10 Things Your Boudoir Photographer Does NOT Want You To Do.
One of the coolest things about shooting boudoir is watching a woman transform from a ball of nerves into a woman who owns the freaking room. This experience is all about breaking down walls and shedding your inhibitions, which doesn't usually happen by chance. Coming into your session prepared and ready to feel empowered, even if not right away, is the magic sauce, and I can assure you that no one starts with Kanye-level confidence. By trusting in the process, though, I can assure you'll get the most you possibly can out of it! Here are 10 things you should avoid doing to ensure your session delivers top-notch results.
1. Skip your Pre-Session Questionnaire.
When you reserve your session with us, you'll receive a pre-session questionnaire. This might not seem very important, but it ensures we're on the same page, and gets you thinking about how you'd like to display your images, what sort of style you're drawn to, and how I can customize your studio experience! Essentially, it allows me to bring your dream session to life, so if you neglect doing this then I can't properly prepare myself for our time together. Fill it out so I can do my best for you!
2. Skip or skim over your Prep Guides.
Prior to your photoshoot, you'll receive a Wardrobe Guide, as well as a Makeup Guide, both of which are designed to help you navigate the ropes of this whole experience. You'll get guidance on how to choose your wardrobe pieces, which lingerie types you may choose from, some do's and don'ts to follow, what to consider while planning for hair and makeup, and all sorts of resources. If you don't read these (or just skim over them) I'll be able to tell, so just spend a little extra time to properly prepare for this investment!
3. Fake bake, use a sunless tanner, or get a sunburn.
I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT TRY TO TAN. If you find yourself in the sun a lot right before your session, all I ask is that you take proper caution and wear a strong SPF - not just for the sake of your session, but for the well-being of your skin! Sunless tanners do not translate well in camera and they will make you look orange. This is not a complimentary fix, and if your burn is extreme, I will ask to reschedule your session. Please don't come in expecting me to fix it in photoshop, just call me to discuss it prior to your shoot date if you happened to catch one too many rays over the weekend.
4. Show up late without notice, no-show, or ghost on your reschedule.
This is Professional Courtesy 101. Our time is reserved on the studio calendar just for you, so if you're running late, please respect that by shooting me a text or giving me a call to let me know! If you're more than 30 minutes late without notice, your session will be cancelled, and if you no-show I can't guarantee an opening on my calendar for you in the future. I completely understand that things pop up out of our control, but ghosting is not tolerated. You are allowed one complimentary reschedule with at least a 1-week notice, and your new session date must be scheduled within 30 days of your original date. Failure to do so will result in a forfeit of your session fee, and you'll be required to pay a new one in order to get back on my calendar.
5. Don't speak up if you're unhappy with your hair & makeup.
When it comes to on-camera makeup, it may feel like you're wearing a full mask, and that's because your skin is prepped to look it's absolute best! My makeup artist knows what she's doing and will ask you questions along the way to achieve your finished look, but it's very important to know that everything will be exaggerated for the camera because a lot of it actually gets washed out. Trusting her during this process is crucial, but she also needs to rely on you to let her know if something is really not working for your taste. I will always encourage you to step out of your comfort zone regarding your boudoir look, but no one is offended if you ask for something to be changed! It's much easier to fix before I begin shooting.
6. Insist on wearing an outfit that doesn’t fit or flatter you.
I offer my expertise throughout the entire process because that's part of what you hired me for! So, if you bring in a piece of clothing that I know will be difficult to photograph or doesn't accentuate your curves, please trust me when I suggest something else. There are a few things that I won't photograph (ex: neon colors, camouflage, sports jerseys, ball caps) and part of the Pre-Session Questionnaire covers your sizing so I can make sure to have a customized wardrobe set aside for you! If this is a concern for you, I'd be more than happy to discuss it with you, further!
7. Have a bad attitude.
Nothing kills the empowering vibe of a session more than a woman who won't stop tearing herself down. You aren't expected to come in loving your body, but bad attitudes are not welcome in the studio, and will be promptly addressed. You didn't book a session for the purpose of feeding your poor self-image (at least, I hope not!) so give yourself some grace, girlfriend. I am your cheerleader through and through, but I cannot undo years of negative self-talk in one day, and expecting that out of your session is unfair to both of us. So let's do away with the negative vibes and make some magic, together!
8. Prepare to hate your photos or compare yourself to other women’s photos.
If you hired me, there's a pretty solid chance that you enjoy and trust my work, so even if you've never liked a single photo of yourself, know that I make it my job to change your mind about that. Coming into your reveal and ordering session ready to nit-pick at your body and compare yourself to other sessions you've seen will stop you from appreciating how wonderfully unique your beauty is! Each session is different, just as each woman is different, and the goal is to celebrate that!
9. Expect to be photoshopped looking 30 lbs lighter.
One big concern I hear from women either upon booking their session or as the reason why they haven't booked yet, is their weight. Everyone thinks they need to lose weight before doing a boudoir session, and that's simply not true! This experience is designed to celebrate and accept your body as it is right now, not show you what you would look like in a different body. I'm aware that there are other photographers who are willing to sculpt, and nip, and tuck - I used to be one of them. But not anymore!
10. Don’t financially prepare for your order.
Whether you choose to save up for your session, sign up for PayPal Credit, or do a pre-payment plan, it is required that your order be paid in full at your reveal and ordering appointment. After your order is placed, any images that aren't chosen will be purged from my system which means there is no way to place a second order down the road. It's best to financially prepare yourself prior to committing to a session, otherwise you may walk away with nothing and that would be a major bummer!
Women who are emotionally-invested in what I do are such a blessing to work with and in turn, drive my passion for this like none other. What can take away from the whole experience, though, is coming in with a no-care attitude, ready to prove yourself right about your poor body-image. I'm just going to put this out there... I am not a cheap. I pride myself on offering an uplifting and kickass experience and I want you to invest in YOURSELF, and take ownership of your session! That's what I've designed this experience around, so don't half ass it, baby girl. You are made to shine!
*Steps down from soap box*