We fix $7 Haircuts (or $7 Boudoir Photos as the case may be)

When people hear that I am a boudoir photographer the first question they always ask is, “Wow, how many shoots do you do a week?”.

People are always curious how much time I spend behind the camera shooting.

Truth be told, the time I spend shooting is probably the least time consuming part of my job. After all, ย I am not just a photographer, I am a business owner too…and just as much love and time goes into branding, and marketing, and running my business as shooting and editing the images.

Part of the time I spend on marketing and branding is spent working social media. I spend quite a bit of time on Facebook, and Twitter, and of course working on my Blog. This week, there seemed to be a recurring theme on Facebook that I noticed, that I would love to talk a little bit about.

“Cheap Boudoir Photos”.

Ouch. Even the sound of that hurts my ears. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. First of all, in my humble opinion – the words “Cheap” and “Boudoir Photos” should NEVER be used in the same sentence.

I mean, isn’t part of the reason you book a boudoir shoot to see yourself in a CLASSY, sexy, gorgeous way? It just cracks me up to think of one girl saying to another, “Girl, I found the cheapest boudoir photographer, she seriously is SO cheap”. Wouldn’t you rather your friend say to you “Girl, I found the BEST boudoir photographer, she is seriously amazing”.

After reading all the Facebook status updates offering super cheap photos, (*gasp*) FREE photos, and the “I will give you my first born child if you book a boudoir shoot with me” specials….this little story came to mind:

A new hair salon opened up for business right across the street from the old established hair cutter’s place.They put up a big bold sign which read:

“WE GIVE SEVEN DOLLAR HAIRCUTS!”

Not to be outdone, the old Master Barber put up his own sign:

“WE FIX SEVEN DOLLAR HAIRCUTS”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I DO realize everyone starts somewhere. I also had tactics when I first started to get customers in the door, and start some buzz. I am not knocking that AT ALL. I just thought this was a great opportunity to give some ย guidance to everyone out there that is looking for a boudoir photographer.

The message is to PLEASE be careful. It is important to go to someone you can trust. Someone who can provide you with an amazing experience, confidentiality, and safety. Someone who has the proper paperwork to protect you (ie model releases). A photographer who doesn’t pressure you to do things you are uncomfortable with. One who respects your privacy, and your boundaries.

How do you know if the photographer you found can provide you with all of the above. Here are some other things to consider (in addition to price!):

  • How many clients has the photographer worked with?
  • What does she do with the photos when he/she is done with your job?
  • Who is editing the photos?
  • Where are they doing the shoots?
  • If you sign a model release and later change your mind, will they take the photos down?
  • Are they geared for boudoir or do they mostly shoot something else?
  • Have you googled them – read reviews about them – talked to anyone that has worked with them? Have you even MET them?

My husband always says, if it seems too good to be true – it usually is. I hate to admit it, but he is always right. We have already fixed our fair share of $7 haircuts, and we will continue to do so….but my hopes are that we were able to educate you to make a smarter, more education decision when booking a photographer, and in the end you will be happier with your experience.

Have a Sexy Day,
Jen
xoxo

 

18 Replies to “We fix $7 Haircuts (or $7 Boudoir Photos as the case may be)”

  1. Jen, you are sooooo right. As someone who has been in this profession for 35 years, I cringe at the number of “camera mommies” popping up and calling themselves professional. They have no training; they just “love taking pictures”.

    That’s not enough.

    A true professional needs skills and techniques beyond a basic copy of Photoshop and a few effects that whack out the color or saturation. They should be skilled in lighting (is the lighting style your photographer using going to flatter your form or accent all your flaws?)

    When people choose the low bidder, they usually leave a little margin for error in their budgeting. If you can afford that margin for error, you can afford someone better in the first place.

    1. David – I agree with 1000%, but I do have to stick up for the camera mommies. I was one of them back in the day (I guess I still am in a way)….but you are right – just because you have a camera and the desire does not make you a professional photographer!

  2. great points Jen and i would not worry about the cheap boudoir photos, just keep on rocking it

  3. Excellent post! I can’t agree more.

    Everyone has to start somewhere, but when I started I made sure I had the skills to start with (a formal photography education and years of retouching/Photoshop experience) and the business pieces (insurance, forms, etc.) to compensate for the lack of specific experience in boudoir. Those things go a long way, too.

  4. I was thinking about the people who offer cheap boudoir photography earlier while sitting in my accountants office filing taxes. The expenses of a boudoir business are enormous! The people offering it cheap must not be paying taxes or don’t care about working for nothing, which really doesn’t say a lot for their photography if you think about it. Kind-of frustrating for those of us attempting to do it the right way. Boudoir is a LUXURY service – there’s just no way around it.

    Newbies should practice on friends until they are confident enough with ALL of the details of the business before they start taking money from strangers. Boudoir gone bad can harm a woman’s self-esteem. And when poorly managed only serves to hurt all of us. ๐Ÿ™

  5. Fabulous post, Jen! I cringed too when I see “cheap” and “boudoir” in the same sentence. It’s just not what it’s all about! Eek! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Aw Jen. Such an awesome post. Thank you so much for telling it like is in the most classy way ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’ve been watching a competitor in my market with much curiosity. She’s been shooting boudoir for about 9 months [which is double my time in so a comparable veteran] and she is always busy. But she is also deeply discounting her prices–60-70%, so that by my figures, she’s barely making anything. Her work is good, so it’s not the “fix the $7 haircut” issue here. I just don’t see how she can stay in business charging $75 for a 2 hour shoot and giving away full-res images.

  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE Your work. And your message is so true! The same goes for wedding photography too. I cringe when the first thing out of a bride’s mouth is, what are your prices? I almost immediately know that they will not book me. And I know they will end up booking someone with a lower price… which will probably be a mistake in the end. I wish wedding photographers had a chance to fix the $7 wedding photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

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