When starting a boudoir business, the first step to growing your business is to build your portfolio. You want to be able to show your potential clients your photography style and the different body types you have photographed. Whether you are using friends and family for practice or hiring models, each session will not only build your portfolio but help you gain experience as well.
Everyone has a different body type and things that they want to highlight. While you are building your portfolio, this is the perfect time to test out poses, lighting, and even different props. Every session will teach you something new.
As you get more experienced, think about your target audience. Think about what they do, what they like, their style, etc. Be sure to build your portfolio around your target audience. Pick photos to show that you think will appeal and attract your ideal client.
When you are ready to take on models, reach out to friends and family! You can even post on your social media networks, or reach out to local businesses that align with your business. You may be able to trade services with the other business owners and start paving the way to building great partnerships. You have so many different options for reaching out for model sessions, just be sure that every single client/ model signs a contract before photographing them (yes, even if they are your family or friends!).
tips to get you started
> make sure you ask questions! Ask all the women you are practicing on, what they like and don't like about themselves. This is really important information to know and get in the habit of asking (especially once you have paying customers!)
> have a plan in mind with each shoot. Don't just shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot. Make a plan before each practice session. Where will you be taking the pictures? What areas can you shoot there? What poses would be most flattering on this particular model? What will the lighting look like most likely at that time of day? These are all things to be aware of before the shoot, and not trying to coordinate and figure out as you are working with someone.