When we were young 20-somethings, our imaginations ran wild with the possibilities for this vision that was our photography business. But what began as a grand dream in our minds, we matched with some serious will and hard work. Persistence doesn’t even come close what would describe what when on the countless times we were knocked down, made mistakes or just plain worked through the exhaustion. We had a vision and we wouldn’t stop until we saw what was so brilliantly clear in our minds as a functioning, beautiful reality. We wanted to create our own little castle, a lovely little kingdom that was authentically ours. That the rest of the world would see as “The Boudoir Divas,” the world’s largest and most sought after boudoir studio, but we would see as something that was totally our little universe. A world where women could enter, feel amazing, learn what it meant to embrace their own skin and unique beauty, and have one of the best days of their lives in the process. Through the years we were honored to hear over and over how a woman’s shoot was the mark of a new chapter in her life that was titled, “Self Acceptance.” Our little world was so loved and we were, and are, incredibly grateful to all of the women who have trusted us so willingly.
Our little world…… 6500 sq feet, 7 full time staff members/photographer/artists, 500+ shoots a year. Adding crazy photo shoots all over the world, having people from as far as Hong Kong flying in for a shoot or to learn from us, traveling and speaking to other photographers showing them pieces of what’s possible and how to get it. If we are unabashedly honest in our content, well it was electrifying to pour out hearts into our art and have it so well-received. What more could or would an artist ever ask for? I think the answer to that is nothing. They would ask for nothing.
But if you are like us, if you think in pictures, if you see the world as an open sketch pad just waiting to put your pen to it, then you will never harness your imagination. You just have to let it keep creating. When one creation is done, you revel in it, you enjoy it, but then you turn the page and go on again. But this time around the artist sees things differently. What was important to her is still VERY important, but it has changed a bit. Mainly because her medium has changed, her brushes or tools are different, and an artist is nothing if not resourceful and ready to adapt. She loves the challenge of using the best pieces of the beauty that is currently around her.
This is exactly what happened to us. Our lives are different and change is in the air. A lot has been happening in our lives, and we are excited about all of the big changes that are taking place. It’s actually very simple, all of it. And my goodness is it colorful, risky, and exciting. Instead of continuing in this gorgeous chaotic world that we call our BIG studio, we were inspired by the words in the quote above, and we are changing-up our business and our studio a bit. We will be leaning-out, freshening up, condensing, and reinventing The Boudoir Divas. We won’t be doing as many shoots, but we will remain just as profitable. We are the same crazy-entrepreneurial-minded-business-women-best-friends. None of that has changed. But we are ready to reinvent and give a new look to the San Diego studio.
We are learning that you need to embrace the simple in order to enjoy the extraordinary. Now for us crazy dreamers (who, mind you, still have a lot of long-term crazy dreams), when we were talking about this new direction for the studio – for a few minutes, ‘scaling down’ felt a little like ‘going in reverse.’ But if we keep our focus and continue pursuing our big dreams, we know that the opposite is actually true. Sometimes in order to move forward, you have to take a small pause and decide what changes need to be made in order to jump into that next season of life. Our hope and big dream is to open more Boudoir Divas studios someday, and in order to do that we need to create more time to focus on just that. And in order to create more time, we need to get the San Diego studio more streamlined, and give it a fresh new look, or facelift, if you will.
Not to mention… with this change, we are going to create a little more time to explore life. What’s the point of hitting your goals if you don’t take the time to relax and enjoy them?! Life is so sweet right now. Kimberlee is enjoying mamahood in Washington. I am planning my next wanderlust adventure. We are blessed beyond measure.
So what exactly is getting sketched up on this blank page you wonder? Well, we currently rent two suites that make up the 6500 sq feet of our dreamy little castle – upstairs and downstairs in a huge building in San Diego. So we are now consolidating into one suite, currently under massive reconstruction, putting up walls, windows, lofts, doors. Creating all new sets, with hopes of going from a kitschy look to a very fresh, modern look.
We move into this space on July 26th. So we have about a week to paint, host the biggest yard sale in the history of Sorrento Valley, move our entire offices downstairs, and build our new sets to be up and running on August 2nd. It’s going to be a challenge, but this little family can hustle like NO other, and I think we are all excited about the task at hand. Hard work has never intimidated these beauties we roll with.
Let the new adventure begin, chin chin!
