If you are considering a boudoir session, you are probably a bit nervous. Boudoir photographers have different styles and approaches to photo shoots, so it's important you ask the right questions and find a photographer that is a good fit for what you are looking for. Any professional photographer should be excited to talk about his/her process and answer your questions, so don't be shy! And don't forget to check online reviews to see what other clients say about the photographer. Here are a few things to think about before talking with a photographer:
1) Who will be the photographer taking my photographs? Larger companies may have associate photographers, so sometimes the person you meet or talk with on the phone is not your photographer. If it's important for you to know a bit about your photographer before your session date, make sure the person you talk with is the same person who will be working with you the day of your shoot.
2) Are hair and make-up included in the session fee or offered for an additional cost? Some photographers include this service for two reasons. First, it's a great way for you to relax a bit and be pampered before your session, but it also helps your skin look flawless in your finished photographs. A professional photographer works with hair and make-up artists who are familiar with his/her style and lighting set up during sessions which also helps make your finished images look amazing. If it's not included in the session, and you are interested in having hair and make-up done, ask your photographer to recommend an artist you can work with in your home prior to the session.
3) Where will my photo session take place? Some photographers work in a commercial studio, some work in residential studios, some come to your house and some photographers rent hotel rooms or Airbnb spaces for your boudoir session. Depending on the feel and look you are seeking, one of those options might be more desirable than the others.
4) How many clients will you be photographing on the day of my session? Some photographers only schedule one session a day which allows for a more relaxed setting which may be important if you are nervous or if it's your first boudoir shoot. Some photographers schedule one morning and one afternoon session on the same day, so you might meet another client coming or going. And some photographers schedule mini-sessions or marathon shoots where there are back to back clients for short (30 minute) time slots. Depending on your budget and your comfort level, this might be a very important question.
5) What type of privacy is in place for my photos? Who else will see my photos after our session and where are my photographs, albums or wall art printed? Some photographers do their own editing and album design and others outsource that process. Make sure your photographer uses a reputable professional printing company that respects client privacy. And any professional boudoir photographer should have a policy in place where the client signs a document allowing the photographer to use some, all or none of your photographs in her/his marketing. Some may even allow you to select how those images are used such as; only in-studio album samples or only private Facebook group, etc. Any photographer who expects to use photographs from your session without your written consent is not a professional.
6) What type of image editing is included in my fees? Photographers have different approaches to editing boudoir photographs. Experienced photographers will be able to flatter your figure through posing and lighting. Basic skin retouching is standard practice. Some photographers include additional editing and some charge extra, depending on your request. Of course you'll need to talk about specifics of each photograph after you see them, but it's a good idea to know your photographers approach to editing and see if it matches your own expectations.
7) What kinds of products do you offer and what do you include in your packages or collections? Some photographers specialize in fine art products: hand-made albums, archival prints and wall art, while others may specialize in digital files. It's important to understand what you are getting when you purchase a "digital file" because files are saved at different sizes and resolutions. If you intend to print your boudoir images yourself, you need to make sure they are sized large enough. Some photographers may offer images sized for social media which will not be sharp if you print them. Make sure to ask how big you will be able to print. You may think you can create a print to go on your wall when your file is only sized for a 4 x 6 inch print.
8) What is the turnaround time for my products? This may vary depending on what you order, but if you plan to use your photographs for a gift, it's important to know if it will take 2 weeks or 2 months to receive your finished products. This should also help you plan when to schedule your session. You'll need to make sure you include the time in between your photo session and reveal session added to the time between your reveal session and when your products are ready. Each photographer will be different, and remember that a high quality album vendor in Italy may have a longer turn around time than a less expensive vendor.
9) Can you help me figure out what to wear? Some photographers offer wardrobe consultations, some have lingerie guides with suggestions, some may partner with a local lingerie store where you can have a personalized fitting and some may have a lingerie closet in their studio. Whatever your photographer offers, it's important that you feel comfortable and confident in your wardrobe selections before your photo shoot. So make sure to ask how your photographer can help!
10) Have you ever done your own boudoir photo session with another photographer? While this is not a requirement to being a great boudoir photographer, it can change your photographer's perspective. I recently did a shoot, and it helped me understand what it feels like to be on the other side of the camera. I was surprised at how nervous I was before the shoot, and I even stressed about what I'd wear! I was so grateful that my photographer walked me through every pose, fixed my hair, told me where to look and when to smile. It reminded me of just how important it is to help clients feel at ease every step of the way. It also helped me slow down during a boudoir session and really focus on my client's comfort.