Tell us how it all started. Why? What’s the story?
My inspiration and the style of photography I was really drawn to was portraiture, specifically fashion editorial portraiture. When you look at photos of actresses and models, they are typically quite sexy, so this was really where the idea of Haute Boudoir began. I want to provide every woman with the opportunity to experience what it’s like to look and feel like the most famous women in the world.
What is your biggest success so far?
Being respected within the photography industry is really incredible, but nothing beats knowing that my clients loved their experience and recommend me to all their friends or they become repeat clients, and with most of the women, friends! Knowing that I’ve made a positive impact on a woman’s life and helped her feel beautiful is a really amazing and fulfilling aspect to what I do.
What is the biggest challenge in your industry? What are you doing to deal with that?
In today’s day and age, information is so fleeting, and boudoir photography is difficult to market, it can be difficult to stay relevant without forcing yourself down people’s throats. I’m also very respectful of my client’s privacy, and I only publish maybe 30-40% of the women I actually photograph, so not having constant content for social media can be a bit daunting when it comes to promoting my work and staying in the public eye.
What advice would you give to a business owner starting out in your industry that you wish you would have known going in?
Know your worth and determine the niche you are best suited to occupy. I started out very inexpensive and I was providing so much for my early clients and asking very little. As I gained experience and calculated just how much work I was putting into every session, I realized I was barely making minimum wage! Raising my rates had some backlash, but knowing your worth and your demographic makes it much easier to confidently ask for what you deserve. I’m in the luxury industry, and I’m not selling a necessity and I know this, but my clients appreciate and value my work as well as my time, and that is priceless. The other side is to learn the laws surrounding your business-this is invaluable when developing contracts, branding and so forth. I trademarked Haute Boudoir early on, since I worked very hard to build a reputation for my business & I wanted to protect that. You never stop learning, in life and in business!
What don’t most people realize about you or your company?
That I’m a huge animal lover. No, I think everyone knows that by now a portion of the proceeds from all Haute Boudoir shoots goes towards various animal charities, from local shelters to larger organizations that protect endangered species.
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