Getting Ready for a Boudoir Session | Swansboro Boudoir Photography

You’ve decided you’re ready to book your boudoir session, but what happens now?!

First thing that needs to happen is booking your session. When you should book totally depends on when you’re looking to have your final products ready. Anniversary in October? Plan your shoot at least 4 weeks before! Big holiday like Christmas or Valentine’s Day? We start shooting for Christmas in October, Valentine’s Day in December. Christmas is the busiest time of year for most photographers and sessions book fast! Add in a bad flu season and you definitely want to try and get everything done earlier just in case.

To book, most boudoir photographers require a non refundable retainer, or booking fee, to confirm your spot. In my case, this is also when I book the hair & make up artist for your session as well as putting it on my team’s calendar so we can all plan ahead.

Next comes shopping! As part of your confirmation email once I receive your retainer, I send out a lingerie guide. This goes over different types of lingerie that will showcase or minimize certain body shapes, depending on what you are looking for! It also has some great non lingerie suggestions for your shoot. We’ll also look through your outfits once you arrive and make a plan for your shoot. It may sound strange, but not everything that looks great in person photographs well and I’ll tell you this on set.

If you’re thinking of theming your session, definitely talk about it with your photographer! I’ve done things like Star Wars, Harry Potter, bridal, red room, it comes down to what you want out of your session. Planning ahead with your photographer opens up more creative options that may not have been possible without that preparation.

If you’re planning on getting waxed, which is totally your call, definitely give yourself a few days between your waxing appointment and your shoot, this allows any redness to fade. Two days is usually enough time, but if you haven’t waxed before stretching that to three or four isn’t a bad idea.

If you’re planning on spray tanning…please just don’t. I don’t know WHY, but spray tans and photography lighting just aren’t friends. You could look great in person but you will photograph a really unflattering shade of orange. Also, depending on how long you wait between your tan and your shoot, you could leave orange streaks all over my bedding and furniture as well as your own.

Pamper yourself and get a manicure & pedicure before your session! French nails look amazing with most outfit choices or you can go for a color that will match or complement your wardrobe pieces. Plus your feet will feel AH-mazing.

Look through your photographer’s website, blog, social media for ideas! You can do pinterest, too, but looking through and seeing what your photographer has already done definitely gives you an edge for getting the same photo. It’ll also give you a realistic idea of what your photographer has in studio in regards to furniture, sets, even wardrobe pieces! Some photographers may or may not allow pinterest boards. Personally, I will use them as inspiration but not necessarily give you the exact same shot.

The day of your session, unless told otherwise, you should arrive with clean, dry hair. Back in the 90s/early 2000s I was always told by hairstylists to have “day old hair” for updos. Ignore that advice for your session unless told otherwise. Also, you should avoid hair products if you can. This gives the hair stylist a clean slate, so to speak, and more flexibility with your hair. Your face should also be clean and moisturized, no make up at all unless told otherwise. The makeup artists I work with are amazing and I promise they’ll cover whatever you want covered much easier if they’re starting from the beginning!

If you have any questions about your upcoming session, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask! I promise, I’m really easy to get a hold of and don’t mind answering your questions.

 

Miss S | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photography

If you’re in my VIB group on Facebook, you know that my studio is currently undergoing a bit of a renovation thanks to Florence and that we have temporarily relocated. This did not stop Miss S’s session from being one you will be seeing a lot of! Miss S booked in for my marathon held on January 20th, which was a fantastic day! She was first up and came ready to go with ideas of what she was looking for and what studio pieces she wanted to rock.

She opted for dramatic sexy make up and big beach waves for her hair, courtesy of Hair by Mercedes Quinn.  From there, she popped into my wardrobe area (aka my office, which has recently gotten a bit of a makeover for this purpose!) and then we got ready to shoot!

Miss M | Hubert Boudoir Photography

I love when I get to try new lighting ideas and Miss M was ALL about letting me do that! Miss M really wanted to show off her femininity with her wardrobe choices and opted for a bit of lace! White lace bodysuit, black lace halter teddy with thigh highs to match, a gorgeous sapphire blue baby doll that was a perfect choice to make her eyes POP! And, because women like to have fun, too, she brought in her red jersey with some over the knee socks! We played with lighting, posing, and made jokes the whole time. Really, her abs got as much of a workout from laughing as her lower back did from arching!

