Month: April, 2014

Boudoir Photography Tips

April 30, 2014

Boudoir Photography Tips: 3 Rules for Good Composition in Photography

 We’re taking a quick trip back to the fundamentals. That’s right, the FUN-damentals, the stuff you need to know and the skills you need to have if you want to take great photos. Composition is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of photography, and here are the top 3 rules for good composition in Boudoir Photography.

 1. Rule of Thirds

When composing a frame, imagine that there is a grid before your eyes. On this grid there are 9 boxes, separating your image into left/right/middle and top/bottom/middle, or into “thirds”. On average, the rule is that you want your subject to be in one third of the frame (either on the right or the left) and negative space (or “less full”space)should fill the other two thirds.

Basically, the rule of thirds is intent on you not putting your subject smack dab in the middle of the frame. It’s not only off putting, but it’s a tad boring. You’re supposed to be making your subject more alluring, not boring. The rule of thirds will definitely help you with that.

2. Fill the Frame

The second important rule of good composition for photography, filling the frame, means that you need to eliminate all distractions. In other words, get closer to your subject! You don’t want to leave the viewer guessing as to what the point of the photograph was. Keep it simple, be focused, fill the frame. If you’re uncomfortable getting physically close enough to fill the frame with your subject, use a zoom lens. This trick is especially flattering with boudoir photography as it will soften your subject’s features and make them look extra glamorous.

3. Leading Lines

Your job as the photographer is to direct the eyes of your viewer to your target. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of leading lines. As a rule, when we see a line or an arrow or some other directional extending into the distance, we’re naturally inclined to follow it with our eyes. The same can be applied to boudoir photography, a woman’s body is full of luscious angles which you can use to draw the eyes of the viewer in various sensual directions.

Having that said, do you always need to follow the rules? No, they operate as guidelines, a starting point so that you get off on the right foot. As they always told me in photography school, learn the rules so that you can break them creatively. You can take from that what you will.

Boudoir Photography is not easy and shooting everyday and using these basic rules will make you a better photographer. Once you have all the rules down, then you can break the rules.

 xoxo – Marisa

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Boudoir Photography Tips: Professionalism and Confidence

April 30, 2014

Boudoir Photography Tips: Professionalism and Confidence

 A very wise woman once told me that your attitude shapes your environment, that if you exude negativity, then you’ll be surrounded by it, and if you exude positivity, you’ll be overwhelmed by it. What you send out into the world you’ll get back. If you’re confident in what you do, people will, in turn, be confident in what you can do.

 Take this formula in to the professional world, and you’ve got an immediate strategy for success.

 The Role of Confidence in Boudoir Photography

No matter what kind of photographer you are, boudoir or otherwise, it is absolutely essential that your clients perceive you as confident and composed. In fact, in their minds, your sense of confidence and ability to guide them through uncertain territory is what makes you a professional. They’re not going to know what to do, this is why they came to you in the first place.

 But confidence is a tricky thing, you can fake it to a point, but then you’ll have to have some sort of substance to back it up, and that substance not something that comes purely from naked talent. True confidence comes from the fact that you actually know something, something worth sharing with the world.

 Weirdly enough though, convincing ourselves that we’re worth it and convincing others are two different issues, because so much about who we are and what we do is about perceptions. It explains why one person gets the job and another doesn’t, even though each are equally qualified on paper, or why some people see doors fly open for them, and other people find themselves knocking, and no one seems to be answering.

 In my early days of Boudoir Photography, I had a great deal of practical and technical knowledge, gleaned from rigorous study in portraiture from the Brooks Institute, but this knowledge didn’t make me naturally confident in my ability to create Boudoir photos, and I’m sure I didn’t immediately appear confident to those around me. That ability came with perseverance, experience, and, of course, extensive study of this unique genre of photography, in that order.

 There also came a point when I had to decide which face I wanted to show the world. No, I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Today I choose to be confident.”In fact, that’s ridiculous. But over time, and with each successive client, I learned the value of that confidence. I learned how it affected how my clients reacted to me, and how they perceived their entire experience. More than a decade later, it’s become second nature.

 You can do the same, it just requires a dedicated, conscious effort towards believing in yourself. It won’t be easy, it won’t happen overnight, but if you commit to it, you will get there. Your attitude and your daily behaviors do shape your environment, and the things you today are building your future, brick by beautiful brick.

