Why I Don’t Use Models for Boudoir Photo Shoots

girlfriends in swimwear on sandy beach

I have made a commitment to not use models or “strangers.”

When clients hire me for their boudoir photos, I do not share their images without their written consent. Their images are their images. (It’s a very private thing.)

I still have to market my Boudoir Photography work, to show what I can offer. That’s where styled photo shoots come in. But, I don’t like using models for these projects… it sets a very unrealistic visual for women (and men) who are interested to work with me.

My clients are everyday people so I like to use everyday people. This group of women are real-life friends; I believe some are coworkers. They agreed to hang out with me for a few hours on a sandy beach somewhere on Sauvie Island, Oregon. The only rule was: Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Oh, and must have fun!

They brought the fun (aka bottles of yummy!) and I brought my Canon 35mm film camera with 50mm f/1.2L lens; that was all. It was a very good opportunity for me to see what I could do with posing five women in the same frame. Sure, there were lots of trials and errors but that’s also why us photographers do what we call styled shoots. We use this time to practice so that we’re not practicing while on your time that you paid us for.

Of course, I often get inquiries from folks asking if they could be in my next styled shoots… The short answer: NO.

As I piece together everything to restart my photography business in 2020, I have made a commitment to not use models or “strangers” but past clients who have already invested in me. They’re also already familiar with how I work so we can spend more time creating great images while we catch up on each other’s lives.