There are a lot of great photographers out there, each with their own style, their own preferences, and their own process. So how do you choose the right boudoir photographer for you? We take a look at a few of the criteria that we think will help you not only select a quality photographer, but one that you will feel comfortable working with.
1) Photographic Style
When you’re reviewing photographers’ portfolios, you’ll start to notice that individual photographers tend to have a signature style. Some photographers shoot airy, light photos, while others have seductive or moody lighting. Some photographers have minimal staging, while others use sets. You’ll also see trends in how the models are posed, the scene that they’re staged in, whether natural light or studio light is preferred, and the overall ambiance.
At Distraction Photo, we lean toward photos that are sexy, but elegant and artistic. We aim to create photos that are art pieces, that will be able to be printed and hung on the wall.
We also like to create a sense of anonymity with a lot of the posing, so you get a shadowy, dramatic look. We find that a lot of our clients really like that because they feel more comfortable displaying photos that are more anonymous.
We also like our subjects to appear powerful, but in a subtle way. You’ll notice this by how we pose their hands, wardrobe styling, and positioning.
2) Their Background
Having an art background can really shape the type of photographer that you are. Distraction’s photographer, Dana, graduated with a fine art degree in 2009. Those fine art studies gave her a good foundation to build on for her later focus of photography. She learned about lighting design, perspective, and how to work with different mediums. All of which contribute to how her photos are structured today. So is your photographer more of a technical photographer, or do they see themselves, like Dana does, as an artist using photography as their medium?
3) A Studio
Another thing to consider when you're looking for a photographer is whether or not they have their own studio. If a photographer says that they shoot “on location” that means that you’re responsible for providing a suitable location for the shoot. If your home isn’t a good option, then you’ll need to find or rent another location for the shoot. This can get expensive. A nice studio typically costs between $75- $100/hour to rent.
Some of the benefits of having a studio is that your photographer knows the lighting (or has lighting equipment available), often has sets or backgrounds available, the environmental conditions are controlled (temperature, wind, no worries about rain or snow), there’s room to maneuver for both the subject and the photographer, and it’s private.
4) Available Wardrobe
Sure, you may have some lingerie, some nice panties, etc., but chances are you’re not going to have the variation and selection of sizes that a professional studio wardrobe will have available.
At Distraction Photo, we have an extensive wardrobe, with sizes ranging from extra small to 4X, and a full selection of lingerie, dresses, fishnets, bodysuits, and other types of accessories. During a full boudoir, maternity, or empowerment session, clients may choose up to five outfits for the shoot.
5) How They Pose People
When you’re looking at a photographer’s portfolio, does it look like they help the subject to pose? If you can’t tell, then you should ask them!
Some photographers give limited feedback or tips on how you're posing. It might be limited to “turn sideways,” or “tilt your head.” Other photographers, Distraction Photo included, will give you much more specific feedback and guidance. This will include how you hold your head, how you position your hands, your legs, angle your body, and more. This feedback will ensure that you’re getting the most from your session, and looking your best.
6) Payment Plans
Like most professional services, photography sessions and producing final prints or digital images is a time consuming process that can be an investment. For some photographers, if you don’t have that money up-front, then you won’t be able to take advantage of their services or get the types of prints that you desire.
At Distraction Photo, we offer a number of payment options, from credit cards, to PayPal, to Google Pay, as well as payment plans, where you can pay in installments over time.
We will also hold on to your digital photos, so if you choose to have more or different prints created in the future, we can do that for you at a later time.
7) Professional Hair & Makeup
An important consideration for when choosing a photographer is whether they have professional hair and makeup services, whether those services are included in the cost of the shoot, and where those services are available.
Much like location shooting, it’s important to know where the service will take place if they offer it: do they send you to their location, or do they have hair and makeup artists that come to their studio?
If a photographer doesn’t provide the hair and makeup artists, you’ll definitely want to find out exactly what your makeup should look like for on-camera work, because it's going to be different from your everyday look. Professionals have familiarity with different skin types and colors, and the type of lighting that will be used in a shoot.
7) Print & Photo Options
The final outcome of your shoot is ultimately the photos, right? So you’ll want to understand what your photographer can deliver after your shoot, and what the cost of these final photos will be. For instance, at Distraction Photo, the final photos and prints are priced separately from the actual session. This gives you the option to select from a number of packages and photo options.
For many photographers, they only offer a selection of digital images, but not physical prints. Or if they have prints, you’re limited in size and selection.
At Distraction we offer the choice of digital images, as well as a selection of different types of wall art, albums, and collection boxes. We also have samples available, so you can see the type of prints you will be receiving, the album cover options, and the paper selection.
8) Google Reviews & Testimonials
Many photographer websites feature testimonials from clients. And that’s great. It’s always good to see client feedback. However, testimonials on a website are hand-selected and typically chosen by the photographer. Google reviews, however, can’t be removed or edited by a studio.
Keep in mind that sometimes negative reviews are totally unjustified, or a client had unrealistic expectations. So a handful of negative reviews is normal. However, those negative reviews should be far outweighed by positive reviews.
You should also read the comments! What did the reviewers like about the photographer, what did they like about the studio, the services, and the final product?
The number of reviews can also help to point to a photographer’s experience. A lot of reviews tends to point a photographer who has worked with a lot of clients.
Note: Not to beat our own drum (ok, maybe just a little), but Distraction Photo has, as of this writing, 65 reviews and a five-star rating on Google.
Searching for the right boudoir photographer can feel a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure that you’re looking for someone who fits YOUR needs. Someone with experience, a good rating, a comfortable studio, and services that will make your photoshoot and the final images the perfect gift to yourself or a loved one.