 It’s been 10 amazing years of ups and downs, moments of not knowing how I would make, times where I thought I had to do something else to keep me from drowning. I have never given up. I knew I just had to keep going, no matter what. I have been working 60-70 hour weeks for as long as I can remember. I have put everything I am into being a successful photographer. I’ve never wanted anything more in my life.  I’m obsessed with bringing life into art and art into life. Living a life of being fully expressed is the only thing I am willing to do. Nothing else makes sense to me. I would rather be doing what I love and struggling than doing what I can’t stand and be well off. I am a true believer that if you stay on course and you follow you heart, the universe will supply you with what you need.

Today is a good day. I’m excited to share with you something very special. I have been wanting a new space to shoot boudoir for the last few years. Currently I do have an amazing studio space with the best natural light studio you could ever wish for, but It’s not the right space for me to build and grow my intimates and boudoir business. I share the space with other photographers, so it can be hard to create a safe place for my clients to be open and free. The experience of having a secure space is a HUGE for me, as well as having a unique location that fits my brand. I have had photos on my vision board of what this place would look like for many years. I have envisioned the decor, the feel, the smell, everything. I dreamed it up, and envisioned it on a regular basis. Today it was delivered to me. The key to my long-awaited kingdom has come.

My positivity over the years has finally been rewarded. All the hard work and unshakable dedication to my craft, my dream studio has finally arrived! I could not be more excited to be in a space so unbelievably beautiful. I’m going to create some serious magic in here!! If you have been wanting to shoot with me and for whatever reason you have not, NOW IS THE TIME. My 2014 prices will be changing very soon and if you want to get in with my current prices, you will have till the end of May.

 If you are interested in booking an Intimate/ Boudoir Session email me for info at info@marisaleigh.com 

Stay tuned for more photos.

L'Cheriyve

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Choosing a Boudoir Photographer Checklist

April 28, 2014

Choosing a Boudoir Photographer isn’t easy! You’re making a significant investment in your visual memories, about to record one of the beautiful, fleeting moments of your life –you want it done the right way, don’t you?

 Of course you do!

 As someone who’s been in the photography business for more than a decade, I’ve learned a thing or two about what separates quality photographers from those who are not so quality. One of the most important things to know is that when you make this investment in photos is that Boudoir Photography isn’t just about photography, its about the total Boudoir Experience.

 Don’t know what that looks like? Here’s a simple checklist to point you in the right direction.

 1.Style

 Every worthy photographer has a defined style that’s uniquely their own. A photographer whose work is clearly all over the place isn’t really worth your time, because you won’t be able to depend on them to produce the kind of photos you really want.

 When you’re browsing through the websites of potential photographer candidates, and it should go without saying that having a solid website is the mark of a professional, look closely on the kind of work they consistently create. You’ll find some are classic, edgy, versatile, black and white, glamorous, bright and fun, etc. Now imagine yourself as the subject of these photos, because that’s a pretty good indicator of how your final photos are going to look.

 If you love a Photographer’s style, that’s step one for making the decision to work with them.

 2.Budget

 This is often a difficult matter to discuss because most people don’t fully understand the amount of time, talent, and expertise that goes into creating professional grade  photos. Ultimately, booking a session is going to be an investment, but determining the amount of that investment is entirely up to you.

 You’ll need to ask yourself how much you would like to get out of the experience, do you want someone who’ll provide an empowering experience with all the trimmings, a luxury-style intimates photographer who will transform you into a queen for a day, or do you just want some photos taken, or maybe something between these two extremes?

 As I’ve said before, Boudoir is ultimately about the complete experience. Personally I think you owe it to yourself to have a bigger budget, and to enjoy the luxe intimate boudoir experience of a lifetime.

  3.Experience

 If you’re sick and go to the hospital, would you want to be treated a part-time doctor who is also going to school to be a lawyer and has only been practicing for a year, or would you want someone with a solid reputation in the area who has been doing it for more than a decade? The answer to this is obvious. And even though photography isn’t a matter of life or death, most people don’t take into consideration just how much a photographer’s experience in the art affects the quality of their work.

