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7 Boudoir Photography Trends That Can Help You Create a Timeless Business

When you think of boudoir photography trends, what comes to mind?

In the late 90s/early 2000s, it was all the rage to have black and white or extra vignette-style photos. Then, in the 2010s, super-matte photos were the big thing. And then, it went to orange skin tones with mint green hues. 

And at the time, we all thought they were super cute. But now, we look back at old photos and probably cringe a little, right? 

What I’m trying to say is that trends will come and go. What you see now isn’t always going to be popular ten, fifteen, or even five years from now. 

However, there are some things that never go out of style! And for that reason, I have to call them my favorite boudoir photography trends. Which is exactly what we’ll be looking at in this episode, so you can see how to build one timeless portfolio (and ultimately, business)!

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Boudoir Photography Trends I LOVE

Not every trend lands a spot on my favorites list. But if they’re timeless, can be used for any style of boudoir photography, effortlessly help clients feel confident, or help YOU run a better business, then I’m all in!

And that’s exactly what these seven trends can help you do!

TREND #1: BODY POSITIVITY

It’s always kinda been a thing, but it’s even more so now. And I’m here for it! Boudoir is the best way to help women feel more confident in their bodies. We all know that. 

I have so many clients who have come to me after a divorce or a major life change. They just wanted something to either boost their confidence or help them start over. And boudoir is just such a great way to do that. 

Nothing brings me a sense of joy quite like when a client leaves a session feeling like a million bucks. I’ve even had clients break down and open up about not feeling beautiful for years — but how that changed with a boudoir photography session. 

THAT’S why I do what I do. Because it’s about so much more than the photos. So body positivity is one trend that I hope will never leave.

TREND #2: BRIDAL BOUDOIR 

You all know I love this one. My boudoir photography business is BUILT around bridal boudoir. A bride has always been my ideal client. 

I love bridal fairs, and these women are super easy to photograph and totally prepared for the session when they walk in. I also love photographing women in this stage of their lives because it’s so fun! They are feeling their most beautiful, in love, and happy.

Plus, bridal clients have the potential to develop into long-term clients. I have so many who started with bridal boudoir, booked me for maternity boudoir sessions, and then came back every few years. 

That’s a great thing about boudoir. You can keep clients through their different life stages!

H3: TREND #3: COUPLE’S BOUDOIR

Now, this isn’t one I’m particularly keen on photographing myself (the thought of having to photograph or set up lighting for more than one person at a time is too much for me!). However, I do think they are BEAUTIFUL as long as you keep it classy!

It’s just such a beautiful way to capture a love story. And who doesn’t love to read a little smut anyway? 

My biggest advice for this one is to keep it PG, especially the ones you post. Because that’s where more money is typically spent by clients — in those timeless, classy photos they can show off. Totally just my personal opinion though.

TREND #4: LETTING CLIENTS SCHEDULE THEIR OWN SESSIONS

I’ve been using an automated scheduling system for years, and it’s the best thing I have ever implemented in my business. It allows me to focus on my clients and not worry about whether they paid their invoice or signed the contract.  

If a client is on my schedule, they’ve automatically done ALL of these things before the booking is even accepted. Everything is SUPER efficient with a process like this. 

I’m seeing more and more photographers implement these automated scheduling systems and it makes me so happy to see how much free time they are gaining — without needing to hire an assistant! 

So why not give it a shot?

TREND #5: IN-PERSON SALES (IPS)

If you’ve listened to this podcast for long, you know that I am a big fan of the IPS business model. It’s the easiest and best way to run a profitable business. Seriously!

And sure, this isn’t a trend. IPS has been around for years and years, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s a great way to increase your sales and make more and more money every year.

Giving the client the opportunity to see, in person, their stunning photos helps them see the value in buying an album, for example. Which can, for example, help you increase your sales average goal.

That’s not something you can get with shoot-and-burn sessions.

TREND #6: DARK AND MOODY STYLE PHOTOS

I’ll be honest, I hope this is something that sticks around for a while. But I think a lot like matte-style photography, it’ll be something that goes out of style sooner rather than later, unfortunately. That’s usually just how styles go. 

