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Featuring Billie Stock

Featuring Billie Stock

This week’s featured photographer is Billie Stock of Boudoir by Billie in Columbia, MO

 
Where do you operate your business?

Columbia, MO

Your Website

Your Facebook page

Client group: https://www.Facebook.com/BoudoirByBillie/


Your Instagram account

https://www.instagram.com/BoudoirByBillie

Your Pinterest account

https://www.pinterest.com/BoudoirByBillie

Technical Specs:

 
Camera used

Nikon d750

Lens choices

24-70mm, 50mm, 35mm

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

Photoshop and Lightroom

Do you use any actions?

Some in PS & LR!

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

My gorgeous clients rarely need to be retouched in any way. I will remove small blemishes that are not permanently on the body in PS with the lasso tool.

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CLIENTS:

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

 My Facebook group has tremendously helped my business. My clients LOVE the interaction and to get to know the real me this way as well. It feels like we’re all best friends! It’s amazing!!

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.

I had gorgeous Miss A. in the studio, and she was so nervous she was shaking. She mentioned she had cried before coming over and wanted to cancel her appointment completely. I talked with her and told her she can relax here, drink some orange juice and munch on the yummies we have for each appointment. She finally came and relaxed while getting her hair and makeup done. She was still very nervous for her session, but as I showed her images from the back of the camera, that melted away. Her confidence and happiness sky-rocketed. She couldn’t thank me enough for everything we had done and absolutely loved her images. She refers friends ALL the time now! It’s amazing what we can do to help other women see themselves & how beautiful they really are!

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.
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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.

 
The Boudoir by Billie experience is $225 for hair & makeup as well as the photography session. The first time my clients see their images is most of the time the same day. They leave for a hour or two while I lightly correct their images (color, exposure.) Once they come back, we go over their images and decide what they’d like to order. I have collections as well as a la carte options. Most of my gorgeous gals choose my 6×9 Album Collection which ranges from $800-$1000 depending on the cover/paper type and how many pages they choose. Adding on digital files to this is common. The average client investment is $1000-$1500.

What products perform best in your studio? 

 6×9 Album, 10×10 Album, Metal Prints, Mobile App, Digital Files

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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.

My studio is located in the comfort of my home. My clients LOVE how personal this is. My studio is in the upstairs of my home which is approximately 600 sq. ft. The challenges include natural light and having people in and out of my home almost every day for something boudoir related.

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

I currently rent my home, so I am looking to purchase my own home in the future. I want some gorgeous hardwood floors! 😉

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

 I try – but my studio IS in my home. So if a certain time before 11am or after 5pm works out better for the client or I, then I will change this a little based on the situation.

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

Natural light is my love! I really use what it gives me and create each session based on that. So each session varies on posing and lighting.

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?

 Makeup Artistry by Marisa is my hair and makeup artist and is one of my best friends. She has been working with me since I opened up my home studio last December (happy birthday to us!) It’s incredibly important to mesh well with your MUA. Our clients ALWAYS make comments on how well we work together – that’s exactly what we want! It’s important for the whole feel of the session.

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BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 

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

3 Years “officially” – I have been shooting photo jobs since I was 17 years old. I still shoot weddings as well as portraits on the side of my boudoir business. I worked in retail for years – yay for customer service!

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

Completely self taught.

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

I got my first digital camera when I was 10 years old – I was unstoppable after that! Thanks, Mom & Dad!

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

 Keeping my personal life separate from my boudoir business. My studio is in my home, so that creates some major problems sometimes. I work TOO much sometimes and forget to take a break to have some fun!

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.

Once I stumbled upon boudoir early into my photography business, I was in love. It was so positive and uplifting to all shapes and sizes. I wanted to share this feeling of self love and worth with ALL women. I wanted to show them how gorgeous they really are, even if they don’t feel like it. It’s amazing to be able to show women that they are flawless without the use of heavy photoshop use like we see in the media every day of our lives. When my clients cry happy tears, I know I did my job!

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ADVICE:

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

 It’s hard work. Photography isn’t just an “easy job” clicking buttons on a camera. It’s SO rewarding, so push through and work for it and you’ll never really work a day in your life.

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?

YES! Oh my goodness, yes. It’s so much fun and important that we feel how our clients feel. This can help us grow our businesses as well as love our bodies more!

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

An artist is an artist. As long as the client is comfortable being captured by said artist, go for it! No discrimination here.

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

 Seriously. Yes. Do something for YOU. Shoot something creative and fun to get you out of that rut! Remember why you started.

What do you love about the business?

 The amazing women (and men) I meet – artists and clients!

What do you hate about the business?

 Nothing!

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?

 Yes, it’s fun to see all the other images and see how yours rank out as well! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t win! You’re still awesome!

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SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 
Favorite food?   

 Frozen custard. By far.

One guilty pleasure in life?

 Drake… And my 1990s/early 2000s playlists!

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

 Two words – YOGA. PANTS.

What’s one song on your playlist? 

 ANY song by the Weeknd.

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 Comedy – Anything with Jonah Hill, Will Ferrell & Paul Rudd.

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 Slip ons!

What are you currently reading? 

 Worth every penny by Sarah Petty & Erin Verbeck

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?   

 Somewhere with crystal clear water and warm sands!

If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?

I would go back to my younger self and love myself WAY sooner. I was always so hard on myself growing up and never gave myself credit.
 

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

 Marilyn Monroe. She’s always been a HUGE inspiration to me and my boudoir business.

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

 Loving myself & my body. Which is the BIGGEST reason I became a boudoir photographer. This has helped me view myself and other women so much more positively. We are all beautiful!

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

 I have been with my high school sweetheart 9 years. We are both business owners, so making time for us is hard sometimes!
 
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

My mother is my biggest inspiration. She was so loving and kind to every person in her life. She taught me a lot and told me to never give up on my dream of being a photographer.. 🙂

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

Be YOU. Don’t conform if that’s not what is right for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and always do what you love. Be happy in life!

Cathy Nance
Cathy Nance

Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

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