My Boudoir Experience: A Tale of Two Photographers

My route to professional photography is probably a bit different from most people. I’ve given the light version of this before, but I’m going to bare all this time.

My first boudoir session I booked was for our anniversary. Our son was 8 weeks old at the time, but I really wanted something that would knock my husband’s socks off. I didn’t understand a whole lot about photography then, but I noticed I liked one photographer’s pictures a LOT better. We booked the session and she came to my house. She did my hair and make up; she had gone to school specifically for this.

My shoot was awesome. It was like having a friend with a camera take pictures, but they came out SO much better. She took the time to edit them fully (I think it was about a week because she rushed them). I fell in love. No way I looked that GOOD! I got pictures for my husband {that he still has, 4 years later} AND a huge boost to my self esteem. Talk about a win-win.

Nine months later, another photographer was looking to expand her portfolio, including boudoir. I jumped at the chance. My body was a bit better then it was the first time, and hey, it’s still me, and I kinda rock at posing & expressions so why not? Plus it was right around Father’s Day so, perfect gift, right?

She didn’t provide hair & make up, which left me up to my own. Never a good idea in my case (I’ve now owned my curling iron just about a year). The posing was meh and unflattering. The lighting wasn’t good. The editing left a lot to be desired. I snapped the disc in half. If you don’t believe me, ask my husband.

I didn’t get it. They both had a fancy camera, a light on a stand and some sort of “thing” on it (cut me slack, this was before I went to school for photography lol). They both had me and my lingerie, props, etc. What was the big difference??

Photography is more than a camera. It’s posing, composition, editing. It’s having the eye.

Boudoir photography is a special kind of portrait. It takes a lot of self confidence, or motivation, to get up the courage to take off some or most or even all of your clothes for another person. Make sure that person is going to take you and make you look your best! There’s nothing worse then getting back pictures of yourself and wanting to snap that disc in half. Trust me, I’ve been there.

There are reasons behind what I do. Hair and make up are included in all my pricing because make up for photo shoot is drastically different from “street” make up. Having your hair done by a pro means it looks amazing, even from the back, because you never know what angle I’ll put you in. I include products because you aren’t going to want to print these out at CVS or Walmart (IF they even will!). When you sign a model release for boudoir with me, you still get final approval on images posted online. They don’t even go online until after you have given them to your significant other.

Since then, I’ve done 4 more shoots with the first photographer. Her prices have gone up quite a bit from when she first started out to now. I’m even trying to talk my husband into a trip to Tennessee so I can have more done with her.

At the end of the day, I wasted $70 on pictures that I didn’t want to ever see the light of day. That’s $70 I could’ve put toward another session with Crystal. I wish I had.


The Sweet & Sassy Boudoir

13 thoughts on “My Boudoir Experience: A Tale of Two Photographers”

  1. Rock it hot mama! People don’t understand the importance to knowing how to pose someone especially in Boudoir photography, they think they just need a nice camera! Even the tiniest of girls need guidance! They don’t lie when they say film adds 10 pounds and bumps and grooves not even you knew you had lol!

  2. you are so right – finding the right photographer is so important and often so worth paying for. thanks for sharing your experience with us 🙂

  3. That old saying “you get what you pay for” certainly applies here! It is so important to hire a true professional and not just someone with a “nice camera” to capture your life’s memories. They may have the same equipment, but there is so much more than equipment that goes into making beautiful photographs.

  4. Such GREAT advice for your clients! So many people think it’s easy to pick up a camera and start shooting. It’s SO. MUCH. MORE. than that!

  5. Great advice. It often seems you get what you pay for. However, what you pay for will last forever on your wall or in an album. I wish everyone could understand this!

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