Starting a new business is hard and stressful, but so rewarding! Whether you are a wedding photographer looking to add a new service or just starting fresh as a boudoir photographer, it can be hard to know what steps to take. Here are a few simple steps to help you get moving in the right direction, and hopefully fill up your schedule!
Build A Portfolio
One of the best ways to build your client list is by showing off your work. Photography is such a visual world and not having anything to show for it can be difficult. Your clients will have to book you going off of trust and only trust. Having images to show to create examples for your work is not only great for your portfolio but for your website, your social media accounts ,and just for practice! Enlist your friends or family members to pose for you. It will help you work out anything you are unsure of when it comes to your sessions as well as learning the most flattering poses, lighting, and lingerie for different body types.
Be sure that whoever models for you signs a photo release, even if it is friends and family! It not only gets you into the habit of making everyone sign one but it keeps your business and their images safe! The last thing you want to deal with is legal issues because you posted one of their photos.
One thing to think about is creating a business plan. You may think that you don’t need one but it’s an important step to help you set your goals and come up with actionable steps to get you there. From your mission statement to your products and services to even your financials, you will come up with a plan for all the things that could potentially happen when you start. Even if you don’t stick to the plan 100% of the time, you’ve already thought out the issues that could happen and have created steps around it.
When you are just starting out in boudoir, it’s important to think about where you will shooting. You may not have the funds to buy or rent a studio right away, that’s okay! I’ve shot in hotels and yoga studios for years and my clients loved the images. It does get expensive booking hotels all the time. That is one thing that you have to plan for in your pricing. Think about your target audience and the type of images that they love. They may want to do outdoor boudoir, a session in their home or maybe somewhere outside of the normal - like a boat! Don’t be afraid to get creative with it. Take some time to really think about what works for your budget, how it will effect your future goals and what your clients will think.
If you want to buy or rent a studio, think about starting small if you have a limited budget. You can always expand later down the road. The main focus should be giving your clients the best possible experience and outcome as possible.
Marketing is the part of your business that you will always be working on. From social media marketing to online marketing, it’s always going to be around! It takes time to get the word out about your new business so don’t feel down if it takes you a little bit to start booking clients.. Potential clients will probably find you on the internet or through their friends. Google your business name and see what comes up. Do you love how your facebook page looks? Is there missing information? Be sure everything is up to date! From blogging to posting on social media, these are all parts of marketing that you may not think about. Think about your clients and what types of marketing may catch their eye the best.
When you first start, you may want to go to networking events for wedding vendors or even bridal events. It’s a great with to meet other vendors in the field and meet people. You never know who you may meet and how you can collaborate together later down the road!
Starting a new business is an adventure! You will have ups and downs along the road but it’s one of the most full-filling things you can do in your life. Trust your gut and have fun along the way!