AIBP Featured Photographer | Ashlee Guest of Embrace Boudoir
Canon 35 mm 1.4, 50 mm 1.4, and 85 mm 1.8
Portraiture for the win! Otherwise, I outsource – if you haven’t done this yet, DO IT!
In 2017 I marketed to my clients solely through my VIP Facebook Group. My ideal client is between the ages of 25 and 40 with a steady job. In 2018 my #1 goal is to learn more about marketing and how to grow outside of Facebook.
I do want to point out that a dream client doesn’t have to be your ideal target. If you meet someone who SCREAMS “dream client” – not necessarily with their wallet, but with their soul – work with them. Why? You’ll rack up some good karma for sure but there’s also the possibility that you’ll have more fun and maybe even create some of your best work. Plus, their enthusiastic out-loud support of your business can drive paying referrals.
An early 2017 client’s toddler became gravely ill recently as the result of consuming something. While her family seemed to think it was just a stomach bug; the client credited her session with me for helping her find the confidence to stand up and follow her gut that something was wrong. I love that her experience with me was so profound to her (though I told her that was the strong mommy love instinct she’s always had!).
Issue clients – I grew up in the “customer is always right” times. Now, I don’t believe that – we’ve all seen some crazy shit. But I go out of my way to treat clients as I would hope to be treated, so I haven’t had very many issues (knock on wood). I think it’s just important to be real but also professional.
I’m currently creating a physical welcome magazine!
In Person Sales advocate here! You DON’T have to be salesy to do IPS. I used to swear up and down that I could never do it – but I was afraid and I was wrong. The first time I invited someone back to view their photos for the first time, I witnessed unguarded emotions with my own eyes – not through a text message (or left hanging). It boosted my confidence, not only to see that the clients love my work, but the monetary gain is SO worth it. I’ve heard some photographers say, “Don’t tell me to do IPS. I am fine charging less.” Why? Why would you not want to thrive through your passion, if it’s possible??
Albums, definitely. I sell BayPhoto Pacific albums!
I have a residential studio! Office work, reveals, and session styling takes place in my den. Shoots take place in a dedicated spare bedroom (11 x 12), with a single east-facing medium-high window, and one wall covered in ugly, light-brown closet doors (but I covered them with floor-to-ceiling curtains).
In 2018 I have plans to change the carpet to vinyl wood flooring, and I’ve gathered enough decor now (and a Home Goods is about to open near me…) that I’ll be able to unveil a lifestyle set soon. Otherwise, I am offering limited in-home sessions, as well as destination boudoir services!
Combo! Mostly natural light, but I also use a ring light (due to the size of my space) to supplement or by itself! Luckily I learned artificial lighting in college.
Absolutely, in order to maintain a certain level of quality to my work, as well as a better client experience. It’s one less thing for all of us all to worry about! The standard rate here is $75 for hair & makeup. Please make sure to have a legal agreement in writing with anyone you contract!
I’ve been a photographer for over 7 years. I’ve run an “official” business for the past 2 years (I was a bit of a gypsy before that).
I graduated with honors from the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies at DSC in Daytona Beach, Florida.
I’ve held a lifelong appreciation for photography thanks to my grandfather, who was an amateur photographer in the Navy and loved to document the family over the years. It didn’t occur to me that my hobby could become a career until life gave me a swift kick when my mom passed away and I moved halfway across the country.
People who don’t read. O_O
It’s kinda serendipitous that I exclusively shoot boudoir for a living. I’ve always been pro-sexy-selfie! When I was younger, my confidence was kinda fucked up after I overheard my grandma calling me the ugly duckling cousin in the family (at the time, I didn’t care about the moral of the story, all I heard was the word UGLY, because yeah my cousins were definitely prettier than me). Then I went through a very unhealthy, emotionally abusive 4-year relationship that burned out any flames I had left in me. I don’t think I ever considered myself truly pretty, much less even the slightest bit sexy. Until I had my first boudoir session. After that, I was absolutely hooked on the experience and obsessed with passing it forward to as many women as I can. I also found that releasing my inner sex kitten helped me feel more confident in everyday situations where cameras are involved, which threads back to my original motivation in photography – helping women exist in photos.
Get the book ‘A World History of Photography’ by Naomi Rosenblum; learn and appreciate those who came before you. But skip art school and save yourself loads of cash. Find the right mentors for you, and then throw yourself into your work. Learn to appreciate constructive criticism, but do not involve yourself in cruel criticism. Respect community over competition, because there’s enough room in this world for EVERYONE to be creative in this world. And as always: Never give up… never surrender!! You got this. 🙂
I’ve been photographed (boudoir) 4 times in the last year and a half. I’m a total addict and I absolutely believe we are doing important work, for reasons listed above.
I haven’t witnessed this debate. I’m pro-everyone-that-isn’t-a-creep!
I’m not afraid to take a break and, when I’m ready, return to pick up where I left off.
The other side of the coin – the cutthroat, catty side of the industry. Cliques. The “I own this” mentality. I choose not to involve myself in that side. My energy is best spent being positive, kind, and supportive.
I am a member of PPA, AIBP, Do More, and IPS Mastermind. The benefits vary from legal advice, to a sense of community and belonging, to daily sources of education. I highly recommend finding the right communities for you.
Outside of AIBP dailies, I don’t participate in competitions because I’ve never been a very competitive person.
I’m freaking OBSESSED with creme brulee right now, thanks a lot Jen & Kyle!
Leggings. Sorry, I’m that person.
It’s a Man’s World – Karise Eden
Action, sci-fi, and fantasy. Ok fine, and rom coms. I actually really love movies, so this question is hard. I will only say that my #1 most favorite film of all time is The Princess Bride. Any more than that and I’ll write a novel on the topic!
The Defy series by Sara Larson.
To see the architecture and art of Italy, and the rolling hills of Scotland.
Get someone with a real camera (as opposed to my Motorola Razr) to photograph Matt Divine kissing my cheek. Lulz
Angelina Jolie. Forget about her love life for a second (it’s none of our business anyway), she personifies strength and courage to me. She has done so much good in this world through her ambassador work. It’s silly, but she was “my person” (when I was a teenager, really) in that I got through some scary times of my life knowing that she survived similar situations.
Social anxiety. Haha, the irony!
I’m married, and I’m incredibly lucky to have a husband who’s supportive of my passions!
Teri Hofford and Sue Bryce!