sales from these sessions positioned pre-wedding, anniversary or holiday when clients are in spending mode average $650 – $1100. It’s an exceptional product line to add to your collections. If you don’t have the bandwidth for the extra shooting – go for volume and offer marathon sessions – or if it’s not your cup of tea outsource to a second shooter.
Want to start? The caveat here, you don’t go in without skill and a plan. Sessions are well thought out, beginning with a consult on style, hair and make-up. Photography from lens to lighting must be well executed, professional and tasteful. Images must be classy – leaving something to the imagination, creating a story, evoking a message and feeling that is very personal.
Here’s a great place to start your boudoir adventure. Zookbinders has 20 copies of award winning photographer Dani Klein Williams’ new book Real. Sexy. Photography. The Art and Business of Boudoir. It is a bounty of creative savvy and strategies for boudoir photography. With chapters like “Boudoir on the Balcony”, “Adorned Athlete” and “Please Mr. Postman” her instruction and insight really get the creative juices going. Bringing boudoir sessions and sales into your repertoire couldn’t be more inspired.
Are you ready to add boudoir and additional sales to you bottom line? Tell us in two sentences or less why you’d love to receive a copy of Real. Sexy. Photography. The Art and Business of Boudoir, and we’ll send one your way.
Oh, and Jay LOVED his gift almost as much as Alyson loved giving it!
She gave her father a nice watch.