Ellie Vayo's Guide to Boudoir Photography

(Darren Dugan) #1
I will not photograph a
client unless she has
had a consultation.


name. If you come across anything negative, you need to respond. Re-
cently, one of my employees who dealt with public relations noticed that
a former customer posted negative feedback on two separate sites. He
quickly responded to the comments to ensure that we had our say. All of
us take pride in our art and business, and it’s easy to react with strong emo-
tion and negative words. Keep any responses that you post as professional
as possible. Remove yourself from the situation and let an employee re-
spond to negative comments; just be sure to review all responses that come
from your employees.

The Slide Show Consultation.

One of the most important steps in the boudoir photography process is to
have the client visit your studio and sit down with you. This gives you the
opportunity to discuss her session, build rapport, and show her your con-
sultation slide show. Your job is to not only build excitement regarding
her session but to educate her about the entire photography process. When
I receive the first phone call from a client, she usually can’t quite pronounce
the wordboudoir(bood-wah). By the time she picks up her finished prints,
she’s an expert. An educated client is your best source for referrals.
To begin this process, I need to learn more about my client, so I ask a
number of questions. Here are a few examples:

How did you get referred to me?
Are you planning this portrait for a special occasion?
How much time do we have to finish our product?
Who is the portrait for?
Do you have a budget?
Where would you like the session to take place?
What are your expectations for the session?
When would you like to have your session?
Do you have any concerns or fears related to the session?

Each question serves a specific purpose and helps you begin to understand
exactly what your client wants and expects. You will likely have your own
set of questions. No matter how you phrase your specific query, be sure to
ask the basic who, what, where, when, why, and how questions.
I will not photograph a client unless she has had a consultation. I do
make exceptions for past clients who have sessions every few years. In each
case, whether she is a new client or an old friend, it is very important that
you understand your client before you actually photograph her.
You should have a variety of slide shows representing women of all ages.
If you have an older client, do not present a slide show filled with young,

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