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Featuring Tony Gude

Featuring Tony Gude

This week’s featured photographer is Tony Gude of Studio Luxe Boudoir in Indianapolis, IN

 
Where do you operate your business?

Indianapolis, IN

Your Website

Your Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/studioluxeboudoir/

Your Pinterest account

https://www.pinterest.com/studioluxeindy/

Your Instagram account

https://www.instagram.com/studioluxeboudoir/

Your Twitter account  

https://twitter.com/studioluxeboudoir

Any Other Social Media  

@studioluxeindy

Technical Specs:

 
Camera used

Nikon D800

Lens choices

Sigma Art 50mm 1.4f

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

Lightroom, Photoshop

Do you use any actions?

Very rarely, although I should probably use them more. I tend to treat each image differently.

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

Yes, I do my own retouching. I use Portraiture and Portrait Studio.

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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 ideal client is 35-45 years old. Consistently, they buy my highest session and packages. They tend to be the more secure with their bodies and where they are financially in their lives.

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.

Although most of my clients deal with many of the same issues (especially when dealing with their body image) and they love the outcome of our session and how it really made them feel young, worthwhile, and higher self esteem. I really had one stick out in my mind and made me even water up. A client early this year came to us after she’d lost over 100 pounds. She had worked hard to really tone her body but at 44, she was still struggling. She felt, however, that she was ready to capture that part of her life with a boudoir session for her husband and herself. After our photo reveal with both her and her husband, they both were in tears with the outcome. They absolutely loved them and continue to thank us over and over even today.

I have been fortunate in my short career to not have dissatisfied clients, but I can tell you that if it happens I would handle it the way I handle everything else in life. I put myself always in the shoes of the other person and probably would go well overboard in trying to make them happy. Probably not the best way to handle all things, but that’s just the way I am.

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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.

 
I have a brochure that I had made this past January. It consists of my session details, my product offerings, and any upgrades. I take it to my in person viewings and it has worked very well for me. My highest session is $375 and lowest product runs $500.

What products perform best in your studio? 

 Definitely the silk paper album by FloriColor. All of my clients LOVE it.

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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 basement studio consists of two rooms that total approximately 700 square feet. One room is used for bedroom boudoir and the other for more studio style boudoir. The studio works very well for me, but the bedroom has many limitations. Mainly diversity, I get bored very easily shooting much of the same shots. There are other limitations like ceiling height, zero natural light, etc. So I try to shoot at other locations, such as high end hotels.

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

Yes, absolutely.

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

 I do not. I try to work within my clients needs if I can.

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

You would think that because my studio is all studio lighting that I’d prefer that, but the reality is that I’d much rather work in natural light.

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 partner with a wonderful salon called Salon D’Va. For HMU I pay around $110. I only choose to work with a select few HMU artists who have the personality that will create an exciting and engaged atmosphere for my clients. I believe this first encounter can make or break a session, so it’s imperative the relationship between me and the salon is on point.

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BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 

How long have you been in business?  What were you doing before you started your photo business?
I’ve only been shooting boudoir for two years. But I’ve been doing photography professional for around 5 years. Before that, I was breeding high end designer mutation snakes. I also work full time as an Application Engineer for International Sales in a global company.

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

 I am completely self taught. I kind of lean on a few mentors in the industry who were willing to help where they could. I studied everything about my camera first, then lighting, then posing. I’m still working on the posing thing, I feel like an orangutan most days trying to show clients what I have in my mind.

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

Definitely came later in life. I get bored very easily, and I’ve always been one to try new and exciting things. Photography is one of those things, I can try new things within multiple genres and I’m completely happy.

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

 Retaining my clients has always been easy, it’s obtaining new clients and being a male doesn’t help that. It’s not an easy task.

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 shoot boudoir with my wife Jill. She’s amazing and can help me work through my struggles. I shoot boudoir because it truly is the only thing I do where I feel like I’m making a big difference in someone’s life.

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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?

 Shoot, shoot, and when you think you have it, keep shooting. If you find a muse, shoot as much as you can with them. I never feel like I get to shoot enough. But I know the more I shoot, the more I feel in control.

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?

 No

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

 Some women feel more insecure about being in front of a woman vs a man. They often feel that they may be being judged by another woman. Some women are very insecure with their bodies and prefer not to shoot with a man. It’s all in preference and there shouldn’t be a debate really. But I do feel a lot of people (regardless of gender) get into boudoir for the wrong reasons.

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

 To avoid burnout, I just shoot different genres. I go over to sports, landscape, or just shoot crazy profile pics for myself. I have been know to create town videos to bring people together too. =) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUkrAqsZTMI

What do you love about the business?

 The creativity definitely. every day I hop on Google + and I’m in awe of the creativity that other photographers have. I’m so envious, but I know one day, I’ll be there amongst them.

What do you hate about the business?

 Everyone thinks they are a photographer. Everyone.

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

 I am not. I want to join PPA, I’m just afraid to spend money lol.

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’ve only participated twice in AIBP daily contest. I’m always too nervous to not be good enough to enter. There are some really badass photographers in our group.

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SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 
Favorite food?   

 Bacon double cheeseburgers

One guilty pleasure in life?

 Bacon triple cheeseburgers.

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

 My lucky jeans

What’s one song on your playlist? 

 Wicked Games – The Weekend

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 Superheros (Marvel)

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 Pink Chucks

What are you currently reading? 

 Ahsoka Tano – E.K. Johnston

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

 New Zealand

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

 I would never do anything differently. Life happens as a result of action, intended or unintended. I find the results to be learning opportunities which aid in wisdom.
 

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

 That’s a good question, I could pick quite a few. But I think it would be Daisy Ridley who played Rey in Star Wars. It’s just the geek in me, but I think it would be kind of cool.

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

 Saying no to people. My wife says, it’s a necessity that I have not mastered – and I need to.

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

 Married for 21 years this coming May. Life is a juggling act for sure. It seems I need the chaos to function, I don’t know what to do with myself when things are calm.
 
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

Jen Rozenbaum. I love her courage, I love who she is – unapologetically. She’s heled me through many of my photography hiccups.

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

Do whatever you love to do with all your heart. Be happy and fuck whoever tells you not to.
Cathy Nance
Cathy Nance

Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

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