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Why is Boudoir Photography so Expensive?

Updated: Feb 6

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Maybe you’ve looked into having boudoir pictures done before; maybe you haven’t. If you have, you may have noticed something...Boudoir photography is a LOT more expensive than most other types of photography! Ever wonder why that is?

In this article, I’m going to break it down for you and explain the in’s and out’s of boudoir photography and why it’s so different from other types. Let’s jump right in!

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First off, I want to start by saying if you’ve done any research into boudoir, you may be floored by the prices. Most boudoir sessions cost anywhere from $1000-6000 or even more! It may seem pretty steep, which is why I want to explain why.

There are two schools of thought on why boudoir is so expensive. One - because it's a truly priceless experience that nothing else really compares to, the second - because of what goes into these sessions.

Lets take a look at the first school of thought - Pricelessness.

The first thing you should ask yourself if you’re considering booking a boudoir session is “What are you worth?” I don’t mean how much money you make or how popular you are. I mean, what price tag would you put on your self-confidence? What would you pay for a chance to feel validated in your own skin? If you’re anything like me, the answer is “my self-worth, my confidence, and feeling good in my own skin is absolutely PRICELESS.”

That’s what boudoir photography is. Boudoir is all about empowering yourself, seeing yourself in a new light, gaining confidence and falling in love with the body you are in NOW. Photos are just one small part of that experience.

When you have a boudoir session with Belle Allée, you can rest assured that you're in excellent hands. We are always continuing our boudoir education so that we know all the tricks to helping you see yourself in a new light. We guide you every step of the way, from hair and makeup (which is included!), what to wear and how to pose! We even do the poses for you so you just have to copy us!

Ready to book your boudoir experience with us?

Click any photo in this article!

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I’m going to be honest here. You can find cheaper boudoir photographers out there-- those who charge in the $75-350 range. However, what you need to ask yourself before booking one of those is - why are they so cheap?? Chances are, those photographers are just starting out. Those photographers most likely haven’t done their research on how to pose bodies of all shapes and sizes, don't know how to light you in the most flattering ways, and don't offer any products above digitals.

I can’t tell you how many of our clients have had boudoir photos taken by another photographer who was “budget friendly,” and then ended up coming to us. Why? Cheap boudoir photographer = cheap experience, products and images. You truly do get what you pay for. Boudoir is like fine dining, not McDonalds. If you want McDonalds prices, you are going to get McDonalds quality.

Those clients who have come to us after a bad experience with a cheap photographer tend to have the same complaints. The most common ones are that they felt rushed, were given little to no guidance on posing, or they were posed in a way that was not flattering to their body. One girl I’ve spoken to was SO distraught by her experience with a “budget boudoir” photographer that she didn’t feel good enough about herself to try again for FIVE YEARS. Five years!!!! Cheap boudoir can have the opposite effect of what you're hoping - it can destroy your confidence instead of building you up.

This is what “budget boudoir” will get you. If you want to see yourself in a new light, and love the body that you have, you need a true professional--someone who knows how to pose you and has invested in boudoir-specific education. That’s where we come in!

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So, what is a boudoir experience with us like?

Well, it’s just that. It’s an EXPERIENCE, not just a photoshoot!

We know how to capture beautiful, flattering photos of all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. We have spent hundreds of hours (and thousands of dollars) on training on everything from hair and makeup to posing and editing and beyond!

So what goes into a session with us? And lets look at the second school of thought now - what goes into boudoir sessions!

Time wise, here is the breakdown of what we do and how many hours we put into each and every one of our clients:

  • Phone consultation prior to session (20-30 minutes)

  • Emails/messages back and forth prior to session (3-5 hours)

  • Preparation/set-up time prior to shoot (1 hour)

  • Wrap up/clean-up after shoot (1 hour)

  • Hair, Makeup and shooting the photos (4-5 hours)

  • Post-processing, editing and retouching (8-12+ hours)

  • Album and prints - design, ordering, quality control, etc. (1-2+ hours)

  • Education (per shoot, minimum) (1+ hour)

  • Social Media, website, blog, managing the business (1 hour minimum PER SHOOT)

There you have it. We spend, on average, 21-28+ hours minimum PER CLIENT per shoot! Our work day doesn’t end when you walk out of the session! For a traditional photoshoot (not boudoir) that looks more like this:

  • Emails/messages back and forth prior to shoot (30 minutes to 1 hour)

  • Shoot itself (30 minutes to 1 hour)

  • Post-processing, editing, retouching (2-4 hours)

  • Education (15-30 minutes per shoot)

  • Social media, website, blog, managing the business (20-30 minutes per shoot).

That’s a grand total of 3.5-7 hours total. See the difference, time-wise?

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Now let’s break down what goes into a session money-wise!

  • Hair $50-100+

  • Makeup $100+

  • Location $150-200+

  • Props, drinks, toiletries, etc. $100-300+

That’s a total of $400-700 or even more PER SESSION. So most boudoir photographers will have a session fee around this range just to cover these things, it doesn't included our time.

That doesn’t include the THOUSANDS spent on equipment, THOUSANDS spent on education, the THOUSANDS spent on software, website, business licenses, marketing, etc. It does not include the HUNDREDS that we spend on the final products such as prints, albums, wall art, etc. And at Belle Allée, we pride ourselves on our luxury, heirloom quality products that are meant to last a lifetime. Cheaper products don't last. And don't you want to be able to look back on these images and remember what a hottie you were when you're 80?!

It also doesn’t account for the fact that, as a legitimate business, we have to set aside about 30-35% of what you pay us, just for TAXES alone!

Does it still seem as “expensive” as you thought?

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Maybe it doesn’t seem as expensive now, but it also still sounds like it’s out of your budget?

That’s okay! Boudoir is definitely an investment. It’s an investment in yourself, and everyone should get to have this experience at least once in their life! That’s why we started offering payment plans!

We offer 3-12 month payment plans that you can choose from. We also offer biweekly or monthly payment options so your payment plan will fit YOUR schedule. You do NOT have to pay the entire amount at once unless you want to!

Basically, there are a TON of ways you can make this happen if it’s something you really want to do. When you are ready to invest in yourself - we will be here!

Ready to book your boudoir experience with us? Click here!

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