You know that show on television “Murder Chose Me”? Boudoir photography chose ME. Coming from a place that nearly all women come from – that my body isn’t perfect – my biggest goal is to make women feel beautiful and to document that beauty so that they an look back at it on any day and SEE the beauty that is in them. Just as they are.
Today I’m answering some questions from the women in my group about why shooting boudoir is my dream job, and what happens during a session with JLReis Boudoir Photography.
How do you show your work to potential clients?
I shoot with models on a regular basis in order to try out new ideas or props and I am lucky enough to occasionally get a client who gives me rights to use their photos publicly because they’re proud and excited about them and want to show them off.
I make it very clear to my clients that 1) They NEVER have to take their clothes off and 2) NO ONE will see their photos without their permission. Your photos go from my camera to my work machine to my studio machine to your eyes. I don’t do online galleries and all image reveals are in person. Your images are printed by reliable and bonded print houses in Grand Rapids MI or St. Louis, MO. There is never a chance that some goomer from Sam’s Club or Walgreen’s will get a look at you in your dainties.
How is boudoir different from other types of shoots?
Boudoir, or glamour even, has the ability to make a woman remember every good feeling she’s ever had about herself, more so than any other kind of photography. Graduation photos and wedding photos, your most typical professional photo sessions, just don’t compare with seeing yourself in a beautiful dress or your favorite lingerie. Boudoir/glamour photography is really all about the client.
I shoot women from 18 all the way up to their 50’s, all shapes and sizes and not one of them has ever not looked at their photos and had their mouth drop open.
All women LOVE to get dressed up and look gorgeous; I use Halloween as an example all the time. Just look at how women dress on Halloween, you see a lot more sexy outfits than scary ones. Boudoir/glamour is for every woman that wants to feels beautiful and really, what woman doesn’t?
WHY are you a boudoir photographer?
To make women love themselves. It’s as simple as that. If you’re having a crap day and you feel like you look like shit, taking out your photos and remembering how you felt the day you had them taken can lift your spirits immediately.
Do I think a woman’s looks are the most important thing in their lives. Of course not. A good heart is much more important, but despite all the hoohah to the contrary in media, how a woman think she looks definitely plays a part in how she feels in other areas of her life.
What do you love about boudoir photography?
Getting it through a woman’s head that she really IS beautiful. EVERY woman is beautiful and I’ve taken on the job of bringing that beauty from inside them to the outside.
Because of the intimate content, do you advertise differently?
I actually shoot very little that can’t be shown publicly, but I do have separate Facebook pages for my boudoir/glamour sessions and my senior sessions. High school seniors are my other love – they, boys AND girls, have many of the same insecurities that adult women do and photography does wonders to help them see that they are someone more than what they’ve been during their high school career.
Do you ever shoot nudes?
I haven’t, but there’s always a first time.
What do you do to help your clients relax during their session?
I am a natural clown and when I was a kid I wanted to be a stand up comedian. I try and have a short half hour meeting with a new client before the day of their shoot. We talk about what they want to wear, how they want their hair done, their favorite parts of their body … that way they don’t walk in the door and hear: “Hi! Take your clothes off!”
I reassure them that they don’t have to worry about posing and that I will make them look their best.
Once we start shooting, I never stop talking. NEVER. It’s the best way to get a natural expression from my girls.
What’s your favorite part about shooting boudoir?
My client’s reaction to her photos – HANDS DOWN.
What does your studio look like?
Boho, shabby chic girly studio apartment. I have a claw foot tub that I move outside onto my shaded patio, tons of pillows, lots of light. I have several pieces of furniture, including a round chaise lounger. Mirrors and chiffon and candles … it’s all very romantic and girly and sexy.
What products do you sell the most?
My 8×8, 24 image Little Black Book is my biggest seller. I also offer 2×3 accordion albums for husbands or boyfriends that travel.
Do you shoot couples?
Oddly enough, I am taking some courses about the specifics of shooting couples right now. I have a some previous clients who are very intrigued by the idea. I had said in the past that I would NEVER shoot couples, but like they say: “Never say never, lol!”
Who inspired you?
Like anyone who shoots primarily women, Sue Bryce is my hero … while she doesn’t shoot boudoir, per se, her business model is something I think all female photographers aspire to. Jen Rozenbaum is another of my idols. she’s very cool and down to earth and takes incredible boudoir photos.