For years I shot boudoir photo sessions in either a hotel room, air BnB apartment, in my clients’ homes, or even in a rented studio. All of these options were fine at that time. In fact, when I travel, I still shoot in Air BnBs or hotels. Hm, much less in hotels, to be honest. The hotel rooms are always really small unless I pay a lot of money for a room. Air BnBs provide a much better value and a lot more room for my boudoir photo shoots. So while these options are all OK, I found that setting up a “home boudoir studio” is now a preferred option.
I hesitated with setting up a home boudoir studio because I really wanted to separate my home and my work. I’m a very private person, and I needed a little bit of encouragement to finally shoot my boudoir at home. Looking back, I wish I did that earlier. It’s so much more convenient to shoot at my home, and it’s a lot cheaper too. What I also found is that the quality of my images lifted a notch. Simply because I know the space well, I don’t have to look for good spots to shoot, and I know where the light is the best.
The convenience of shooting at home is self-explanatory. I don’t have to travel to a location, I’m already there, just waiting for the client. Where I live is quite convenient too. It’s away from the city so there is plenty of free parking around. It’s also very close to a train station if anyone wanted to catch a train, but I don’t think I even had a client arrive by train. Well, the option is there, if needed. The cost is also a factor.
If I book more than 1 shoot on a weekend, then I didn’t worry that much about the Air BnB cost. However, making a booking just for one shoot is so wasteful. I would only spend maybe 3 hours at that apartment, but I had to get it for much longer. And no, I can’t book an Air BnB for a couple of hours. Also, that would be pretty weird too.
What I also found to be a major advantage of shooting boudoir in the same place is the fact that I know what spots are good to shoot at, and I know where the sun is going to be at a given time of day. When I shoot in a hotel or Air BnB, I always spent at least an hour checking the light in the place. Some apartments had good light, some not so much. I always checked the pictures to make sure I will have enough light, but I could not prevent surprises.
Some apartments would face North, which in Sydney means a lot of direct light. Great for the quantity of light, but not always good to shoot in direct sun, especially if there are no sheer curtains in the room. If the windows were facing South, then I could avoid harsh, direct light, but sometimes there would not be enough of it. I could never be certain that I will have plenty of good light.
Another thing is that new places I had to search for a good place to shoot. Move the furniture around if I had to. Maybe even take down an ugly picture from the wall. Air BnBs were usually big enough to shoot, but hotels were often just around 30 m2, and that is not much at all. Especially since I like the look of my 30m lens.
At my home, I know exactly where the light is coming from, and at what time. I also know all the available angles, so I don’t have to waste time searching for a good angle to shoot. I like the certainty. Of course, this also means that a lot of the images that I offer my clients may look similar. But they only look similar to me, as I see them all. For my clients, these pictures will be fresh and new. I can create a lot of variety in the images in a 2br apartment. If I had a repeating customer, then I would definitely shoot at a different location.
I like the idea of shooting boudoir in my home. I was hesitant at first, but I’m all for it now. I may go shopping soon to get a different floor lamp, and maybe a couple of new indoor plants to give my home boudoir photo studio a slightly different look. Oh, and I saw a nice, vintage-looking French chair. They look great in pictures. Yes, I’ll keep an eye on one of there. Check out my boudoir page if you want to book a session.