If you look up the definition for “boudoir”, you’ll find it means a lady’s private sitting area or bedroom.
When you combine boudoir with the word photography, it takes on a slightly different meaning. Boudoir photography is glamour, sexy or even pin-up style photography that a woman can share with her loved one, spouse or significant other in a very intimate way. It’s not meant to be vulgar or improper. It’s meant to be a reflection of style, love and intimacy.
We have used boudoir photography for years to build a profit zone within our business. It’s a natural extension of working with families, weddings, and eventually maternity and babies. A newly engaged bride loves the idea of providing boudoir photography to her new husband on their wedding night. Or anniversary. Or bring that same creativity and lighting to a maternity portrait – what can be more powerful and intimate than showing off your baby bump days or weeks before the big event?
Yet how do you keep boudoir tasteful, and market it as an intimate portrait experience to those that may be a bit skeptical?
To start, you have to understand how to keep the tastefulness in the art. I once again am very impressed with Edward Verosky’s training, 25 Amazing Boudoir Photography Techniques. His instruction is dead-on. His posing guide helps you get the posing down instantly to help you maintain your professionalism. And I LOVE his names for the poses? It makes it easy when you’re talking with an assistant – “let’s try Samantha Who? Pose”. He shows you full color portraits from each pose, and uses diagrams to help you set up your equipment and pose. [You can read my review of his Flash Photography ebook here. And if you have his Flash Photography ebook, you know what a resource it is]
With today’s modern age, why not use video to help you sell? Video the experience of one customer, and have a professional videographer help you create a dynamic 2 or 3 minute presentation. You can show how you work with a customer. You can show how you direct your clients. They can see the professionalism in your posing style and in your final portraits. Then burn it to a DVD or a flash drive and have it available to watch both at your studio, or send it off to a potential customer.
Want to advertise for it? How about working with a high-end lingerie boutique? You can work out many different types of promotions to help build both of your clients’ lists. Have a few weddings booked for the second half of 2010 and into next year? Entice your clients with a postcard or letter. Sell it as an intimate portrait experience to share on their wedding night.
Then stretch beyond just handing them a CD or the print itself. Find elegant frames, and create packages. A cherished album meant “for their eyes only”. Or a portrait surrounded by a frame of pearls. Come up with your ideas and search online – you can find virtually anything with a few clicks of your mouse. Or head in and chat with boutiques – they usually have amazing references for companies that help them with their props and storefront displays.