As we have mentioned in some of our other posts, one of the reasons we really wanted to a longer, more intensive, 4-day retreat (versus our usual shorter 2-day workshops), was because we wanted to get a chance to really get to know all of our fab attendees. To each of our attendees – we are so glad that we were able to spend these 4 days with you, and we are so incredibly honored that you made the investment and took the time to travel to hang out with us in San Diego. We feel like we were able to truly get to know each of you a little bit, to understand your business, personality and to really be able to speak into exactly what it is you are doing with your boudoir biz.
Another added bonus is the freaking awesome camaraderie that comes from sharing so much time (not to mention sharing a cool home) with others who are your peers in this industry. To spend time collaborating with these incredible people who are doing everything in their power to build a dream similar to yours. The ideas, inspiration, brainstorming, and questioning that is bounced around is like nothing else when it comes to pursuing your dreams. I think it’s safe to say that we are 100% happy with the decision to start the Boudoir Retreats! These are some headshot images that we took (although most gals got a boudoir shoot at our studio too, so you may want to head to our studio blog, www.sandiegoboudoir.com, and see who gave us permission to show them off). ;) All of these photographers are killing it in the boudoir industry on their own, and it kinda blows our mind that they flew to us to learn, as we have learned heaps as well from being with them and bouncing a ton of ideas around with everyone. These are no longer just our ‘industry peers’ or our ‘Retreat attendees’. So without further ado – here they are, our awesome peers, boudoir retreat attendees, and even cooler than that, our new friends…..
First up are the lovebirds, Andrew and Maggi Woo, from British Colombia, Canada. These two are such a great pair, and you can tell that they really complement each other not only in their sweeet relationship but also in their business – Maggi Woo Photography. She shoots beautiful images and then shares her work on her blog, through her gorgeous words (seriously, you have to check out her blog – she’s such a great writer!) And then this exec, Andrews, is all about helping out on the biz side, supporting her as lovebirdy husband does and giving tons of insight with his extensive experience in the business world. These two are unstoppable!
Next up is a face you may recognize… We know this gal pretty well at this point, as she has been to our workshop and studio a couple of times before! And did we mention are bananas about her. You just might know her cuz she’s cool like that, makin’ a name for herself in this industry and standing out – it’s the fabulous Denise of Modern Love Photography! We know that our paths will continue to cross in the future. Sorry, Denise, but you’re stuck with us, whether you like it or not. ;) Go check out her site and see all the cool stuff she is up to (including a new ebook coming out soon!)
Apparently this next girl knows how to brand – I mean, just look at that hair! :) Introducing Jennie of Pink Photography. Jennie owns a studio in Richmond, Virginia, and this girl is going places. Jennie is one of those gals who may seem reserved at first, but that’s just until she’s had a chance to warm up. She is such a sweetheart, and it is easy to see that her clients feel incredibly comfortable around her. There’s no doubt in our minds about why she has already built up a successful boudoir biz!
Next up is the bubbly-life-of-the-party Krystyn! This girl knows how to make friend. And geez louise she’s another one who will make you feel comfortable in two seconds. How did we get so lucky, to be surrounded with such sweet and wonderful people at this Retreat?! Krystyn has a studio in Pittsburgh that is both a boudoir studio AND lingerie boutique. Super cool. Check her out here: KBS Photography. Also, you have GOT to read her blog post about her experience BEHIND the camera – we just loved reading about her time at our studio and thought she did such a great job of explaining the experience.
Korin, the artist also known as Martina, comes off as pretty chill, but let’s be honest, if you know her, you know that this gal has some unexpected fire. :) (Which, come on, we all have to have a little ‘fire’ to be in this line of work, right?) Korin of Wonderland Boudoir has a successful portrait photography biz in Dallas, Texas – and we just love her style. Plus, her laugh is pretty infectious. We’re excited to see her biz continue to grow and grow!
Natasha! Ah! I think this girl can Carebear-stare a smile right into you heart, hahaha! Seriously though, she is salt-of-the-Earth-good-people. We loved getting to know her (and especially loved hearing her story of how she met her hubby!) Introducing Natasha!!! (Her website is under construction so we’ll have to post a link to it once it’s up!) She is about to launch a really cool concept… a salon-meets-boudoir studio, in South Dakota! We think this gal has exactly what it takes to create the business that she is envisioning, and we can’t wait to see it come to fruition. Watch out, because she’s going to take the South Dakota market by STORM.
Ok and now last but certainly not least… Miss Agi Magyar, who was definitely the one who traveled the farthest for this Retreat – she came all the way from Sydney, Australia! We met Agi last year when she came to have a destination boudoir shoot with us in Vegas, and we knew we would become instant friends from the very moment we met her. When she said she was coming to the Retreat, we were super excited because we knew she’d bring a fun energy to the experience. Definitely go check out her website, she’s doing great things – Agi M Photography! We also loved reading her review and recap of the Boudoir Retreat on this blog post.
