• Featuring Jordan Morgans & Peter Driessel of Boudoir Fusion Photography

    by  • October 17, 2015 • Featured Photographer, Uncategorized

    This week's featured photographers are the awesome husband and wife team, Jordan Morgans and Peter Driessel, giving us a unique perspective all the way from South Africa!
     
    Where do you operate your business?
    Johannesburg, South Africa in a suburb called Randpark Ridge.
     
    Your website
     
    Your Facebook page
    https://www.facebook.com/BoudoirFusion
     
    Your Pinterest account
     
    Your Instagram account
     
    Your Twitter account
     
    Technical Specs:
     
    Camera used
    ·         Nikon D800 (Peter)
    ·         Nikon D700 (Jordan)
     
    Lens choices
    ·         Nikkor 24 – 70mm  F2.8 (Jordan)
    ·         Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 (Peter)
    ·         Sigma 50mm Art lens F1.4 (Peter)
    ·         Nikkor 135mm F2 Defocusing lens (Peter). This lens has got Bokeh to die for!
    ·         We do use several other lenses, but these usually come out in a shoot.
     
    Processing Software (just provide the names of the one's you use)
    Adobe Photoshop CC
     
    Do you use any actions?
    Yes, we have several actions that have been written in which we have paid for.
     
    Do you retouch and if so can you give me a quick rundown on if you use and plugins, etc.?
    Jordan does the majority of the retouching and we use Photoshop, Imagenomic Portraiture and Alienskin Exposure 7.

     

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    CLIENTS:

    What most people want to know is how you market to your clients.  Have you qualified who your ideal client is? 
    Our ideal clients are women who know what they want, be it a timid housewife to a business woman striving to reach new heights.  I do most of the marketing and we reach our clients through the internet/Google search and Facebook.  We have a very active Facebook site and try to post daily, although we never quite get this right.

    There is also a steady stream of clients that have been referred by previous customers, but we have found that living in a very conservative country causes many of our clients to wait several months, or even years, before taking the plunge.  100% of clients that have come to our pre-session meeting have booked a shoot.

    I'd love to add any inspiring client stories you might have.  Also, have you had any issues with clients that you would like to share and how you resolved them.  That is always something that can hugely benefit the readers.
    "My fiancé (now husband) and I decided to abstain from any sexual intimacy until the day we got married, which meant that until our honeymoon he had hardly seen me in a mere bikini, never mind underwear or sexy lingerie!

     I've always been a fan of sexy underwear and had a whole collection which he didn't know about. In an online search I stumbled on Boudoir Fusion Photography, among others. I was most impressed with the quality and class of photographs that was exhibited and it was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to surprise my fiance with a photo-book to tickle his taste-buds before our wedding, as we were to be apart in different cities for that last week.

     At this point, I must mention how incredibly welcome and 'safe' I felt with the BF Photo team upon arrival. I've always been very private, and don't really like undressing in front of people, not to mention complete strangers! But they made me feel so at ease with their absolute professional approach, and before long I was taking off outfits and putting on new ones, standing bare-naked in the studio as if I've been doing it all my life! I had SO much fun! Also, being a shy-girl, I didn't know how to pose in front of the camera, especially in my skimpy underwear, but they showed me exactly what to do and how to pose in order to get the best shots.

     Afterwards, the team also helped me to choose the best shots for the photo-book, which might I add, came out superbly! I left it under my fiance's pillow as I left for my home-town...nervous yet excited! My fiance's reaction when he received the gift was priceless! He phoned me three times that same night, because he couldn't stop looking at the book! All he could utter was: "*Jiss....wow....!" He was totally overwhelmed and claimed over and over that it was the best gift anyone has EVER given him in his life! For the next week, until the wedding, all he could talk about was 'the book', and let me tell you, it was the perfect build-up to our fantastic wedding and honeymoon!

     Thank you Boudoir Fusion Photography, for giving me the boost and the confidence to display these stunning photos to my husband. Your work is ART."

    By Corlene (unedited)

    *Jiss is an abbreviation of the word Jislaaik, which is pronounced “Yis-like”.  It is a South African expression of astonishment.

    We did have an issue with one client who did not want to be photographed by a male.  We always insist on a pre-session meeting to find out exactly what our clients are wanting to achieve with their shoots and to show them our products.  This also allows for them to meet the photographers.  I feel at this point I need to explain a little of how our business works in order to set the scene for the rest of the story.

    We are a husband and wife team where Jordan does all of the makeup, wardrobe styling, set design, editing and has started to take photos over the last 2 years.  I do most of the marketing, website design, photography and the studio lighting.  Jordan is a technophobe, so always hands me the camera when lighting changes to sort the settings out.  We work so well together as a team as she is so creative, in fact she is the real brains behind every shoot we have ever done.  I see things with a totally different eye than Jordan, which produces its own interesting moments.  We often have to tell clients that we love each other very much when we start a shoot, as we may differ every now and then, but they seem to love it.

