Boudoir Photography Has Lost its Identity

Woman posing on a bed, finger near her mouth.

When I started boudoir photography, I thought it would be a fun genre to pursue. Not many photographers were doing boudoir at the time. I added boudoir to my wedding options, a gift from bride to groom.

After a few years, I really enjoyed boudoir more than weddings, so I stopped doing weddings completely to focus my business fully on boudoir. This was after 20 years of being a wedding photographer.

What I’ve seen since then is a flood of new boudoir photographers, each one a copycat of the last. Over and over again, I see the same poses, the same words on the websites, talk of “empowerment” and “life changing.” Very rarely do we see something new. Most of these photographers are replicating what they see from the top names in the business like Michael Jones, Jen Rozenbaum or Michael Sasser.

It seems like every day another woman in my area buys a camera (almost always a Nikon btw), builds a website on Squarespace or pixieset with photos from a few models and declares herself a “professional boudoir photographer.” The same recycled poses. The same models from the same area. I saw one the other day, in nearly every photo in her portfolio, the model was touching her face or head in some way. No originality at all. Drives me nuts.

Most of these “photographers” will be out of business within 1-2 years. Some of them will become “coaches” selling courses, ironically, that teach struggling photographers how to get clients. My instagram feed is filled with “hey photographers, are you struggling to get clients? Well, I’ve created a free masterclass…blah blah.” Then you do the “masterclass” and it’s just a plug for their “course” that costs thousands of dollars. Such a joke. And people fall for this every single day.

I’m not saying I’m the best. But that’s my point. I get my 1-2 clients a month and make a good living. I have my own style, not afraid to show skin in my images. My clients come to be because I do artistic nudes, not that silly boudoir we see these days. I make about $12,000 a month after taxes. I can live with that. I don’t need to sell crappy courses to supplement my income, because I have real clients.

Some of these other “boudoir photographers” need to take a look at themselves, be more honest with themselves and the people they are pushing their fake courses on. And come up with something different.