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Featuring Nichole Rea

Featuring Nichole Rea

This week’s featured photographer is Nichole Rea of Nichole Marie Boudoir & Beauty in Sebastian, Florida

 
Where do you operate your business?

In Sebastian, Florida

Website
Facebook

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/nicholemarieboudoir/

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/nmboudoir

 

Technical Specs:

 

 
Camera used

 

Mark D iii

 

Lens choices

 

35 mm L, 50mm L, 85mm L

 

Processing Software (just provide the names of the one’s you use)

 

Adobe CC (Photoshop and Lightroom)

 

Do you use any actions?

 

I’ve created my own set

 

Do you retouch and if so can you give me a quick rundown on if you use any plugins, etc?

 

I do some retouching, and have created my own actions/brushes from watching other photographer’s tutorials etc.

 

 

CLIENTS:

 

 
What most people want to know is how you market to your clients.  Have you qualified who your is your ideal client?  

 

My ideal client is real. She isn’t perfect. She’s probably pretty hard on herself and has very little confidence. She might be a mom, or overweight, or just feeling like she’s let go of who she was in her teenage/twenty something years. She’s in her mid 30’s and looking for a way to regain control of the sexy, feminine, passionate woman that is buried deep inside of her. She is probably longing for her husband to slam her against a wall and make out with her

I’d love to add into the article any inspiring client stories you might have.  Also have you had any issues with clients that you would like to share how you resolved them.  That is always something that can hugely benefit the readers.

 

So many women have been changed by this experience. I have had people cry when they see one of the first few shots I’ve taken of them. I have had women tell me that before, they never had the desire to dress up or put on make up, but after seeing what a little effort could do, they now do it daily. Knowing that by educating myself on posing, lighting, wardrobe, and how to make a woman “feel” amazing could help so many feel so much better is pretty mind blowing.

 

Do you have a physical or digital “welcome” product you give the clients and can you share that if you do. You can give me a link or email. Thanks.

 

Yes! I send a welcome “spark” made with Adobe, that includes a VERY basic break down of their experience and ball park pricing. I find that SO MANY photographers totally bog down their welcome guide or email with info, that clients simply stop reading. My advice: Give them a photo rich product to look at your work where they can envision themselves in the image… let them know how a ballpark average of what they’re going to spend to do so… and then give them a call to action to either a- contact you for a consultation or b- book right then.

I also send a welcome kit with a printed portfolio of my work, welcome letter, physical pricing guide, and gift certificate for the client to give to a friend (because who doesn’t love snail mail that’s not a frickin bill???)

 

 

SALES:

 

 
This is probably one of the most important things that the readers want to know.  How do you sell to your clients?  Can you provide info on your sales process and your pricing.  I’d like to be able to provide numbers on what you charge for a session and what your range is for your products, like albums for instance, but if you don’t feel comfortable sharing to much, just give me what fits your comfort level 

 

I am 100% IPS and have been since I started photography. I do not offer premade collections (because I’d never buy a pair of shoes if I had to also invest in a handbag and sunnies that I didn’t want), but instead offer Create Your Own Collection/A La Carte. My minimum purchase price is $1500 and my session fee is $350. 99% of my clients create a collection of their own and my average sale is $2300.

What products perform best in your studio? 

 

I offer an 11×14 Image Box sold with an easel for display and 10 matted prints for $1749. This is my #1 purchased product. Metal wall prints are a close second. Women want to blow themselves UP!

 

STUDIO:

 

 
Best describe your workspace.  Do you have a studio or work from home?  How large is your space?  What are the challenges with it?  What works really well for you?  Can you please include a photo or two of it, if possible.

 

I started my business from my home and built my client base using strictly word of mouth and model calls. In march of this year (2017) I opened my own studio and am booked out 3 months in advance. I rent a house that is 1200 square feet, and have 2 shooting spaces, an office, break room, bathroom, hair and makeup room. It’s perfect!

 

Do you have any plans to change and/or grow from your space in the near future.

 

I want to move into something with huge windows and much newer of a build. My current studio was built in the 30’s and has a lot of structural issues!

 

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

 

I am a mom of 3 so I am only in the studio 8-10 days a month, for 12 hours at a time. I shoot at 9am and 12 noon, and do reveal sessions from 5-930pm.

 

Natural Light, Studio Light, combination of styles? What’s your preference? What are your strengths and weaknesses with lighting, if any.

