Boudoir can give boudoir clients so much self-love and confidence–but it can also damage their self-esteem and mental health.
In this episode, I’m talking about the five things you can do to ensure your client’s experiences are only positive!
Boudoir clients usually feel so great after a session.
Boudoir is such an important niche of photography. It gives women confidence, empowers them, and helps them learn to love themselves.
But, at the same time, a boudoir photography session can do a lot of damage to a woman’s self-esteem and mental health.
Not always, though.
My good friend, Andrea of Andrea Murphy Photography, sent me this message a few days ago about a big win she had–due to another photographer’s mistake–but it hurt her client’s confidence.
“I sold my $8000 package this morning! This client had gone to this cheaper photographer, and although the pictures weren’t terrible, the gal had no idea what she was doing and made her feel fat and ugly the whole time. She said she cried all day the following day. But she wanted a redo and came to me and spent $8000.”
In this episode, I also explain several of my experiences with boudoir clients through the years–from body dysmorphia to eating disorders, and client’s who just had a bad experience at other boudoir studios.
The five things you can do to create a safe space for your boudoir clients
Let’s discuss how you can create a safe space for your boudoir clients.
1. Be very careful with your words.
This is the most important thing you can do because words hurt. That saying we all learned as kids, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That’s a big lie.
Right now, I want you to think about words you might’ve said during a boudoir session that could hurt someone’s feelings–or mental health–and rephrase them in your mind for future sessions.
2. Learn to pose well.
A pet peeve of mine is making your clients pose themselves.
Early in business, it makes sense if you don’t know how to pose–you haven’t had practice. Instead of learning from your clients, you need to hire some models and learn to pose well.
Boudoir can be damaging–which means this is NOT something you learn to do while getting paid.
First, you learn to pose well–then, you start charging.
Point blank. I’m passionate about this topic.
3. Learn your light.
Over my ten years in the industry, I’ve seen lots of different trends come and go. From matte filters to light and airy with the oompa loompa filter, to the current trend, which is my favorite–dark and moody–no matter what, they won’t stick around.
The photographers who are popular because of the trends don’t make it to the next trend most of the time.
But, well-lit, beautiful photos will keep a photographer in business for years.
My suggestion is to learn to light correctly. You’ll be in business for years this way.
4. Shoot only what you want to show.
Don’t photograph unflattering poses. If you wouldn’t want to see it, don’t show it.
At your next session, I want you to think about each pose–would YOU want to see this pose in the ordering session slideshow if you were this woman?
If the answer is yes, take the photo. If the answer is no, change up the pose.
5. Learn to retouch
My biggest pet peeve is photographers who don’t retouch because they want you to “Learn to love yourself the way you are.”
This drives me absolutely crazy.
Please be aware that the camera picks up every flaw a woman has.
This means boudoir clients are not learning to love their flaws. They’re seeing them pronounced.
Most photographers who say this don’t want to retouch their photos…
… or they don’t know how.
If this is you, you need to either take a class to learn to retouch or hire a professional to do it for you.
Whatever choice you make–stop promoting this mindset that photos shouldn’t be retouched for self-love or to be more confident in your skin.
In a world of social media filters, no one wants to see their flaws even more pronounced.
If you only get one thing from this episode, remember how damaging boudoir photography can be to boudoir clients’ mental health if you aren’t careful through the entire experience.
Women pretend to be strong, but our confidence is fragile. While a boudoir session can build it up, it can also easily knock it down.
Boudoir photography is a very intimate thing. Women are putting their trust, confidence, and, honestly, their mental health in your hands.
Be careful with it.
Download your FREE Session Prep Guide for Boudoir Photographers
I’ve created a free guide to help you get your clients comfortable in front of the camera quickly while giving them an amazing session experience.