Skip to content

Download the ONE PAGE Marketing Strategy to book photography clients (without using Facebook Ads)

015. Learning to Balance a Busy Life with Gillian Hughes: Business Owner, Model, Mom

Learning to Balance a Busy Life with Gillian Hughes: Business Owner, Model, Mom // Sustainable Freedom with Photography Podcast hosted by Tracy Lynn of Tracy Lynn Coaching and Boudoir by Tracy Lynn

Gillian Hughes of Momshell Method Fitness in St. Louis, MO is a personal trainer, business owner, local model, and mom of five. 

She and I have been working together for years now. Gillian is one of the awesome St. Louis humans who helped me grow my business in the city.

Balancing a successful business is not always easy, and that’s exactly why I’m bringing a health and fitness coach onto my photography business podcast.  We’re chatting about business, modeling, and fitness, plus she’s dropping some really great information in regards to how clients might feel in front of your camera. 

 This is one of my favorite episodes and I truly hope you enjoy it as well.

Are you looking for a way to workout that’s easy and not time consuming?

I’m a huge fan of what Gillian does. I think it’s so great for all business owners.  She can help you on your fitness journey in a way that doesn’t require all of your time. 

As creatives and business owners, the last thing most of us want to do is hang out in the gym when we could either be photographing more clients, growing our business, OR just taking time to spend with the important people in our lives.

That’s exactly why I signed up and why I’msuch a huge supporter of what she does.  You won’t regret the investment!

Let’s talk business and marketing.

We cover balancing a busy personal life, marketing, and of course business.  The biggest thing I want you to get out of our chat is this one particular sentence.

“There are enough clients out there for all of us. If we don’t have them, it’s because we aren’t looking hard enough.”

Whoa. Mic drop, right? 

This sentence encompasses exactly how I feel about marketing. If we’re not booking out our schedule, it’s simply because we aren’t in front of the right people. 

… So, the question to ask yourself is “how do you get in front of the right people?”

The Client and Model Perspective 

Gillian and I talk specifically about how to approach a model about photographing her(or him).  Your approach is so important. You don’t want to come off strong, especially if you happen to be a make photographer. 

Do your research prior to reaching out. Make sre the model is the right fit and that your styles will line up.  If they don’t, then the model isn’t likely to share your images.

Another important thing to remember is the type of feedback you give the model.  Make sure you’re making her feel beautiful, without going overboard. Don’t use words like “hot” or “sexy”.

Most models that you’ll use to promote a boudoir business will not appreciate that feedback. Gillian mentioned that she’s had that feedback previously and it makes her want to go home, take a show and put on layers of clothes. 

We want our models and clients leaving with the feeling of confidence and empowerment, not feeling icky.

Treat your models like clients. 

This is especially important if you’re wanting to refer clients back and forth with a specific model or business owner. 

If you want a model to refer clients to you, she needs to 100% stand behind your work, your brand, and the way you do business.

The worst thing you can do is wait months or years before you hand over a model’s images.

Gillian mentioned how at one point, she had a photographer send her images months after she had completely changed her hair/look.  She couldn’t even post those images anymore at that point. 

This is something that I’ve always prided myself on. I keep my models in the same queue as my clients. They get treated the same as paying clients, because, really, they are.  They’re taking time from their lives, prepping, and purchasing outfits. They send clients my way, as well. 

Photographers can get a bit of a big head, occasionally, by thinking that we’re giving models so much, but the right model will give back to you in experience, and hopefully new clients. 

Please, treat her right. 


I hope you enjoy this episode. Some of the audio was a bit messed up. It took two different sessions to record due to connection issues, but the information we covered was soooo good I couldn’t not share.

Relevant Links:

Momshell Method Fitness
Gillian’s Instagram
Boudoir Studio Accelerator – This is a great program to show you how to create an experience for your clients that will leave them feeling beautiful and confident.


Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.

TLC Summer Flash Sale 2024

Use code SUMMER2024 at checkout!

Sales Strategy As A Boudoir Photographer | Tracy Lynn Coaching | See more at

Pin It on Pinterest