The Ultimate Boudoir Experience with Traci Copeland
Boudoir photography makes a great gift for a loved one on the wedding day or a stocking stuffer on Christmas Day, but to me, boudoir photography is much more than that. It is not just about the end product, but more about the experience each client receives along with their beautiful images.
The experience starts with our booking process. From the start, we want to get to know our clients. We want to find out who they are and what they want out of their experience, what they find alluring and sexy about themselves, and what they’re not all that confident about. Do they want the shoot to celebrate a weight loss journey? Is it a confidence booster? Some are going through a divorce or turning 50, or celebrating their bodies after having a baby. We want to know everything. The time we spend getting to know them before they come in helps in the comfort-building process and adds to the overall experience.
Our studio is 2,000 square feet with two dressing rooms, an office, a cyc wall and 13 sets, from light and bright to dark and sultry. We use natural light as our main source of light on several of our sets. We have built our space to accommodate different backgrounds. We have custom-designed sofas that match our specially designed wall decor for a home-like feel for most of our sets.
We confirm appointments digitally. Our confirmation email is extensive, with a plethora of information the client needs to prepare for their session, starting from where to shop (with some coupons from lingerie stores we have partnered with). The email requests that they not get a spray tan before the session and that they get their hair blow-dried straight.
They need to show up ready to start their hair and makeup. Our artists are the best in our state. We select them based on their abilities to produce amazing coverage, blend a smoky eye or create a pinup look. We give our clients leeway in how they want their hair and makeup done, but we guide them through the process, suggesting what will look good for their facial features. They sit through hair and makeup for around an hour and half, which allows them to get more comfortable. We put on a music station of their choice to help them get in the mood for their session.
We have a specialized boudoir dressing room with accessories, kimonos, robes, oversized sweaters, jewelry, thigh-highs and props. We also carry high heels in different sizes so they do not need to worry about bringing them. Our priority is to make their experience worry free and comfortable, with little to stress about. Clients can bring champagne or wine to their session to calm their nerves and celebrate. Being in lingerie with someone they just met is one of the most vulnerable things a woman can do, but we are here to make her feel at ease throughout the whole experience.
Our studio is woman owned and woman run, including our hair and makeup artists and our editors. This makes our clients comfortable. Our clients often tell us when booking their session that they chose our studio because we are all women and they do not have to worry about men seeing them in such a vulnerable state at any point during their session.
After our clients have their hair and makeup done, I go into their dressing room and guide her in choosing the outfits and sets that will work best for her figure. We are there to encourage her love her body and her images right out of the camera. We design our sets to flatter women at their best angles and we alter poses for each body shape. We keep in mind the things she does not love about her body, and we accentuate the things she does. We want our clients to feel confident and inspired during their shoot. Kimonos are great for covering up areas of concern (tummy, arms) but also add an element of mystery and flirtiness.
I guide and pose my client throughout the entire session, adjusting her hair, arms and legs and showing her, often with my own body, exactly what pose I want her to do to ensure she looks amazing. This sets us apart from other studios.
Clients have told me that other studios in our area have shamed them for their weight; some even said they were told, “You can do a session with us, but it won’t look good if you are a big girl.” I want every woman who comes to my studio to leave feeling like a goddess. Every woman, no matter how big or small, deserves to feel beautiful and sexy. Self-love is hard to achieve, but I accept that challenge and achieve it every day with all different sizes of women.
I keep getting to know my client throughout the shoot. It builds rapport and puts them at ease. We laugh and talk and never allow for awkward silences. I show them photos from the viewfinder every so often, which builds their confidence. I often hear, “I cannot believe that is me!” or, “I have never felt this beautiful before.” And that is why I am a boudoir photographer. I want to turn every client into the courageous, beautiful, amazing woman she is.
After the shoot, the client gets dressed and packs up. We set an in-person viewing appointment for her about a week from the session date and go over products and packages. I offer a same-day discount for certain upgrades on her session date. Because I have shown her a lot of her images throughout the shoot, she will already have an idea of how many images she likes and will be more likely to buy more products. We specialize in print products at Le Boudoir Studio and encourage our clients to upgrade to custom albums before getting digital images.
At the in-person viewing, we display a slideshow of our favorite images, fully edited and airbrushed. We do not over-edit our images. I enjoy watching their excited reaction to this beautiful person they have transformed into. The more excited I am, the more excited she will be about her photos. Most women come in with mixed emotions—it is not every day that they see themselves like this. When they see those images, all of their fears and nerves are calmed and they are thrilled to display the goddess who lives within.