How to Become a Boudoir Photographer in 2024 (Even With No Experience)
Do you want to become a boudoir photographer? Are you holding back because you have little or no experience?
Being a boudoir photographer is one of the most lucrative genres of photography. As someone who’s done this for ten years and then coached people as well, I can tell you that it IS possible — even if you consider yourself new to owning a business OR photography.
It’s the start of another new year, and I know your 2024 goals are probably fresh on your mind.
So, I thought I would walk through what exactly needs to be done to become a boudoir photographer. Even if you’ve never picked up a camera before, you can follow along.
Let’s get to it!
Step #1: Build Up Your Portfolio
The first step is to build up your portfolio! Not only will this give you actual experience, but it will also help you create a portfolio that attracts paying customers!
No clients to photograph? No problem — here’s what you can do.
I would recommend choosing a location and booking it for a day, or even two, if you think you want to do more sessions. Think of places like an Airbnb or somewhere that can be a good set for your boudoir photos.
Then, book five to seven models with different body types, hair colors, and skin tones. You want to keep your portfolio diverse enough to show potential clients you can photograph them, too.
But when I say models, I don’t necessarily mean professional ones. I think it’s important that you photograph both experienced AND inexperienced people. Why? So that you know how to pose clients who may not have experience in front of a camera!
All of this will help you build a stronger, more diverse portfolio, which is super important to have as a boudoir photographer.
Step #2: Land on a Pricing Strategy
Now, it’s time to decide what you’ll charge. But don’t just pull a number out of thin air. Think strategically about what you want to charge for your sessions and deliverables like albums.
There are two main pricing strategies most photographers use…
The first is shoot and burn, including all the digital files and the session fee.
This is the one you’ll feel like you need to start with.
But I want to encourage you to go ahead and start with the in-person sales (IPS) model.
This will be the most lucrative — and the way you can make enough money to have boudoir photography become your full-time job!
HOW IPS SALES MODELS WORK
First, you photograph the session.
Then, you have the ordering session either the same day or a few days later. This can be in person or on Zoom — it’s up to you. At this ordering session, you help the client choose their photos and then decide on products.
You take payment, retouch those images only, and then order and deliver the products to your clients.
This pricing strategy is more lucrative because it helps you make more money while working fewer hours. You usually only edit 10-40 images, whereas most shoot-and-burn photographers edit well over 100!
That time adds up FAST — time you could book MORE clients and make more money.
Step #3: Focus on Your Marketing Strategy
The third step to help you become a boudoir photographer is focusing on your marketing strategy. And there are two things in particular I think you should hone in on.
THE FIRST: KNOWING WHO YOUR IDEAL CLIENT IS AND HOW TO TALK TO THEM
Get specific when thinking about your ideal clients!
You need to know their age, career, and what they might like and dislike. You need to think about why they might want to book a session with you, and why they’re having boudoir photos done in the first place.
You’re not gathering this information to be nosey; you’re doing it so you can show up for your clients in ways that speak to them — and, ultimately, better serve them.
THE SECOND: CREATE A QUALITY WEBSITE
I’m not just talking about visuals here. I’m also talking about a website that’s easy to navigate and book a session on.
Remember, a high-converting website is a website that transforms a lead to a client super fast. It does this by taking the lead on a journey through your website and answering their questions before they even realize they have them.
You want your leads to book a session before they exit your site or at least sign up for your email list so you can nurture them to become a client down the line.
And anticipating their needs and what they might think about before they even ask.
Step #4: Go to At Least One Bridal or Vendor Fair
The fourth thing you can do to become a boudoir photographer in 2024 is to book at least one bridal or vendor fair.
If you’re following the blueprint in this video, then you know who your ideal client is. And if she’s a bride, then there are SO MANY opportunities to show up at bridal fairs and meet potential clients.
I mean, what could be better? You could have anywhere from 100 to 2,000 of your exact ideal clients in ONE Place!
If your ideal client is not a bride, try a women’s show! One of my coaching clients booked over 20 sessions from a women’s show last January. That’s worth giving up one weekend.
Step #5: Become Known in Your Community
Even if you don’t have any experience, you want to start becoming the go-to boudoir photographer in your community! But to do that, people need to know who you are first.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Joining the local chamber
- Becoming a BNI member
- Joining local networking groups
- Join local classes, book clubs, wine-tasting groups, etc.
These are just a few of the MANY things you can do, and it DOES work. I joined a local women’s group and met with them every single week. Soon, I booked some sessions with a few of the members, and over time, I became known in my area.
Whatever you can do to meet locals who might be your ideal client…do it!
And listen, I know it’s scary to put yourself out there, but if you want to be successful as a boudoir photographer, this is part of the business! I promise it will be worth it!
Get More Boudoir Photography Tips to Help You Get Started
Follow these steps, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to booking new boudoir photography clients!
If you want even more tips for getting your biz off the ground in 2024, check out The TLC Boudoir Photographer’s Playbook. This guide will show you how to create an AMAZING client experience from start to finish so they return for more (and tell all of their friends about you, too!).
You’ll learn how to set up your session, settle in on pricing, build a solid business foundation, and more. I’ve even included my posing guide and a few icebreaker poses!
Sound like the thing you need? Grab the playbook here!