“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” — Nelson Mandela
How do you prepare the morning of your shoots?
The morning of our shoots I am typically practicing self-care in the form of a short hike, (when in LA as there are no hills to hike in Tulum:), Kundalini yoga, meditation, or sometimes all of the above if time allows.
Apart from that, I take it totally easy the rest of the day leading up to our shoots. I have a strict no-alcohol rule with myself the night before a session. You’ll usually find me in bed at 9 pm. It’s all about conserving my energy for our sessions and bringing my most connected self to my work.
For the actual shoot prep itself I am cleaning a lot, washing sheets for our bed, moving furniture around, making sure everything is charged up, and helping get our hair and makeup artist situated.
Are there any routines or rituals you do before a shoot to get in the zone?
I don’t have any rituals per se, just ensuring I have time to feed my body and soul in some capacity before shoot time. I keep shoot days stress free and I always stretch before the shoot so I’m ready for all our posing demos.
Can you describe what it feels like for you to meet your clients face to face for the first time?
Exciting! Our clients are often nervous pre-shoot so there’s a lot of energy in our initial in-person exchange. I absolutely love meeting clients in person for the first time and even more so love seeing their entire demeanor change when they walk out of the studio. Lit UP!
How do you help your clients ease their nerves upon entering the studio?
I think my natural vibe is calming… once clients meet me in person they often pick up on that and they can usually see that our studio is a safe space where they can let go and trust the process. Once our clients have walked in the studio and dropped their stuff down and chatted with us a bit it’s then time to hop into hair and makeup and get pampered! This is always a really relaxing time for all of us because we get to just sit there for over an hour chatting and getting to know each other better over coffee or tea. By the time the shoot starts most of the nerves are gone.
What advice do you share with clients before shoot time?
We go through a handful of helpful tips including keeping their shoulders dropped, standing or sitting up tall, how to hold their head, parted lips throughout, and hand placement. The rest is all about watching all the pose demos and copying what I do. It can be physically challenging at times, but also easy in the sense that there is NO experience required to have a photo shoot. My clients are literally posed from head to toe.
Once hair and makeup is done and you and your client are going through their outfits, what are the main things you look out for in their pieces and the order they wear them in?
We always want variety in wardrobe. A 1 piece bodysuit, a 2 piece set and some form of nudity is the typical order we go in as we slowly show more skin throughout the shoot. We also looove pops of color in wardrobe like reds and royal blues but you can never ever go wrong with black either. We try to stay away from busy patterns as I tend to think they are distracting in the photos.
Can you describe what shoot time is like for you? What are you thinking about, what are you doing, what might you be saying?
Shoot time is go time! It is relaxed yet structured with a TON of posing direction like “drop your shoulders”, “keep the top of your head parallel with the ceiling, point your toes like a ballerina.” I am rattling off so much direction that at some point in the shoot I usually stumble over my words and end up laughing at myself. It’s like my mouth can’t keep up with my mind lol. Shoot time is super exciting as there are sooo many amazing poses to try. The hardest part for me is having to decide which ones to leave out because I want to do them all!
Normally I’m mapping out each pose in my head and am moving around a lot to find the absolute best angles and lighting. It is all about that ideal light for me. During our indoor shoots in LA I am climbing up and down the ladder every few minutes, moving distracting objects out of our backgrounds, and chatting with my clients about whatever comes up. Our sessions flow really nicely and it’s always wonderful to see my clients relaxing into the session. By the time we’ve made it through the second outfit our clients often are walking around the studio at least partially naked and are feeling right at home. I know I’ve done my job well if my clients get to this point because it means they feel very comfortable with the whole experience.
Are there any things that you and your clients talk about as you move from pose to pose?
We’re either talking about small tweaks to make in each pose to refine it or we’re talking about all things life. I also try to keep my clients in the loop when it comes to my game plan for their poses, helping them visualize as best I can how we’ll move through most of the shoot.
How do you tune in to your clients and sense what they might need to feel supported through their shoot?
I think this comes naturally to me most of the time as I consider myself pretty empathic. I do try to get a sense from my clients in the beginning for how they might feel while we are shooting. Some clients are chatty and want to feel engaged during the shoot telling stories throughout. Others need more focused attention on the posing instruction and are looking to be led more, moving through each pose step by step with intention. Everyone comes into the studio with different life experiences, ideas, and goals for their session.
How do you make your clients feel empowered throughout shoot time?
By sharing with them how incredible they look. Most of my clients don’t believe me until they see that first image of themselves on the back of the camera. Then they get it. They understand at that point that I will not let them down and that we’re going to create an entire gallery of gorgeous images together. Sometimes people have to see it to believe it!
I’m also telling them how amazing they look as they move through each pose. We work really hard together to perfect all of our poses, so when they nail the pose they know they are taking my direction well and it’s paying off.
How does it feel for you to watch your clients come alive and transform during their sessions?
I don’t think there is any greater satisfaction in my job than this. It is such a joy to be able to watch my clients go from being really nervous pre-shoot to walking out the door telling me how much fun they had and how they can’t wait to do it again. They remember at this point why they chose to have their photos taken (to feel empowered and celebrate self-love) and their whole spirit is lifted by the end of the session. It really is like therapy for so many of our clients.
Is it normal for your clients to get emotional when they see their images on the back of the camera?
Sometimes! Most of my clients get really excited once they see their first image. They understand that they are going to look incredible throughout the session and they start to relax more.
How do you spend your evenings after your shoots? Is there anything special you do to decompress and unwind? (physically and emotionally)
In all honesty, I am usually wiped after a shoot. Physically demonstrating the poses, providing verbal instruction throughout, and having to often think fast on my feet while maintaining a creative mindset is a lot of work, so after my shoots, I’m in full relaxed mode. I’ll stretch, maybe cook something for dinner, and shortly after that, I’m ready for bed!
At the end of the shoot day, is there anything, in particular, you like to reflect on?
At every shoot and at the end of the day I always reflect on how incredibly lucky I am to do this work. I feel grateful for each client that walks through my door and who trusts me with such an intimate experience. After watching my clients leave and part ways until our reveal session, I know from the look on their faces that they feel accomplished – that they conquered a fear by showing up for themselves. Knowing I helped guide them through that is the greatest gift. I go to bed very happy on session day.
We are currently booking boudoir sessions in Los Angeles from February 1st-28th and in Tulum throughout the rest of the year and beyond. To get in touch about your boudoir shoot, schedule a phone consultation below and we’ll chat!