Goodmorning photog friends, and happy Monday! K here today, starting off the morning with my cup of (half decaf) coffee, a Christmas playlist, and my beautiful Christmas tree sparkling in the corner. I love this season! But that’s beside the point. Today I wanted to share an FAQ. We recently got the following email from a fellow photographer; I liked her question and thought it would be helpful to post our answer here on the blog!
“Hello, my name is Katie my fiance and I are wedding photographers and I’m currently breaking into boudoir. I watched your top ten on youtube it was very helpful – thank you. I have two questions if you dont’ mind. What print lab do you guys use and what web hosting? Thanks a bunch!”
Thanks for your email, Katie. So first of all, we have used Bay Photo for MANY years, and think they are absolutely, hands-down, the BEST photo lab in the universe! We use Bay for almost ALL of our boudoir products that we offer our clients. Here are just a few of them…
We order all of our clients’ prints through Bay, as well as the 8×8 & 5×7 prints that we include in our basic books that you see here. We also order our calendars, fine art canvas prints, thin wrap prints, metal prints, and framed images through them. On top of ALL of these products that we offer our clients, we ALSO order a ton of awesome products through Bay Photo for marketing – such as their beautiful hard cover press printed books, and press printed postcards, business cards, & trifold cards. So as you can see, we are speaking from experience here. We truly do love Bay Photo and think they are the BEST LAB IN THE UNIVERSE. :)
Also, if you’re looking to run a special for your boudoir clients right now before the holidays, we recommend that you take advantage of the Bay Photo sale happening right now – 10% off all framed prints (through Dec 12, 2013).
We like to tell our clients that ‘Boudoir is for the Bedroom’ – and then we sell our beautiful framed boudoir art prints for them to display in their bedroom, master bathroom, or walk-in closets.
So for hosting – we use HOST GATOR. It’s easy to set-up, and super affordable!
Don’t have much more to say on that topic; it’s pretty straight-forward. :) But if you want to know more about creating or revamping your website, we do have a lot to say about that in our article: Top Website Tips for Boudoir Photographers. So go check it out!
Oh, and lastly, if you haven’t seen our Top Ten Marketing Tips for Boudoir that Katie mentioned in her email to us, here’s that FREE WEBINAR for you right here!
The Holidays have the potential to be one of our best seasons for our business, but it seems that every year they sneak up on us a bit. So this year we made it a point to plan all of our marketing early (see previous blog post)! And not only that, since we were going to launch one of our biggest sales ever, we wanted some hype to go with it. So we set up two commercials in hopes to get our potential clients excited, thinking and planning about Christmas earlier in the Fall. It’s not too late fellow Bou Photogs! What are you going to do to maximize your holiday? A sale, a marathon, mini sessions, a new set, a new product that has quicker turnaround so you can continue to shoot closer to Christmas?
Our goal with this one was to inspire ladies to make this holiday a little sexier than the norm. And those of us that have been married a long while know that romance can take some planning!
And this one…. well A) we wanted to goof off and B) we wanted to announce our sale in an excited and different way!
Okay so it’s not, but for us in the gift giving business, it is!!! It’s time to plan our your early bird specials and plant the seed for the perfect Christmas gift! We plan to launch two fun “commercials” we shot on our You Tube channel, Facebook, on all our blogs and newsletters too. We want to make sure that we take advantage of this season more than ever, pushing our “Bombshell Books®”, our Gift Cards, our early bird photo session and eventually our last minute photo sessions. Next week we are going to kick off a big early bird sale!
So since we are hard little elves at work, we thought we would give our fellow boudoir photographers a little reminder. Tis the season to get motivated! Make the most of the Christmas season and start early!! A video isn’t totally necessary, as long as you make up some cute jpegs to get people feeling that holiday fuzzy good feeling you are set. Then blast them every where ;)
Oh and PS, don’t forget to remind people about your turnaround times to light a fire under their booties to book asap, here is an example of what we put on our blog that’s geared toward potential boudoir clients….
Merry Christmas, I mean Happy Halloween from Marissa & Kimberlee ;)
We really feel that it is the marketing that we have done over the years that has really pushed our boudoir studio, The Boudoir Divas San Diego, to a level we could never have imagined! We get so many marketing and advertising questions from boudoir photographers all the time, and since there just isn’t enough time in a day to write everyone back, we made this free marketing webinar to learn what exactly it is we do to gain attention for our studio. We tried to pack it in with plenty of marketing and advertising tips for boudoir photographers…
We hope you enjoy this and that it is helpful for you!!! We would really appreciate any feedback or comments below, as this was a doozie of a project and it’s our hope it was helpful to some out there in the internets world :) Have a beautiful day!!! xoxo- Kimberlee & Marissa
September is “Self Awareness” month. So all of us here at the studio are encouraging ladies, and ourselves, to gear up for this special month by considering self awareness, which we are loving the description of that as achieving total self acceptance and long-term personal happiness.
