Featuring Katie Murphy – Lady Fine Boudoir
Where do you operate your business?
I currently work out of my home, I have a white studio and a colonial style home.
Your Facebook page
Your Pinterest account
Canon 5D Mark II
Sigma 50mm 1.4
Processing Software (just provide the names of the one’s you use)
Photoshop and Light Room
Do you use any actions?
I have a good number of actions, for my boudoir editing process I only use a few such as sharp-o-pop, candy shop, snaptastic, and prettywash.
Do you retouch and if so can you give me a quick rundown on if you use any plugins, etc.?
I do my own retouching, while every photo may vary a normal process is Kodak digital gem, patch blemish removal, liquify, sharp-o-pop or snaptastic. Then I do any needed touches around and in the eyes. Some Photos I may apply a little sharpening in certain areas.
What most people want to know is how you market to your clients. Have you qualified who your is your ideal client?
As of now social media is my number one marketing tool, then word of mouth followed by search engine bookings.
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’m scheduled for a lady that has breast cancer, she will soon under go reconstructive surgery, I will be doing a before and after session with her. I’m looking very forward to this! I admire her bravery and her way of embracing her difficult change. Making it hers and beautiful.
Recently I had a session with a 50 year old, she had a boudoir session 20 years ago. Of course my work was compared, she didn’t love her photos I did for her. NOTE: this is before I started in person reveals so she saw the raw images. NEVER AGAIN I’ve completely changed my sale process and like everyone else can a-test, in person fully edited reveal is the way to go. I’m 2 years into Boudoir so I’m learning as I go. I offered her a re-shoot, now that I have a better handle of the look she wants I feel I will make her happy on our 2nd try. This was a first time for me (having to do a re-shoot) I knew it would most likely happen one day, its a great learning experience and a battle scar i’ll embrace!
Do you have a “welcome” product you give the clients and can you share that if you do. Thanks.
I use to offer a goodie bag to my clients, full of makeup , polish, body spray, and my referral card, things of that nature. I got away from this , when I started out I wasn’t booking my ideal client, I didn’t even know what my ideal client was at the time. I feel my efforts and extra money into the bags was going to waste. Now that I’m more developed and booking more of my ideal clients at a higher price point I will be going back to the gift bags.
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 edit the amount of photos that came in the package that the client purchased, then they come and watch a slide show presentation with music. I have a price list with product options I give them after they view the slide show. I offer digitals, prints, albums, and usb with full rights. Price range is anywhere form $200 to $2500.
What products perform best in your studio?
Prints and Albums are my best sellers.
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 currently work out of my home, I have a white studio and a colonial style home. This consists of the front part of my house, dining room, living room, den, and bathroom. This is great because my over head is low and there is no travel. The down side is space of course , we all want a large shooting area.
Do you have any plans to change and/or grow from your space in the near future.
One day I may entertain a commercial building, I’m still working on the foundation and consistency of my business.
Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?
I’m Keep very flexible hours for my clients, another perk of an in home studio.
Natural Light, Studio Light, combination of styles? What’s your preference? What are your strengths and weaknesses with lighting, if any?
I don’t shoot with any strobes, its all hots lights and natural light. In the future I may try strobes just to see how I light them.
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?
My older sister is my Make Up Artist, this has been an amazing thing to share with her, she’s a great support and really picks up where I lack. She’s very artistic and I can always count on her for an honest opinion when I need it. I think an artist is a must for the look and experience of the client.
BUSINESS IN GENERAL:
How long have you been in business? What were you doing before you started your photo business?
I’ve been shooting Boudoir for 2 years. I was a Vet Tech for 7 years and left that this past November to focus on my photography.
Did you go to school for photographer or are you self taught?
I was taught the basics of photography by a professional photographer, he was very technical and gave me a great jump start.
Did you always want to be a photographer or was it something that came later in life?
I was a model from for about 7 years, I never had any intention then of becoming a photographer. As I got older I started to dabble in it, I found it so much more rewarding then modeling. Also I found my experience gave me a helpful edge in assisting and posing my clients, I could understand the worries and nerves in a first time session.
What is your biggest struggle in this business?
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.
I mainly do Boudoir, I also do some children’s photography and the occasional wedding. Boudoir is what came naturally to me, I love that it can be pushed into pin up, really sexy fun styles, classic beauty, out of the box artistic, so many possibilities.
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?
While its good to learn proper technique and the skeleton of editing, don’t be afraid to press the line of whats accepted as normal or technically sounds photography. Put your own style on things and be diverse.
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 haven’t had the full boudoir experience, but I have done some modeling. I think it’s always a good idea to slip into your clients shoes .. see whats they see, feel what they feel.
How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?
Women have an upper hand for obvious reasons, not to dis-credit a mans work, I know I’ve seen a lot of amazing stuff by male photographers. Percentage wise I feel women fill the position better.
What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?
For the most part photography is my happy outlet, I do know when to walkaway though. If a pose or setting just isn’t working like I saw in my mind I move on, if I’m editing and I feel burnt out and not enjoying it, I put it down for a while because I feel it reflects in my work.
What do you love about the business?
I love the creative outlet it gives me. I love making women feel beautiful and the potential money for my art is a wonderful thing! Sure beats a 9 to 5 grind!
What do you hate about the business?
I don’t like the inconsistency of photography, or the bad apple client there is no pleasing.
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 didn’t see the benefit though I did not do a ton of research on 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 LOVE AIBP ,it has helped having a support group. I thing the contests are wonderful! Helps keeps us sharp. I’ve only participated in a few contests. Most of the time I just miss it if i’m to busy. I did win a daily choice so that was exciting!
SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:
Cereal (i’m such a child lol)
One guilty pleasure in life?
What is your favourite piece of clothing?
What’s one song on your playlist?
Sleep Walk by Johnny and Santo
What’s your favourite movie genre? Example?
80’s Movies! Can’t By Me Love, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Breakfast Club
Favourite shoes to wear?
What are you currently reading?
Nothing at the moment, my kindle has a awful pattern of contemporary first love novels though 🙂
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
My grandparents use to own a sweet little cottage up north, I would go there with my family and go fishing. Simple yes, but pure enjoyment.
If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?
I would go back and spend more time with my mother. She passed 3 years ago at age 52.
If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?
Nobody famous because, aside from looks I wouldn’t have a good reason to want to shoot them.
What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)
I struggle with “whats the right direction for me”
Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?
I’m 30 years old, never been married and I don’t plan on children. I like this life style.
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?
My Father, he’s hard working, smart, and always tries to do the right thing. I’ve learned so much from him. My mother passed on her creativity, additude , and love for life. Wonderful Parents.
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be
Don’t be cookie cutter because its what your “suppose” to do. Just do what makes you happy.