019. I Photographed My First Boudoir Session With A Bare Studio
My first paid boudoir session was photographed in my brand new studio, with hardly any furniture or props, and with a used camera and lens that I bought from a wedding photographer.
I took a huge risk leasing my studio space, and looking back, I’m proud of the chance I took on myself. That being said, I now know there were other options and I didn’t have to go all in the way that I did.
Thankfully, I rocked that session, so much so that I actually still have this client’s images on my website today. And since then, my studio has helped me make $1.4 million dollars in revenue.
Done is better than perfect.
What I mean by this is that you should just get it done with what you have now and perfect it later. You can implement this motto in your business with your images, your pricing, and your marketing.
If you’re waiting around until everything is perfect, until you have the right equipment, or until your pricing is exactly right, well, you’re going to be waiting around forever.
Start somewhere and fix it later. This especially goes for pricing. If you just wait around and try to make sure it’s perfect, you will never know if it’s gonna work. You have to make the mistakes to know if something works, ya know?
Business is a lot of trial and error. You’re going to change things so much through your years in business, so you need to put something out there and start bringing in revenue now.
Booking a boudoir session with marketing.
Marketing is something that makes a lot of photographers nervous. When you own a business, you have to put yourself out there, even when it’s uncomfortable. What’s more important is putting yourself out there with more than just social media and a website. If you’re want to book a boudoir session now, it takes a lot more work than just posting something on your feed and in your story.
By the way, one post or one story is not going to get you booked. It takes multiple times of seeing something before someone takes action. You can’t worry about being annoying. You have to keep posting over and over and over again.
What if you’re working on building a referral program with other business owners?
Maybe you’re putting yourself out there and you don’t immediately feel like it’s working, or maybe you hear the word “no” one time and it makes you nervous.
Just remember, it’s not a personal attack against you. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you or they don’t think your work is beautiful. If they say no, then what you need to do is take a step back and think about a few things, such as:
- Are your businesses a good fit?
- Do your brands work well together?
- Do they work with your ideal clientele?
What you might need to do is take more time to research the businesses you’re reaching out to to make sure they are a good fit before you put any extra time into them.
Please understand that if one marketing strategy is a big fat flop, that doesn’t mean the next one will be too. Keep trying different tactics, reaching out to the right businesses, and never ever give up.
Determination will get you so much further than talent.
This is something that photographers really struggle with. We always want new and better things. Maybe it’s the latest and greatest camera that just came out. It might be a new lens or a new computer, or this lighting equipment because so and so recommends it
I want you to know that you can make money with what you have right now.
I photographed a wedding in 2014 with a Canon t3i and a kit lens because my professional camera quit on me halfway through the day. The images turned out just as beautiful as my pro camera because I knew how to use the equipment I had in my hands.
I want to encourage you to grow your business with what you have right now and set goals for upgrading. Don’t just upgrade because you have a few extra dollars in your account and you want whatever it is.
Here’s a secret:
I have never owned a brand new camera. I’ve always bought my equipment used. Yes, I have professional equipment, but it’s all used equipment, and it works great. You don’t have to have the best equipment to not only make money, but make a lot of money.
Remember, it’s the photographer, not the camera.
Get to work.
I want you to remember that photos are important, and what you do is important. Especially if you’re a boudoir photographer, there are women out there who NEED what you offer. They need the confidence and empowerment you give them.
Don’t hide behind excuses and withhold what you offer from the world.
Your business is a journey and you will always be learning. You’ll make mistakes along the way and that’s okay. You’ll learn from them and, I promise, you will be the only one who remembers your mistakes.
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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.