Choosing a photographer can be a stressful or difficult decision to make. More-so with it being for boudoir photography since a woman’s self confidence is on the line. I’ve created this guide to help women find the perfect photographer to have the best experience possible – even if that experience isn’t with me. I hope you find this helpful and let me know if there is anything else that you can think of when selecting a photographer.
Viewing a photographer’s portfolio is the first step to picking the right photographer for you! You’ll want to make sure that the photographer can show a consistent style throughout all of their work. It’s not enough to be able to create a great image. They have to also be able to recreate it.
You’ll also want to make sure the style of the images in their portfolio matches your vision. Do they only shoot bright and airy and you prefer dark and moody or vice versa? Is it clear in their portfolio that they can master a variety of styles? Do their images show all of the same client? This may show a lack of experience in working with a variety of clients and body types.
Questions to Ask: Where can I view your work? Do you have any images that I can see in X style that aren’t featured in your portfolio? Can I view images from your most recent session that has a model release?
It would be remiss of me to assume that only experienced boudoir photographers can do a great job in their work. When looking at the experience of your photographer we’re not just looking for experience in boudoir, but their overall experience working with posing women. The posing that you see in a boudoir image isn’t typically a natural pose for women so they need guidance and direction to get them there.
When done incorrectly you can get unflattering angles which cause women to lose self confidence which is the opposite of the goal for a boudoir session. When no guidance is given at all clients tend to tense up and get nervous during their session because they’re not sure what to do. This definitely shows in the images.
Questions to Ask: How much posing direction do you give to your clients? How much experience do you have posing women? How did you learn to pose women? Can I see examples of your work from women with my body type?
Different photographers have different approaches to their retouching style. It’s important that their style and approach matches your vision for your images. Retouching style is referring to the lighting and color grading of their images that you generally see in most of their images. Retouching approach would be a photographers thought process in regards to what and how much they retouch.
Some photographers choose to only edit the lighting and color grading in their images which highlights the natural beauty of their clients, just as they are. Others will retouch minor blemishes and gently soften skin to correct anything that isn’t permanent so it’s an accurate reflection of how their client looks from day-to-day, minus minor imperfections. Some photographers offer extensive retouching such as nip/tucks, curve smoothing, skin softening, and more to showcase their clients like magazine covergirls or pinup girls.
Questions to Ask: How would you describe your retouching style and approach to retouching? How extensive do you typically retouch your images?
Every photographer offers different products so it’s good to ask upfront what products they sell to find products that you like. Common products include albums, loose prints, digital images and wall art – but you can find a variety of different products from photographer to photographer.
Price point is also something to consider. With photography, the old saying, “You get what you pay for” usually holds true. But, there is a photographer for every client, at every price point. It’s important to make sure that the quality of products that you want matches the quality of the service that you are expecting and that matches the price that the photographer is offering.
Questions to Ask: What products do you sell? What are your top selling products? How much do most clients spend with you? How long does delivery take?
It is vital that the photographer that you choose uses a contract. Contracts aren’t just in place to protect the photographer but they also protect the client as well. You’ll want to thoroughly review everything in the contract so that you understand what the photographers terms are.
Common topics that you’ll see in contracts are: Session details, delivery timeframes, retainers, liquidated damages, payment schedules, travel and session fees, rescheduling, cancelling, copyright, and more.
Questions to Ask: Can I review the agreement before I sign it? How much time do I have to review the contract? I don’t fully understand this section, can you explain it to me?
Lastly, when meeting with a potential photographer it’s important that you get along well and there’s a good rapport between you and an in person consultation is a great time to get to know each other. You’ll want to choose a photographer that puts you at ease and makes you feel welcome and comfortable. Getting to know your photographer is also important for a great session because you’ll want to choose someone who you trust when posing for these intimate portraits. Most clients get nervous before and at the beginning of their session but if you feel comfortable with your photographer it will usually pass very quickly.
Questions to Ask: Will we be able to meet for a consultation? Can I message you with any questions before my session? How would you prefer I contact you if I need you?