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 4 Tips for Starting a Boudoir Photography Business in 2024

The boudoir photography landscape is MUCH different than it was when I opened my studio in St. Louis eight years ago. At that point, boudoir photography was just becoming a photography niche. 

And now, as you probably know, the competition is fierce. So you may be wondering things like… “How do I stand out from the crowd? How do I get booked out without charging too little?”

That’s what I’m answering in this episode! I’m giving you a breakdown of exactly what I would do If I were starting a boudoir photography business in 2024.

Let’s dig in!

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Tip #1: Figure Out Your Income Goals

The first thing you need to do is to understand what you need to bring in to keep the lights on (and of course, pay yourself, too!).

Most photographers bring home 30% of their total revenue. So to figure out what you need your revenue to be, figure out what you want your salary to be. I recommended breaking it down on a month-to-month basis.

Let’s say you want to take home $35,000 per month in revenue. Take that number, divided by 30%, and you get $11,666. That’s your monthly income.

How do you get there each month though?

Let’s say you have time for 10 clients per month. Take $11,666 divided by 10 and you have $1,116. That number is what you would need to charge in order to hit your goal. Meaning you would need to charge each client $1,116. 

Obviously, you don’t have to charge this exact number, but it does give you an idea of how you should price yourself.

Tip #2: Figure Out How Many Clients You Can Fit into Your Schedule

Now that you know how many clients you need to book to hit your goal, you can start making a plan to stay booked out with a schedule that works for you.

Take the number of hours you can work per week and multiply that by the number of weeks you plan to work per year.

Let’s say you can work 25 hours per week and you plan to take four weeks off each year.

Take the 25 hours and multiply that by 48 weeks. That means you would need to work a total of 1,200 hours per year.

A third of that will need to be dedicated to marketing and admin, so that leaves you with 800 hours left for just clients. 

Most photographers spend eight hours per client from initial contact to delivery of the product, meaning you’ll have time for about 100 clients per year.

And when you know that number, you can plan your schedule around it! You can batch them all in one day per week if you want to. Or spread them throughout the month. It’s truly up to you and how you want to do things in your business! 

Tip #3: Know Who Your Ideal Boudoir Photography Client Is

Now, how do you find people who want to book? It starts with knowing who your ideal client is. 

I know you’ve heard the saying, “If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.” And that’s sound advice. Being too general means you are going to have a much harder time finding exactly who you want to work with.

So get specific! What does this person like to do for fun? Why would they be interested in boudoir photos? Are they a new bride? Recently engaged?

Knowing this will give you a better idea of how you can market yourself to potential clients (aka, your ideal client!). And when you can get specific with it, marketing becomes so much easier. 

Tip #4: Start Booking Sessions

And the final tip for starting a boudoir photography business is to start booking clients!

At this point, you know who your ideal client is, and how many of them you need to book to meet your income goals. All you need now is for them to book a session!

To do that, you’ll need a high-converting website — which basically means your website easily takes them from being a lead to a client. 

For one thing, you need to make it obvious how they can book a session. That’s a given! But you also need to make sure that you’re being proactive with the information you provide. 

Anticipate your client’s needs. Go back to thinking about that ideal client — what would they want to know before booking a session with you? 

Take that answer and add it to your website so everything they need to know is super clear. Because when things are clear, you have a MUCH higher chance of booking new clients!

Learn How to Price Yourself With Confidence!

The bottom line is that everything you’re going to plan out in your business depends on that income goal we talked about at the beginning. 

Did you notice the connection between that price, the number of sessions you book, and the amount of hours you work? It all works together to help you build a successful boudoir photography business!

If you want more help growing your biz in 2024, I’ve got TONS of resources available inside the TLC shop.  A personal favorite? The TLC Photography Pricing Calculator!

This calculator will help you know exactly what you need to charge at each session! 

I know we talked about how to find that number in this episode, but this calculator will help you plug your own numbers in, so you can go into each sales session with confidence! Plus if you’re not really a math person, this calculator will do the work for you!

Learn more or purchase the TLC Photography Pricing Calculator here.

tracy

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.

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