1. What’s in the Bag?
Our favorite pieces of equipment in our Shootsac: Canon 5D Mark2 & the 50mm 1.2 lens
Marissa and her husband Weston began shooting weddings in 2003 (boucherphotography.com), and at that time, Marissa was also shooting boudoir for some of her brides. I (Kimberlee) joined the studio in 2006, and then our Boudoir Divas’ studio was launched full-force in 2007. We were blown away by how popular boudoir became once we launched our business plan, and in just a few short years, we moved from a 1-car garage into a 4,500 square-foot studio… we began shooting an average of 20-30 boudoir shoots per month… we hired 4 other staff members… and Marissa and Weston now no longer shoot weddings, because the boudoir business has taken off!
If you know anything about us, you know that we LOVE marketing… and we absolutely LOVE to go all-out when it comes to our marketing and building buzz for our business. Our best marketing program was the one we launched at the beginning of launching our business back in 2007. We called it our “Bringing Boudoir Back!” campaign, because at that time, boudoir was considered very old-school. We launched a full-force marketing program that included advertising on popular bridal websites, as well as major bridal publications, including Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine. Most people thought we were crazy when we said that we wanted to give boudoir photography a facelift and help create a new association to the word, but we were determined to bring boudoir back. Three years later, we are happy to say that boudoir, IS, in fact, BACK!! 🙂
Brainstorming sessions when we get to dream and come up with crazy new ideas for our business!
We have 4 photographers here at our studio, and together we are able to handle about 6-8 shoots per week, plus 1 Pin-Up Party per week. Personally, Marissa and I only shoot our high-end, top package, so we usually just shoot 1 session per week. That’s the perfect number for us!
We love shooting all women, of all shapes and sizes. Honestly I love the sessions where my client is extremely nervous and almost wondering why she’s even doing this. It is SO much fun to see the transformation that happens in a client when she begins to warm up, and then toward the end of the session, when she realizes that she is drop-dead gorgeous… seeing that confidence emerge is just the best part of this job.
Marissa: at the beach with my hubby Weston and our 2 ‘furry kids’ (Boston Terriers named Puddy and Elaine).
Kimberlee: Hanging out with my nephew at Disneyland!
We are happy to say that our post-procession workflow is now completely streamlined… to the point that we are able to do same-day viewings for ALL of our shoots! Here’s how it goes: Immediately after a session, we have our client leave the studio for an hour, to go grab lunch or a cup of coffee… and while they’re gone, we download their images and edit and process in Lightroom, using presets that we’ve created to go with all of our distinct sets and lighting set-ups. When the client returns in one hour, we have her proofs all ready to go, and we show them to her during her viewing session (this is where she has to place her order). Once she’s ordered her products, our in-house designer will image her selections and design her album, and the final product is ready in 2 weeks.
So many things… our camera equipment and lighting equipment are a huge part of getting the ‘look’ we create for all of our images. But if we had to choose one thing, it would have to be Lightroom! This program has cut down our post-production time by hours, and our entire workflow has changed because of it!
“The Disney Way” was an influential book for our business, because we love the way Walt Disney dreamed big – and then implemented those dreams and made his dreams become reality! In the early years, attending classes at WPPI was also extremely beneficial for us to gain inspiration and ideas about the trends in the industry.
Marketing! We love creating unique marketing programs, then seeing those programs through to completion, from creating taglines to writing press releases to designing postcards and advertisements. We just love the entire creative process that goes along with marketing and building buzz for our company!
This past year, we saw a few months that did seem to be effected by the economy. However, as a whole, we are thankful and very blessed to be able to say that we haven’t been affected. A few months ago, we raised our prices again, making our boudoir packages the most expensive in our market ($950-$2400)… whenever we raise prices, it’s always a little nerve-wracking, but so far this new pricing structure has been great for us.
Is ‘workaholic’ an acceptable response for a weakness? 🙂 This is something that Marissa and I both struggle with; there are days where we will both be in the studio for 10-12 hours, and we have to look across the desk and tell ourselves that we need to go home!
“What’s the best part of your job?”
… and the answer is?
The best part of our job is definitely seeing the look on the womens’ faces when they see the final product. So many women have harsher than necessary views on their own body and seeing the transformation from the first moment they walk in the door to when they leave that day and how much more confident they become and how you can tell they truly realize how beautiful they really are is priceless. When they say things like “wow, I am hot!” and “I can’t believe that is really me!” are the reason why we do what we do. 🙂
Speaking at Imaging USA in January 2010. It was the culmination of so many dreams… having the opportunity to speak about something that we are so incredibly passionate about, and sharing our speaking program (“Boudoir Is The New Black”) with over 1,000 photographers was just an amazing moment for us.
Eating dinner with friends’ downtown, spending time with our families, hiking at our favorite spot in San Diego, enjoying a day at the beach, or hanging with Mickey and crew at Disneyland!
20.What’s the most common mistake you see newbie’s making?
When it comes to boudoir, the most difficult aspect is often posing. We see a lot of newer boudoir photographers struggle with finding poses that are flattering for all body types… there are many common mistakes we see with posing! This is one of the main reasons why we created our Posebook.
The biggest thing on the horizon for the Boudoir Divas is our awesome REFERRAL LIST! Why did we decide to create our referral list? In short, it’s because we get TONS of inquiries every week from potential clients from across the US and around the world who are interested in finding a boudoir photographer that has a similar style to our photography… and we would LOVE to have a place where we can list the TOP BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHERS in every city, state, and country worldwide!