• Featuring Amy Peacock

    by  • February 18, 2017 • Featured Photographer • 0 Comments

    This week's featured photographer is Amy Peacock of Pretty Is, A Boudoir Studio in Lafayette, Louisiana

     

    Where do you operate your business?

    In Lafayette, Louisiana


    Your Website


    Your Facebook page

    https://www.facebook.com/boudoirbyamypeacock/


    >Your Instagram account

    https://www.instagram.com/prettyisboudoir/


    >Your Twitter account

    www.twitter.com/thatshuttergirl

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    Technical Specs:

     
    Camera used

    Nikon d750

    Lens choices

    Sigma Art 50mm

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

    Lightroom and Portraiture

    Do you use any actions?

    Do More Wear Less actions

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

    I don't do much retouching. Typically I will run my culled photos through a portraiture action and then through a Lightroom action that I have tweaked from Do More Wear Less, and that is all. I don't do any photoshopping, liquify, etc.

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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 me. I am a 43 year old mother of 4. I have struggled with body and image issues. I have been stressed, over-worked, depressed, anxious and tired. I have been happy, fulfilled, creative - created life! I have stretch marks and smile lines and crow's feet. I look in the mirror every morning and I start covering up things I don't like. But I also look at the things I do like, and that I have done and I want to celebrate that and be a confident, bad-ass 43 year old mother of 4. And that is the client that I want and I hope to reach.

    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 photographed women who are cancer survivors, who have alopecia, who are recovering from mental illnesses and eating disorders, stomach illnesses and each and every one of them have had different stories and experiences but they all leave feeling beautiful and confident and empowered. My most recent client is a regular, everyday mother who struggles with body image issues and a non-supportive husband. She brought him to the viewing, though I told her beforehand I didn't think it was a good idea (not that I don't allow husbands, boyfriends, etc because they can be hugely successful sales, but because of how she spoke of him during her session). As I sat them down I could tell she was nervous, and he was playing on his phone. For the first 4-5 images, he bluntly said "No, don't like it. It's not what I want to look at." She was defeated and I was feeling the tension. (I've included the first image in my collection.) So I told him just as bluntly, "You know, she is a beautiful woman who deserves to be treated with respect and frankly, she didn't do these photos for you. She did them for herself. She did them so she can feel confident and empowered and to feel like a sensual person because it is obviously missing in her life and she deserves to know how special and amazing she is. It takes a lot of guts to do a boudoir session and to open up to a stranger, but it takes even more guts to share something so personal and vulnerable with someone they love and who is supposed to love them." He was quiet and she had a huge smile on her face, and she has thanked me so many times over the last week for helping her to feel confident and for helping her husband realize the things he was missing by being such a controller. These are the women I absolutely love to photograph because they need to see themselves as they really are and to feel beautiful again.

    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.

     
    I am terrible at selling and am working on this as we speak!

    https://spark.adobe.com/page/GUzX0E3jDeWyG/

    What products perform best in your studio? 

     My best selling products are my albums - and my most popular is the 10x10, 20 image album.

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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 an old soybean exporting warehouse. I love it! I have 3 rooms - 2 for photographing in and 1 for hair and makeup and wardrobe.

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

    No

    Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

     I do for sure for my shooting times, but I do work around their schedules for viewings and order pickup.

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

    Natural light 95%, and constant light on an as needed basis. After I stopped shooting weddings, I stopped using OCF and I don't feel very confident using them now. I am pretty good at manipulating light and shadows.

    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 one makeup artist that I use and I pay her $100 per client. She meets the clients at the studio, gets them setup in the dressing room, water, coffee, tea, snacks and starts hair and makeup. She is the first face that my clients see and I trust her 100%. She is an amazing artist.

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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 have been a full time, strictly boudoir photographer for 2 years. Before that I was a wedding photographer for 7 years and before that I taught English and Photography in a high school for 13 years.

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

    Mostly self taught, but I have a minor in art history so I did study photography a bit in college and I taught composition and darkroom study to high school students for 13 years.

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

    I was always interested in it, but I never thought it was something that I could make a living doing.

    What is your biggest struggle in this business?

     Selling myself and my art. I have trouble putting a number on what I am worth.

    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 started doing exclusively boudoir because I feel drawn to it. I love the rush I get when someone finds their beauty again.

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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?

     Don't give up and don't compare yourself to anyone else. The only person you are competing against is you. And study some marketing and business experts. Being an artist is easy, but being a business is not.

    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 absolutely have done it and I absolutely think it is necessary for photographers to do - male and female. There is no better way to learn, and no better way to experience what the client experiences than doing it too. I've been lucky enough to be photographed by some of the best photographers in the business!

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

    In my opinion, I think female photographers will shoot for emotion and male photographers will shoot for form - of course there are exceptions to every rule!

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

    Almost every week! To avoid burn out I intentionally take several weeks off after a busy season, and I also try to do personal projects every few months.

    What do you love about the business?

     I love building relationships and watching a person's confidence grow.

    What do you hate about the business?

     Petty competition and cliques. Sometimes it seems almost like high school again 🙁

    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 a member of AIBP, WPPI and PPA.

    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 do not participate regularly, though that is something I plan to remedy this year.

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    SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

     
    Favorite food?   

     Cupcakes

    One guilty pleasure in life?

     Netflix

    What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

     It used to be shoes, but now I have an addiction to buying lingerie for my studio.

    What's one song on your playlist? 

    "Do I Wanna Know" Arctic Monkeys

    What's your favorite movie genre? Example?

     I am more of a tv series person - my recent favorite is The OA on Netflix

    Favorite shoes to wear?  

     Booties

    What are you currently reading? 

     The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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

     Paris

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

    I would go back to the moment when my children were born. I wouldn't do it over, I would just love to have that perfect moment of clarity again. There is absolutely no better feeling than the moment when you fall in love with someone.
     

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

     Ryan Gosling - obviously. And then Dorothea Lange.

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

     Feeling enough.

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

     Married, 4 kids, 3 cats, 2 dogs and a turtle. What is NOT a juggling act? My life feels like a train station, but I wouldn't change it.
     
    Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

    So many current and past photographers inspire me, but personally Michelle Obama inspires me as she is such an amazing woman.
     
    If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person's direction in life, what would that be

    Don't go too fast.

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    About

    Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

    http://cathynance.com

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