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Start a Boudoir Photography Business

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Your Step-By-Step Guide to Start a Boudoir Photography Business.

(I receive a small commission on some of the links provided. It is no extra cost to you and helps support my adventures! :D)

Are you thinking about going full-time with your boudoir photography business? Are you just starting out and wondering what it would look like to be fully booked out? 

It’s a lot of work to start a boudoir photography business, but you want to make sure you start yours the right way. Set yourself up for success so you can deliver a great experience to your clients and make money while doing it. 

To get that done, there’s a long list of to-do’s. But if you’re worried and feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. 

Today, I will give you the exact blueprint you need to start your boudoir photography business. We’ll cover all the logistics so you can get started right away. These may not be the most glamorous parts of being a boudoir photographer, but they’re so needed. 

Let’s get to it!

Start a Boudoir Photography Business the Legal Way

Whenever you start a business, you want to make sure you get it legal. First up? Figuring out your business entity.

Business filings 

I won’t try to cover all the nuances with LLCs in the post, but for now, an EIN can help you get on the right track. (P.S. — this will help you greatly come tax season!)

To apply for your EIN, you can head here. 

You’ll also need to register with your state; note that the requirements for your business will differ by state, and so will the cost to register. Depending on your location, you may also need to register with your city and county. Those are things you will need to check out locally. A great place to start is by Googling “How to register a business in [City] [State].”

You don’t need to use those filing services — they’re scams, TBH. Just use your state and city’s Secretary of State or Department of Revenue websites. Those are the most legit resources.

Business Banking

Once you’re registered as a business, make sure to get a BUSINESS bank account. No, not your personal one; a business one. Again, it will help you so much during tax season if you’re keeping everything separated between business and personal. 

Business Insurance 

Last but not least, don’t forget about business insurance. There are lots of options, but my favorite is the insurance I get through PPA or Professional Photographers of America. It’s cheap with your membership and easy to apply for. 

Get Your Contracts in Order

You need contracts as a boudoir photographer. This is one of the MOST important things you will ever do in your photography business. 

The most common contracts that boudoir photographers use is:

  • Portrait contracts: If you’re doing weddings, this can also just be a wedding contract.
  • Model release forms: As boudoir photographers, we’re handling intimate images that some people may not want to be released to the public. This helps provide consent in case you want to add anything to your portfolio. 
  • Payment release forms: If you’re accepting payments (which you should be!), this is a must-have. And make sure you add an alternative payment method in case the first fails. 
  • Proof approval forms: Helps remind clients to check their proofs twice before ordering an album, which helps prevent reprints. 

Need some easy-to-use contracts for your boudoir photography business? Or your photography business in general? Check out!

Make Your Pricing Profitable

Pricing and the word “profitable” usually go hand-in-hand. But there are absolutely some photographers out there who’ve priced themselves out of making any money. It’s possible to undercut yourself, especially as a new photographer. 

My point? Don’t be scared to price your work fairly for the work you’re doing!  As in, you deserve to get paid well for the work you do!

You can start by thinking about your dream lifestyle. You aren’t building this boudoir photography business to work your life away, ya know? So be honest with yourself about what you want.

How much do you need to make each month? How much time do you really have (OR WANT) to work each week/month? 

Once you have those two numbers, it will help you find your sales average, which you can use to build out your pricing guide

Automate Your Photography Schedule

Gone are the days that we need to spend time scheduling clients…and going back and forth with them about it. There are so many calendar software programs out there, so why not use them to help you automate your schedule?

Sure, some do require a good bit of upfront work, but it makes your life so much easier once it’s completely set up. Speaking from personal experience, it’s totally worth it and saves SO MUCH time. 

Optimize Your Boudoir Photography Website

You have to have clients to have a business, right? Well then, you NEED a website to help them find you. Without clients, it’s going to be reaaaaally hard to make money. 

So you need to focus a little bit on generating traffic to create those leads. I like to separate traffic into long and short-term strategies:

  • Short-term strategies include things like bridal fairs, referral programs, and partnerships with other businesses.
  • Long-term strategies include things like blogging, SEO, email marketing, and social media. 

The great thing about short-term strategies is that they can help you get clients right away. Long-term strategies take longer to nurture leads, but it’s a great way to establish trust and connection. 

Whichever one you decide to focus on depends on your business, they can both help you bring in the traffic you need to book more clients, both now and in the future.

Set Your Boudoir Photography Business Up to Hit 6-Figures

Now that you know the basics of building your business as a photographer, you’re probably itching to start finding those clients, right? Not so fast! There’s so much more to a boudoir photography business than what I can explain in a blog. And there are tons more tips and tricks to getting booked out, consistently.

If you want to learn more about what it takes to hit that magical six-figure number, then I want to invite you to join me inside of 6-Figures Simplified!

This is a high-level business program, specifically for boudoir photographers, and is jam-packed with training that will help you streamline your life and business. You’ll find everything you need to run an automated, profitable, and sustainable machine so you can stay booked out!

Interested? Learn more about joining here. 


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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