Tips for finding the right boudoir photographer

Updated: Jun 9, 2019

Hi everyone. My name is Michael and I am a expert NJ boudoir photographer who works with wonderful clients from all over my home state and the NYC area. I've worked with lots of clients, and one thing I can see is that people can be pretty unsure of how to pick the best photographer for them. It can be a difficult choice, indeed.

Is there a simple solution to this question? The short answer– homework. You’ve been thinking about a boudoir session for a while now, but not exactly sure where to start? It can be a bit perplexing, but with a little bit of useful information, the process can be smooth and simple. All boudoir photographers are not created equal! Before you book your session, here are some helpful boudoir photography tips that may make choosing your photographer a bit easier.


1. DOES YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZE IN BOUDOIR?


Photography has lots of different specialties. There are many incredibly talented infant photographers and wedding photographers, but just like you wouldn’t bring your Mercedes to a Hyundai dealer for repair, your wedding photographer may not be the best source for Bridal Boudoir portraits. Boudoir is a unique in the field of photography, and it takes a person with special experience and a certain skill set to get the most from your session. Stick with a photographer that specializes in boudoir and glamour photography to assure getting the best images of this genre.


2. CHOOSE AN EXPERIENCED BOUDOIR PROFESSIONAL.


Boudoir seems to be growing in popularity, and with that there are more and more photographers popping up these days. Your friend Debbie loves photography, and she’s always wanted to give boudoir a try, so why wouldn’t she be the ideal choice for your well planned anniversary gift? Well, I love playing basketball- but unfortunately despite the sudden change in my life's goals, it doesn’t mean I qualify to be a forward for the Knicks. Makes sense, right? Somehow this same logic seems to fail when people are choosing their photographer.

Boudoir photography is hard. Real hard. A high quality boudoir photographer is an artist that combines a unique natural skill set, expertise, and training to create beautiful photographs that will be prized for a lifetime. Training? Sure. Your photographer needs a technical mastery of several important skills such as lighting and digital editing, as well as mechanical skills such as posing to make you look your best. Despite Debbie's new found life's goal of "making every woman beautiful," leave your session to a professional to ensure beautiful results.


3. MATCH YOUR “STYLES”


Each boudoir photographer is unique in their style and output. Just like ice cream, there are lots of flavors. Some photograph high contrast moody black and white shots, while others have a more playful and romantic tone to their work. Are you looking for a “magazine style” photo shoot with lots of studio lights and backdrops? Beautiful outdoor natural light portraits? Be sure to align your expectations with the right type of photographer. The photographer’s online gallery should be representative of the type and style they create. Look carefully through these images and ask yourself if they are the look you are trying to create (or like.) If not, move on to find someone who offers what you are looking for. Don’t choose a “Heavy Metal” photographer if you are a “Country” girl!


4. HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY FOR BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY?


That’s a simple question without a simple answer. One thing to keep in mind is photography is not a comparative price industry. As a consumer there are times when comparing prices makes sense… like shopping similar model TVs to get the best deal. Comparing prices between photographers may be as meaningless as comparing prices of a Hyundai to a Mercedes (in keeping with our previous example.) Just like there are different qualities and styles of automobiles to suit various consumers needs and budgets– there are differences with photography services, as well.


Photography pricing seems to run with experience and quality. That real cheap photographer you saw on Craigslist may seem enticing at first, but odds are its an amateur just seeking anyone to practice upon. (And hey, everyone starts somewhere, but you may not want to risk your results and privacy being a “guinea pig.”) Purchasing a boudoir shoot is not something you treat yourself to often, so why skimp and risk shoddy results and a bad experience?


“Yeah, but I have a $79 Groupon for boudoir, so what’s wrong with that?” Well, possibly nothing, but you know what they say– If it seems too good to be true… The truth about Groupon or Living Social type “deal” companies is that they contact most photographers time and time again to become part of their ill conceived “deals.” The “Deal Companies” have their playbooks and want your photographer to keep his offer in their deal price range- typically below $99- including products, session, etc. What you don’t know is that the “Deal Companies” get typically 40% - 50% of the sale, leaving your photographer with about $39 to shoot, do the editing, and prepare the prints or other products offered in the deal. “Deal Companies” main interest is themselves…not you or its photographers (or restaurants, or spas, etc.) This earns him/her about $5/hr., and puts YOU, as the consumer, in the ultra-cheap category. You can pretty much be assured you will not be receiving the quality or service you deserve. Ask yourself, would you go to work for $6/hr.? Probably not… Save the “deals” for your fish tacos and get your beautiful photography done the correct way.


The bottom line is the in the Central and Northern New Jersey area, you can most likely expect to spend between $500 – $1200 on average (depending on products and purchasing) for a session and related products. Is this inexpensive? Not by a long shot, but you are much better served to save up for what you really like, and get it done properly. You will be much happier in the long run.


5. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.


From a consumer standpoint, choosing a photographer need not be compared to studying for a bar exam, but some prudent questions can certainly go a long way and help you have a great time. These days most people tend to go to a major search engine and type in “Boudoir Photographer New Jersey” -or substitute your appropriate area- and get a list prospective choices. Choice is great! The photographer’s website should be well put together, providing lots sample images, perhaps a short introduction to the photographer and his/her background, as well as information about their style of work. You know what they say about not getting a second chance to make a first impression? The website is a reflection of that business. If it doesn’t look right, well perhaps its time to check the next search result on the list. Likewise, if there are images of women with feather boas and Dynasty hair styles, perhaps that photographer hasn’t updated any photos in the past twenty years and it may be time to check the next result in your search list. …you get the idea.


A well put together website is a great start, and may catch your interest, but you may still have a few questions. Call – text – or email and start a dialog. Its very normal for potential customers to have questions, and although this article is not focusing on the specific questions many people ask, your photographer should be well at ease and eager to answer any questions you may have. In this day and age, personal relationships are not something people are used to having with businesses, but photography is still a very personal kind of industry. Its important to find someone you like, because the final outcome of all the hard work is largely based on your level of comfort and rapport with your photographer. –Creeped out, or annoyed is a not a cute look in photos 🙂. Find a photographer with whom you can have a great relationship and it will definitely pay off in beautiful photographs you will cherish for years afterward.


These are just a few ideas that may help in your search to find the best fit for your needs. If you are in NJ, you can certainly contact me with any questions by visiting my website Mike Cassidy Photography.


Questions or comments? Hit me up below.

SLIGHTLY GEEKY BUT AMAZING NEW JERSEY BASED BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER BRINGING BEAUTY TO NJ, PA & NYC AREAS. 

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