 Also, a point to think about when you’re choosing a photographer, does the person you have in mind do this full time or part time? A photographer who does this full time is fully committed to consistently producing top of the line, quality work because he or she has to in order to support themselves. Someone who only does this part time has less at stake, and won’t be as dedicated to making sure you have a worthwhile experience. Someone who does this day in and day out, and has done so for some time, knows how to create a quality experience again and again, and they’ll be able to do the same for you.

 4.Final Product

 Do you just want some photos or are you interested in the full presentation?  Photographers offer a wide range of products, both digital and print, to display your photos. Look for someone who offers a large variety of professional options, someone who ideally does the printing in-house and who can customized the finished product to meet your unique needs. Photographers who have a hands-on relationship with your printed images are more invested in the quality of these images, and you’ll get exactly what you need.

5.Extra Goodies

 You want to look and feel your best on the day of your session. The best photographers know this and will usually have a hair stylist, makeup artist, and wardrobe specialist they work with to ensure that you are the star of your big day. They should be able to help you decide on outfits, know how to prepare yourself before the shoot, and throw in some champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to sweeten the deal.

 Boudoir photography isn’t just a trip down to the local portrait studio (yuck!), it’s the complete experience, designed to make you feel incredible. Don’t settle for less than you deserve, use this checklist to choose the photographer who is perfect for you.

If you have any questions about booking a shoot or you would like to book a shoot with us email us info@boudoirlosangles.com

I’ll also send you my beautiful new boudoir guide to welcome you to Boudoir Los Angeles.

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Marketing Made Simple

April 23, 2014

Marketing Made Simple 

The phrase marketing made simple may seem like an oxymoron, but like many things, once you know how marketing works, it really can be easy. Here’s a few pointers you can use to help you get started.

Know Yourself

What is about your photography style that makes you unique? That’s what you want to market. You can look to others for inspiration, but when it comes down to effective marketing, you want to do something that separates you from the rest. Look critically at what you do, if the answer doesn’t immediately become apparent, look harder.

Have a Recognizable Message

 One of the best ways to make marketing simple is the concept of “branding.” Having a recognizable message is what will connect you to what you’re trying to sell in the minds of your clients. Some of the most successful advertising campaigns are the ones which people recognize immediately (think of Nike’s “Just Do It” Message).

Be Persistent

 I’m not saying you have to bombard your clients with ads, but you need to constantly be in the foreground of their thoughts if you want to be successful. When you’re first building a brand, your success will be splotchy at first, but the more they get to know you and your product, the better your marketing efforts will be.

 Focus Your Efforts

 Don’t spread yourself so thin that you become ineffective. Keep your marketing strategy simple by focusing your advertising efforts on a target audience, people who will actually care about your product. If you’re a boudoir photographer, your audience will be predominately women, women in relationships are those about to get married.

Tell Them Why They Need You

 Unless you tell them, how will they know? In marketing, you have to sell your work, and if they don’t think they need what you have to offer, they’ll pass you up in favor of something else they think they need.

Charge Your Batteries Up

 Keep fresh and original, and keep up the energy. You can’t be seen to waver. Instead, you have to be seen as innovative, ahead of the curve. So continue to improve your skills, charge your batteries with new ideas, and always present your best face.

Set Goals

 Setting goals keeps you on track and focused. In marketing, it’s easy to get distracted by flashing lights and new concepts. You need to stay true to your brand and to your audience, and set clear cut goals defining how you need to do that.

 Draw on Life Experience

 Pretend for a second that you’re the consumer. How would you like to be talked to? How do ads appeal (or not appeal to you). We’re surrounded by commercialism, and many things are much more effective than others. Applying this knowledge to creating your own marketing strategies will help you a great deal in the long run.

Make Cold Calls and Send Direct Mailers

A large part of marketing is a strategy known as “direct marketing.” You can’t fear your clients, so making cold calls and sending out direct mailers will put yourself in the foreground of their minds and give you a better chance of getting their business.

Website Newsletters

 Newsletters are the Direct Mailers of the 21st century. Instead of gaining exposure the old school way through someone’s mailbox, you can get quicker access to them through their inboxes.

Write Blogs

I wrote a more in depth post on this before, but basically blogs are one of the best ways for you to gain exposure through the web. Populating your website with new and interesting content will make it easy for potential clients to find you. It’s networking without the handshakes.

