Hi Kat! For those who aren’t familiar, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Katch Studios?
Hi! I’m a self-taught photographer living in Alberta, Canada with my husband of 10 years and my 2 kids Aaliyah & Kai. I’m a food-lover, yoga enthusiast, laughter seeker, and hopeless romantic. My life’s motto: Work hard and be nice to people.
Your boudoir images are so beautiful and elegant! When did you know you wanted to incorporate boudoir photography? Was it something you always had in mind to add to your business? What steps did you take to market this branch of your business?
Thanks so much! I actually fell into boudoir photography unintentionally. My sister asked me to take some for her and I was very reluctant because up until that point, my only references to boudoir photography were done in a style that wasn’t really my cup of tea. I eventually caved and shot some for her in a way that fit my own style and brand— and fell in love immediately. Right after that, I announced my first Boudoir Marathon on Facebook and it’s been very well-received ever since. It’s now become a major chunk of my business and I’ve shot around 300 boudoir sessions. I think my best marketing came from sharing lots of teasers and blog posts as well as tons of word of mouth from happy clients.
Along with boudoir photography, you’re also a wedding and lifestyle photographer… what are some tips to balance all three?
For me, it was definitely a good move to choose a few genres and specialize in them. In my case I realized that weddings, couples shoots, and boudoir were what I loved shooting the most, so I stopped booking family, newborn or anything else. Being able to hone in on a few genres and really develop a distinct and consistent style helped me build a good foundation and trust from my clients.
I balance them by only taking on a limited number of weddings and couples shoots per year, and allotting a specific chunk of my calendar to boudoir shoots. It’s a pretty even split.
Boudoir Photography can be a very intimate experience. How do you ensure your clients are comfortable and relaxed throughout the shoot?
The best way to make a client feel comfortable is to have them trust you. I want that trust to start before they even meet me—and I do that by showing a very consistent product in the photos I post and share on my website and social media channels. Before they even come in for their shoot, they already know exactly the kind of photos they’re going to get from me. From there, trust is further built when they meet and work with my amazing styling team. Having a great styling team that is warm, professional, funny and engaging has been a huge asset to me. Then, if those nerves still start creeping back, their stress is usually dispelled once they see how much I guide and direct them through the entire shoot. I’m a very detail-oriented person so I help pose them from their hair to their eyes to their fingers. I think my clients really appreciate that.
You have a background in makeup artistry...how does that incorporate into your boudoir sessions?
I used to be a professional makeup artist so photographing intimate portraits of women is really the perfect marriage of all my passions. I love how the right styling can really enhance a woman’s beauty and confidence. My background in that industry also helps me communicate what I want from my stylists too so that the hair and makeup works well for the kind of look I want in my shoots.
What are your best selling boudoir products? What steps do you take to presell?
I always send a full price list with product photos to my clients before their shoot so they have a chance to see what kind of products and collections I offer and so they can prepare for what they might want to order. Then at the shoot, I show them sample albums and wall displays so they can touch and feel them in person. Albums and digital files are definitely my top sellers and the majority of my clients end up ordering a collection that combines an album with their digital files.
What do you love most about being a boudoir photographer?
The fact that my job is also my passion. I don’t just go to work and punch in and out. Every day, I’m intrigued, I’m challenged, and I’m inspired. Also, having a job that touches others and brings them happiness is a feeling that never gets old, and when I’m feeling tired, overwhelmed, stressed out, or beaten down—remembering this is what lifts me up again. When I take a photo that I love so much it makes me gasp, or when I hear from a client that I’ve affected their life deeply in some way—I reflect on how lucky I am that I get to call this “work” and I know that it’s something not to be taken for granted.
Kat Gill is the photographer behind Katch Studios. When she’s not taking pictures of her lovely clients, she’s taking pictures of her beloved kids or the food she’s about to eat. When she can’t be found posing clients in her studio, she can be found doing yoga poses just about anywhere.
To view more of Kat's work, visit her at katchstudios.com.
Perhaps your anxieties are internal? The fear of failing at that which is most dear to you? Or the terror of living with regrets that can never be remedied?