Hi Claire, could tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure! I'm a boudoir photographer currently living in Philadelphia, but I'm a born and raised farm girl at heart. I grew up in a very creative environment...my mother is a painter, my sister a sculptor and digital animator, and my father an international pilot with stories that I'll never live up to (I mean, really, he flew Genesis in the 70's). It's interesting to see the way all of these elements of my environment influenced my work and outlook over the years.
Who’s your typical client and how does she find you?
A lot of my clients find me via google/social media and word of mouth. My fiancé, Pat Furey, and I shoot weddings together as well, so it's always fun when one of our brides comes back for an anniversary shoot. Typically my clients are women who are at a point in their lives where they want to do something for themselves. Even though it might be under the guise of a gift for someone else, it's really for them...and that's what I love about boudoir photography. It gives women an opportunity to explore another side of themselves, have a ton of fun, and get a result they're proud to have taken part in.
Your business is based around boudoir photography. We love that! How do your market yourself?
A lot of my marketing is a dance between active and passive marketing. I hate feeling like I'm pushing my work like a salesman but let's be real, it's a business and sometimes that's necessary. I try to keep it authentic; I love aligning myself with other business owners that I see share my passion and leveraging cross promotion as an active marketing technique. Otherwise it's just about a great presentation, good customer experience, and just being true to yourself.
Do you do anything special to stand out in your branding and presentation?
My work is based around a luxury experience; I want women to feel like they're stepping into a lingerie editorial. However, I am conscious to present this in a way that is approachable and not snobby...no woman wants to feel judged during any part of a boudoir experience. I make sure every part of the process is streamlined and exclusive, from how I present my collection information, to follow up instructions. It's all built into my website so my clients see every part of the experience under one brand via private links.
What is the most challenging aspect of boudoir photography? How do you tackle this obstacle?
Getting clients to feel comfortable and coaching them through the process is definitely going to be any boudoir photographers challenge. You're on, non-stop, the whole session, and that is really difficult and tiring. Not only are you juggling being creative and creating good images, you're talking someone through the process of feeling comfortable in their own skin. I find the easiest way to get over that initial hurdle of the first few shots is to really be involved. Demonstrate poses for your client; don't just tell them what to do. If you don't know how to feel sexy, your clients won't either.
What is your best selling boudoir product?
Albums are the best selling product, which I would say are 50/50 sold before the session or added on after.
Anything else you would like to add?
Just be yourself and be good to those around you! Forge good relationships with other vendors, find your market, and go for it.
Claire Hudson is a Philadelphia based photographer who focuses on creating beautifully modern, editorial charged boudoir images for clients across the country.
To view more of Claire's work, visit her at claireloveslove.com.
When you are finished with your photo session or wedding, do you feel a bit like that guy that was recently dragged off the airplane, semi-conscious and bleeding? Because that is basically what it feels like when you’ve lost control of your clients.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to reclaim the power.