I really enjoyed reading this article that spelled it out a little more clearly as this…
“Often, people are unable to see themselves as others see them, as their reality is different than most (self image, internally and externally). They prefer to focus only on the aspects of their being that make them feel good about themselves. Or contrarily, some prefer to focus only on the negative aspects. The dichotomy reflects an inability to be objectionable with oneself.
The habit of pushing the ‘bad parts’ out of their conscious eases the mental stress of having to deal with those issues, as positive change requires humble effort, so they choose to not accept those negative aspects when they look at themselves in the mirror.
Conversely, some people tend to sway in the opposite direction and focus only on the negativity. They continuously find fault within themselves which becomes a barrier in acknowledging the good qualities they possess, therefore hindering long-term personal happiness.
Denials are barriers in self awareness. Individuals need to accept all the parts of their being, good and bad, to begin a happy journey in life.” - The Examiner
Hey photographer friends! If you’ve been to one of our workshops or heard us speak, you’ve probably already heard about how we like to give our clients fun little gifts and surprises as a way to thank them for booking a shoot with us. If our clients are trusting us enough to book a boudoir shoot with our studio, we want to be sure that we are taking care of them and that we tell them thank you! We are a huge proponent of handwritten thank you cards (we order our custom cards from Bay Photo). And then we also like to give another something small as a surprise – right now we’re giving away bonus wallet images. In the past, though, we have also given away fabulous custom lipglosses that we had made with our logo. This was a really fun concept, and it’s something we’ve been thinking about doing again.
So we wanted to throw out an informal poll to all of you out there….. we have an awesome company that we are thinking of ordering these lipglosses through, and we wanted to get some feedback from all of you photographers to see if this is something you would be interested in ordering. So leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!
Please tell us:
1) How many lipglosses would you want to order for the year,
2) Any other comments about this idea!
Once we hear from you, we’ll let you know more info about the amazing makeup company that can get these lipglosses for you!
Thanks! xoxo, The Divas
These are the basics, so if you already know all this, done a lot of it, then congrats! – you are no longer a boudoir beginner! :) And that in itself is a big hurdle because as with anything worth doing, it can be a little daunting in the beginning. We created some steps for those of you beginner boudoir photographers, in hopes that you don’t feel too overwhelmed. I know when I can see my steps listed out in front of me clearly, it can be so much easier to press forward with a large task.
1> YOU MUST BELIEVE ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WANT TO SERVE HEARTS THROUGH THE PHOTOGRAPHY PROCESS
We know this is a little intense and perhaps a little “preachy” to put out there as numero uno. But the thing is, if you can’t say “absolutely yes!” to this first one, then there is no point in reading the rest. A boudoir photographer can’t be successful without the desire to serve women with this important belief.
2> You made it to number 2, ah that makes us so happy. Numero dos is PHOTOGRAPHY.
Boudoir Photography. I wish we could say it’s easy, but it’s not. Knowing how to make every woman look gorgeous, and well not just gorgeous, but the MOST gorgeous she thinks she has looked. Ever. You have to know your stuff, you need to study, practice, and then always have a game plan on shoot days. It’s taken us so many years not feel nervous before a boudoir shoot – we had to nail what looked best, and then create recipes. It took us a little bit of trial & error, and lots of practice with models and some willing friends before we felt 100% confident that we knew what posing and lighting is best to flatter a woman & make her look her very best in her boudoir photos. Let’s breakdown how we can tangibly help you.
>>>>RECIPES: We put all of what we’ve learned into products you can buy. I know that sounds like an infomercial, and it’s obvious we are being a little salesy, BUT the thing is we KNOW that these products work. We spent so much time creating them, are so very proud of them, and have seen so many other photographers rise to boudoir bad-ass-ness because they have implemented a lot of what we taught in them. The best way to learn is through our boudoir workshops (PS – LAST ONE for the year is happening in APRIL!) And then we have other products too – visit our shop to see them all (of course I recommend the Boudoir Biz in a Box).
”I just really wanted to send you a long overdue message of thanks. You guys really gave me so much. You gave me the confidence to be me. I have so much more to learn – but you really taught me not to be held back by what the photography society says is ‘correct’. It’s been almost a year and my business has grown in amazing ways. I’m just finishing my busiest season ever – and I’ve already booked a bunch of work for next year! Anyway – I just really wanted to say thanks.” xo, Jennifer Rozenbaum (Jenerations Boudoir, featured on CreativeLive recently.)