We also have a little video of Agi that we wanted to share here. We were filming videos throughout the Retreat, and at one point, Agi asked if she could get on camera and film herself. So she took matters into her own hands and filmed herself speaking! We didn’t know what she had up her sleeves, and we didn’t even have a chance to watch it until recently. Thank you, Agi, for taking our camera and sharing what you did. Your words truly touched us.
And THANK YOU to all of our Retreat Attendees – ahem – FRIENDS – who came to the 2014 Retreat. We are so thankful that we had this experience with you and we are excited to continue this journey with you as we all continue to pursue our passion of making women look and feel beautiful through the empowering boudoir photography experience.
We have had a lot of people inquire about our future Boudoir Retreats, and we are happy to say that we will be launching the next Retreat VERY SOON!
We had such a great time at this one and we can’t wait to launch one for 2015! And in case you can’t wait that long, we are also THINKING about doing some 1-day workshops this fall on the East Coast. (Looking for 3 hosts on the East Coast who would be willing to let us take over your studio and let in a group of photographers for a day of learning!
Oh my gosh, where do we even begin!? The 2014 Boudoir Retreat was so much fun… it was a whirlwind week of shooting, talking, learning, sharing, and hanging at a beautiful beach house in La Jolla California. We were honored to host such an incredible group of photographers, artists, and business owners who we now consider friends as well. I (K) am going to do my best to recap the Retreat here, and I apologize in advance because it’s going to be a very long post.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL & COCKTAIL PARTY
The first day began with everyone checking in to the beach house and getting a few goodies that we left on their beds. We also had a ‘cocktail party’ – with our signature Divalicious martini that Marissa created. Although not everyone was able to make it this night (a few others arrived later), we still had a great time getting to know each other and hanging out in a relaxed, casual environment. Marissa & I could tell INSTANTLY that this was an incredible group, and we connected with each person from the get-go.
Now, I hate to be all braggy, but we are pretty proud of our Retreat Workbooks that we created. Do you guys remember those amazing “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from way back in elementary school? Well that was the inspiration for these workbooks. We LOVE teaching photographers and sharing about our business… but the last thing we want is for anyone to think that they have to do exactly what we have done, or set-up a mini Boudoir Divas studio. Our business model, marketing, and studio are all very specific to us, our personalities, and our goals for our lives. We want to be sure that our workshop attendees figure out what is best for THEM. And so this workbook held lots of thought-provoking questions, worksheets, and space to journal, dream, and plan. We are really happy with the way these turned out – so much so, in fact, that we are THINKING about possibly releasing them and making them available to other photographers who may need a little help and direction/guidance in planning and dreaming for their businesses.
DAY 2: SHOOTING AT THE DIVAS STUDIO
Day two was held at our San Diego studio, where we focused on lighting, posing, and interacting with our clients. The entire afternoon was all about shooting, shooting, and more shooting… we had 4 beautiful models with different styling and looks, in order to get tons of variety. Each attendee got to work 1-on-1 with 3 of the models, giving time to work individually on posing and lighting. We love that our workshops give our attendees 1-on-1 shooting time, where there isn’t a fight to ‘get the shot’ with a million other photographers.
We didn’t shoot too many behind-the-scenes images on this day (it was just so crazy-busy!)… but thanks to Agi (Agi M Photography), we have some great behind-the-scenes images to share!
We will also be sharing some photos of our fab models on ANOTHER blog post, so be sure to check back for that!
DAY 3: MARKETING DAY & SHOOTING AT THE BEACH HOUSE
Back at the beach house, this day was a LOT of chatting, sharing, and discussing. We covered a ton of topics, from pricing to marketing, our favorite products, and everything in between. And then in the afternoon, we set up even more SHOOTING! Three more beautiful models joined us, and the retreat attendees had free reign to shoot with these lovely ladies all around the gorgeous beach house. This is also the day where we did headshots & mini-marketing-videos for each attendee. We are ALL about marketing ourselves, and making sure that we put ourselves out there with our business. If you are a photographer, your clients are not just buying your work and talent. Before they book a shoot with you, they need to CONNECT with you. And the easiest way to do that is by putting photos and videos of yourself up on your website, blog, and other social media outlets. (Stay tuned to see some of the headshots and videos from our attendees on a future blog post!)
I know this is the longest blog post EVER, but I have to pause and give a huge shout-out to Caroline of Cucina Coronado, for providing us with some amazing, beautiful, and delicious food! Thank you Caroline!!!