 

Miss A | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photography

Apparently I’ve been slacking on the whole blogging thing, whoops! Here’s a session from back in August that I have been sharing all over the place since then!

Miss A came in with some ideas but really wanting to celebrate herself. This opened the gateway for us to have a lot of fun, laughing and making ridiculous jokes the whole time. Hair and make up were done by the incredibly talented Mercedes Quinn. We started with a pink top and moved onto a really pretty purple bra & undies set, because the color just POPS with her skin tone! She also borrowed a couple dresses from our client wardrobe, the white lace dress and a beige dress that I am in love with!

Looking forward to more sessions with Miss A in the near future!

red hair woman woman in lace dress on blue couch woman with eyes closed and soft hands woman in beige dress on blue victorian couch woman in pink shirt on bed woman in pink shirt on bed woman in purple underwear woman in purple underwear woman in purple underwear woman in purple underwear woman in purple underwear woman in purple bra on bed

Mercedes at the Palace | New Bern Maternity Photography

You know that amazing moment when everything sort of just comes together and life is awesome? This session was born from a series of moments like that.

I’ve known Mercedes for a few years now, since I made an offhand comment to my son about a book series and heard someone behind me yell “oh my god, me too!”. Fortunately, the Marine Corps was kind enough to send our husbands to bases in the same city so we were able to bond even more! As soon as Mercedes told me she was expecting a bundle of joy, I knew I wanted to have her photo session at Tryon Palace, where we both volunteer as historic interpreters.

If you’ve lived here, or even just visited for more than a day or two, you know the weather can be extremely unpredictable. The forecast for her session changed regularly from sunny to thunderstorms to cloudy to being super hot and sunny. Mercedes was an absolute trooper (yay for flowy dresses and light winds!) and this session came out exactly the way I pictured in my head.

We started with the Palace Stables, the only building that is still standing from 1770. The bricks created a perfect contrast to her dark purple maternity dress. The natural light, or in this case shade, was amazingly beautiful and she simply glowed. From there, we headed to the Kitchen Gardens. We also spent time in the south lawn area, making sure to stop in at the gazebo, right behind the Palace itself, the Latham Memorial Garden, the Pleached Allée, and ending in the Palace’s courtyard and front steps. There were many more gardens we would have loved to take photos in, but due to weather and time constraints will have to wait for another day.

Mr & Mrs M | Emerald Isle Couples Beach Boudoir

First of all, I want to send a HUGE shout out to this amazing couple! I had a wicked last minute cancellation, like as my sitter walked in the door I got a message from the people I was supposed to be shooting. (In their defense, it was because of the Marine Corps and no fault of their own) We had everything set to go but we just needed people for in front of the camera. I told my amazing sitter that unless she knew someone who wanted to get half naked on the beach and take pictures, we’d probably have to cancel. As I scrambled to find someone, she pulled out her phone, made a call and the session was on!

We met at the Bogue Inlet Pier as clouds loomed overhead and the occasional rain drops sprinkled down. Originally, we were only going to be shooting Mrs M, but she convinced her husband to come in the water with her and it was perfection. The waves were rough which made for some excellent shots of them with the waves crashing over them. Some of the session was shot in natural light, but I was also able to use my assistant and pull out the light and do some on location lighting as well!

Fair warning, this session did get a bit steamy, so this may not be safe for work!

 

Do I get the digitals? | Jacksonville NC Portrait Photography

One of my most frequently asked questions I get is “do I get the digitals?” The short answer is yes. The longer answer involves a bit of explanation of the different types of files, how they work, and, most importantly, what it all means to you.

All of my sessions come with some sort of digital product. This is 2018 and I know you want to be able to show your images to your friends around the world, especially in an area that is so filled with military families from around the country.

