Five Ways for Family Photographers to Transition to Boudoir    Guest post by Jenn Bruno Smith

Intro by Skip Cohen

Over the last few years one of the fastest growing segments of professional photography has been boudoir. It’s also one of the most difficult segments to do well.  Stunning boudoir images are the result of trust and the relationship between the artist and the subject. They’re also the result of photographers who have worked hard to build their skill set, especially in understanding lighting.

Jenn Bruno Smith is back with a terrific guest post helping artists make the transition from family photography to and including boudoir. Like building any aspect of your business in photography it’s important to do a little planning and make sure you have the skill set before you embark on a new journey!

The backstory regarding my friendship with Jenn, which I shared in her previous guest post, goes back to my good friend, Erin Zahradka of AIBP (Association of International Boudoir Photographers.)  Erin asked if I had an interest in building content about boudoir at SCU and my answer was obviously “YES!”  She put the word out on the AIBP Facebook forum, and Jenn responded. To see more of Jenn’s work, click on her images. Her image above connects to her family website, while the two below to her boudoir site.

A BIG thanks to Jenn and Erin for sharing some great content and building blocks for establishing a stronger presence in boudoir photography.


Being an established family photographer is one thing, but boudoir photography is a world of it’s own. Looking to make the leap? You’ll want to take a good look at your overall business structure—from social media, to your portfolio. By following these five insider tips you’ll be well on your way to joining the world of boudoir photography.
1. Separate Websites & Social Media – but make them cohesive.
If you’re going to make the jump from family to boudoir photography, your client pool will be different (even if a few clients overlap). Make sure to have separate social media and website pages for your different photography styles. This will keep clients who are interested in one, from being distracted by the other. Trust me, someone who is 37 weeks pregnant does not want to see a client in lingerie. It will help if the two brands are cohesive though.  My websites, brands, and logos are different but have the same aesthetic look.  Potential clients can move from one website to the other seamlessly.
2. Have A Consistent Portfolio
The key to a good photographer is finding your style, and sticking to it. One of the biggest mistakes I see new photographers make, is putting up work that’s inconsistent. Find your style, and own it; whether your photos are warm, cool, matte, or sharp. Once you find your style you’ll find more clients will inquire and book. Clients want to know exactly what they’re getting when they’re booking you. It’s a win-win!
3. One Size Doesn’t Fit All!
Marketing is vastly different for boudoir photography, compared to photography targeted at families. Make sure you gauge your target market for each, before you move forward with your marketing strategy. This means making sure you pinpoint your tone, message, and any promotions to fit your audience. And speaking of…
4. Do Your Damn Homework!
Whether you’re trying to reach brides who want to give a glamorous gift to their loved one, or reaching out to that soccer mom who wants to invest in some self-care; take some time and really do your homework on who your ideal client is. This will help better target your marketing, and will help you place your business in the right environment to attract new clients.
5.  Shoot Your Bliss, but don’t forget where you came from!
In order to be successful at boudoir photography you do not have to stop shooting everything else. After all, brides can become moms who then have families and children who need photos taken and your family clients may become your boudoir clients one day. Don’t forget your most powerful marketing tool is word of mouth, and every client has the potential to bring you more business.
If you are thinking about transitioning or not, as a photographer, remember that it ultimately comes down to you taking the time to get to know your client. Whether that’s before, with targeted marketing, or after they’ve booked a shoot, your ability to connect with people is what will make your business thrive.
Boudoir image: Model: Madeline Rivera
Makeup Artist: Liz Martin


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