Search
 

Featuring Darci Amundson

Featuring Darci Amundson

This week’s featured photographer is Darci Amundson of Darci Amundson Photography in Denver, CO

 

Where do you operate your business?


Your Twitter account

https://www.twitter.com/amundsonphoto

Melissa Denver boudoir photographer046

Jordan-Denver-boudoir-photography031

Technical Specs:

 
Camera used

Canon 5d Mark II

Lens choices

Sigma art 50mm

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

CS6

Do you use any actions?

Imagenomic Portraiture

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

I do a quick batch retouching for when they come back to place their order. An action that includes portraiture and a color/contrast pop. Then all ordered images get sent to my retoucher.

shower-boudoir-denver

18452495_10155058128911005_2114536862_o

 

CLIENTS:

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

I have been doing boudoir for 8 years. I grew my boudoir business into a 6 figure earning business within 3 years solely through Groupon and Living Social advertising. I fine tuned my ad and educated my clients from the beginning about investments and have an average sale of $900 with my 30 minute Groupon/Living Social clients. I also have a really great referral program that works well with my past clients. They each get 3 vouchers with a free mini session they can give to their friends and when their friends book, they get a $100 print credit to use towards a future session. This year I also started a boudoir rep program and have really focused on my VIP Facebook page where I now get most of my bookings through contests, giveaways and referrals. I have never ran a model call.

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 have hundreds. Most recently though I had a couple come into the order appointment and before they even looked at the images her fiancé’ said, “I’m not sure what you did but I’ve noticed a huge confidence boost about her body since her session.” Client issues: big ones from me has mainly been revolving around makeup issues. I think some clients are too scared to tell makeup artists that they don’t like something and then expect me to fix it in photoshop. I quickly had to put a stop to this and really make sure they know that makeup can’t be fixed to be sure to tell the artist before if they want any changes.

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 have a boudoir magazine that I email them.

2017BoudoirMagazine

Jenni Denver boudoir115

Sarah-Denver-boudoir-photographer011

 

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 

When I started my business in 2009 I attended Imaging USA. I learned from the very beginning that In Person Sales was one of the best ways to be a profitable business so I have always done IPS. I try to get my clients back to the studio as soon as the next day for the IPS so their emotions and excitement is still really high. I can easily do this because I don’t completely edit my images. I lightly proof them and explain that all of their ordered images will be completely retouched. This has never deterred additional sales to me and has saved me a tremendous amount of time! I start my IPS session off with an Animoto slideshow showing just a portion of their images (about a minute long). We then go through all of their images in ProSelect on my big screen TV and narrowing them down to their favorites. For a 30 minute mini session I show between 50-80 images for a Full 90 minute session I show between 100-150 images. My goal is to sell an album every time so showing more images makes it harder for them to narrow down…which leads to higher sales. I only show what I want to sell which is albums, images boxes and metal art. All of my other products are tucked away so if they ask about them I tell them no one usually buys it and dig around for it in my shelf to pull out to show them. I offer 3 packages and a la carte pricing. My a la carte is priced high so they see the value of choosing a package, which 95% of my clients do. My a la carte has an order minimum of $299. My boudoir mini session includes professional makeup, a 30 minute session on the bed set and an IPS for $100. My average is $900 for a mini session. My Full Luxury session includes full hair and makeup, a 90 minute session with 3-4 sets and and IPS for $299. My average is $1300 for a Full session. This is why I LOVE mini sessions, I can book 3 back to back in the same amount of time as 1 full session and make twice as much.

What products perform best in your studio? 

Most of my clients purchase an album. I offer albums from WHCC and an upgraded album from The Boudoir Album. They also love the digital app of their ordered images. I use Sticky Albums.

Heather Denver boudoir068

18493821_10155058129076005_250067692_o

 

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 have a 2 level 1800 sq foot studio about 5 minutes from downtown Denver in an art district. It has gorgeous exposed brick walls that I love photographing on and my clients adore the space. My challenge is I wish I had a wider room for my mounted background system to do my silhouettes. I also wish the basement window was a tad larger to let in a little more natural light. I use strobe for most of my session but like utilizing the natural light for some images but it’s a challenge.

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

My lease is up July of next year. I pay about $2,000 a month so I’m considering going back to a shared photography studio to save some money but then there are also challenges with that as well. I’m going to look around next year and see if I want to stay or move, Denver rent is pretty ridiculous everywhere right now!lol

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

Yes, I currently book sessions Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon and Monday. I try to get everyone to come back on Sunday to their order appointment.

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

My strength is studio light, I like having control of my lighting. I have been working more with natural light but my studio doesn’t offer much in my basement to play with.

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 2 makeup artists I work with all of the time, in the summer I have about 4 backup artists since schedules are pretty crazy with my main artists with wedding season. For makeup they get paid $50 for hair and makeup $100 plus tips from clients. Using my makeup artist is mandatory for my boudoir experience. I feel it is the first step of them coming in and getting comfortable an getting a full experience of being pampered a bit before the session.

