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Archive for March, 2013

Shoot to Thrill

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Shoot to Thrill with Lynn Michelle

Boudoir photography is booming. Brides may have been integral in launching boudoir photography but women in general have embraced this empowering form of self-expression. They’re requesting these sensual candid shots for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations of change in their lives. It’s the biggest growth area in the photography field. Is it right for you? We talked with one of the best boudoir photographers in the country, Dallas based Lynn Michelle, to give you a little insight into this burgeoning part of the industry.

Pounds: What prompted you to become a photographer?
Lynn Michelle: I was getting a computer science degree at the University of Texas at Dallas when they highly suggested that the students get involved in campus activities. I guess I’m always one for following the rules so I decided to join the school newspaper. I was interested in being a writer, but the editor was looking for a photographer. From there, my friends got married, and then their friends got married!

Pounds: How did the boudoir photography come about?
Lynn Michelle: A client that was already married contacted me. She was interested in having a special gift made for her first wedding anniversary. I was familiar with studio photography, so I thought boudoir would be easy, I was so wrong. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do as a photographer. I had to really focus on my lighting, my people skills and especially posing!

Pounds: What percentage of your clients opts for a boudoir session?
Lynn Michelle: About 20% of my own clients request boudoir as part of their wedding photography package. Some of my clients are having wedding photography done by another photographer who doesn’t do boudoir photography.  Others have found me by word of mouth and want a session as a one-year anniversary or 25th anniversary gift for their spouse.

Pounds: Boudoir photography seems to be gaining popularity, what is your take on that?
Lynn Michelle: I believe that more women are familiar with it and think it’s a really sexy thing to do for their significant other. They see the images that are produced and know they are sensual, not “dirty”.

Pounds: Can it be tricky getting your subjects to relax?
Lynn Michelle: I think the secret is to talk a lot and really connect with your client. I also share many of the images from the back of the camera throughout the session. This allows the client to see what I’m getting and understand what the final images will look like.

Pounds: What’s your advice for photographers thinking about expanding their services into boudoir photography?
Lynn Michelle: Boudoir is definitely more difficult than it seems. I think that a photographer should be comfortable in their posing, directing and lighting before tackling boudoir – all of which come from many years of experience. I don’t believe it’s an area to jump into quickly and hope to succeed.

Pounds: Talk us through a session from the moment a client walks in.
Lynn Michelle: Once the client arrives, we talk about package options and go over the contract together. We also take care of the payment and discuss where and how the images will be shared on the blog. From there, we go over the wardrobe changes and how much nudity the client is comfortable with. Makeup and hair (if added) are next. We talk about everything from her excitement about the session to her fears. The first outfit is the most covered one and we spend time talking about posing and smiling. I pose every inch of her body and talk through the whole session. Sometimes I make jokes to get her to smile and some times I say provocative things to make her blush.

Pounds: Are there wardrobe changes?
Lynn Michelle: Yes. My starting package includes two wardrobe changes. I suggest that my clients bring as many outfits as they would like and we go through them together to choose the best ones. An average session has 5 options as well as some nudity, if the client desires.

Pounds: Do you have professional hair and makeup available?
Lynn Michelle: Makeup is included as part of every package because it’s so integral to how the images turn out. Hair is an option and can be added to any package. I have an amazing girl who does the hair & makeup and she brings the Va Va Va Voom to every woman!

Pounds: Do you suggest clients bring along a bottle of wine or champagne to relax?
Lynn Michelle: I provide one glass of champagne because I want them to be comfortable and not too tipsy. Some clients turn red after alcohol consumption so we have to be very careful.

Pounds: Do you draw a line at nude photographs or are they considered a standard part of the session?
Lynn Michelle: I have no problem with nudity or implied nudity, but I make it clear that I do not shoot pornographic images.

Pounds: Do you see the business for boudoir photography on a steady increase?
Lynn Michelle: More and more people are seeing what boudoir photography is and sharing it with their friends, the market is definitely increasing steadily.

Pounds: Do you generally shoot these sessions in the studio or at a client’s home?
Lynn Michelle: I have shot only one session in the client’s home – it was a special body painting session that she wanted shot at her ranch. All of the other sessions have been in studio.

Pounds: You have a great pre-shoot prep list on your site. Do people come to you with tear sheets of looks they’d like to achieve?
Lynn Michelle: I generally do not get tear sheets. Most of the time they reference images on my blog. I feel like in general my clients feel comfortable with me providing a variety of looks and poses for them but I do not discourage tear sheets, I just tell them that we will take them as ideas and go from there.

Pounds: This seems like a really fun and exciting genre of photography. What do you like most about it?
Lynn Michelle: I love the swagger that a woman gets after a session. She feels empowered and amazing and I was a part of that! However, my favorite part is getting the email after they see their images! Boudoir is such an amazing experience. I did my own set of images a few years ago and it was more empowering than I could have ever hoped. The right photographer will help you feel comfortable in your own skin and walk you through posing so that you never awkwardly looking at the camera wondering what to do next. I highly encourage every woman to consider a boudoir portrait session, or even a glamour session where they can wear their favorite dress. This type of photography really brings out your inner goddess and every woman should remember that sassiness that is deep inside from time to time!

Lynn Michelle Photography: We Shoot Fabulous People

www.lynnmichelle.com | 972.824.5519