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Inspiration

“The Marketing Vault” ebook

By | Boudoir Tips, Inspiration, Press & News | No Comments

It’s launched!!! 125 pages of exactly what we did to get our business to where it is today! Some things worked great, and some did not, but we tell ALL in this digital download. 24 hours left for our launch sale. Get yours now!!!!

If you know us, you know that we pour ourselves into our books, and hey, to be honest, we are gosh darn proud of this bad boy.
Mainly because it really illustrates the sweat and creativity that we have put into this studio and getting to the point it is now.  We would be ridiculously honored if you purchased it people. And we truly know it will be helpful to you.
xoxoxoxox- Marissa & Kimberlee

Next on the agenda… PARIS photo shoots and mentor sessions in April 2015 and

launching our next “Boudoir Retreat!!!”

the marketing vault

Miami Boudoir and a little TBT

By | Boudoir Photo Shoots, Inspiration, Press & News | One Comment

A little random combo of a post on this lovely Thursday. Today I sit in a Cafe in Encinitas, loving the ambiance but also kinda wishing I had chose a spot with some AC. It’s hot as heck in this little beach city and all I am thinking about is the ocean. Kimberlee is in what I am assuming is much cooler Anacortes, Washingting plugging away (I am visiting her next week and stoked about it). She writes this as the first part of our combo post…..

YAY MIAMI!!!!! We are so excited about this… can’t believe it’s about a month away! If you are thinking about joining us, we’d love to connect with you via email (info@theboudoirdivas.com) or our Facebook Group. Or visit all the details and booking page here. In case you’d like to see exact dates, here’s a little calendar for you. Keep in mind there are only TWO SPOTS LEFT for boudoir shoots in Miami! If you want to snag one, go ahead and email us to get it booked. Note that we are open to booking a shoot  on a consult date if that’s where the demand leads us….

miami boudoir marathon

And now onto my part of the post, our funny #TBT to what I think was 2006. Kimberlee and I made our first video ever on our little point and shoot, this was one of the first shoots ever in our new studio. The comments are particularly hilarious, and while I do agree with some of them actually, I still somehow managed to come out of this shoot with an image that won an Accolade of Excellence Award from WPPI. So glad I didn’t listen and submitted the image. Kinda proof that you should never listen to your critics. Or at least only listen to the ones you trust ya know, never internet trolls. Sorry about the ad at the beginning, the you tube account is so old I can’t even remember the login to change it. Go ahead and laugh at the video, we sure are. High five to just going for it before you totally know what you are doing right Kimee? 😉

marissa-boucher-youtube-video

Here’s the image that won….

A musical project…..

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angie keilhauer
You guys know we are serious suckers for an exciting marketing project. We get all fired up about showcasing someone or someone’s brand, from the concept to the delivery we love every second of it. Well recently on a Carnival cruise my friends and I landed ourselves in an obscure bar to play a serious game of mystery shots (I hate the game, not my idea, will never be my idea). Just as we were getting ready to find out who the sorry loser would be this round, we all heard a voice that seriously stopped each of us in our tracks. She was around the corner so we all literally took turns getting up and looking over to see who this crazy good musician was. It was Angie Keilhauer, a name we will all remember.

Obviously we came back the next night again, enjoyed every song, introduced ourselves, gave her tons of praise etc. Me, being ever nosy and very bossy when it comes to people getting the credit I feel like they deserve, started talking to her about how she is going to launch herself etc. We hit it off, at least I thought we did, she might have thought I was a nutcase. Next thing you know she is in California and we are having a blast doing a photo shoot for her and shooting a music video so people can really see what a natural starlet she is. I loved this project because as you know we do a lot of video around here, and it’s always the song that MAKES the video, so this was extra special in the sense that the visuals and song really tied in and connected in a new way for us. Very cool.

Thanks Angie for letting us show you off. All of us in the studio fell in love with you. Remember us little peeps when you are all big and famous (and remember my love for Porsche Panameras, matte black please and thanks). -M

angie keilhauer
angie keilhauer

angie keilhauer
Go like her new FB page, she posts awesome covers all the time, like this one, what a treat! We love it when her new videos come through, such a great afternoon distraction from editing…

Heads up, it’s time to get MERRY….

