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Featuring Graciela Torres

Featuring Graciela Torres

This week’s featured photographer is Graciela Torres of Indigo Love Boudoir in Lancaster, PA

 

Where do you operate your business?

In both Lancaster, PA and Miami, Florida


Your Website


Your Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/IndigoLoveVintageGlamBoudoir/


>Your Instagram account

https://www.instagram.com/indigoloveboudoirportraiture/


>Your Pinterest account

https://www.pinterest.com/indigolovephoto//


Your Twitter account

https://twitter.com/indigolovephoto

Technical Specs:

 
Camera used

Fujifilm Xt 1 & Canon Mark 2

Lens choices

56 mm, and 35mm and 70-200

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

Photoshop, Exposure, Lightroom, and Fundy Software

Do you use any actions?

Florabella color

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

Yes I retouch, no plug-ins. I paint per pixel.

 

CLIENTS:

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

 My clients are women who want gifts for their husbands. They are typically in their 40’s have three children and are stay at home moms. How I market to them is facebook ads, groupon, and word of mouth. Working with a few women in a local hospital the word has spread quickly. Facebook is Gold for this market, IG I mainly use for model calls and finding vendors.

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 once had a client that brought a photo of herself 100 pounds heavier. I cried with her it was one of those moments that I realized this is spiritual journey. This was a gift to attract a woman that could achieve her goal and then want to celebrate her body. She was a different person, radiant, full of confidence and her smile was contagious. It gave me hope for my own insecurities to go away, to live what I preached and most of all continue to shine light on women that have struggles that they conquer.

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. .

I have found that meeting each client in person or at least an hour over the telephone works best for me. I get to learn about their styles, why they are doing the shoot before anything is booked. This is how I see if they are trusting, what their strengths are and what exactly they want from their photographs.

 

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.

 
My sales process is higher session fee $750 and that includes 12 digital retouched images. Additional images are $22 each, Prints are $35 and come with the digital file. For albums, I require at least 20 prints. I sell giclee prints and albums. My favorite vendor for fine art prints are Jonathan Penney & for Albums I adore floricolor.

What products perform best in your studio? 

 Albums

 

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 work from home, in my bedroom. Very small corner next to our bed. My challenges would be limited time for privacy. I usually stay up late to edit or while my daughter is in school. What works best for me would be to stay up later or work via my iPad at Starbucks or the gym or a parking lot.

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

No, I will always work from home I enjoy freedom to work on my own time and my yoga pants. When I meet my clients I usually book an office or work virtually with them. I have no plans on opening a studio, it’s not for me.

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

 I always reply within 24 hours.

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

Natural light was my thing for a long time, until I used a hmi light. I prefer light that I can control for the effect I am seeking per client.

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’ve used a makeup artist and hair stylist and wardrobe since I started. My clients pay them anywhere from $150-250 per session. If it’s a shoot I organized, I pay them $150 per look. My favorite part is the makeover for them. I hand pick my stylists and meet with them bi weekly for ideas on how to improve. I always give them copies of their work and offer drinks and lunches when we meet up. It’s crucial to keep an open line of communication about your needs. Even though my clients pay them, it’s still me that delegates the ideas for hair and makeup. I never put a paid client with a makeup/hair person I have not yet worked with. I always set up a test shoot and if they are unwilling to meet or offer that I will not refer them. Personality is everything! they have to balance me. I’m energetic so my makeup team is typically more calm and makes my clients feel at ease. I would not be able to work with someone that is chatty, and takes too long for makeovers, or that doesn’t take direction well. I’m very picky with whom I select since it’s the first part of my sessions which represent my business.

 

BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 

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

I’ve been in business since 2012, Before that I freelanced since 2005 and mainly photographed models portfolios and my own personal pin ups. Before this I modeled/acted part time and worked as a chef.

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

I am 100% self taught.

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

From modeling, my transition felt comfortable to photography. I was getting older and there was not a market for plus size. I did a photo shoot in NYC and got my makeup done, I seriously never felt so beautiful. That day is something I will never forget! It inspired me to start my own thing and help out models with their portfolios. I moved to Florida and started getting more noticed for fashion photography. I came back home and could not afford a new camera and just started working and saving. It took me 10 years to buy the equipment I wanted. In 2011 I had my first child and she inspired me to open Indigo Love. I wanted to create a brand where women where reflected upon as goddesses. I’m literally in love with boudoir and the art of it. I still enjoy photographing fashion and portraits as well but I mainly offer classy vintage boudoir and makeovers. The feeling you get from a client crying over their photos is priceless. I want to do more then just taking a picture, I want to capture their essence and sensuality as women and LGBT. I am a wild woman and want to attract women that enjoy to laugh, have a great time. I want them to feel good just like I did as a model for a day. Since I did not make it, honesty I am glad that it lead me to this journey.

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

 Separating personal and business life.

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 am exclusive to boudoir and black and white photography. The reason why? It empowers my clients, not like anything else. I love the art of what to wear, makeover, scouting locations and getting to know each woman’s story. How we make them feel it’s such a confidence boost, fantasy and super girl power~

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 want to be a boudoir photographer? book your own boudoir session!

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, I have and I do think it’s important. It teaches you the fears your client may or not have before, during, and after the session.

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

Males have a great vision, so do women. It’s fantastic that we have the option.

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

 That is my biggest struggle. I find through mediation and self awareness I am able to avoid that feeling but it’s very hard.

What do you love about the business?

 Everything about it. The most though is the end result.

What do you hate about the business?

 I want it to be everywhere and not just certain places.

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

 No I plan on it when my daughter is older.

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?

 They are great and yes I have and loved being chosen.

 

SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 
Favorite food?   

 Peruvian Food!!!

One guilty pleasure in life?

 Nutella

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

 Being nude haha

What’s one song on your playlist? 

 Madonna – Vogue

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 Action/Boxing

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 Boots

What are you currently reading? 

 Deepak Chopra

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

 Japan

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

No regrets!
 

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

 Grace Jones!! She is so amazing at emotions.

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

 Not having enough time for all I want to do!

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

 I have a child and a partner. I love my life and it is hard at times but I’m grateful for everything.
 
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

My mother! She is the reason I am here and living in the US. She is a beautiful inside and out and she taught me love and being free.

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

Believe in yourself. You are worth it.

Cathy Nance
Cathy Nance

Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

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