A boudoir experience can be amazing. It is a chance to rediscover your inner femme-fatale and fall in love with your body again. But is boudoir photography safe?
It can be if you exercise precaution and do your homework.
Unfortunately, because of the intimate nature of boudoir, it attracts a lot of “guys with cameras.” (And yes, women too.) These people use it as an excuse to meet women and possibly touch inappropriately or assault them.
This is an unfortunate fact of the world we live in, and that is why it is so important to be extra careful when scheduling a session.
As a member of the Association of International Boudoir Photographers, the Professional Photographers of America and a man, I find these parasites disgusting.
That is why I am writing this article. I want you to know the warning signs that may spell danger. My goal is to help keep you safe from predators and have a wonderful experience with a boudoir professional.
Before you book a boudoir photoshoot, make certain you follow these tips to protect yourself.
1. Examine Their Portfolio.
On the internet, it is easy for people to pretend they are someone or something else. That is one reason it is so important to examine the photographer’s body of work.
It is very easy for people to steal images off of websites and social media. To make certain your photographer is actually showing their own work, ask yourself these questions:
- Do the images have the same type of feel?
- Is the editing style similar?
- Are the backdrops and settings similar?
If not, they may be showing the work of different photographers.
Save one of the images and upload it into Google’s Image Search. What do the results tell you? Does the photo show up anywhere else?
If it does, check the social media or websites. You need to know if the “photographer” actually took that photograph, or if it belongs to someone else.
2. Read Reviews And Ask Around.
Reviews can also be faked! That is why you want to check them from trusted sources.
Check for Google Business reviews. Are there any video testimonials? If there are, chances are good, those women will also appear on their website somewhere. Look for those images.
Another place to ask is social media. If the photographer has an account, they sometimes share images where the subject is tagged. (This is only done with permission! Pros do not share any images without written permission from the client!)
If someone is tagged, message them and get their opinion of the photographer. Did they feel safe? Would they shoot with them again?
Does the boudoir photographer have a professional makeup artist they work with? Contact her and get her thoughts on the photographer’s boudoir sessions.
All of this takes some time, but it is important to do in order to be safe.
3. Meet With The Photographer
4. Ask Questions
It is normal for people to feel anxious about a boudoir photoshoot. Your photographer should understand this and not try to rush you on your decision.
Ask plenty of questions. A professional who has been photographing boudoir will be able to answer them. Do the answers make sense to you? Are you comfortable with those answers?
Again, if you are not comfortable or feel something is off – trust your instincts and walk away.
5. Ask If You Can Bring A Friend
A legitimate photographer will allow you to bring someone along for your safety. They may have rules for that person, but they will allow it.
In some cases, the friend may be required to stay in a waiting area. But they are close enough that if anything were to make you feel uncomfortable, they would be there is an instant.
At my studio, I don’t allow the significant other to accompany the client. It can make things awkward when the client is posing in lingerie. Likewise, children are not allowed because of the nature of a boudoir photoshoot. But a friend, sister, mother, aunt, as long as they are positive support, bring them along!
6. Request A Signed Contract
A professional photographer always requires a signed contract BEFORE they will do a photoshoot. If your photographer doesn’t use one, it should definitely be a red flag!
7. Check Things Out
Know where your photographer shoots. Do they have a home studio or a commercial location? Many professional boudoir photographers operate out of their homes, so that isn’t a flag. It is just a point to make sure you are comfortable with the location.
Commercial or residential, if it doesn’t feel safe to you, don’t do it.
8. Always Let Someone Know Where You Will Be
If you don’t take a friend with you to the photoshoot, and many clients don’t, ALWAYS let someone know where you will be. Let them know how long you expect to be there.
It may even be a good idea to tell them you will check in with them during the photoshoot. Your photographer shouldn’t mind a quick break. After all, it is your safety they should be concerned with.
9. Don’t Go For The Cheapest Option
A boudoir experience is a luxury. It is also a very vulnerable time.
While I understand that price plays a part in your decision, going the cheapest route may be cause for concern.
A professional photographer has put time into learning their craft. They have expense in setting up their studio, purchasing lights, furnishings and props. There is the cost of liability insurance, business and equipment insurance, electric, rent or mortgage. They need to make a profit to stay in business and they provide a professional service.
The photographer on Craig’s List is a lot cheaper, because he or she only plays with it. They won’t have the references, the social media presence or the credentials to ensure you stay safe.
If money is an object, I recommend you save and set aside enough that you can hire a professional boudoir photographer. You will have a much better experience.
10. Trust Your Instincts
In the case of boudoir, you are likely stepping out of your comfort zone. That is why it is so important to trust your instincts.
If you have a bad feeling about the photographer, they are not right for you. Keep yourself safe and don’t shoot with them.
By following these tips, you will have a strong understanding of how to stay safe when you plan your boudoir experience. If you have any questions, suggestions or thoughts on this article, feel free to contact me at: Thomas@ThomasBoudoir.com
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