By | Boudoir Tips, Inspiration | One Comment

boudoir ads marketing christmas holiday

Okay so it’s not, but for us in the gift giving business, it is!!! It’s time to plan our your early bird specials and plant the seed for the perfect Christmas gift! We plan to launch two fun “commercials” we shot on our You Tube channel, Facebook, on all our blogs and newsletters too. We want to make sure that we take advantage of this season more than ever, pushing our “Bombshell Books®”, our Gift Cards, our early bird photo session and eventually our last minute photo sessions. Next week we are going to kick off a big early bird sale!

So since we are hard little elves at work, we thought we would give our fellow boudoir photographers a little reminder. Tis the season to get motivated! Make the most of the Christmas season and start early!! A video isn’t totally necessary, as long as you make up some cute jpegs to get people feeling that holiday fuzzy good feeling you are set. Then blast them every where 😉

Oh and PS, don’t forget to remind people about your turnaround times to light a fire under their booties to book asap, here is an example of what we put on our blog that’s geared toward potential boudoir clients….

ideas for christmas holiday marketing

 

Merry Christmas, I mean Happy Halloween from Marissa & Kimberlee 😉

 

Sometime we need a little reminder….

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magic is something you make
Dang owning a business can be hard can’t it?!

I mean…. it’s a blessing…. we are BLESSED with this amazing life, but it doesn’t mean that some weeks aren’t a little tougher than others. Or A LOT tougher than others.

BUT, we have found the antidote to most stress for the photographer. It’s called “Believe in beauty”, and it’s a reminder why we do what we do. To create art.

Get a model or a friend, and just go have fun and MAKE MAGIC!!! This is the antidote when you have too many bills to pay, when you have to do any kind of terrible admin task, when you have to stay late to clean the toilets or organize your billions of receipts. Or fix that darn techie thing that needs fixing and is beyond frustrating.

When you are overwhelmed, take a 5 hour break and go shoot something you always dreamed of shooting. And then when you get back to the mundane, whoa, it’s like you appreciate it. Because it’s those exhausting things that afford you the time to be you .

The other day, K was in town, so we had serious to-do after even more serious to-do to plow through, and when we were feeling blah we said, ” let’s get up early and let’s make some freaking magic.” And it lit our souls on fire.

As my all time favie movie “Vanilla Sky” said so wonderfully, “you can’t taste the sweet without the sour.” Meaning how sweet is the sweet part of our job once we get through the sour. Let’s make our own magic people, we are blessed with a job where that is our number one goal. So let’s make it a priority.

A great reminder to us all

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comparison is the thief of all joy

“Comparison is the thief of joy”- Theodore Roosevelt

Like we mentioned earlier, it is “Self Awareness” month, and we think a big part of that is paying attention to what goes on in our thought process throughout the day, and unfortunately for most of us comparison is a big one. Whether it’s comparing physical appearance, smarts, wealth, personalities, activities, the list can go on and on. We don’t want to do it, and we certainly don’t mean to do it, but alas……we do. For Self Awareness month we are inviting you to try to recognize those thoughts when they pop up, take them captive, and chuck them out of your brain and stomp on the thought, realize it’s only  holding your back from joy and self acceptance. Everyday woman tell us that they want to book a photo shoot, but they want to hit the gym first so they can look as hot as all the women on our galleries, and our photo shoots are just not about that. They are about looking like you, and celebrating YOU. When you walk into our studio it’s totally affirming yourself, saying “dammit I love myself, I am grateful for the body I do have and I am going to give myself some serious positive affirmation today!!!!”

iyala-quote-comparing-yourself-to-others

 

Comparing yourself to others is an act of violence against your authentic self. ~ Iyanla Vanzant

We are all made uniquely beautiful and totally DIFFERENT. We certainly don’t need to look like someone else! We wanted to take a moment to give “Dove” a serious shout out for the “Real Beauty”” campaign. They are saying different is awesome, society’s idea of beauty is jacked, and life is too short not to embrace who you are, and we TOTALLY AGREE!!!!

dove1 dove4 greyorgoregous-w3ty6m dove3
You can tell they sincerely care about their audience and the message that they are sending!! As opposed to maybe some other companies our there????

beauty and confidence

September is Self Awareness Month

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September is “Self Awareness” month. So all of us here at the studio are encouraging ladies, and ourselves, to gear up for this special month by considering self awareness, which we are loving the description of that as achieving total self acceptance and long-term personal happiness.

