Here is an email I received the other day:
“I had to let you know that I wish I had taken your (and my own) advice!
I signed up for a photo shoot with a different photographer that included hair and make up. Was meant to be a celebration of me, and some tasteful boudoir shots but they are awful. No background, terrible poses that make me look three sizes heavier, just altogether awful. I wish I had just waited and saved and had your experience. Definitely a lesson learnt.
We had to pay for them first. My friend, who is in a similar position (single, kids, aging!) also got some done and she is equally horrified at the result! That will teach us to go for quality in future. ?? – Sandi “
This breaks my heart to hear this sort of thing. I have studied for years to perfect the art of showing off a woman exquisitely. I completely understand that there is nothing more vulnerable than taking your clothes off in front of a camera wielded by someone else and I hold it as a great honour the women that decide to shoot boudoir or fine art nudes with me. I am so protective wanting to help you to see your inner beauty being reflected on the outside and it freaking cheeses me off that there are knobs operating out there that are out to either catch a eyeful or just make a quick buck with their camera…grrrrrrrrrrr.
There is a fine art to making a woman feel comfortable enough to let her guard down and really show her beauty. There is a fine art to shaping a woman, posing her so that she looks breathtakingly beautiful. But more than that there is a responsibility that the photographer has morally to show the woman that beauty and not make her question it. My life’s work has always been about helping women to honour and celebrate their bodies exactly the way they are. I am a Master Photographer but before I earned that title my living was made helping women to effectively use their bodies and relax enough to deliver their babies. How is that relevant? Easy…I know how to relax a woman and show her how divinely feminine she can be. I have studied the fine art of women for 20 years and my clients constantly rave at how comfortable I make them feel, how beautiful the images turned out and how their confidence has grown by leaps and bounds after their shoot. How can you put a price on that really?
So please if you are feeling that my prices are out of your range that is totally fine but please do your homework before you sign up with another shooter and make sure that they are coming from a beautiful loving empathetic place, and have expertise in beautifully posing all shapes and sizes and ages of women, because babe you are worth it. At very least you will want to ensure that they are at least a member in good standing of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers. NZIPP members have a code of ethics and a body that monitors them. Also if you are having intimate shots done you will want to know that your digital images are safe with them and they have experience protecting the images from hackers as well. This is not something you really want to go cheap on.
So just a quick recap when you are deciding on a photographer:
- Are they a cowboy or are they Professional and a member of their professional Organization? NZIPP or AIPA?
- Do they come from a place of empathy, compassion, and understanding of women’s body sensitivity and beauty?
- Are they empowering? Will you leave feeling better about yourself after your shoot or demoralized?
- Are they artists? Can they artfully move a body to show off its best features no matter the age or shape of the body…ie are they only really interested in working with 20 year old models?
- Do they have strong security set up for your images that keep them in a hacker free zone?