 

Natural light for now, but really wanting to start learning how to use an ice light. I don’t know how to use artificial lighting and I know it weakens my work. It’s a goal!

 

Do you have makeup artists you work with in your studio?  If so, can you give me a run down of what the rate is you pay them and how you feel about the importance of that relationship.  If you don’t use them, is there a reason?

 

I have a pool of 4 stylists and 5 makeup artists I work with. I pay all of them the exact same rate, and that makes it easy for me. I book strictly on an as needed basis but I reach out to my go to’s first.

Giving a woman a makeover sets the tone for her experience with me. If she feels beautiful, she’ll do a lot better in front of the camera versus if she feels like her makeup and hair aren’t on point.

 

BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 

 

 

How long have you been in business?  What were you doing before you started your photo business?

 

I started strictly shooting boudoir in 2016 and was a trauma RN until mid 2016 when I quit to go full time with photography.

 

Did you go to school for photographer or are you self taught?

 

Self taught

 

Did you always want to be a photographer or was it something that came later in life?

 

Nope it stemmed from wanting to learn how to take better photos of my children

 

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

 

To really get my photos to look authentic. I am currently in a posing rut and I hate it. I constantly go back to the same poses that I know work for every client and that’s frustrating. I look at the work of others and wonder how in the hell they come up with SO MANY poses!!??

 

Is there a reason you shoot boudoir and do you shoot any other genre?  If you’re excusive, and/or recently went exclusive can you give the readers some insight into why you did.  If you’ve only ever done boudoir, again we’d love to hear why.

 

I went to only boudoir because I wanted to tailor the experience to JUST those clients. What I offer a boudoir client isn’t anything like what I’d offer a family, and I didn’t have time to cater to both. I wanted to be an expert in one field, not a jack of all trades if you will.

ADVICE:

 

 
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?

 

 If you have any sort of talent and you are 1-shooting models for little to no pay or 2-are still shoot and burn, you are missing out on a LOT of money.. if you can make the everyday woman feel like a super model, they will be knocking down your door to give you business.

 

Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself, if you are a female (sorry guys 🙂 ? Do you think it’s something that is important for female boudoir photographers to do?

 

Absolutely! But I am really wanting to do another one because I want to experience what I give my clients..which wasn’t what I received the fist time around.

 

How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?  

 

I’m not really sure what this question is about?

 

What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?

 

Yes!! But not because I am not loving it, but because I am so overwhelmed with business and things to do. Eventually I will need to hire someone else in addition to my assistant and editor…. I struggle with burn out and have to just tell myself to shut everything off sometimes.

 

What do you love about the business?

 

 Honestly, that I can work for myself and make my own rules. I can go as far as I want for my clients or shut people off when I don’t want their business. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to support my family.

 

What do you hate about the business?

 

 The constant competition from some of the most talented people. Can’t we all just be friends???

 

Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI?  What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?

 

No.

 

Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it?  AIBP runs contests regularly.  Do you participate?  If not, is there a reason you don’t?

 

 Not really and honestly I just don’t have time. That’s the simple honest to god’s truth.

 

SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 

 
Favorite food?   

 

 Sushi!!!!

 

One guilty pleasure in life?

 

 Coffee with way too much creamer

 

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

 

 Comfy jammie pants

 

What’s one song on your playlist? 

 

We keep the lights out- EZA

 

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 

 Romance!!! But like the medieval kind with knights and shit. Romeo and Juliet is one of my favorite movies of all time.

 

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 

 Peep toe heels. I have some Louboutians on my wish list.

 

 

What are you currently reading? 

 

 Ha. Reading??? Who has time for that shit? Besides photography blogs you mean??
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?   

 

 Paris 🙂 Can you tell i’m a hopeless romantic??
If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?

 

I can’t say that on a public forum
 

 

If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?

 

 No one because I’d be too nervous. Give me someone afraid of the camera and I’ll help them relax any day.

 

What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)

 

 Work life balance

 

Are you married, single, have kids, husband?  Is life a juggling act for you?

 

 Married my high school sweetheart and have 3 boys. Yes, life is tough but it’s also an amazing experience!
 
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

 

Moms who seem like they just have it all together. Sue Bryce really inspires me.

 
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be

 

When you think there is a huge chance something you want to do might fail, DO THAT THING. It will give you the greatest pleasure when it succeeds 🙂

Cathy Nance
Cathy Nance

Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

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