Social media files are for social media use as well as displaying on digital devices. These images are low resolution, 72 ppi, for faster uploads, smaller file size means smaller storage requirements, and minimal, if any, compression issues on social media (looking at you Facebook!). Make sure to check the “upload in high resolution” box even for low resolution images for best results. They have my watermark as well as metadata. This is done for a variety of reasons. This allows you to not have to worry about giving me “credit”. It also makes it harder for someone to “steal” your images and much easier to prove they are my intellectual property in the rare event that someone takes them and tries passing them off as their own (sadly, this has happened). These are not for printing.

High resolution images with a print release are the second digital product that I offer. Portrait sessions include a minimum of 10 (unless stated otherwise) with the option to purchase more. You choose them from the social media images in your gallery app. They are not watermarked. These images are large files, and will print pretty large without problems. This being said, I cannot control quality of consumer labs. I edit your images on a 16 bit depth, calibrated monitor so that colors look the way they will print at a professional print lab. Consumer labs including, but not limited to, Shutterfly, Walmart, Walgreens, Costco, are very hit or miss with their quality. This is why I offer such a wide variety of professional quality prints and products. You’ve made the investment in your portrait session, I’d love for gorgeous prints, canvases, photo cubes, and wall calendars to adorn your home.

 

Sunflower Minis | Swansboro NC Portrait Photography

This year the sunflowers that bloomed in Cape Carteret were perfect for portrait sessions! I’m so glad I offered the mini sessions this year, I was able to photograph a few different types of sessions in them including siblings, maternity, and mommy and me. The light at the sunflower fields is simply gorgeous during the evening golden hour and I’m absolutely thrilled with the results!

pregnant woman in sunflower field with husband pregnant woman in sunflower field with husband pregnant woman in sunflower field with husband pregnant woman in sunflower field with husband pregnant woman in sunflower field with husband young boy in sunflower field young boy in sunflower field young boy in sunflower field Dad with kids in sunflower field Brother and sister in sunflower field little girl jumping in sunflower field little girl jumping in sunflower field little girl standing in sunflower field weimaraner in a sunflower field woman getting kisses from her dog in a sunflower field woman with her dog in a sunflower field little boy cuddling mom in a sunflower field little boy cuddling mom in a sunflower field young boy in sunflower field

Mermaid Erin in Stormy Skies | Emerald Isle NC Photography

Crystal reached out about booking her daughter, Erin, a mermaid session. They came from almost two hours away, and well, it’s North Carolina weather and we all held our breath as we watched the storm clouds roll in. Fortunately, they were super early to the session and I headed down to the beach early myself so we made the decision to continue with the session and started 45 minutes early. Thank goodness we did because we had a total of 7 minutes between getting down to the beach, getting her in the tail, and the rain starting. I have to say, for a 7 minute session, I am ecstatic with how her images came out!

mermaid on beach with stormy skies mermaid on beach with stormy skies mermaid on beach with stormy skies mermaid on beach with stormy skies mermaid on beach with stormy skies mermaid in front of pier on beach with stormy skies mermaid in front of pier on beach with stormy skies mermaid with message in a bottle on beach with stormy skies mermaid in front of pier on beach with stormy skies mermaid in front of pier on beach with stormy skies black and white image of mermaid in front of pier on beach with stormy skies

Jess’s Dirty 30! | Jacksonville NC Portrait Photography

Turning 30 is an adventure that sometimes needs a bit of excitement with it. For her 30th, Jess wanted to really showcase her fun side so we did a 30th Cake Smash and Champagne Splash! With a cake lovingly made by her husband, a window she turned into a chalkboard, special balloons, and pink champagne we celebrated the big 3-0 in style! The natural light of golden hour at Sturgeon City Park is absolutely gorgeous and we had the place pretty much to ourselves! woman celebrating her 30th birthdaywoman celebrating her 30th birthdaywoman celebrating her 30th birthdaywoman celebrating her 30th birthdaywoman celebrating her 30th birthday30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo session30th cake smash photo sessionwoman holding balloonslady in tutu in fieldWe also discovered just how hard it can be to get a bottle of champagne to “pop” open!

woman celebrating her 30th birthday