Hi Rebekah! For those who aren’t familiar, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Kallima?
Well, I'm Rebekah and my husband Ben and I are Kallima Photography. We are based in West Palm Beach, FL and live here with our kids Josiah and Darby and our chocolate lab Lola. We live in a tiny house a few blocks from the intercoastal and when we aren't photographing weddings, engagements and lifestyle work, we are homeschooling our kids, spending tons of time at our local coffee shop and adventuring with friends.
When did you decide to incorporate boudoir photography into your offerings? Was it happenstance? Client requests?
I got into boudoir because a client requested it, about 1 year into business. I was afraid at first because I hadn't really come into my own as an artist and all I knew of boudoir was cheesy and distasteful: like wearing your husband’s fire chief hat or construction tool belt and stilettos and pearls, and acting a way you normally wouldn't to get a shot you probably would feel weird about when you looked at it later. I hated the thought. And though it took a few boudoir sessions for me to figure out why I loved it, I realized early on that it wasn't about things or props or outfits really at all...it was about her, and documenting her womanhood.
Boudoir photography is incredibly personal. How do you ensure that your clients are comfortable with what you do (or don’t) show online?
Showing boudoir work online is a personal choice as a photographer, and one I take very seriously. I am not here to offend anyone or make people feel uncomfortable, but I also need to showcase my work and talk about why I love it and why I think it is so important. I make sure that what I show online is classy and tasteful, and I will always take that approach.
In your opinion, what are the top mistakes photographers make with boudoir photography (technical or business)?
Since I am much less business savvy than my better half, Ben, let's talk a bit about why I think lots of photographers may have missed the mark with boudoir. I don't shoot boudoir because I need some nakedness in my portfolio to feel like a true artist. I don't shoot it because I feel like I need to photograph everything or be good at it all. I started shooting it because I was asked to, but continued because it absolutely broke me...in the best way possible. Women are so beautiful and strong, but often you don't get to see that part of them because they are so closed off or broken or hurt. It's hard for women to be vulnerable. I make it a point in life and business to be very real and vulnerable, and when I shoot boudoir that becomes a tool for me to use to disarm my subject..automatically making them feel at home. You should know your why in business overall, but especially in boudoir. Your intentions should be clear. You should be upfront, real, vulnerable...transparent. It's how I am in life and I try to take the exact same approach when photographing my clients, and this goes such a long way in making them feel comfortable.
Where do you take photos of clients? How does it work, logistically?
I generally dislike hotels for photographing boudoir...because, ew. (Who else has been on that bed?) I usually find a studio or warehouse space to use, or friends private home that is filled with lots of white walls and natural light. I also do this so women feel like they can relax and breathe and be themselves. If they know I'm comfortable shooting there, they will be comfortable with what I ask them to do or where I direct them to be.
What are your best selling boudoir products? What steps do you take to presell?
I always suggest that my boudoir clients get a album of their session. It truly is the best way to view the images and gift them if that is the end goal. It's also key if this is a very personal and private session, because albums can be easily stowed away for safekeeping. I have a wonderful and beautiful Design Aglow Boudoir Brochure that I send to each client. I have packages that offer different options for products that we talk about before booking.
Anything else you would like to add?
I would encourage those photographers who want to photograph boudoir but don't know how to get into doing it, to find out why you want to in the first place. It must come from a genuine place and a transparent desire to document a woman at a certain time in her life that will truly translate into her being able to look at the photos and see herself in the truest light possible. See herself as beautiful yes, confident, of course...but most of all, enough. She must see them and know she is enough...no matter what shape or size or age. That is my goal, and I try to accomplish that with every boudoir session I shoot.
Thanks, Rebekah & Ben!
We are Ben and Rebekah Hood, and we own Kallima Photography. We specialize in weddings and editorial photography, and we’ve been married for 11 years. We have two awesome kids, a crossfit addiction, and a love of coffee.
To view more of Kallima Photography's work, visit them at kallimaphotography.com.