How I Built My Boudoir Portfolio From Zero
I know what you are thinking, man where do I start. I kind of felt the same way when I stated. How I built my boudoir portfolio from zero. When I started my photography journey, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed.. as I was new and so excited to get started. Do you remember feeling that way when you first started?
I received my first camera Christmas of 2016. I originally asked for a camera so that I could take photos of my hair and makeup work. For those of you that don’t know, before I became a boudoir photographer, I was a hair and makeup artist. I really wanted to photograph my own work because I didn’t want to wait for images to come back from the photographers I was working with. I had seen another HMUA photographing her own work and thought, why not.
How I did it
I needed to learn how to use my camera, how light worked and all those details that come along with having a camera. I took a few courses and once I felt confident I booked my first model. I took a few photos of her and then she asked me to take a few full body shots of her for her portfolio. I did and it turned into an entire photo shoot. After that shoot, I thought to myself, wow that was so amazing. I started running model calls in a local Facebook group and on Model Mayhem. Getting paid was on my mind at this point, practicing as much as possible was my goal. I booked 1-2 shoots per week for 1 year.
The Next Step
After a while I reached out to local modeling agencies and asked to work with their models. Working with a variety of different women or all ages and sizes was so beneficial, as I was able to gain experience with all different shapes. Shooting a variety of different people will ensure that you know what you are doing. I submitted my work to some magazines and my work was published. If you having been a photographer for a while, you may not need to start out as slowly as I did. After all, you already know how to use your camera and probably have the skills needed. In that case you can skip to running a model call and start charging. Don’t worry about not being as good as someone that has been shooting for 10 years. Everyone starts somewhere.
Once I was confident in my work, I ran a model call to get some bums on seats. You will want to get a model release signed so that you can use these photos to help market your boudoir photography business.
1. Pintrest is great to creating boudoir boards for inspiration.
2. Figure out your style. dark and moody, light and airy. Stick to it.
3. Be selective about the images you show. Show only your best work.
4. Share your portfolio to social media, your website or on your marketing cards on your phone.
Remember to have fun!