**In honor of Cupid, this blog post is the second in our February series on Boudoir photography. See more posts on Boudoir photography…**
A typical boudoir day for me consists of anywhere from seven to twelve clients coming into my studio in one day. While powering through sessions might not work for everyone, with some practice you can effectively have profitable and fun boudoir sessions!
Here are a few tips for having an effective and profitable marathon boudoir session.
It all starts in the marketing. In order to be able to book several clients in one day, you have to be able to get several clients to sign up. The best way to do this is to create a special that limits the number of available spots & dates. When clients ask me when I will be doing my next special I often tell them it could be anywhere from six months to one year.
Always give clients a reason to buy more than the base package. The way we are currently set up is that we have a base fee that only includes the sitting, selected retouches and professional hair and make up. Because of this any additional products such as prints, books, and discs are purchased separately. Unlike most types of portraiture, boudoir clients will purchase both a disc of the images and prints. Most clients purchase a disc to put the images on their computer, not for personal reprinting.
Effectively prepare your clients for the session. Create a questionnaire for the clients which addresses their level of comfort, personality traits, likes and dislikes about themselves, and well as how they would like their hair & make up. In addition give the client tips on how to prepare for the session (what to bring, ect) and tell them what they should expect from the session.
Hire a professional hair & make up artist for the day. This helps in a variety of ways and is an important tool in making boudoir sessions work. Not only does it help the retouching process it makes your clients feel as if they are having a “spa day” and warms them up for the session. When the clients see themselves after they have been pampered for an hour before their session it helps with their confidence, which translates in the images. There are many professional hair and make up artist that will offer ½ and full day rates.
Limit the number of retouches and have the clients help you with your workflow. With each session I limit the number of retouches and if they would like any additional retouches it is an extra charge. Immediately following each session my client sits down on the computer in a private room, where my assistant helps them pick what images they would like retouched through Lightroom. The clients are excited because they get the instant gratification of seeing their images and they get to pick what they like. This process makes it so I don’t have to cull through all the images and gives me the opportunity to make an extra profit on additional retouches.
Prepare your shooting area. The biggest help in me being able to “power through” so many sessions is having my studio set up and ready before any of my clients come in. I have five sets all lit separately and all I need to do is position my client and shoot. I can bounce from set to set in a matter of seconds so I am able to photograph them in a few outfits on every set in less than 45 minutes, usually about a half an hour. More importantly during the session I am not worrying about the technical aspects of the shoot and focusing on the woman in front of the camera. By being prepared technically, whether it be in a studio, home or hotel gives you the opportunity to 100% focus on your client.
Written by Kelly Segre
Kelly’s photography career started many years ago in her father’s darkroom. With a love for film and timeless, classic images, she strives to bring this style into every session she shoots.
By creating an environment that allows her clients to feel sexy and glamorous before ever stepping in front of her camera, Kelly is able to get the most out of each and every session. Using simple techniques and literally showing her clients how to pose, Kelly is able to set a fun, playful and sexy mood for her clients, turning a girls night out into a sexy boudoir session!
Kelly is currently offering a small intimate boudoir workshop & private mentoring in Las Vegas during WPPI. The focus of this workshop will be building a rapport with boudoir clients, lighting, posing, and how to go about getting boudoir clientele. Visit www.kellysegreworkshops.com for more information and to sign up!