For Photographers

Boudoir Photography Business Education

Are you a photographer searching for clarity, answers, or help in the boudoir photography world?

YES?

Ok, well then you’ve landed in the right spot.

First, I’m am FAR FROM an educator. In fact, the though of that makes my palms sweaty. (GROSS)

But I do know this…I am absolutely for:

  1. raising the standards in this industry
  2. community over competition
  3. honesty and transparency in our industry
  4. GOOD WORK (aka: badass imagery)

If you feel a bit lost in this big bad world of boudoir…you are not alone. I can point you in some good directions and provide a bit of insight.

 

MY STORY

I started out in this industry in 2002, still in college struggling to get my degree in photography and also working full time as a cake decorator at Costco. Life was crazy. And I had alllllll the ambition and drive in the world. I loved to travel, and I did it as much as I could (thank goodness for that union job that afforded me the ability to do so). In the beginning of 2002 I had my big bad degree, a TERRIBLE website, and a little in-home studio. I was a fucking ROCK STAR. I was bringing in the dollars. I was happy.

At the time, I had no idea what IPS was, because apparently I was a visionary or an innovator (or maybe I just paid attention in school???). This is how I ran my business from the GET-GO.

IPS.

IN PERSON SALES.

I shot medium format film. I ONLY photographed maternity clients. Fine art NUDE maternity portraiture.

I had no idea at the time that I actually had my shit together.

THEN CAME DIGITAL.

So I rolled with it. I shot side by side – digital and film, for a while. I disliked having to sit behind a computer and fuck with files. I had not learned this in school. The digital erra was just barely coming out when I graduated. I learned in the darkroom. SEVEN years in a dark room. Yes, I paid my dues. But I liked very much not having to drive to the lab to drop off film, then drive back to the lab (1 hour round trip) to pick up days later. So I finally made the leap to fully digital in 2006-ish???

So there I was, rolling with the punches and getting better at all the crap that came with the digital photography era. THEN CAME THIS CRAZY NOTION OF…putting your images online for your client to view…in the comfort of their own home. YESSSS! SIGN ME UP FOR THAT! I was eager and I jumped at this fad.

It SUCKED. My sales tanked. I lost my client relationships. Referrals dwindled.

I had no clue that I was following along blindly with this ridiculous notion that online galleries were somehow better. I just did what “the people” said to do. And by “the people”…I mean Google.

Family Portrait Photography had taken on an EXTREME SURGE  in new togs. They were coming out of the woodwork like termites. I was suffocating in a saturated market of newbie togs who thought they’d try their hand at making a few extra bucks by shooting family portraits for $100 and…GIVING AWAY ALL THE DIGITALS.

GASP.

So, what was a girl to do?

Well, what I did was give a big fat middle finger to the “online gallery” crap, and got my shit back together. Good grief, what was I thinking?!

THEN…the fucking economy crashed in 2008 and my business suffered greatly. I was in a business of NEED not WANT.

So I did what most good creatives did….

I WORKED MY ASS OFF.

I did not give up, although I wanted to.

Fast forward to 2016. (I know, that’s a big leap) Now I’m married and a mom to 3 boys. I had taken nearly 4 years off to be a stay at home mommy. I didn’t even touch my website for years.

So I jumped back in….(in my normal kick ass way)

But…WTF?! I Googled. Yes, I Googled “san diego family photographer”, just to see who was still out there. HOLY SHIT FOLKS. There was like 50 “photographers” within a 3 mile radius of me.

I PANICKED.

Thinking cap on.

Nothing.

Still nothing.

So I turned to fucking Google. Again.

What is this? Community over competition? Are all these people nuts? What is going on here? Facebook groups? WHAT IN THE HELL IS A FACEBOOK GROUP?

Apparently in my 4 year SAHM adventure, pushing out 3 babies, a new era had come to fruition. Community OVER competition.

So I joined 347 facebook groups and dug in.

I was in Facebook group hell.

BUT….I LEARNED A SHIT TON!

AND NOW… I’m going to share…

Complete transparency: I DID give a go at family portraiture again in 2016 and had a few return clients…but I could not (and DID NOT want to) compete with the other 2378 family photographers in my area who were not only giving away the MILK…but the fucking COW too!

NOPE.

So I decided to get back to my roots and photograph naked women. 😉

NOW WHAT?

I am an open book. IF YOU ASK.

PLEASE, do not be sneaky and sign up for my email list! UGHH. RUDE.

My work, my copy, my pricing are proprietary. Duh.

So, if you have a specific question, please EMAIL ME.

 

Here are a bunch of LINKS that are super crazy helpful. You’re welcome.

DO MORE WEAR LESS Facebook group

AIBP

The Rising Tide Society

Tips to having a Successful Boudoir Group

Boudoir Photogs Facebook group

The Law Tog

IPS Mastermind (Beware, there are a lot of assholes here. Just soak up the knowledge)

 

Do:

-get involved in your community and befriend like-minded creatives

-practice your craft. then do it more. and again. and again.

-get a website. a good one please.

-be nice.

 

Don’t:

-be a dick.

-cheat, lie, or be sneaky.

-work for free.

-give away your files (think of your digital files as GOLD BARS. No one on the planet gives away gold bars.)

 

xoxo,

Melisa

 

Boudoir Photography Business Education for boudoir photographers who want to take their business to the next level but don’t know where to start.

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