Hi, Jennifer! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What was your road like to becoming a photographer?
Photography has always been a big part of my life. From the time I was a young girl until now, my favorite thing has been dressing up my friends and photographing them. I took photography classes all throughout high school and when it was time to decide where to go to college, my parents weren't too fond of the idea of me making a career out of my hobby. With having two more kids to put through college, they declined to send me to art school. Heartbreaking, but understandable. I was determined to do what I love, so instead I went to school for business and marketing to gain knowledge on all the other aspects of running a business. Then, the internet was invented, making marketing my business so much easier. The rest is history.
What drew you to boudoir photography?
I've always loved making women look and feel beautiful and confident in front of the camera. We are so hard on ourselves and not often enough take a moment to actually embrace the woman we have become. I can’t describe the feeling, but seeing a woman fall in love with herself again has to be one of the most rewarding experiences. I can't get enough of that feeling.
You’re not just a boudoir photographer! What made you want to start offering workshops and education in addition to your photography services?
I love people, I love helping, and I love to learn. I'm a firm believer in community over competition. We all have our own voice and point of view and this world is big enough for it all. I think it is my desire to constantly learn that drives my desire to teach. I don't want to stop learning and if I have just the smallest effect on helping someone reach their goals with my workshops, then I've done my job.
How do you balance your work? What products do you use to ensure you have a smooth workflow?
Balance is certainly NOT my strong suite. I've got two small children and my mind is always running wild. I get distracted very easily, so I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to stay on task. I've recently found the Mastery Journal to Master Productivity, Discipline & Focus in 100 Days. It's not dated and doesn't have to be consecutive so you can screw up a day and start over a week later.
I rely heavily on my studio software Tave to keep all of my business elements & client data in order. Tave has changed my life, I can't even remember life without it. For my post-session workflow, I use Photo Mechanic to make my selections, then import into Lightroom for color & exposure enhancements. I use many different presets, so I’I mess around until I like the colors and mood - my favorites right now are Red Leaf Studio and Rooke & Rover. Final images are brought into Photoshop for any necessary retouching.
Boudoir by nature is very intimate. How do you get your clients to relax and feel comfortable with you?
We start to develop a relationship with them the minute they book with us. I want to become their friend, I’ll get her chatting about her inspiration and expectations for the shoot. We’ll text, follow each other on social media, etc. This way, on the day of the shoot, we have already built a solid friendship with the client. Most of my shoots include hair and makeup with a professional artist who joins me. The hair, makeup, and wardrobe process takes a good 90 minutes, so this is the time that we identify with her even further. We share silly stories, pamper her with champagne, and before you know it she is putty in our hands! Before she knows it, she’ll forget about the camera and be uninhibited. I love getting to see her confidence bloom.
If someone was hoping to pursue boudoir photography, what advice would you give them?
Practice, Practice, Practice. I think the biggest thing that cannot be learned with boudoir photography is how to be true to yourself and finding your voice. When the subject matter is something so intimate, you need to have that confidence in yourself. You, the photographer, are the performer and the talent. It is up to us to inspire the movements our subject makes, we can't ever expect that they know what they are doing in front of the camera. Constant practice is the only way to gain the confidence you need to photograph boudoir.
What would you say to someone who is interested in getting boudoir photographs done but is hesitant to take the leap?
A boudoir photo shoot is one of greatest experience you could ever give yourself and shouldn't be a once in a lifetime thing! It should be an annual thing! Over the years, my market has changed. It’s no longer the newly engaged bride, but more of the working professional and moms. Speaking from experience, we work our asses off - and mostly for everyone but ourselves. We deserve something fabulous and we deserve to feel desirable every once in awhile! If you’re not doing it for anyone else, do it for yourself. Our shoots will leave you feeling empowered, inspired and craving for more!
Native California Fashion Photographer, Jennifer Skog celebrates & empowers women with her magazine worthy style and finely honed ability to capture authentic expression. Her distinctive style is decidedly spontaneous, cinematic, and bold. Known in the industry for her editorial and seductive photography, Jennifer’s images emulate her passion for life, romance & fashion.
P.S. I have a Boudoir Retreat coming this Fall! Join our mailing list to receive a FREE download of Skog Gone Rogue - The Ultimate Intimate Portrait Guide to inspire your next boudoir session!
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.