Boudoir divas beauty confidence quote

I really enjoyed reading this article that spelled it out a little more clearly as this…
“Often, people are unable to see themselves as others see them, as their reality is different than most (self image, internally and externally). They prefer to focus only on the aspects of their being that make them feel good about themselves. Or contrarily, some prefer to focus only on the negative aspects. The dichotomy reflects an inability to be objectionable with oneself.

The habit of pushing the ‘bad parts’ out of their conscious eases the mental stress of having to deal with those issues, as positive change requires humble effort, so they choose to not accept those negative aspects when they look at themselves in the mirror.

Conversely, some people tend to sway in the opposite direction and focus only on the negativity. They continuously find fault within themselves which becomes a barrier in acknowledging the good qualities they possess, therefore hindering long-term personal happiness.

Denials are barriers in self awareness. Individuals need to accept all the parts of their being, good and bad, to begin a happy journey in life.” – The Examiner

 

 

Getting ready to launch one of many Paris vids….

By | Inspiration, Paris Boudoir Workshop | No Comments

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goooooooddddnneeeessss! We are currently burning the candle at both ends working on so many new projects! Now that the studio revamp is officially done, we have focused our efforts on Boudoir International, our new studio website launch AND the Paris photo shoot and videos! Ah! While we are feverishly working away at this thing, we wanted to leave you with a a couple little teasers until the first of many Paris vids is launched….

SIDE NOTE: So not sure what this whole thing is about? You mean you aren’t totally well versed in the lives of The Boudoir Divas? Hee hee,  just kidding, sometimes we wonder if the 300 people who visit our blog everyday are just our mom’s over and over. Every year we do our very best to find an excuse to go to Paris, France to work. Cuz let’s get real, if you love Paris as much as we do, AND you love your work as much as we do, well then it’s just a dream-like scenario isn’t it? We usually go to host a boudoir portrait workshop, but this year we went just to photograph our client and friends Tenley Molzahn from The Bachelor. She is an amazing model, and just all around the cat’s pajamas 😉
paris-louvre-portait-photographer-boudoir-couples-engagement paris-notre-dame-boudoir-divas-portraits black and white seine river paris fashion portrait paris-eiffel-tower-boudoir-divas-portraits-photographer-fashion

Keep dreaming…

By | Inspiration, Personal | No Comments

caribbean-boudoir-inspiration-dreaming

Hey everyone! How are you all doing this week? We are writing this to you from our “2013 Boudoir Divas Summit” here in San Diego, California! Since I (Kimberlee) live in Washington state these days, most of our planning and scheming is done long-distance. The times when we are together in San Diego are usually packed full of to-dos, projects, workshops, photo shoots, and running around like crazy. So for this trip, we decided it was time for us to slow down the pace a little, with three full days set aside to do nothing more than plan and dream. We’ve had a great Summit so far – and have already decided that this is going to be something we’re going to do every year from now on.

cute office pink flowers decor

To all of our photographer friends out there – as you know, it is SO necessary as business owners to set time aside yourselves. If you are feeling overwhelmed, with no direction and few dreams, we really want to encourage you guys to have your own Summit. Put it on the calendar, get babysitters for the kids, take a weekend and get away for a few days. Bring a journal and pens (and if you’re like us, you’ll also need big pieces of white paper and tons of fun colored markers like from when you were in elementary school). Take some time to reflect on how your business is doing, and where you’ve come from. And then start dreaming! Where do you want your biz to be in a year from now? Five years from now? Then create some attainable goals, with a timetable so that you will actually get them done. And once you’ve got your attainable goals listed, you also need a few CRAZY dreams. The ones that would maybe take a little extra fairy dust to make them come to fruition. Write those down too.