DAY 4: 1-on-1s, BUSINESS BASICS, & SUNSET BEACH SHOOT
Ok, almost done! If you have stayed with us through this entire post, thank you for sticking around! The last full day of our workshop began with 1-on-1 consultations for each attendee to have some individual time with Marissa, myself, and Weston. Marissa did consults on business plan, goals, structure, and pricing. I did 1-on-1s for marketing, to help brainstorm some ideas and get a gameplan for marketing and advertising. And then Weston did 1-on-1 portfolio critiques for each photographer. One of the MAIN reasons why we decided to do a longer, intensive Boudoir Retreat this year was to be able to have more time with each attendee. We’ve loved our workshops in previous years, but it often felt too rushed, and like we didn’t have enough time to really get to know each person and their business. So we absolutely loved these 1-on-1s and having the opportunity to really get some quality time with each attendee.
After 1-on-1s, there was a little more time for sharing and discussing business goals, and then after some yummy appetizers, we all headed down to the beach (just a couple blocks away!) for an evening sunset beach shoot with 2 more beautiful models! (Thanks again Agi for some more behind-the-scenes shots!)
So if you’ve been counting, you’d see that altogether we had 9 – yes, NINE – fabulous women model for our Retreat. We are so thankful that we have so many amazing past clients who are willing to come model for our workshops! Also, each model was glammed-up by the incredibly-talented Miss Peggy Busch! Thank you, Peggy, for beautifying all of our gals. We love you!
This photo of us holding Peggy…….. the look on her face is so priceless – LOL!
To get our group shots, Marissa set-up a camera on a tripod & timer, and used the 70-200 lens (WHAT?!)… so I love this little series of her running to make it in our shot before the timer went off. :)
What a WONDERFUL group of photographers and peers! We loved spending this time with you all – thank you so much for taking the time and making the investment in your business… to travel to San Diego and hang out with us. We miss you all already; can we start planning a Retreat Reunion?!
DAY 5: FAREWELL BREAKFAST
Ahhhh, what an amazing week. The Retreat ended with a farewell breakfast, and hanging at the Retreat house for a bit more before checking out. We had such a great time and we are already looking forward to planning our 2015 Retreat! If you would be interested in coming to a 2015 Boudoir Retreat, fill out your info here & we will notify you when we decide on details and launch our next one.
Last but not least – we want to give a quick thank you to our fab sponsors & vendors who gave some really generous swag to our attendees. We will share more about this soon, because really it warrants its own blog post.
UPDATE TO ADD: We’ve also launched our new 2015 Boudoir Retreat!!!! Be sure to check it out and we would LOVE to have you join us. Keep in mind the spots will be taken quickly, so go register today! xoxo, K&M
Ahhhh we are SOOOO flippin’ excited about this. K here, I’m finally back after taking a few weeks off (see post below from M). My sweet baby boy is currently sleeping in a Moby wrap strapped to me, giving me a little time to check emails and do some blogging. (I’ll write another post SOON about the transition to mommyhood, I promise!)
So just two days before I gave birth to Arie, Marissa & I finished up this project that we had been working on for a few months – and we are happy to say that it is finally through the production & publishing process, and it is available for purchase. It’s our new eBook! “1500 Poses: A Boudoir, Glamour, and Portrait Shot Guide for Photographers and Models” We are really excited about this eBook and love that we are able to get it in your hands at such a killer price (currently at an introductory rate of only $9.99!)
Get the Boudoir Divas’ New eBook NOW – an INSTANT DOWNLOAD PDF!
PURCHASE ON ITUNES – iBook Version
PURCHASE ON AMAZON – Kindle Version
You will just need to download the Kindle App for iPhone or iPad to be able to view it.
Within about an hour of launching the eBook on Amazon, we got tons of downloads, and our first review: “Amazing set of photos, finally something that is useful! Certainly already has spurred ideas I’ve not yet thought of. Buy it!” (Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your review!) If you purchase the eBook, we would REALLY value your opinion if you can take the time to write a review on Amazon for us. Thank you so much.
We said this in our book, but also wanted to mention here as we officially announce the launch – that this book wouldn’t be possible without the help of so many amazing people. Our Boudoir Divas Team (and fab photographers, Sarah, Erin, & Deena, who played a role in this book by taking some of the images inside!) Our fab HMU artist Peggy, for beautifying our clients. Lindsey, the Divas’ “Production Princess” – for working your post-production magic. (Also gotta mention that Lindsey, Sarah, and Peggy all make cameo appearances in the book as models!) And to ALL of the clients, friends, and models who were brave enough to let us share your images in this book… thank you, thank you, thank you. From the bottom of our hearts. (There are many more people to thank – please see the acknowledgments section in the book!)
