My introduction to boudoir was through having done a photoshoot with Kari Heese of Lux Portraits. The two of us hit it off at the shoot and she offered me an internship. I learned all my foundations from Kari and am incredibly grateful to have had such a wonderful teacher. I interned under her wing for a year and a half and then branched off on my own to create my own business.
I’ve always been very creative. Growing up I always dabbled in different artistic pursuits. Painting, poetry, scrapbooking, sketching, and so on, but I had a hard time choosing a direction. When I did my photoshoot, I knew it was what I had to do.
I photograph boudoir and glamour exclusively. The reason I’ve chosen these genres is because I connect with them wholeheartedly. I help women to feel beautiful, because I know what it’s like to feel the exact opposite of that. I struggled with an eating disorder for over a decade, so I am well familiar with the negative self talk that is all too common to women.
I had done a boudoir session to celebrate a milestone in my recovery from anorexia. It was a mind blowing and eye opening experience. I cried when I got home from having seen my images. I had never seen myself like that before. I realized then, for the first time, that I am not all of the horrible things I had told myself I was. I am allowed to feel beautiful and celebrated. Every woman is.
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?
Invest in yourself. Hire a coach who can help you through your personal and business blocks. Purchase the courses that you need in order to better yourself and your business. Spend the money and be photographed professionally. You are worth it, and when you realize it, other people can see it too. Why would anybody invest money in your business if you haven’t?
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, it’s not a small recommendation either; it should be an industry requirement for all boudoir photographers. How can you sell what you haven’t tried? Get in front of the camera, see how your client feels and practice what you preach.
How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?
There are amazing leaders of this industry of both genders. There should be no debate. All that really matters is that you are choosing a photographer that you feel comfortable with when being photographed.
What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?
Self care and balance are the keys to everything. I love what I do, and it’s not unheard of for me to work a 16 hour day without realizing it. But even though I love what I do, taking time for myself is absolutely crucial. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so I’m no good to anybody if I don’t put my needs top of the list.
What do you love about the business?
I love that there is always the chance to be learning, the room for growth is unending. I love the women I get to meet, connect with, and work with. I love the creativity. I love being able to market and network. I love having a great sale, and being able to learn from the low ones. I love the photographic industry, and the AIBP community. I love being able to work for myself and create the life I want for myself. It was a surprise for me to learn over the past 2 years that in general, I am in love with business.
What do you hate about the business?
Bookkeeping, and accounting. I have dyscalculia, so I read numbers backwards and completely wrong. It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed quickly if I allow myself, so it’s outsourced to save myself the headache.
Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI? What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?
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?
I have entered in some images and would love to do more, but to be honest I completely forget a lot of the time. I’ve won Daily Choice a few times and am completely honored each time it happened.
SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:
One guilty pleasure in life?
Iced chai lattes
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
My engagement ring. Jewelry counts as clothing right?
What’s one song on your playlist?
Fleetwood Mac – The Chain
What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?
Genre: Drama. Movies: About a Boy. Into the Wild.
Favorite shoes to wear?
I have these 6 inch black wedges that make me feel like a bombshell. Sadly my arches disagree, so we only get to spend a short amount of time together.
What are you currently reading?
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Ho Chi Minh. I fell in love with that city, it was electric. I never would have gotten on the plane home if it’d of been an option.
If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?
I would go back to this restaurant in Ao Nang, Thailand, called Bussaba Thai. It was hands down the best meal of my life. I get hungry thinking about that massaman curry and would love to experience it again.
If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?
Living: Kate Winslet. I’m a fan of her work and inspired by her.
Deceased: Frida Kahlo. She was a true artist.
What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)
Balance. I get so excited a lot of things in life, and I hold myself to such high standards that it can be hard to keep equilibrium.
Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?
Coming up on 4 years of marriage in June. When you love what you do, it can be easy to let things slip to the back burner if you’re not paying attention. I make a concerted effort to juggle things and create a good work-life balance.
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?
I am so incredibly inspired by my clients. So many of them have overcome eating disorders, body image issues and other personal struggles. Their resilience and willingness to be vulnerable with me is so inspiring.
I also am so inspired by Tony Robbins. I’m excited to attend one of his seminars in the spring!
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be
Set boundaries. Learn to say no to what you don’t want and yes to what you do.