boudoir inspiration

After just 2 days, we are already feeling ready to tackle our dreams and make shit happen. Want to join us? Boudoir Photographers, JUST KEEP DREAMING!!! xoxo, K&M
kimberlee west and marissa boucher

“I don’t want to sit around and wait for things to happen. I want to make them happen. I want to be in control of my own destiny.” – Drew Barrymore 

Pics by Mr. Weston Boucher (Technical Director of The Boudoir Divas and awesome hubby to Riss)

Quick tips for starting your boudoir photography business

By | Boudoir Tips, Inspiration, Personal | No Comments

beginning boudoir photographer tips

Are you starting your boudoir photography business? These are the basics, so if you already know all this, done a lot of it, then congrats! – you are no longer a boudoir beginner! 🙂 And that in itself is a big hurdle because as with anything worth doing, it can be a little daunting in the beginning. We created some steps for those of you beginner boudoir photographers, in hopes that you don’t feel too overwhelmed. I know when I can see my steps listed out in front of me clearly, it can be so much easier to press forward with a large task.

 

1> YOU MUST BELIEVE ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WANT TO SERVE HEARTS THROUGH THE PHOTOGRAPHY PROCESS

We know this is a little intense and perhaps a little “preachy” to put out there as numero uno. But the thing is, if you can’t say “absolutely yes!” to this first one, then there is no point in reading the rest. A boudoir photographer can’t be successful without the desire to serve women with this important belief. All of our clients have different stories, but what they all have in common is that having your boudoir photo taken is a vulnerable thing and it’s our job to make sure they feel 100% comfortable, and to go on that journey of elevating their confidence together.

 

2> You made it to number 2, ah that makes us so happy. Numero dos is PHOTOGRAPHY.

Boudoir Photography. I wish we could say it’s easy, but it’s not. Knowing how to make every woman look gorgeous, and well not just gorgeous, but the MOST gorgeous she thinks she has looked. Ever. You have to know your stuff, you need to study, practice, and then always have a game plan on shoot days. It’s taken us so many years not feel nervous before a boudoir shoot – we had to nail what looked best, and then create recipes. It took us a little bit of trial & error, and lots of practice with models and some willing friends before we felt 100% confident that we knew what posing and lighting is best to flatter a woman & make her look her very best in her boudoir photos. Let’s breakdown how we can tangibly help you.

>>>>RECIPES: We put all of what we’ve learned into products you can buy. I know that sounds like an infomercial, and it’s obvious we are being a little salesy, BUT the thing is we KNOW that these products work. We spent so much time creating them, are so very proud of them, and have seen so many other photographers rise to boudoir bad-ass-ness because they have implemented a lot of what we taught in them. The best way to learn is through our Boudoir Workshops and Retreats! And then we have other products too – visit our shop to see them all (of course I recommend the Essential Boudoir Started Kit).

”I just really wanted to send you a long overdue message of thanks. You guys really gave me so much. You gave me the confidence to be me. I have so much more to learn – but you really taught me not to be held back by what the photography society says is ‘correct’. It’s been almost a year and my business has grown in amazing ways. I’m just finishing my busiest season ever – and I’ve already booked a bunch of work for next year! Anyway – I just really wanted to say thanks.” xo, Jennifer Rozenbaum (Jenerations Boudoir, featured on CreativeLive recently.)

>>>>EQUIPMENT: We get so many emails asking us specifically what equipment we use, and it took us a really long time to figure out what we works for us. We compiled not only a list, but a complete, DETAILED boudoir shopping list on Amazon so you can easy purchase what you need. (Be sure to click through all of the tabs – we have camera equipment, lighting equipment, and more!)

