When I started shooting back in 2008, I was unsure of myself. I knew I had vision, but I was figuring things out as I went. Having left the corporate world behind, boudoir photography was a new creative path for me and my pricing reflected this uncertainty in myself.
Even though, looking back, my images were technically beautiful and my clients were very happy, my uncertainty led me to undervalue what it was (what value) I truly offered my clients.
You see, an artist does not merely offer pictures. Anyone can snap a picture.
An artist offers more. Way more.
An artist offers her client a new way of seeing herself. Newfound appreciation for her body, her figure, her true beauty.
An artist gently coaxes out her client's best so the images will be considered priceless by her client...not just today, but for decades to come.
An artist finds flattering angles, uses the best equipment she's carefully invested in, and truly knows how to use light as a sculpting tool.
An artist elicits genuine laughter from her client so her images reflect her naturally, without feeling artificial.
An artist highlights her client's best features, ones she may not even know she possesses.
And an artist does this all the while building her client's self-esteem, self-confidence, and making her feel like a million bucks--all in a genuine way, because, you see, the artist is genuine--she truly SEES her client's beauty, body and soul.
But here's the thing: not everyone is an artist.
Not everyone behind a camera is capable of seeing beauty in every shape, every size, every color, every figure...everyone.
Not every person behind a camera has the ability to truly see and use light, angles and lines to create beautiful images.
Not everyone is capable of revealing clients' beauty--raw and untouched.
Have you ever seen this video - where the photographer's understanding of the person they're shooting determines the outcome? Fascinating stuff. So imagine what happens when a photographer doesn't even take the time to figure out who you are...
It takes an artist to see beauty. In every shape. Every size. Every color. Every single individual who comes her way.
And there is value in that.
I am often challenged on my pricing by some who find my page online--individuals who assume boudoir photographers are all the same so the best way to go about finding one is to price-shop. I am asked to meet what prospects perceive to be "the going rate" in my field when I am well aware there is no such thing as a going rate.
I am a well-connected professional in this industry. I know what talented, established professionals charge. I also know what amateurs and newcomers (which I once was) charge.
So when is art expensive?
That's inevitably up to each individual to decide. I already know I am not the most expensive boudoir photographer. Just as I am not the cheapest. But over the years one thing has become clear: I offer tremendous value to my clients. And the right clients are the ones who value what I have to offer. They understand that for the price of a designer pair of shoes (hot for a single season before they're outdated), they could instead own a memorable keepsake, a precious moment in time forever captured.
A high-volume studio can offer low pricing, but in exchange, they must take on many, many clients to make up for their low prices. So...service and quality inevitably suffers. Just think about the different shopping experiences offered by a boutique high end shop and a discount chain store.
My goal is different: I take on fewer clients; offer the best service I possibly can; offer only the best products--which I take great time and care in sourcing and testing; and, I aim to deliver a boudoir experience that will forever serve as a highlight in a client's life.
There is a big difference between established professional boudoir photography studios, and non-professionals who've yet to study, establish, or invest in a business appropriately. Budget seekers may best be served by the shoot & burn newcomers and the discounted coupon offers that abound in this market.
But I seek to partner with individuals who seek a professional boudoir photography studio capable of delivering unmatched service and the level of quality that can only come from years of experience.
As I approach 9 years as a boudoir photographer, I now know exactly who I am and what I offer: I am Susan Eckert, owner of Long Island Boudoir Photography. I am an artist. And I run an established luxury boutique boudoir photography studio.
If you value photography by a professional, dedicated, creative, talented, passionate photographer and fully licensed and insured business owner, set up a visit and let's have a chat!
Have a great week!