Choosing a boudoir photographer is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. It's kind of like speed dating. You are looking for someone with potential, who you connect with and wants to make you feel awesome! When hiring a photographer, you are hiring and trusting someone to take photos of you wearing minimal clothing. You want it to be a photographer who helps you feel good about yourself, makes you feel confident, and empowered, and have an amazing experience! Many times, however, clients do very little research before booking a photo session with a photographer, and their experience is not as great as they hoped it would be. Negative experiences can include bad business practices, disappointment of their final images, and unprofessional photographers who make inappropriate comments during the shoot. These types of stories are terrible to hear, but it makes us at Jennifer Maesen Photography want to show our clients how they and other women should be treated.
So what should you do first to see if the potential boudoir photographer is a match for you? Check out their website! Look at their style to see if it is the same as what you are envisioning for your session, check out their portfolio to see if you like their work, read their bio to see if they seem like someone you will mesh with.
If you feel you're a potential match, reach out to them so a phone consultation can be set up. (FYI, photographers who really take pride in their business and are a full-service studio will always have phone or in-person consultations with their clients). At your consultation, you will learn a lot about the process and boudoir experience. You are able to ask important questions too, which is where this post comes in handy!
1. How long have you been a photographer?
You might ask why this is important, but the longer a photographer has been in business means the more seasoned and experienced that photographer is. Do you really want to take a chance on an inexperienced photographer for one of the MOST intimate portrait sessions of your entire life? The answer is no. You want someone who knows their camera, is comfortable posing all body types in different setups, knows how to light their clients for amazing shots, and knows how to make you feel like a million bucks at your session!
2. Do you belong to any boudoir organizations?
A photographer who is a part of boudoir organizations or associations shows you that they take their craft seriously and educate themselves on the latest and greatest in the boudoir industry. IF a photographer is NOT a part of any groups, it doesn't mean they aren't good photographers, but photographers in these groups constantly improve their skill set, educate themselves on relevant topics, and interact with other boudoir photographers in a professional environment.
3. What kind of editing (and how much) will be done to my photos? Who edits them?
Sometimes photographers either do waaaaaay to much editing so that your skin doesn't even look real or too little editing so that the white balance and exposure is off. You can also see if a photographer edits their photos to look light and airy, dark and full of shadows, etc. It's important to find out WHO is editing your photos! Is it the actual photographer? Or is the photographer outsourcing to someone else? Make sure you check out the photographer's portfolio to see if you like their editing style.
4. What is the boudoir experience that you offer to clients?
The photographer who will be the best one for you will guide you through the boudoir process the entire way. On the phone consult, they will explain everything you need to know about and expect for your entire boudoir experience. They will WANT to find out about you and your motivation for wanting a shoot. They will help reassure you that they will be there for you throughout the entire process and they will help you to feel at ease and prepared. This separates the good photographers from the great photographers. Go with someone who provides amazing service for their clients. You won't regret it!
5. Have you had your own boudoir shoot?
This is a personal question, but it is definitely worth asking! Why? Because it shows you that this photographer knows the exact feelings and vulnerabilities that you feel about your shoot. Everyone who has a boudoir shoot is nervous to some extent, no matter if they are a pro photographer or not. We are all human! The difference is that since we have had our own boudoir shoot, we will be able to empathize and make your experience that much better. We will help you feel and look your best because that is what our expectations were at our own shoot!
So there you have it...5 essential questions to ask your potential boudoir photographer. Remember, inexpensive photographers do not provide the experience or service of an experienced photographer. You are paying for their service, artistic ability, and amazing products that will show off your beautiful images. Would you trust someone who didn't want to provide a luxurious experience for you, who just wanted to give you a CD of images that could get lost somewhere? No way! Make sure you find someone whose style you love, whose personality fits with yours, and who will take care of you from the very beginning of your boudoir journey til the end...and hopefully you'll love it so much and feel so amazing and empowered, you will want to do it again!
Live, laugh, and love!
Jennifer Maesen is an award winning and internationally published photographer based in Pacifica, CA, serving the San Franciso Bay Area. She is a mom to two awesome boys, a fur baby and wife to a wonderful husband.