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Deborah’s “job” requires her to sip champagne, sample chocolates, laugh, play, and get creative. If you missed her interview about being a boudoir photographer yesterday, you can find it here. Today, Deborah shares a few tips for helping your model feel at ease when she’s posing for a boudoir shoot. That — and a few of Deborah’s photos — below… A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER By Deborah Kolb in Los Angeles, California Boudoir photography has quickly gained in popularity over past few years. To me, it’s about bringing out the beauty and playfulness in a woman. It all starts about a week before the shoot. I talk to my client about the preparations and we go over wardrobe ideas, shoes, and jewelry. I tell her to look through magazines like Vogue or in catalogs like Victoria’s Secret. I also ask her to think about what it is she likes most about her body: eyes, hair, shoulders, smile, etc. If she can’t think of something, I’ll say “I love my hair.” This usually helps the woman open up. Most women love to pick up something new to wear for the shoot — something that’s a treat and makes them feel good about themselves. It could be lingerie, new shoes, or a dress. I’ll call again the day before the shoot to remind my client to have a manicure and pedicure… and to remind her how much fun she’s going to have. When my client arrives for her shoot, I’ll start by having her take out all of her wardrobe and we’ll go through the possible outfits. Just talking about what she’s brought usually helps to break the ice. Next, it’s into the make-up chair with champagne. This is where the party starts. As she’s having her makeup done, I’ll talk and start to snap a few pictures. Without announcing that we’re ready to shoot, we go back to wardrobe and I typically have her put on a dress. We’ll do some shots of her in the dress, so she may have a beautiful canvas to showcase in her home. Then we move into wearing a little bit less. At this stage, I’ll start by taking a few shots to emphasize her favorite feature — and quickly show her a great picture from the back of my camera to put her at ease. Having a few props like a mask can help with any nervousness while also adding to the fun. Usually, we’ll go through three wardrobe changes and three to five different settings in the room. Variety is all part of the fun. Here are some other tips to keep in mind throughout a shoot: ** A little coaching can go a long way. I find it helpful to coach my client on posing. I let her know to direct her gaze in three places: toward the light source, toward me, down toward her body. ** Lead by example. You need to be comfortable showing your client what exactly you’re looking for. Sometimes this means getting in there and posing first to give her a little guidance. ** Pay attention to detail. At some point, you may want to fix your client’s hair or a strap. Always ask permission before you touch the client. ** Remain positive at all times. If you see in your camera it’s not working, you still say “Great! Got it, let’s move on.” You need to keep the energy positive, so she feels confident! ** Give a little. Every now and then, share an amazing shot with her, but only a few. Show her quickly, then get right back to shooting. ** Finish on a high. When you’re all done, make sure to tell her how amazing she looked and how much fun you had shooting her. Set a day to go over her slideshow. ** Call again. Most importantly, call her that night and tell her you are looking at her pictures and she is gorgeous. Once a woman goes home, she may start to worry about her shoot. This simple phone call will make all the difference. ** Arrange to meet again in person. Once you’ve edited it all down to your top 30 to 40 shots, create a slideshow to show your client in person. That’s when you’ll get her order for prints. ** Keep quiet. If you used Photoshop to erase wrinkles, blemishes, etc., keep it to yourself. This is an experience that puts a woman in a vulnerable position. Your job is to build confidence, so she will have had a truly remarkable experience. One last tip before you shoot boudoir: Get on the other side of the lens and have your own boudoir session! You’ll benefit from the experience… and have a lot of fun. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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