Updated: Aug 15
When it comes to getting the best boudoir photographer in New Jersey, women seem to head to one place-- to go see Mike. Over the past ten plus years this photographer's talents have created hundreds of satisfied clients along with smiles that tend to last for weeks after a boudoir session. Every year he winds through a packed schedule of exited brides all looking to create amazing gifts for their weddings... and his mission is to not disappoint...
Let's get to know this busy NJ boudoir photographer...
Did you always plan on being a boudoir photographer?
No. It really happened as an accident! I happened to have a camera at a time when no one was really walking around with digital cameras and one day took some photos with a friend. Some time later she showed her photos to one of her friends who asked me if I'd do something similar for her for a wedding gift. I don't know how to create wedding gifts(!) I thought to myself, but I said I'd give it a shot. Although I really didn't know what I was doing I had some time to get prepared, and I threw myself into the project. I spent time cramming and tried to learn everything I could about women's photography-- and even practiced on mannequins in my bedroom (😂.) Looking back at it now, I'm not certain that first project was a shining beacon of photographic technical excellence, but surprisingly she shared that bridal book with friends and a few of them popped up wanting sessions. --And so it went... At this point I thought Hmm.. there may be something to this, and I dedicated my time to learning everything I could about photographing women.
How many women have you photographed?
Oh, I've lost count a long time ago.... hundreds!
Do you only work with clients from NJ?
No. Primarily, my clients are from New Jersey and NYC. That being said, and as incredibly as it still is to me, clients come from all over the country! I'm always amazed when I get a call from someone who wants to come in for a visit from well outside my home state.
How come there aren't many male boudoir photographers?
Really good question-- with a not so simple answer. I'll give my opinion. I believe part of it is...well men... and the way they are programmed at the factory after eons of evolution. Boudoir is about beauty. I think a lot of men pick up a camera and point it at a woman and see sexuality more than beauty-- and there is a big difference! I believe women are keen to pick up on this difference. I've found women want to want to look and feel beautiful, and if you can create beauty in your photography women will be happy to work with you despite whichever sex is behind the lens. Many men just can't make that change in perspective.
Is being a boudoir photographer a fun job?
It is a great job! But like anything else--- there is tonnnnnssss of work that goes into building a top business behind the scenes...and it's very hard. The payoff is creating the photography that brings smiles and helps people see themselves in a new light. I especially enjoy being the "host" and getting to spend a few hours with a new friend (all my clients are my new friends!) while guiding them through their session.
Why is boudoir photography so expensive?
Another excellent question. When you are visiting a boudoir photographer you are paying for the time and talents of the creator. Essentially, you are purchasing your own unique personalized artwork. Boudoir photography is a specialized form of art, and like any other specialty these photographers are going to charge for their unique time and talents.
Boudoir photography seem fun, but at the same time I think I'd be nervous. Is this typical?
Yes. It's not something that women do every day! --And most women are a bit anxious at first, but that being said, it really is a fun time. Ask any woman whose every participated in a boudoir session!
What's are the biggest changes you've seen in boudoir photography over the past ten years?
Well, I think there have been two big changes. It's hard for people who have not been around boudoir photography for a long time to even relate to this first item... With the advent of social media boudoir photography has become completely socially acceptable. Boudoir photography used to be viewed as semi-scandalous activity-- and women dare not discuss it for fear of being branded as unwholesome. God forbid if a word got out that a woman took a photo in a bra! They quietly visited boudoir photographers down dark alleys and crept in back doors to keep their secrets. NOW, with the advent of platforms like Instagram, fully 20% of the platform is woman taking booty pics every day to share with tens of thousands of strangers. 😀 It's been quite a change.
The second big change is in the range of the types of photos that women request. For lack of a better descriptor, boudoir has become much "wilder" over the years. In additional to "standard" boudoir poses, more and more women are requesting shots including nudity, restraints, masturbation, etc. --And good for them! Although this type of photograph isn't for everyone, certainly there is a larger group of women who expressing their sexuality in a way they never felt comfortable doing previously.
What are some new trends in boudoir photography?
Videos. Definitely boudoir videos. Going back a few years-- I would get a request every once and again to film a short video for a client. I would do it even though my setup wasn't geared toward video. At the time DSLRs could technically "take" video, but it wasn't the greatest, nor the easiest to do. --Not to mention I really lacked any marketable video skills! It was fun, however. These requests started to become more frequent and I invested in some basic video gear-- and for a long time even used an iPhone (because of the good quality and simplicity...and still do for some instances!) There has been a big increase in the number of requests for boudoir videos over the past few years so I had to step up my game! Now I'm using some pro-level gear to shoot video shorts for clients-- and they love the results. Videos are part of many of my sessions now.
Is it easy to get an appointment with you?
Yes-- providing you are planning ahead. Certain times of the year are always jammed-- namely spring wedding season and Christmas season. You may not have much success contacting me in late November for a Christmas gift... but if you reserve early, namely a few months before your requested session date things become much easier. Because of the involved nature of my work, I only schedule a limited number of clients each month, and once those spots are filled we're on to the next month.
Any tips on how to find a great boudoir photographer?
Sure. Lots. It's actually a bit more work than what you would immediately expect. For the most part, people are bad shoppers. They have their eye fixed on one thing-- price. And the lowest price wins, obviously! Right? Well, shopping that way for photography will most likely wind up with you being a bit disappointed with your experience. Let me ask you this-- on your anniversary do you plan and prepare for an amazing evening then jump into the car and head to Burger King because it's the cheapest? Of course not! How can that be! --You can get an entire meal for $4.49? How can any other restaurant even stay in business??? Well, your anniversary isn't about finding the cheapest meal on the planet, and likewise boudoir photography is not about finding the least expensive photographer to run to. Boudoir, like your anniversary, is a special occasion-- not something that happens every day. Save up. Find a great photographer. And you will be rewarded.
I don't really look like the women in your galleries... Is this really for me?
I'll let you in on a little secret. For the most part, women in my galleries are you! They are just my clients who have donated photos after their sessions. And many times they were the people who were hesitant because they felt like "they didn't look like the gallery people" and now they are one! Shhhhh... it's our little secret. 😀
What should I expect from you during a session?
I think boudoir should be a fun experience for women-- after all, rolling around in your underwear isn't exactly serious business. Although there is a lot of work going on on my part-- that shouldn't interfere with a clients experience. Throughout one of my sessions you should expect a good time, lots of laughing... and smiles.