    Back to our client, when we introduced ourselves she was a little taken back and said that she was not happy to have a male photograph her.  She still insisted on completing the entire pre-session meeting and said that her husband, that trains the security industry to kill people, would be jealous.  We thanked her for coming in and I referred her to another photographer.  Jordan walked her out to say farewell and within 5 minutes she was back and booked the shoot.

    Do you have a "welcome" product you give the clients and can you share that if you do.  Thanks.
    Only our radiant personalities. Part of their package does include a glass of bubbly but most of the clients don’t end up drinking it. We hope that this is because they are so relaxed they don’t need the alcohol to aid in their relaxation.

     

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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.  Would you be willing to share with your readers what you charge for a session and what your range is for your products, like albums for instance?
    This is a difficult subject to explain due to the vast difference in currencies around the world. I shall try to explain by comparing the South African Rand (R) to the US Dollar. ($)  $1 = R13.36.  Last year at this time it was R11.13, but our currency has taken a tumble.

                 South Africa’s “real” currency value

    In the USA, a Big Mac sells for $4.79 as of January 2015 – in South Africa the price is $2.13 (R25.50).

    This means that a South African in the USA would expect to pay R57.46 for the same product that costs R25.50 locally. In order to reach pricing parity, the value of the South African currency would have to sit at R5.32 to the dollar.

    This shows that the rand is undervalued by 57%.  Source: Business Tech  

    Now that the boring stuff is over let’s get down to how we sell to our clients.  We have tried several different methods to include a free sitting but find that having 4 options as seen on our pricing guide on our website works the best for us. There is also an add-on menu. We have set the webpage out to be like a menu where you can click on the package to find out more information.  The great thing about having a pre-session meeting is that most of our clients seem to upgrade, unless taking the top tiered package.

    The easiest way to sell to a client is to show them your products and their images.  Our most popular package is the Classic Boudoir (writing this article and inserting the links has really reminded me as to how much we need to update the images on our website) and when our clients get to review their images, over 80% of them will purchase a coffee table book (album).

    The average amount a client will purchase will therefore work out to approximately R8,500 (Classic Boudoir + album).  If we take the above index into account and if my math (which is very poor) is correct, that would equate to $636.00. Now add in the 57% undervalued rand and that same package works out to be around $998.52 per client.

    We are some of the most expensive Boudoir Photographers in South Africa.

    Armed with the above information, we have a ballpark figure as to how much money we are going to make prior to a client coming in for a shoot.  We have also, through trial and error, decided to do a viewing directly after the shoot, which our clients plan for.  There are many arguments for and against this but it works for us and the clients usually order an album during this time.  We also allow them a 24 hour “cool down” period where they can decide against purchasing the album.  The funny thing is that many of our clients that have decided against the album, call us to order one during this time. One thing that we have found through these sessions is that a client will often choose an image that both Jordan and I would never have chosen, as that is the way they see themselves. This has worked well into our favor.

    We will give our clients all of their edited images on an 8GB branded memory stick in a presentation box.  We use Adobe Bridge to give all the images a ranking and any image that does not make a 1 star in the ranking gets deleted.  We have also made the decision to give them every image in low resolution longest side 500px as they often go through these images and order additional edits.

    If you have a PDF or a copy to your pricelist you don't mind sharing, that would be great.
    We have not updated my PDF price list in a while as I try to drive traffic to my website.

    What products perform best in your studio? 

     

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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.
    We work from our home but have a dedicated studio.  We have a reception room with bathroom, this is also used as the makeup room and has two separate sets in it.  We have an office space with 2 workstations.  Our old dining room now has 3 dedicated sets in it, we use natural light and tungsten light in there.  Our extra length double garage has three sets in it, this is where we use our studio lights, one half is painted black the other white with infinity curves and we also have a brown backdrop.  Jordan gets bored easily and is always changing our sets.  We have just bought a dedicated video camera so watch our website as we will make a video about our studio. Now, to find the time…
     
    Do you have any plans to change and/or grow from your space in the near future.
    We are always growing with our sets, our home becomes smaller every year.  We have recently started teaching Boudoir Photography Workshops as we believe we need to give back to the community and also to grow awareness about boudoir photography.  We have also planned to run a nude photography workshop and a nude photography workshop for models.  Our dream is to immigrate to the USA and set up a studio.
     
    Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?
    Yes, we are open Mon – Friday 10am – 5pm (although we will have evening pre-session meetings when necessary) Saturdays 10am – until our clients leave late afternoon.  We are closed on Sundays.
     
