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4 Smart Boudoir Photography Investments to Make This Year

As a boudoir photographer, you have soooo many business decisions to make. Not only do you have to make those decisions about how you photograph, and about your studio, but you also have to think about the business side too. 

Things like marketing, overhead, invoices…it’s enough to make your head spin! And it can be tough to know whether or not you’re making the right decisions. When you’re putting your hard-earned money on the line, it definitely adds some vulnerability into the mix. 

But don’t worry, you don’t have to play the guessing game with your investments. As a boudoir photographer and business coach, I can tell you what is definitely worth the money — and what’s definitely not!

Ready to find out what those smart photography investments are? Let’s dig in!

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Smart Investment #1: High-Quality Equipment

How much is too much to spend on your gear when you start? You know I always say use what you have! Because it’s not the camera or the lens…it’s the person USING this equipment that creates the photos. A good photographer can create beautiful images using an iPhone. 

Now, I’m NOT recommending you start a photography business with an iPhone. But do you see my point? 

With that being said, though, you will need some equipment to do your work. Here’s what I recommend.

CAMERA AND LENSES

When it comes to camera equipment, I prefer a full-frame, but a good starter lens is 50mm. My favorite lens is my 70-200mm because I love the compression!

But these are a good starting point. Once you feel more comfortable behind the camera, you can start thinking about how you can upgrade if that’s what you want. And if you can, make it something to work towards rather than something you go out and buy in the moment. 

LIGHTING EQUIPMENT

Lighting can enhance the mood and quality of photos — including softboxes or reflectors. But when are those investments smart?

Maybe you live somewhere that requires additional lighting. I have several coaching clients in the Pacific Northwest, where at times, there isn’t much access to natural light. Or maybe your studio space just doesn’t have the best natural light. 

I say, when you don’t have much access to that, then start thinking about investing in lighting equipment. Otherwise, I think it’s an addition to what you already have rather than a necessity. 

PROPS AND SETS

Unique props and sets CAN create an exclusive experience and help you build consistency! But there are times when investing in these isn’t the best move. 

If you’re still trying to find your footing with shooting photos in general, I’d wait. Then, when you feel ready to branch out, do your research first. You could even rent equipment before you fully commit. Just make sure it’s something you want before buying. 

Smart Investment #2: Education and Networking

Running your own boudoir photography business can get lonely. You’re typically the only one working, and you’re doing it day in and day out. That’s why we need to branch out and explore connections with others: one, to know we’re not alone, and two, to learn something new!

WORKSHOPS AND COURSES

Learning through workshops and online courses has so much value. But not everything is a good investment. For example, if you don’t want to invest in Facebook ads, don’t join a marketing program focusing on that. 

Find something that aligns with what you want to learn and where you want to grow!

CONFERENCES AND NETWORKING

This could mean local or bigger events like PPA’s Imaging or the WPPI conference. Both are beneficial to you in different ways.

More significant nationwide events give you a peek into how other photographers may be running their businesses. You can also meet others in the industry and make connections, even friends!

But smaller, local events are my favorite! I’m more interested in building my photography business locally, so this is where I spend a lot of my time. These connections are still paying off years later in the form of referrals both ways. I send clients to many of these business owners, and they refer back to me as well.

BAD INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION AND NETWORKING

I’ve invested in programs that promised huge ROI…only to find out that the way they were teaching marketing was the exact opposite of the way I wanted to build my business.

Make sure that what you’re investing in aligns with the way you want to run your business. Education and connections are important, but so are your values. Don’t forget them!  

And a final word of caution: if they aren’t very forthcoming with what they’re teaching/doing, that’s always a big red flag to me!

Smart Investment #3: Marketing

I’m a big fan of investing in marketing! Boudoir photographers often forget about this because they think showing off their portfolios is enough. There’s so much more to it than that though!

WEBSITE AND PORTFOLIO

Yes, you need somewhere to house your photos to show potential clients. But your website also needs to be well-designed. At least enough so it easily shows off the important information and your clients can book sessions without hesitation or hassle. 

SEO AND BLOGGING

Your website should also be search engine friendly, so you can get found online! That’s where blogs come in. They’re a great way to boost that SEO content, and you can totally repurpose other content you have — like YouTube videos or podcasts for example. 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is a GREAT way for boudoir photographers to attract potential clients. I recommend picking a platform where those clients hang out — but I’m also a big fan of Instagram and Pinterest for photographers since it’s tailored for visual content!

However, I don’t recommend Facebook ads. I just don’t think they yield enough return for photographers, and in my experience, they don’t typically bring in the right clients. 

Smart Investment #4: Client Experience

Investing in your client experience is one of the smartest things you can do as a boudoir photographer. Here are three things I would invest in the most. 

HIGH-QUALITY SAMPLES

When it comes to high-quality samples like prints, albums, and packaging, you can’t go wrong with investing in them. You don’t have to get the absolute most expensive thing, but the better the quality, the more excitement.

Having their albums as something they can tangibly feel and see during their in-person sales session means they’re more likely to purchase because they can see it’s a good investment for them, too!

HAIR AND MAKEUP

This is a must! Good hair and makeup ensure your clients feel their absolute best and can go into their sessions full of confidence. And that confidence has a way of bringing out the best photos!

Just remember they might not always reach out to professionals, so if you can build a partnership with a hair or makeup artist, you can make this process so much easier for your clients. 

CLIENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Investing in software and automation makes things easier for you as the photographer/business owner and for your clients. Streamlined operations mean a smooth experience that keeps them coming back for more. 

Here’s a list of what I recommend trying out (and what I actively use in my business now!):

Want More Boudoir Biz Tips?

There are lots of opportunities to spend money while building your business. That’s why it’s so important to know what is and isn’t a good investment and stay focused on what is. If you make the right investments now, they’ll pay off tenfold in the future!

If you want to learn more about smart investments like these, enhancing the client experience, and streamlining everything so you can get on the road to six figures…be sure to check out 6-Figures Simplified!

This six-month coaching program will show you how to do that and more. I share all of my best-kept secrets for growing a successful boudoir photography business. Plus, you’ll see how you can take these tips and put them to work in YOUR OWN business, too!

Interested? Learn more about 6FS 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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