During the Covid lockdowns, many of us felt isolated in our homes. That was certainly a unique challenge for me as a New York City boudoir photographer! Recently, I was interviewed by Ellen Sherberg, an amazing Bizwomen Contributor. I had the wonderful opportunity to share a little bit of my pandemic story with her, which you can read here.
As you know, business owners faced a lot of uncertainty due to the pandemic. The impact of Covid on boudoir photographers was particularly significant. Many photographers lost their bookings, and others had to shut down their businesses.
Although the pandemic was incredibly stressful for everyone here in NYC and across the world, I did my best to remain hopeful that one day things would get back to normal. I made it my goal to be 100% ready once they did.
So instead of focusing on the bad, which would have been so easy to do at the time… I kept on building my business even when I couldn’t go into my studio. Looking back on it, I believe boudoir just made me that determined of a person.
I wasn’t always that way, though.
The truth is that I started my business with nothing but a camera and ambition. And over the years, I’ve learned a lot of lessons—both about photography and about life.
I remember when I first started my business, I was really excited about it but also really scared. I was struggling with my confidence and wasn’t sure if I was good enough to be a successful boudoir photographer. And I never in a million years thought that anyone would be interested in my work. Boudoir is something I only shot ad hoc when wedding clients wanted something extra special to gift their partners.
Every time I would edit photos or show someone my work, I would second guess myself. I think this is a common feeling for a lot of photographers when they start shooting boudoir. It’s a genre that can be really intimidating, especially if you’re not used to shooting lingerie or nude portraits.
But as time went on and I put some of my boudoir galleries online, I was blown away by how many people were interested in doing a shoot with me. Even though I was scared, I knew deep down that I shouldn’t ignore my dreams – that they were every bit worth going for. That I was worth it! In fact, I learned that from the very women I was photographing.
You see, many of my wedding clients would ask to do a boudoir shoot, but when the time came they got so nervous and worried that they weren’t pretty enough or in shape enough. I would say to them things like, “If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will? You are your biggest believer and fan, so it’s important to start with that mindset. You are worth your time, worth the investment, and worth all the effort you put in. When you truly believe it, then others will too.”
It felt like I was always helping others see how incredible they truly were… but then I realized I had to do that for myself too! Since that “Aha!” moment I had, I’ve been able to achieve a lot of great things.
For example, during the pandemic, I never gave up trying to connect with new clients. With social media, there are so many ways to reach out to people, and I used many of them… Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube were just a few.
I also did a lot of blogging. And I reached out to past clients, letting them know that I would be available for shoots when the city opened back up if they wanted to do something special for themselves. I even offered video consultations and Zoom photo sessions.
Those incredible women I connected with during that time were looking forward to feeling renewed with a boudoir shoot when the world opened up again. And now that it is, I’m so happy to say that I’m booked for most of 2022.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to still have my studio and clients, and I give boudoir all of the credit for teaching me to never give up, no matter how bad things may seem at times.
And so the moral of my pandemic story is: There will be times when it feels like giving up would be much easier than continuing on, but don’t let those thoughts win. Remember why you started in the first place and that you are capable of anything you put your mind to. Every accomplishment starts with a single step, so take the first step today and don’t look back!