>>>>EQUIPMENT: We get so many emails asking us specifically what equipment we use, and it took us a really long time to figure out what we works for us. We compiled not only a list, but a complete, DETAILED boudoir shopping list on Amazon so you can easy purchase what you need. (Be sure to click through all of the tabs – we have camera equipment, lighting equipment, and more!)
>>>> PRACTICE. This is fun part! Once you have studied, & gotten some of the basic on the equipment list, now it’s time to enlist your gal pals and get some boudoir hours in! Don’t let yourself stress during this time – just give yourself some grace and know that you may not come out of the gates as an amazing boudoir champ with no mistakes and no fears (we sure didn’t!) But we clocked a TON of practice hours. The goal is to get comfortable working with women of all shapes and sizes, to figure our what works best for you, and to create a portfolio so you can show the world what you do, and then start booking clients!
We could go on and on forever regarding this one. We love branding and marketing for boudoir photography. We cover this topic quite a bit during our boudoir workshop… but for now, here are just a few top tips for all of you who are just getting started with boudoir:
1. Focus on your web presence. Your website is huge (we recommend Showit or BluDomain), then your Facebook page for your business, and perhaps a blog (or use your FB page like a blog). (PS – if you want a cool template for your Showit site, check out Promise Tangeman’s amazing Sitehouse designs like this one!)
2. Get some killer testimonials and put them everywhere. A video testimonial is best! When we started, we photographed our friends and then asked for their honest feedback. We used their responses as our first testimonials.
3. Build a brand. Choose UNIQUE fonts and a unique color palette, and then stick to it! Be recognizable and be consistent.
4. Be careful where you spend your advertising dollars. We tried to not put anything on credit when we were starting up, so choose wisely. We love bridal fairs because they are relatively affordable and then we get to chit chat with potential clients.
4>CREATING VALUE THROUGH CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CUTE TOUCHES
There are many ways to describe customer service, but one thing is for sure, a biz will tank without it. We aren’t perfect, but we do our best to be personal and create a fun experience that our clients will rave about because we have done small things to help them feel special. We are very friendly, very kind, and we truly CARE about each and every client that comes to our studio. And our clients know that we do! We try to go above and beyond for our clients. One example of that is in the boudoir photo shoot experience, we are their cheerleader, friend, and confidant. The shoot may have been the third one we did that week, maybe we are feeling under the weather, but even on our worst day our client will know that we had the time of our life shooting them.
We try to add value in every way possible. And “value” doesn’t mean it’s a big expense to us. For example, when our clients pick up their boudoir book, they receive a set of bonus wallets that we picked from their book images. It’s affordable and easy for us to order, and it’s a fun little surprise for them!
Going back to our “boudoir recipes” for a second, another reason we love creating recipes is because we want to be consistent with every client. Another word for recipes could be ‘systems.’ And our systems make sure that one woman’s experience step-by-step will be the same as her friend’s experience who referred her (not exactly the same – of course if will be unique… but the high level of service will be consistent!!) From the booking procedure to the photo shoot to the viewing and product delivery… the goal of giving your clients stellar service and an amazing experience should be the same for every single person.
6> THE FINANCIALS
Either get a bookkeeper right away, or take a bookkeeping class immediately. When starting I read Quickbooks for Dummies, the whole thing, and it still wasn’t enough. Having a bookkeeper is a big expense every month, but I can tell you that no business can be successful without one. You especially need an accurate profit and loss report every month to make big financial decisions, set goals for your business, and see progress.
Cleanliness, friendliness, creativity, fashion-mindedness (made up word), keeping your word, exceeding client expectations, writing personal thank you cards, phone calls instead of emails, cute packaging, personalized touches, yummy candy, bonus little gift products.
Well alrighty photog friends, that is a very brief summary for now with some basic tips on how to get started in boudoir. Above all if you are passionate about this and work you booty off, we know that you will be successful! Boudoir photography is very rewarding, and it has been one of the biggest blessings in our life. We hope the same for you! We would love to see you at our next, and possibly last workshop this April 2013. Click here for more info.
Hello photographer friends! We just wanted to share some images of our newest art on our walls at the San Diego studio! We want our studio to have tons of high-impact images on the walls. So we are just super excited about these new ones. We just got these large prints from Bay Photo – and we LOVE the way they look!
Aren’t they BEAUTIFUL?!! We ordered canvas prints – size 24×36, with the 3/4″ wrap. (Check out more info on the Fine Art Giclée Gallery Wraps here).
Do you need to spruce up your studio a little bit? Do you have samples of large prints for your boudoir clients to view during their ordering session? NO? Then… what are you waiting for?! :) Go place an order RIGHT NOW for some large prints for your studio. Annnndddd… if you order before the end of Feb, you’ll get 40% OFF!!!!