    Natural Light, Studio Light, combination of styles?  What's your preference?  What are your strengths and weaknesses with lighting, if any?
    We use both natural light and studio lights in a shoot, both have their strengths and their weaknesses and we love both of them for a number of different reasons. Peter has perfected the Body Scape which we do with the studio lights and there are a couple of poses we know will always work in the studio. However 90 % of our clients prefer the natural light images especially when they are blown.
     
    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?
    Jordan did a make-up work shop specifically for boudoir photography, so we do everything in studio. The going rate for a makeup artist is between R350 to R500 and hour.

     

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    BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

    How long have you been in business?  What were you doing before you started your photo business?
    Our studio opened in 2010, Jordan has worked in it full time since then and I joined in full time this year after I resigned from a corporate job that I was in for 20 years.  I learned photography in the 1980’s and worked as a photographer in the army for two years.  Thereafter, I became a scuba instructor and got interested in underwater photography. In the early 1990’s, my underwater images were published in the USA, UK, Germany, South Africa, Egypt, Malaysia, Poland, Czech Republic and several other countries.

    Jordan has a very strong creative mind and had several stores that sold fashion accessories and clothing.  I cannot believe how quickly she picked up on photography, in particular editing, her flair for fashion and art has always been there.

    Did you go to school for photography or are you self taught?
    We are both mostly self-taught but have attended a number of seminar and workshops, both in person and online.

    Did you always want to be a photographer or was it something that came later in life?
    Peter:  I have always wanted to be a photographer, but the scuba diving bug also bit me and I was side tracked for 19 years. Although, the corporate world taught me so much about marketing and sales.

    Jordan: I always loved the idea of photography, but if Peter and I had not gone into this business together, I don’t know if I would have gone into it. I started shooting because Peter just wasn’t getting the shots I wanted. Peter eventually gave me a camera to shoot with out of frustration, which was the best gift Peter could have given me. I now love being behind the lens.

    What is your biggest struggle in this business?
    Looking at brilliant photographers and wondering if I will ever get it right. Being taken seriously as a photographer because there are so many “housewives” who do photography as a hobby and charge a pittance and an uneducated public that doesn't get the difference.

    Is there a reason you shoot boudoir and do you shoot any other genre?  If you're exclusive, 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.
    We have only done boudoir/nude. We were looking at something to do together and boudoir was a perfect fit for us. I (Jordan) love doing fashion as well but want to do more nudes. We had a friend that did a boudoir shoot and her husband loved the images so much that it was something we just had to do.  I think with photography one needs to find a niche and we fell in love with Sensual Photography.

    When we started this business, we were the only dedicated Boudoir Photography studio in South Africa and one of a handful of boudoir photographers that we know of.

    Initially, a few clients asked us to shoot some art nude pictures with their package. South Africa is an EXTREMELY conservative country, yet now almost every client asks for nude images, particularly after they have met us and seen our albums or website. Did I mention it needs all of the images upgraded?  When we were thinking of a name, many photographers at the time were stuck on what boudoir photography was deemed to be.  We saw it as covering all forms of sensual photography, hence the name Boudoir Fusion Photography.

     

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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?
    Stick with it. You will often doubt yourself and your abilities, but perseverance is the key.  Don’t be afraid to learn from other photographers and equally share you knowledge whenever you can.

    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?
    Jordan: I was the Guinea pig for a lot of our shoots, so yes, I suppose I have done a shoot. I found it very daunting at first. I am so aware of what I don’t like about my body, but these days I am far more relaxed as I know what I can do in Photoshop, ha ha.

    Peter: Have you not heard about Dudeoir?  Only joking, Jordan is the beauty in the relationship and I shall remain the beast. 😉

    How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?  
    Peter:  I think I get as frustrated about this question as most women do trying to climb the corporate ladder within a male dominated workplace.  I think it sucks, but I understand the rationale.

    Jordan: It really does depend on the way the male photographer conducts himself. I do, however, believe that your average woman does not feel that comfortable with a male-only photographer. We have a very unique set up and have both female and male photographers, which sets our clients at ease.

    What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?
    Jordan:  Not yet! Working from home can be challenging as you never leave your work, but it also allows us to be very flexible. There are times when we work very long hours but we have learned to manage our time far better.

    Peter:  Yes, when I think I have nailed it and see some of the work of the AIBP members!

    What do you love about the business?
    Peter:  The satisfaction of our clients. Many have come for a shoot to feel sexy, to re-invigorate their relationships because their partners were cheating on them or looking at pornography. Whatever the reason, the happiness we see when they receive their edited images makes this an extremely satisfying genre.

    Jordan: Clients! I would say 95% of our clients say they felt liberated when they had finished the shoot, and they are always so happy with the result. I love being able to show a woman how beautiful she is.