Denver outdoor boudoir photographer113
Denver outdoor boudoir photographer042

 

BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 

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

I started my business in 2009. I was a Pharmacy Technician for hospitals for 8 years before that.

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

Mainly self taught but I always loved photography and took classes in college as electives.

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

I always dreamed of being a photographer but when I went to college everything was still film and I didn’t want to work in the dark room all day. When photography went to digital and my boyfriend game me my first digital camera and lens kit in 2008 I started going to workshops and taking classes and then decided to start a business!

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

 Taxes and bookkeeping. I really should just hire an accountant and CPA but I’m kind of a control freak and unfortunately a procrastinator so when tax season rolls around it’s a bit of a headache.

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 specialize in boudoir and do about 150 boudoir sessions a year. I also shoot everything else but weddings. About 30 high school seniors, and 30 family, maternity, headshot type sessions. The reason I love boudoir is that there is no better feeling in the world that showing a women her beauty. I struggle with self confidence so I think this is a way for me to feel good about myself when I can show other women how amazing they are.

Becca-Denver-boudoir086

18493906_10155058129016005_252663821_o

ADVICE:

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

 Go to photography conferences and talk to as many successful studio owners that you can and soak up as much advice as you can. You will never stop learning in this business and you have to invest in your business in order to grow. Also, don’t go into debt getting the latest and greatest gadgets. Purchase your needs as you make money and only buys things that will make you money. Once you are in the green then splurge every once in a while for that fun stuff.

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?

I finally did my first one in January this year! When I went to Imaging in San Antonio, Red Raven Photographer reached out to me and asked if I wanted to trade sessions. At first I thought, hell no! Then thought, why not….I need to embrace my body the way it is the way I tell all of my clients. I absolutely love my images and it was such a great (and scary) experience for me. I highly suggest all photographers go through the experience so they know how their clients feel!

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

I never knew there was a male/female debate… if a woman is comfortable with a male doing their photos then good for them! I’m the type of person that like female doctors, masseuse, ect so for me I wouldn’t choose a male photographer because I know I wouldn’t be comfortable but I know a lot of amazing male boudoir photographers so go for it!!!

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

I really don’t have burn out because I keep my schedule the same each week. I also travel a lot so that is a big stress relief for me.

What do you love about the business?

I love being my own boss. I love making my own hours, can change my pricing when I want, can try new marketing…just everything about having your own business!

What do you hate about the business?

 Keeping up with all of the social media. It seems like once you think you have one figured out the algorithms change or a new one comes out that everyone is using. I try to use Hootsuite to schedule a lot of my posts but I feel like I’m on social media way too much.

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

I have been a PPA member since I started my business. I absolutely love the organization and can’t say enough great things about them. They stand behind you, offer insurance, education and everything you need to run a successful business. I wouldn’t be where I am today with out them!

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 compete weekly on the AIBP site. I sometimes enter on the professional level. I think it’s a good way to challenge yourself and push yourself to try new things. I also think that judging can be personal so if one judge doesn’t like your style it can be difficult to take the criticism but I think you can always learn from it!

Stephanie-best-boudoir-Denver057

Stephanie Denver boudoir beauty113

 

SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 
Favorite food?   

Sushi

One guilty pleasure in life?

 Reality TV

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

 Shoes

What’s one song on your playlist? 

I don’t have a playlist…depends on my mood I listen to a lot of country or pop.

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 Action/Adventure I love The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc..

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 Sandals.

What are you currently reading? 

 You Are a Badass

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

 So many places on my list… right now I’d choose Bora Bora

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

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am at without making them so I wouldn’t change anything!
 

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

 Ellen Degeneres she is such a positive light in what is most of the time a negative world we live in. I love her motto, Be kind to one another!

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

 Weight issues.

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

 My boyfriend, Josh of 9 years is my life partner. We chose not to have kids or get married, don’t fix what’s not broken! We have 1 fur baby, Flex who is a Boxer Cattledog.
 
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

I tend not to get too caught up in comparing my work to others. There are absolutely insanely talented artists so I think I’d drive myself crazy if I followed people too closely that I admire. I tend to try to keep challenging myself to keep learning and growing and just trying to be a better person in general all of the time.

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

Always follow your dreams and passions. If you do what you love you won’t work a day in your life!

Michelle-Denver-boudoir056

18452343_10155058129011005_1552323350_o

Jen Swedhin
Jen Swedhin

Jen Swedhin is a natural light and studio photographer in Denver, CO. Jen specializes in intimate portraiture for men, and is one of the only photographers in the industry to focus on this niche. Jen is also the owner of Jen Gets Shit Done, a retouching, web design and mentoring service for boudoir photographers.

Follow:

1 Comment

  • Nikki

    Beautiful!

    May 12, 2017 at 11:56 am