I have had some amazing shoots recently and am tying up all loose ends before my busy season starting in March hits. Trying to de-clutter, catch up on bookkeeping and stay ahead with editing. I asked everyone on my Facebook page today if they had any questions and I thought making a blog post addressing them would be perfect.
Tianna Yentzer & Sarah Franzheim-Chase asked: “How do you stay creative?”
I have to admit that it gets pretty tough sometimes. I am a creative soul though and pretty “in my head” most of the time so whenever I take the opportunity to do creative shoots it’s usually just getting those ideas out and into real life, finally. I make sure to write down ideas as they strike me, which usually happens when I hear certain lyrics, see a certain product ad or see other photos that inspire me. Of course, Pinterest is amazing for pinning creative ideas. I am also in love with building stories around props I find, like the feather headpiece I recently featured. My clients also inspire me big time when it comes to their shoots. I like to ask what they enjoy to do in their spare time. What their jobs are, what their hobbies are, what their favorite silly moment with their significant other is. You’d be surprise what people tell you and how you can build off that to make a shoot creative.
Ginger Newgent asked: “Do you pose different sizes and shapes of women differently? For instance how would you pose a very slender woman vs a curvier woman?”
I actually did an entire blog post on this recently that can be found here. There is absolutely right and wrong ways to flatter every body shape but what’s most important is not trying to immediately slenderize a curvy gal and make a slender woman curvy. What’s most important is asking the client what they love about themselves and posing them to best feature those areas. Some women love being curvy and don’t want to hide it and some love being slender and want to keep it that way. It’s best to ask up front so you can work with your clients on a personal basis for their needs.
Holly Kix asked: “How do you get clients who are nervous or low self-confident to feel beautiful or “loosen up?” What do you say? Do?”
I have learned to figure out just how nervous and self-conscience clients are before they book and turning away clients until I feel they are ready has been huge for me. Boudoir is not a band-aid on a wound. Boudoir is a veil that is to be dropped by someone who has already realized her worth and is ready to celebrate that. It’s such a vulnerable thing that if you bring someone in that is just not in the right place yet it really can make things worse for them. As far as nervousness, all clients are nervous and that’s part of the excitement. I don’t expect them to not be, as this isn’t something they do on a daily basis. I try to get to know my clients as much as possible before their shoots and then make the actual shoot a lot of fun. We have music going, they can have a drink if they’d like, they are more than welcome to bring a girlfriend along – but I just like to keep the energy going. We laugh, we dance, we chat, we don’t focus on the nerves. I think this is where finding the right boudoir photographer is important so you can connect and feel as comfortable as possible. I don’t like to focus on the nerves but I also don’t shut them down and don’t make them feel bad for being nervous. If I can tell that they are just too nervous to let go and really get into things then we’ll take a break, have some water or a drink, sit and chat, talk about what they’re feeling and go from there. I let them feel the nervousness though because that is their emotion and they have the right to feel that. Before you know it they’re gone and the women are begging to keep going.
Roxanne Rich O’Brian asked: “Where to shoot if you don’t have a studio?”
If you don’t have a studio available then you can shoot in hotels (I prefer boutique hotels as they are much classier and add to the experience) or the client’s home. Client’s sometimes like to use the home of a friend as well. You can also try a bed and breakfast or ask other photographers if they sublet or rent out their studio space to other photographers.
Barry Pruitt asked: “Anything on lighting”. haha.
Oy vey, I am probably one of the last person you should be asking about lighting. Up until last year I shot with 100% natural light. Now, I shoot 95% natural light. I purchased lights last year and am still learning. I generally only shoot with 1 or 2 lights when shooting though and use one as a strobe and one as a constant. I do use a softbox from time to time or beauty dish. Lighting is a lot of fun but it’s very intimidating and there are so many possibilities. I hope to get the time to learn more this year. I say if you’re on a budget and aren’t sure where to start, shoot all natural, get a nice big reflector and play.
Alex Creasy asked: “How are you sooo amazing?”
Daddy always said it was sugar and spice and everything nice.Alex, you are too funny and I cannot wait until your shoot!! I adore you.
And a sneak peek from a recent shoot I’m working on.