    What do you hate about the business?
    Peter:  Trying to educate the public that a nipple or naked body is not an evil thing.Jordan: Clients!! I find it very difficult when: A) A client is very shy or conservative and we have to tip toe around this; it can make the shoot very stilted, as you are having to cover them up constantly. Also, you have to be aware of anything you say that they may take offense to. I think I am more sensitive about this than Peter. B) When a client won’t let us do our job! Some clients (very few) want to tell us how to do our job. We had a client a couple of months ago, who was mixed (half black, half white), and she had lovely light skin. With the studio shots, her skin came out darker. She insisted that I re-shoot and re-shoot to get her skin lighter. I kept on telling her it would be done in post-production. It became very unpleasant, which was a huge lesson for us. We have since decided that if we have a client like that in the future, we will stop the shoot and tell the client that we don’t think we can meet their needs and refund them. I don’t know if this answer is correct as it’s not really about the business, but rather about people’s perception of what we do. I hate how people think we are a bunch of perverts because we shoot images of women in lingerie.
     
    Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI?  What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?
    Nope, but should we be members?  I personally think that AIBP offers adequate guidance, advice and inspiration. Jordan and I, when we get 'big' in the business, would love to be able to afford to attend one of the retreats, unless we could coerce many of you to come to Africa (think bush lodge, wild animals…).
     
    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?
    Yes, we send in our images every now and then, when we remember, but just for fun.  It was one of the reasons we joined Pixoto. We place our pictures to compare them with other photographers and to get inspiration, but getting clients is far more important.  http://www.pixoto.com/bfphoto

     

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    SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

    Favorite food?
    Peter: Unfortunately, I have to confess that it is junk food. That is one of the reasons that I am fat. Jordan hates junk food, which is one of the reasons she is thin. Go figure. 😉

    Jordan: Raw veggies, although this last month has been a nut and raisin chocolate fest and I don’t usually like chocolate!

    Peter: No she is not pregnant.

    One guilty pleasure in life?
    Peter: I think that we have been far too open and honest already.

    Jordan: Tequila (I suppose narcotics once or twice a year would be taboo!)

    What is your favorite piece of clothing?
    Peter: My shorts.

    Jordan: Shoes, shoes, shoes and did I mention, shoes!?

    What's one song on your playlist?
    Peter: Amused Themselves to Death, Roger Waters

    Jordan: Out of the 270390 songs I must choose 1? Currently, 38 Weeks by Chicane.

    What's your favorite movie genre? Example?
    Peter: Fantasy

    Jordan: Drama: Gone Girl

    Favorite shoes to wear?
    Peter:  My hiking boots.

    Jordan: High Heels

    What are you currently reading?
    Peter: The Legion, Simon Scarrow. Mastering the Model Shoot, Doorhof. Photography Business Secrets, Wiley

    Jordan: The Impulse Society, Paul Roberts

    If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
    Peter: To see the Northern Lights

    Jordan: Peter stole that from me

    Peter:  Okay, then the Antarctic.

    If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?
    Peter: Spend more time with my father who has passed away.

    Jordan: Phew, so this is a hard one, I would have told my parents that my older brother was sexually abusing me as a child.

    If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?
    Peter: Cindy Crawford, apart from the fact that I had such a crush on her, she is such a gorgeous model, mother and business person.

    Jordan: It would have been Robin Williams, but now, Victoria Beckham. I used to view her in a very negative way, but I now have a huge admiration for not only her fashion sense, but also how brilliant a business woman she is.

    What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)
    Peter: Relaxing and sleeping.

    Jordan: My kids, and Peter. I love them to bits and they are the most important thing in my life so I am always striving to be better for them.

    Are you married, single, have kids, husband?  Is life a juggling act for you?
    Peter:  Jordan and I have been together for 10 years now. We have a 7 year old together, I will let her tell the rest.

    Jordan: I have 2 older boys as well as our 7 year old. I like to start work early, because from 1:00 onward, my day is filled with kids. It is difficult, but again, working from home gives me a lot more flexibility to juggle between the 2.

    Who inspires you the most in life? Work?
    Peter:  Jordan does (no I am not sucking up, she is so creative it is sick). I just wish I often had the technical know-how to light and photograph her ideas.

    Jordan: Aw, that is so sweet! Fashion and interior decorating. It may sound frivolous, but to be honest, I have lost faith in humanity. SA is a third world country and I have been brought up with a first world mentality, so I like looking at pretty things.

    If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person's direction in life, what would that be?
    Peter:  The secret of success is hard work, which is why it is a secret to so many.

    Jordan: Try to minimize the damage from your mistakes, mistakes are what make us grow and should not be avoided.

    Peter & Jordan: Listen to the Sunshine Song. It has all other advice we would give.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5NAPZp2w-o

     

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