Boudoir: A Clients’ Perspective by Kelly Segre

Introduction by Kelly Segré

Many times photographers receive thank you letters and testimonials from clients. It is wonderful to know how much they appreciate what you did for them, but it is not often we realize the entire experience from their perspective. Some boudoir photographers say to fully understand what it is like you need to pose for your own boudoir session. While this is exciting and fun, it is not always the same for a photographer-turned-client as it is for the everyday woman who decides to experience her first boudoir session!

This article was written by an actual boudoir client about her experience from beginning to end – the words are her own.

My Experience with an Intimate Portrait Session by Pamela Fletcher Several times over the years I have seen ads for boudoir portraits offering a photo experience with professional hair and makeup like models and celebrities receive for their photo shoots. You …

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Show & Tell: How to Sell Boudoir Books by Kelly Segre

In-house sales work best with boudoir clients. But what does this mean? It means you have to find a way to show your client an album before they see their final prints.

Here are my tips and tricks for boosting book and album sales specifically for boudoir photographers!

1. Show and sell

Have particular products in mind for your boudoir clients? Great! Then, you must show them to sell them! When I shoot boudoir sessions, I have hair and make-up artists come to my studio, so clients see my books in front of them while they’re getting styled. They naturally want to look through the books. Initially, the client may be looking to see how other women have posed or what they’ve worn (or not worn!) in their sessions. But they always end up admiring the book! I have several sample books at my studio for my clients to experience. I only display books …

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How Can Light Create Mood? by Kelly Segre

As a photographer, lighting is everything to me. Light describes how I feel about an image and expresses to the world how I feel as a photographer. Light is to my photography as the air is to my lungs. My images can’t live without it.

Watching the way a shadow wraps around a woman’s body to accentuate her curves, or the way the catch lights are caught in her eyes is part of what I love about creating images. The use of light is more of my paintbrush than my camera at times, whether I want sun flare while outside or a hair light while in studio, it is the light that I am always looking for.

I was told a long time ago, in my first photo class, that a great image has mystery, ambiguity and contradiction. All three can be created with light. Shadows create ambiguity and have mystery if …

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6 Tips for Hosting Effective and Profitable Boudoir Mini-Sessions by Kelly Segre

**In honor of Cupid, this blog post is the second in our February series on Boudoir photography.  See more posts on Boudoir photography…**

A typical boudoir day for me consists of anywhere from seven to twelve clients coming into my studio in one day. While powering through sessions might not work for everyone, with some practice you can effectively have profitable and fun boudoir sessions!

Here are a few tips for having an effective and profitable marathon boudoir session.

It all starts in the marketing. In order to be able to book several clients in one day, you have to be able to get several clients to sign up. The best way to do this is to create a special that limits the number of available spots & dates. When clients ask me when I will be doing my next special I often tell them it could be anywhere from six months to …

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How to Use Boudoir Studio Lighting by Kelly Segre

The biggest concern I hear from people who have never worked with studio lights, even if they own them, is that they are intimidated to use them. Although natural light can work beautifully in studio, knowing how to use studio lights will set you apart from other photographers, especially with the increasing boudoir market.

With boudoir photography becoming as popular as it is, whether you are shooting at your house, your client’s home or in a hotel room this is now technically your studio for the day. We cannot always depend on natural light to be consistent as sometimes our clients are only available for evening appointments and as we all know the weather cannot be controlled.

The two recipes shown above are very simple studio set-ups using 1 to 2 lights. The first set up is one that I use in studio often to get a great black …

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Mutual Networking for Boudoir Photography by Kelly Segre

Just like weddings, if you want to get in on the business of boudoir photography you are going to have to find a way get potential clients. When I first started boudoir photography I naturally just advertised to my brides.  But with only an average of 30 brides a year I was barely able to get enough clients to make my venture worthwhile, especially when being a bride doesn’t automatically make you a candidate for a boudoir session.

So I had to ask myself “if I was looking to get boudoir images done of myself, where would I look?”  The answer came pretty easily…go to where a woman would go to prepare for her boudoir sessions! So my next stop was the local lingerie boutique. I personally made the decision to only network with limited stores, this way I could develop a stronger relationship with them and potentially get more clients than if I were to give my promotional material to every store in town.

One thing I think we often forget is that networking is not one-sided, so for networking to work, the company we are working with needs to benefit from our services as well. Just giving your promotional materials to a lingerie store is not mutually beneficial for them. One idea I came up with was that every time a client books a boudoir session with us they receive a small gift certificate to the lingerie store as part of their package. This gives them the opportunity to get some great new lingerie before their session and the lingerie store benefits as well.

Since I started offering gift certificates to the lingerie store as part of package I have found that my boudoir inquiries have increased tremendously. Additionally, what often happens is that the client returns to the store for future lingerie purchases and at that time gives the storeowner feedback about how great their session was. Although the lingerie store has books of several boudoir photographers, because of this feedback the storeowner has mentioned to me that she feels more comfortable recommending me to her clients.

Once I realized how beneficial mutual networking could be, I started including it in other aspects of my boudoir business. I now also include professional hair and make up with all of my sessions. I have the fee of the hair & make up artist figured into the price of the session. Because of the large amount of referrals my make up artist is receiving she also gives me a slight discount on her fee. Including professional hair and make up has been a win – win situation for everyone. My hair and make up artist gets extra referrals, my client feels like she just received a mini makeover, and I have less post-production!

Join the Conversation:

What other networking relationships have you found work for you? Share your comments below.

Written by Kelly Segre

Kelly’s photography career started many years ago in her father’s darkroom. With a love for film and timeless, classic images, she strives to bring this style into every session she shoots.

By creating an environment that allows her clients to feel sexy and glamorous before ever stepping in front of her camera, Kelly is able to get the most out of each and every session. Using simple techniques and literally showing her clients how to pose, Kelly is able to set a fun, playful and sexy mood for her clients, turning a girls night out into a sexy boudoir session!

Kelly will be leading shooting workshops at Pictage U- San Diego, May 25 and 26. See for more information. Only 5 spots left!

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