I will say that it favors digital deliverables rather than prints. For some reason, when printed, the photos don’t seem to be quite as dark, and of course, that can be an issue if the client is looking for dark and moody photos. 

If you are a dark and moody photographer, just make sure you’re taking that into consideration when printing. Lift those shadows a bit more to get a good result. 

TREND #7: ELEVATED BRANDING

When I first started my boudoir photography business, I had a watercolor logo and cutesy cursive fonts everywhere. That’s what I saw everyone else doing so I figured I should too. 

But it was a problem because it wasn’t attracting the right kinds of clients. Eventually, I rebranded to a more luxury style, and it’s helped me funnel in the clients who are willing to pay for that luxury experience.

And this is something that I see a lot of photographers doing, too — elevating their branding style. Because the thing is, most boudoir clients want a luxury experience. But watercolors and courtesy fonts don’t really give off that vibe, ya know? 

So rebranding this way helps you funnel in the right people, because you’re conveying value from the very first touchpoint.

BONUS: 4 Trends I Don’t Love

I want to switch gears a bit. You’ve got a rundown of all the timeless trends I LOVE, but it’s time to talk about some of the current trends I think you should avoid (all for different, but valid, reasons!). 

TREND #1: EXPLICIT PHOTOS

Number one on my list is overly explicit photos. If they’re too graphic, it takes the photos to a different style of photography. 

And in 10 years or 30 years, I want my photos to still be considered classy and beautiful. But I really don’t think clients will feel that way about explicit photos. 

I’m not opposed to some implied nudes if they’re photographed in a classy way, or if they leave more to the imagination…but I just don’t want to see anything too graphic.

That’s just my opinion though, based on the style I prefer. 

TREND #2: NOT WORKING WITH CLIENT’S BODY TYPE

The second trend that I hate is when plus-size boudoir is not shot in a flattering way. A lot of photographers say they are body-positive, but they aren’t even taking the time to work with their client’s body type to find the most flattering angles.

I understand wanting to show a client how to love themselves the way they are, but everyone has things about their body that they just don’t like. That’s human nature! 

So let them express that, and find ways to make them feel STUNNING while keeping that in mind. 

And not every plus-size body is the same either. Some women don’t like their midsection, or their thighs, or arms. Some are bigger chested, some have bigger booties. Some want to show those curves off and some don’t. 

You need to be in tune with your client’s preferences and work with their unique body type to help them feel confident. That’s the whole point of boudoir photography, after all!

TREND #3: THE SHOOT AND BURN BUSINESS MODEL

I truly believe in the power of IPS with all of my heart because I’ve seen how profitable it is with my own eyes. The truth is, that choosing a shoot-and-burn business model over an IPS one is much more likely to lead to burnout. 

You’re working constantly and you have to photograph so many clients to actually make money. 

For example, let’s say you want to make $5,000 in revenue each month and you’re charging $250 per session, you would need to photograph 20 sessions. That’s what you can expect on a MONTHLY basis. 

But if you want to make $5,000 in revenue with the IPS model, with a sales average of $1,500, you would only need to book about three to four sessions.

See the difference? IPS sessions ensure you have a sustainable business model that keeps things profitable without needing your every waking moment to make it happen!

TREND #4: RELYING ONLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO BOOK CLIENTS

Our natural inclination as business owners is to get a little antsy when you don’t see immediate results as soon as you publish your website. We want instant booking!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. The big thing with your website is that you need to drive traffic from different sources (like social media). It’s not something that just happens overnight.

A good marketing strategy takes work. Use these short-term strategies and get out in the world to book great, qualified clients instead of relying on social media ONLY. You’ll build a much better, more well-rounded strategy when you stop relying on just one thing alone. 

Create an Even More Timeless Business With Boudoir Studio Accelerator!

If you feel ready to take things to the next level in your biz, and learn more about what makes a business timeless and sustainable, I really think you should check out Boudoir Studio Accelerator

BSA is a self-led, go-at-your-own-pace style course. You’ll see how to create a luxury experience for your clients and absolutely exceed their expectations. Which can help you grow a highly reputable, sustainable, and profitable boudoir photography business!

Sound like the thing you need? You can grab the course 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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