Every single boudoir photographer out there has made at least one mistake in their career, but what matters in the end is that they learn something from it. However, there are some mishaps a photographer should immediately learn from. Why? Over time, avoiding these means lesser headaches and a smoother photo shoot flow. Here are seven mistakes you should avoid as a boudoir photographer.
1) Lack of Equipment (and knowledge)
You can’t leave it all to chance every time you shoot. Eventually, bad lighting and similar circumstances will catch up with you. You’ve got to know the settings of your equipment and the right stuff according to the needs of the shoot.
A camera has got to be properly set according to the photographer’s specs, just like a musician’s instrument. Does the venue have low lighting? You need reflectors. Maybe a couple of redheads and interview lights. Having and knowing how the right equipment works helps you maneuver difficulties during a photo shoot.
2) Having too much Equipment
Do you really need two DLSRs? Why not just have one and invest in superior lens, like a macro? Too much devices hamper work and your pocket. Work, because it’s a hassle to lug all that equipment and find out they’re totally unnecessary. Pocket, because buying quality gear is expensive. You’ll have to worry about maintenance, to boot. Be smart about the correct tools you need. See tip #1.
3) Going All B&W
It’s tempting to convert the photos to B&W post-shoot. Yes, they look classy and elegant, but it’s the client’s call. Not yours. You may be the artist, but the client is king. She hired you after all. Find out first if the client is fond of B&W. Have some color as well so that your client has options to choose from. If ever you do choose to convert, create two copies: one colored and another in B&W. Then, let the client choose.
4) Showing All Photos
“Present only the best to your client,” says boudoir photographer Kaye Hopwell-Smith. “Be critical about the selection. Pick only the good ones.” As the photographer, put yourself in the shoes of the client: Would you like to see yourself in either a) the just-got-out-of-bed-in-the-morning look or b) a well-tailored suit and tie? Exactly. You’d like to be seen in your best as well.
5) Leave Clients on their Own
If you’re thinking, “All that matters is that I’ve booked a boudoir photo session,” then you’ve got a long way to go. That’s bad for both of you 1) because your client will be ill prepared and 2) she’ll be oblivious to other tasks required. On your end, that’s 1) bad customer service and 2) a waste of time (for you and the client, actually) because you’ll need a do-over.
Help clients understand what needs to be done prior, during, and after, the shoot. You can start with the following:
a) Suggesting what undergarments to bring/wear. Advice her to research brands like La Senza, Bench Body, Triumph, and Spanx for a diverse selection of outfits.
b) What’s the theme/feel of the shoot? Are the photos for herself or for her fiancé/boyfriend?
Making clients understand what the shoot is about will make the day more productive and fulfilling – both for the client and artist.
6) Not knowing your Rates
This is not healthy for your business, especially if you client fee varies greatly with each one. Having a standardized price system is beneficial for your trade to grow. It encourages order, lessening the number of headaches as mentioned in the start of this article. Don’t be like nearly 50% of businesses that fail in 3 years because of lousy pricing.
7) Not having Recognizable Poses
It is important to have well-known poses clients clamor for. These will be their fallback in case experimenting doesn’t go too well. To research for these, you can ask boudoir photography vets how they go about this, or check online what the preferred poses women go for.
With these tips, we hope you have a frill-free, fun-filled, and absolutely sexy boudoir photo session! Toodles!