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Boudoir and Makeover Photography are very popular, transforming your everyday look into that of a professional model, either for yourself or as a gift for a loved one. The challenge is selecting a studio that offers best value.
Sadly, the public perception and reputation of the high-street Boudoir and Makeover Photography industry is tarnished by those that charge extortionate amounts for average and poor quality images. In fact, in most major cities, many in the target market (women in their 20s, 30s and 40s) know someone who has been grossly over-charged in this way, and are suspicious of all photography businesses. The good news is that there are high-quality best value Boudoir and Makeover Photography businesses – you just need to know what to look for.
There are two operating models for high-street Boudoir and Makeover Photography studios: free and low-cost shoots with high image costs, and all-inclusive packages. The key to arranging a successful shoot is to understand the difference and select the right studio for your needs.
The Boudoir and Makeover Photography studios that offer low shoot fees recover their operating costs selling images after the shoot. Superficially, this seems good, as clients only buy the images they want. However, the clients that buy images have to cover the studio’s operating costs for both their shoot, and those of clients who do not buy any images. Moreover, many clients feel compelled to buy some images, whether they like them or not, as they have expended time and effort attending the shoot. This type of studio rarely advertises the cost of their images, and is often characterised by a conveyor-belt style of photography, whereby all clients go through the same preparation process and are photographed in the same location against the same background, to maximise the studio’s productivity and profitability. So, people attending free and low cost shoots, usually end-up paying excessively for a small number of generic images.
The low shoot fee Boudoir and Makeover Photography studios routinely use high-pressure sales techniques soon after the shoot, to maximise their post-shoot sales. A quick Internet search reveals details of the resulting complaints and the companies concerned, with one individual paying over £2000 for images from a half-day shoot, on a 3-year HP agreement! We also have a disproportionate number of deaf clients coming to our studio, because the low shoot fee studios refuse to give them bookings, allegedly because they are fully booked, but actually because they know they will not be able to apply their high pressure sales techniques to such clients. These types of studios frequently advertise via the discount coupon web-sites, with offer like “a makeover shoot for £25” - trust me, you cannot run a photography business by charging £25 per client - there will be an expensive “hidden cost”.
Conversely, Boudoir and Makeover Photography studios that offer all-inclusive packages recover their operating costs on a pro-rata basis, based on the length of the shoot and the number of images supplied. The risk with this approach is that you are purchasing the images before you have seen them. Conversely, this approach gives you real choice in agreeing the styles and looks that you want from the shoot, agreeing a price for a tailored service, and allowing time for you to relax and appear at your best in the images. Most importantly, studios that offer all-inclusive packages openly advertise the total cost of their services, so customers can compare prices.
On balance, the all-inclusive Boudoir and Makeover Photography studio operating model is better for those clients who want a high quality set of images, whereas the low-cost shoot studios are better for those who just want a shoot for fun and don’t really care about buying the resulting images.
Last but not least, potential Boudoir and Makeover clients must carefully examine the quality of each studio’s images. This can be difficult to judge, depending on the range of images available to view in each studio’s portfolio, the studios’ integrity in displaying the images that they shoot everyday, and the relevance of the portfolio to the style of images you want. The best solution is to ask short-listed studios for references from previous clients – good studios offering tailored services will have a good relationship with their clients, and should be happy to provide references.
So, if you want high quality best value Boudoir or Makeover Photography, select a studio that shoots high-quality images, offers all-inclusive services tailored to your individual requirements, and can provide you with excellent references.
Amusingly, we find men buying Boudoir and Makeover Photography shoots for their partners are much better at finding best value studios than women - why? We also find Asian women are better at finding best value than caucasian women - why? Perhaps most caucasian women just want a cheap makeover ........?
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