Have a happy Friday, a fabulous weekend, and GO BUY THE NEW BOOK NOW! xoxo, Kimberlee
So um, REALLY big news……Kimberlee HAD A BABY boy!!! I know, I know, there wasn’t much build up about it, well unless you follow us on that thing called Facebook. And even then it was a little under the radar. Here is my theory, K is really great about posting about all thing business, marketing, ME, etc. But when it comes to her, well she gets a little camera shy. I tried to get her to share some of the exciting and very eventful things in our lives lately: her freaking cute nursery, her kinda epically adorable pregnant belly (plus great figure, which let’s be honest is a little annoying), her and her hubs so sweet family sessions with the baby belly and on the list goes on. But as good as this girl is about cheering on the rest of the world, she really seeks no attention herself. So I am saying all that to say…. that I FINALLY got her permission to post a photo of this OUTRAGEOUSLY beautiful little creature, Arie Chandler, who entered the world on Feb 1st at 4:54 am. He was 8lbs, 14oz, and 22 inches. We have a baby!! Oops, scratch that, KIMEE has a baby!! My bad. And I am going to love him like he’s my little nephew. I am so happy that K is healthy, that he is healthy, and that she has such a wonderful hubby, who I should probably mention at this time cuz he was kinda a big part of the whole thing. Thanks for being our “someday your Prince will come,” Prince Eric. That day you met and won us over, I mean won Kimee over, at our suite at WPPI in Las Vegas, you swept her off her feet (which let’s be honest, not that easy to do, she was rightfully picky) well that was an amazing day for all that love her. Look at what God can bless us with. Love you guys (Arie I love you more, but shhhhh, that’s between us). – M
You guys know we are serious suckers for an exciting marketing project. We get all fired up about showcasing someone or someone’s brand, from the concept to the delivery we love every second of it. Well recently on a Carnival cruise my friends and I landed ourselves in an obscure bar to play a serious game of mystery shots (I hate the game, not my idea, will never be my idea). Just as we were getting ready to find out who the sorry loser would be this round, we all heard a voice that seriously stopped each of us in our tracks. She was around the corner so we all literally took turns getting up and looking over to see who this crazy good musician was. It was Angie Keilhauer, a name we will all remember.
Obviously we came back the next night again, enjoyed every song, introduced ourselves, gave her tons of praise etc. Me, being ever nosy and very bossy when it comes to people getting the credit I feel like they deserve, started talking to her about how she is going to launch herself etc. We hit it off, at least I thought we did, she might have thought I was a nutcase. Next thing you know she is in California and we are having a blast doing a photo shoot for her and shooting a music video so people can really see what a natural starlet she is. I loved this project because as you know we do a lot of video around here, and it’s always the song that MAKES the video, so this was extra special in the sense that the visuals and song really tied in and connected in a new way for us. Very cool.
Thanks Angie for letting us show you off. All of us in the studio fell in love with you. Remember us little peeps when you are all big and famous (and remember my love for Porsche Panameras, matte black please and thanks). -M
Go like her new FB page, she posts awesome covers all the time, like this one, what a treat! We love it when her new videos come through, such a great afternoon distraction from editing…
Yipeeeee! This is our favorite announcement of the year!
We are launching our Paris shoots for May 2014. You probably know that every spring we find an excuse to go our favorite city in the world, and this year we will be doing photo shoot on the streets of Paris for any daring lady that may want one. Last year we spoke at a photography conference and did 3 shoots for Tenley Molzahn of The Bachelor and had one of the most amazing times of our lives, see her videos below, one still to come in the future.
We LOVE this city, and we adore photographing women here, so if you can “dare to dream” about the possibility of a photo shoot in Paris, well than it just might be realized. Click below to learn even more about this unbelievable experience…
If you’d like to snag a spot and book a photo shoot with the Divas in the City of Light, simply shoot us an email for more details! firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey everyone – we just wanted to share some sneak peeks of the 2014 BOUDOIR RETREAT BEACH HOUSE! Soooo excited about this. We seriously cannot WAIT for April to get here.
If you have ANY questions at all about the Retreat, please don’t hesitate to email us – we’d love to get you all the details! And YES we do still have TWO SPOTS LEFT (and payment plans are available!) – Email for more information: email@example.com. See you all in April! xoxo, K&M