Why is Boudoir so expensive?

June 03, 2021  •  Leave a Comment


When people inquire for my Boudoir photography pricing, I tell them:

“The average clients usually spends somewhere between $2,000 and $5,000 on their reservation & image collection.”


THEN, they say things like: 

“You charge how much? That has to be a mistake.”

“That's insane, there is no possible way I can afford that.”

“This is nowhere near what I thought it was going to cost.”

“I was hoping to spend a couple hundred dollars at most.”


I realized to most people, they only see photography as an easy thing to do…

“Just holding a camera, and clicking a button”;

but… its not even remotely that simple.



There are literally hundreds of photographers in just our local area alone charging prices ranging from $20 to $20,000 for their artistry; and that in the United States, the average photographer makes only $31,000 per year? When you count everything we're going to discuss below, most photographers are actually only making between $12 and $15 an hour!


Here are 9 reasons why boudoir photography is so expensive:



1. "There's a lot of time involved."

For Starters, my boudoir photo-shoot experience isn't a in and out, JC Penny type of thing. There’s a reason I call it “An Experience”. I call it this, because your total experience is 3 and a half hours of time. From the hour of getting luxuriously pampered with our hair and makeup professionals, to your hour reveal appointment

In addition to that, you should also include the time spent on editing and retouching your images once the session is over, just think, I show on average 150 images at our reveal. Lets say each of those images takes 5 minutes to edit/retouch. That's 12 and a half hours of editing and retouching (any that's only giving me 5 minutes per image!!!). Then after the editing and retouching is complete I have to upload you images into the gallery for your reveal, then there's designing the albums, communicating back and forth before and after the session, etc. You can see how the time really ads up.



2. “The amenities aren’t free.”

When you have an experience that is as luxurious as the one my studio is providing, you have to consider that there would be a lot of cost in order to provide those services. Your pampering, the lingerie we include, jewelry, Angel wing props, etc are definitely not free. I pay for all of that. To insure you get amazing images!


3. “My team is well paid. They aren’t volunteers.”

You may not realize it, but there are a lot of people involved in making your shoot happen…

~ There’s the glam team themselves (Joy and Athena) who gets paid to beautify every single client who walks in the door. 


BOTTOM LINE IS: No one is donating their services. I pay them well, they work hard, and they do an amazing job. They always go above and beyond for my clients, and they love to exceed expectations!


4. “Photography gear is not cheap”

Now, I have a lot of gear that I have purchased in the past few years. So here is some more information on what I use & how much things costs:


  • Nikon D750 Camera Body - $1,500

  • Nikon 70-200 2.8 Lens - $1,500

  • Nikon 24-70 2.8 Lens - $1,000

  • Other Nikon Lenses I Own - $1,500

  • Other Gear For The Camera I Own: $1,500

  • Dozens of CF Cards: $60 each

  • Dozens of SD Cards: $90 each

  • Dozens of Extra Batteries: $20 each

  • Multiple Reflectors: $30-$100 each

  • Multiple Studio Lighting Modifiers: $50 - $500 each

  • Multiple Light Stands: $50 - $200 each

  • A Commercial Grade Tripod: $100 - $150

  • Professional Studio Strobe Lighting

  • Not to mention the costs put into a specific Boudoir studio (sheets, props, outdoor sets, etc)

Just one set of those Luxurious Angel Wings we have in Studio costs $1,896!!!! Yup you read that right.


5. “Software adds up”

Not only is there gear, but you also need a lot of software to run and operate a photography business! My costs for software alone are over $7,000 a year! 


6.“Unlike most photographers, I have studio expenses.”

Sure, most photographers can meet you outside at your favorite park, or at your home, a hotel, or another place to take photos, but I actually have a studio where I work from, meet with clients, and do my Boudoir sessions. I do own my studio building, however this doesn't mean I don't pay for this space. I pay mortgage which a percentage is considered rent for my studio space and utilities, just like any other photographer with a studio. Plus I am responsible for any upgrades/renovations needed along the way. Remember, If I don't have any clients, I still have to pay for the space, and it’s not cheap.

None of that even counts what I purchase for my studio.  I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on my studio lingerie collection, my custom bedroom sets, furniture, jewelry, props and accessories, bedding, candles, audio visual equipment, photography equipment, sample albums, wall art, and other printed products to display...



Our new studio cost over $20,000!!! And that's not including any landscaping for our outdoor sets.


7. “I pay to be a better photographer.”

There are SO many awesome resources for people in the industry. Private workshops, national conventions, conferences, online courses, business coaches, mentors, and mastermind groups. None of these things are ever cheap but they are worth every penny for the knowledge and education you receive and get to take with you.

I personally have 2 business coaches, partake in a mastermind group, continue to take many online classes, save up for large conventions, and book a private workshop at least once a year.


8. “It costs money to run a legal business.”

If anyone is offering boudoir photo-shoots for under $200, they probably aren’t running a legal photography business or they are just starting out and don’t realize the costs of business quite yet.

When I first started as a photographer I charged basically nothing. $25-$100 (Yep. I really did that. lol) After doing that for a few years, and seeing how much things cost, I had to raise my pricing quite a bit. I used that money to help get my business started & purchased new gear, got a new studio, upgraded everything in it, and set myself up right. When I got the paperwork for my business, I then realized I have to pay taxes, hire an accountant, pay sales tax for physical goods, and, woof, the list of expenses grew and grew.


9.“You are paying for Professionalism, Experience, & Quality”


I have dedicated my life to helping women see how beautiful they actually are through my art; and I am not just talking about on the surface.

My goal is to help women illuminate their authentic self, feel confident in their own skin, and give them the ability to love what they see in the mirror each day.

Remember, any photographer can make you look beautiful by getting you dolled up. I go further and strive to make you actually feel beautiful, so you leave your session not just with photos, but with uplifted confidence as well.

When you work with me, expect to have a positive, fun, and life-changing adventure that you will enjoy reflecting upon long after it is over. Your comfort is my priority, and I will guide you every step of the way to feature your best assets, get the perfect poses for your body type, and make you feel amazing.

No matter how old you are, what size you are, or if you are experienced in modeling or not,


Nothing makes me happier than being able to support women in breaking their vulnerabilities, make them feel sexy, and support them in fostering genuine confidence.




Final thoughts…

The next time you question a photographer with their pricing, please keep things like this in mind. We are the smallest of small business owners with dreams, and desires just like the rest of you. I love what I do, I love my clients, and I want to provide an incredible experience for each and every one of them.

 What do you think? Still think photography pricing is overrated?

Leave a comment below to let us know!


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