Gift Your Clients

 Send thank you letters, have contests where you give away a session, throw in extra prints for loyal customers. Gifting your clients set you apart as a photographer and enriches the overall experience. If people feel spoiled by the process they will be more likely to tell other people about you, which means more work down the road.

When it comes to marketing made simple, don’t overthink the process. Just remember your target audience, stand out, and go the extra mile. You’ll be amazed by the results.

I hope you are gaining tips that are useful! I’m always thrilled to answer any questions! Thank you so much for coming back to Boudoir Los Angeles again and again. I promise to keep delivering useful tips and inspiring ideas to help you start your own boudoir business or take it to the next level. I’m working on a boudoir e-book at the moment that I am hoping to launch in the next couple months. I’ll keep you updated on the launch.

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10 Tips to Spark Your Relationship

April 23, 2014

Boudoir State of Mind : 10 Tips to Spark Up Your Relationship

1.Be Playful

Anyone can be serious, in fact it’s easy, but only true lovers can be silly. Do things that make you laugh and have fun, things that make you look on the bright side. What was the reason you got together in the first place? It was probably because you enjoyed spending time together, it was something to look forward to. Lighten up, act like little kids, discover the world together and just delight in each other.

2. Do Special Things for One Another

When’s the last time she made you breakfast in bed? The last time he brought lunch to you at work from your favorite Thai place? When you both exchanged super de-stressing massages that made you tingle all over? How did it make you feel? loved? There you go. Simple deviations from the norm, the love note in the laptop bag, coming home to a bouquet of fresh flowers, etc. will renew feelings of amour, and make both of you feel special.

3. Try Something New

One of the worst things for a relationship is the inevitable “rut” that occurs after you’ve been together for a while. To ignite the spark that you had when the relationship was new, reintegrate some extra newness. Do something daring, whether it’s trying a new restaurant or taking a road trip. Doing things together for the first time will keep the relationship exciting.

4. Designated “Us” Time

Even if you live together (especially if you live together) having a set period of time each week where you will spend time together is imperative. You don’t have to call it “date night,” but setting aside this block of time will make sure that you’re giving each other the attention each other craves. So many other things – work, family, adult-y responsibilities – will get in the way of “us” time if you let it. Don’t let your relationship take a back seat, prioritize it, or you’ll find that you just don’t have time for it anymore.

5. Keep Personal Space a Priority

Relationships need some space to thrive, and really, some things need to remain behind closed doors.

6. Don’t Ignore Personal Growth

You remember all those things you wanted to do when you were younger, but couldn’t because of school or family or whatever? Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that you can’t do them. In fact, it’s proven that couples who pursue their own interests and hobbies individually will have more staying power, because they’ll be more well-rounded and fascinating people to be around. You don’t have to be together 24/7 to stay together. Make sure you take some time for you, to become the person that you want to be, so that you can be a stronger couple when you’re together.

7. Inside Jokes and Stories

Shared experiences and feelings are the foundations of a relationships. Being able to start conversations with “Remember that time…” followed by a funny story that both of you were a part of will bring you closer. This is because the best relationships are founded on friendship, so when you’re in a rut, recalling these moments and ideas that are only held by the two of you, will often be the spark that keeps things going long after the initial obsessive infatuation has worn off.

8. Lingerie

If you haven’t done so recently, giving your top drawer an overhaul is one of the best things you can do to reintroduce that “spark” into your relationship. You could even go one extra step and get a boudoir shoot with all your fun new lingerie. A boudoir session with Boudoir Los Angeles is an empowering gift to yourself and you will leave emblazoned, brimming with a positive new perspective of yourself, along with tangible memories to serve lifetime reminders of your experience. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

9. More Touching

Never underestimate the power of affection, not just in the bedroom but in general. Hold hands, cuddle, give massages. Touch is what helps us feel connected and bonds us together, it also reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and most importantly, keeps us from feeling so very alone.

Also, foreplay isn’t just something that happens in the moments immediately preceding sex, it’s a continual thing. The couples who feel mutually respected and appreciated outside of the bedroom, will have a much rewarding experience in the bedroom.

10. Fight Fair

It’s no great secret that all couples fight, but how you fight really matters when you want to keep the romance alive. Fighting dirty, bringing up old issues, not being considerate, etc. will arouse feelings of resentment, or worse, indifference. Fighting fair and respecting your significant other, especially when you disagree, will keep things smooth sailing for many years to come.

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