working up the confidence.....
So I had the idea, right, but now I needed to figure out my game plan. I've mentioned before I'm actually a really quiet person, so the idea of approaching people and drumming up business was a scary one. Made worse by the fact I had only ever done portraits on myself before. Yup, you read that right. I was primarily a landscape and nature photographer. Portraits actually scared the crap out of me.
I started out advertising on the Facebook page in 2018... taking in non-models/volunteers. Which turned out to be the best thing I could have done. Not only did it shove me in the deep end, but I learnt really quickly how to direct and instruct posing. Starting out I learnt very quickly how to "fake it" in regards to confidence. Planning out each shoot was pretty stressful... searching Instagram for ideas, finding the right model for each pose. I found working with women that I needed to find something to suit them. That's why I meet clients and models before working with them. Everyone has their own personality and wants, so I needed to find things and ideas to suit.
The first ever boudoir sessions I did for others was April 2019. I'd hired out a motel room for the weekend and worked with four incredible models and one client. I learnt a hell of lot that weekend, but I wouldn't change any of it. The two following images will remain my favourites forever. In fact, I know the pin up pic will be a go to for me for a very long time to come! It's a "most requested" pose/shot.
From this moment on, I knew I'd fallen head over heels with boudoir photography.
I knew what it meant to me. I loved the way it felt to provide that kind of opportunity to other women.
Of course, I knew I still had a shitload to learn at this stage. Not only on the business side of things, but for my photography also. I poured every spare moment I had into the business. As well as learning. Enrolled in an online photography course, started getting back into Photoshop and worked with a lot more models over the months that lead me to now!
“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”
— Paul Caponigro
At this stage, I was still developing my style. Yeah, sure, I was learning lots and building confidence - but I still was yet to find WHO I WAS as a photographer. I was still to find out what kinds of pictures I wanted to take.
In a world where everyone is trying to do the same thing, I wanted to be different. I wanted to be a boudoir photographer with my own distinctive style.
For me, the standard portraiture and boudoir portraits are similar, but different - if that makes any sense at all. The majority of boudoir needs to be associated with the body and sensuality, whereas portraits focus on the face, the person and the "story". I wanted clients to fall in love with their bodies again. To feel sexy but also feel themselves. This is why I'm more drawn to images that capture a real moment of confidence, as well as being more "standard". My images started to be more minimalistic. Focusing on certain body parts and isolating the subject in the frame with as little distraction in background as possible. It was at this point I felt I needed more direction..... I went to a couple wedding workshops and a portrait workshop. Not boudoir related I know, but definitely helped form who I was as a photographer.
You'll probably find from this point..
That I'll have reoccurring models. Women I have worked with a couple times or more. As I've been finding myself as a photographer, these amazing, beautiful (inside and out) women have stood with me. I'll be eternally grateful to these women. Darcie, Sarah and Zoe have all helped me become who I am... helped me define my photography.
Even as I write this post, I can see how much I've improved. I know this is only the start and I'll raise my drink to working with even more incredible and inspiring women.