>>>> PRACTICE. This is fun part! Once you have studied, & gotten some of the basic on the equipment list, now it’s time to enlist your gal pals and get some boudoir hours in! Don’t let yourself stress during this time – just give yourself some grace and know that you may not come out of the gates as an amazing boudoir champ with no mistakes and no fears (we sure didn’t!) But we clocked a TON of practice hours. The goal is to get comfortable working with women of all shapes and sizes, to figure our what works best for you, and to create a portfolio so you can show the world what you do, and then start booking clients!

3>MARKETING

We could go on and on forever regarding this one. We love branding and marketing for boudoir photography. We cover this topic quite a bit during our boudoir workshop… but for now, here are just a few top tips for all of you who are just getting started with boudoir:
1. Focus on your web presence. Your website is huge (we recommend Showit or BluDomain or even Squarespace, there are great options out there), then your Facebook page for your business, and perhaps a blog (or use your FB page like a blog). (PS – if you want a cool template for your Showit site, check out Promise Tangeman’s amazing Sitehouse designs like this one!)
2. Get some killer testimonials and put them everywhere. A video testimonial is best! When we started, we photographed our friends and then asked for their honest feedback. We used their responses as our first testimonials.
3. Build a brand. Choose UNIQUE fonts and a unique color palette, and then stick to it! Be recognizable and be consistent.
4. Be careful where you spend your advertising dollars. We tried to not put anything on credit when we were starting up, so choose wisely. We love bridal fairs because they are relatively affordable and then we get to chit chat with potential clients.

4>CREATING VALUE THROUGH CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CUTE TOUCHES

There are many ways to describe customer service, but one thing is for sure, a biz will tank without it. We aren’t perfect, but we do our best to be personal and create a fun experience that our clients will rave about because we have done small things to help them feel special. We are very friendly, very kind, and we truly CARE about each and every client that comes to our studio. And our clients know that we do! We try to go above and beyond for our clients. One example of that is in the boudoir photo shoot experience, we are their cheerleader, friend, and confidant. The shoot may have been the third one we did that week, maybe we are feeling under the weather, but even on our worst day our client will know that we had the time of our life shooting them.

We try to add value in every way possible. And “value” doesn’t mean it’s a big expense to us. For example, when our clients pick up their boudoir book, they receive a set of bonus wallets that we picked from their book images. It’s affordable and easy for us to order, and it’s a fun little surprise for them!

5>CONSISTENCY

Going back to our “boudoir recipes” for a second, another reason we love creating recipes is because we want to be consistent with every client. Another word for recipes could be ‘systems.’ And our systems make sure that one woman’s experience step-by-step will be the same as her friend’s experience who referred her (not exactly the same – of course if will be unique… but the high level of service will be consistent!!) From the booking procedure to the photo shoot to the viewing and product delivery… the goal of giving your clients stellar service and an amazing experience should be the same for every single person.

6> THE FINANCIALS

Either get a bookkeeper right away, or take a bookkeeping class immediately. When starting I read Quickbooks for Dummies, the whole thing, and it still wasn’t enough. Having a bookkeeper is a big expense every month, but I can tell you that a business can needs accurate financials to make decisions and find areas to improve upon. You need to know where your money is going. You especially need an accurate profit and loss report every month to make big financial decisions, set goals for your business, and see progress.

6>DETAILS

Cleanliness, friendliness, creativity, fashion-mindedness (made up word), keeping your word, exceeding client expectations, writing personal thank you cards, phone calls instead of emails, cute packaging, personalized touches, yummy candy, bonus little gift products.

Well alrighty photog friends, that is a very brief summary for now with some basic tips on how to get started in boudoir. Above all if you are passionate about this and work you booty off, we know that you will be successful! Boudoir photography is very rewarding, and it has been one of the biggest blessings in our life. We hope the same for you!

 

2017 Edit- We still think everything in the blog post is still completely relevant. Life and our business has gotten so busy, and we will be moving studio in MAY! We wanted to launch one final in studio boudoir workshop to celebrate all the good things that happened in that space for 10 years!! Life is busy so we haven’t been doing workshops for a bit now, but if you are interested in attending this on in May 2017, please email us at info@theboudoirdivas.com so we can be sure to let you know about it!

And here is a little up to date video on all things The Boudoir Divas: