Working as a professional photographer today is no easy task. And it’s seldom glamorous as some people might think.
- You’re often up at 3am editing, editing, editing.
- Clients don’t always plan ahead so you’re left scrambling to get editing (see #1), layouts, printing, quality checking done, and begging labs to accommodate a compressed timeline.
- Because clients tend to work 9-5 jobs weekdays they think about their photography projects off hours, like at 11pm at night and 7am in the morning – soooooo, you’re likely to get phone calls, texts and emails at all hours. And in today’s culture, the pressure is to get back to them IMMEDIATELY.
- The expectation is that you’ll be available for your clients evenings and weekends so your own personal/family time is regularly spent doing “work” at the same time.
- If you’re a one woman show, as I am, you’re wearing so many hats it’s a wonder you can stand upright most days – you’re photographer, sure, but you’re also customer service, retoucher, set designer, marketer, business developer, accountant, operations manager, advertiser, business relationship manager, custodian of your space, accounts/payable, mailroom, social media manager, blogger, innovator…..
- Shoots are quite physical – moving furniture, lights, supplies, equipment and demonstrating poses to clients who are most often nervous and unsure about how to pose (this is also a source of a great many laughs and good fun – a perfect ice breaker!).
- But above all, as a boudoir photographer, you’re dealing with a very sensitive subject: how women see themselves. If you’re a woman or married to one, you’ll know what I’m talking about here – I can probably count on one hand the number of women I’ve met in my entire lifetime who were totally, 100% happy with their bodies! Capturing images that will help her see herself as beautiful is like walking down a path laden with landmines – you never know what perceptions lie beneath a woman’s self-image. So, it’s a very sensitive task. For this very reason I work very very hard at partnering and collaborating with my clients – to understand how they see themselves, what makes them happiest, and helping them to embrace their unique beauty! 99% of the time I’m super successful and when clients tell me their boudoir experience with me was “life changing,” “life altering,” “a milestone” in their life, I’m rewarded for every point on this list! That’s my greatest reward!
The list goes on and on, but my point is that working solo as a photographer in a super cut throat market where boudoir photographers are a dime a dozen and everyone claims to be the best can really be an exhausting and difficult path.
But it can also be highly rewarding.
Today as I sit editing, editing, editing, I was reminded of that when my doorbell rang and a delivery person from Edible Arrangements stood presenting me with floating Thank you balloons, A box of chocolate covered fruit and a beautiful bouquet of fruit on a stick which they’re so famous for!
The note said:
“Just a little “thank you” for being so wonderful. You gave me an amazing experience!”
Any one of those gifts would have been sweet and thoughtful, but all three just blew me away! Not everyone takes the time to send a personal note, a small gift of thanks these days. And it’s never even expected. So, when someone does take the time, it goes so far in restoring my energy, renewing my commitment to have a powerful and amazing effect on women’s lives, and to build connections with women who are themselves amazing and wonderful!
And reflecting on everything, I have to say I’m so grateful. Grateful to be where I am in life, doing what I do, and interacting with some of the most inspiring women on Long Island, from New York City, and beyond.
I’ve been at this a long time – since late 2007 when I first explored shooting women rather than drawing and painting them…..and I’m thinking it will be a long time still before I’m done.
Stay cool, take note of your blessings, and may our paths cross someday!
All my best,