The Best Boudoir Photographer: Are They Really? | How to Choose Your Boudoir Photographer

It’s been awhile since we’ve had another issue in the How to Choose your Boudoir Photographer series – so let’s do this! Today we are going to chat about The Best Boudoir Photographer – or are they really? How do you know? How is this judged? But Brooke I see the badge on their website!


Let’s talk about what this really means.

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REAL TALK – this is going to ruffle some feathers, and guess what, I’m completely okay with that. The Best Boudoir Photographer is a title that is thrown around a lot, and I’m going to give you a little sneak peek into some of the shady stuff that comes up in my everyday inbox.

I took a screenshot of an email I received today, you can see it below.

While going through my email and the literally hundreds of emails that I get like this, I decided it was time for another article because this is really, really common and I want you to know exactly what it looks like and what it really means.

I delete emails like this a LOT.

I have received literally hundreds – and probably thousands – of emails like this, with companies that want to have links and information on my website. I have been specializing in boudoir photography for over a decade now, and have a reputation and domain history, and they want to market their business and name. Marketing is a beautiful thing, right?

I do have some companies that I promote because I really love their product or service, so if you ever see something like that on my website, please know that it is NOT a paid advertisement, but is something that I truly love. Sometimes there are affiliate links, but more often it’s just something or someone I really believe in.

This offer came in today, to be featured on a website for a company that retouches photos. They offered to feature me as the 11th in the list with a link back to my website, and in exchange for this feature, they expected me to put their award logo onto the footer of my website.

While I typically love features and welcome them – I have been published internationally numerous times – this one didn’t feel good. When I feel that icky feeling, I trust it, we’ll talk about that more later.

Here’s where this one is particularly sneaky – I’ve never worked with these people, I don’t know them or anything about them, and they want me to put their logo – which says BEST BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER on my website.

They even call it the “award logo.” In the email they call it a partnership – not an award. I didn’t win anything, there was no contest that I entered, but they want their logo on my website. And to entice me to add it, they make it look like an award, that I won the best boudoir photographer award.

So basically, they’re handing out “best boudoir photographer” awards to anyone who wants to send them content and put their logo on their website.

It isn’t based on someone’s photos, or the quality.

It isn’t based on the client experience that someone offers.

It isn’t based on how reputable a business is, or their past client’s reviews.

It is based 100% on someone’s willingness to put their logo on their website – which would take about 5 minutes of effort and zero skill or photographic talent. And again – I get hundreds of emails like this, this isn’t the first, nor will it be the last.

It might seem like I’m being kind of bitchy to call this out, so let’s talk about WHY this matters, because it can be very misleading.

Why do you care about the

Best Boudoir Photographer label?

Valid question, why do you care, right?

Because simply put – the word “best” is extremely subjective. In this case, it means that this photographer was willing to put a logo on their website.

Seems kind of… odd, right? Misleading and unethical would be the words I use, but sure, let’s go with odd.

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5 Things You Can Do To Make Sure You’re Hiring a Reputable Boudoir Photographer

So how can you make sure that you’re hiring someone who is reputable?

Someone who isn’t going to be lax in security, allowing your photos to fall into the wrong hands?

Someone who will treat you like a queen, instead of a number, or even worse, an object?

MAN I can really get on my soapbox about this.

Boudoir has exploded – which is amazing – but also leaves room for scam artists and creepers. If you want to read more articles that I’ve written on how to choose and hire your boudoir photographer, instead of relying on the best boudoir photographer sticker on a website, click here.

Here are five things you can do to make sure you’re not hiring a scam artist or a creeper – and please know that there is NO PERFECT way to know that with 100% certainty, but this is a good start.

1. Ask around locally.

Friends, family, neighbors, moms groups and more. I realize this might be scary if you don’t know someone well, particularly if you want to keep your session discreet, but asking for personal recommendations is usually a very reliable way to get some good information. If you’re in any Facebook groups that cater to moms, you can also search for the word boudoir in the group – chances are that someone has asked in the past, and you can see recommendations without having to ask for yourself. The best boudoir photographer can be a name that you see pop up over and over again – usually if several people are recommending someone, there’s a reason.

2. Look at reviews.

I hesitated to add this one because we ALL know there are some crazies that will leave negative reviews just to be jerks, but look at the reviews with discretion. I’ve even had someone leave me a bad review because they didn’t deliver their eBay order and I asked for a refund – so they left me a negative review, despite never having worked with me. Pay attention, and know that even excellent businesses don’t necessarily have five star reviews on EVERY review.

3. Look at a photographer’s history.

Did they just start their business? This isn’t a bad thing – it could just mean they’re new. But look at their social media presence. Do they have their own client group with past clients? Do they have several years of social posts that are consistent, with consistent messaging? Or are they bashing women – even in a sly way – a year ago and now they’re all about empowering women with boudoir? Those are buzz words floating around that are very convenient, and yet I have watched people come and go that will talk trash about a woman’s body and then change their tune when they think that being a boudoir photographer will be a money maker. The best boudoir photographer usually has a history on social media or elsewhere, with articles or posts that should align with what you’re looking for. This does NOT mean that someone has to have been doing boudoir for a long time – several photographers start in other genres and move into boudoir. This also doesn’t mean that they are exclusively a boudoir photographer. But it should mean that their message is consistent, and that their work is consistent, which leads us to number four…

4. Look at their work.

Do their edits look consistent, or do you see one that is super over the top edited, and the next not at all? Do the whites of the eyes look WAY overdone (guilty here, I totally did that when I first started!), or do they have some work that looks extremely professional, and some that doesn’t? If you’ve followed these articles, you’ll know that photo stealers are REAL. Meaning that someone will use another photographer’s work to advertise, even though they’re not capable of producing the same level of work. Not only is it illegal, but it’s unethical. Additionally, sometimes photographers will show images that were taken at a workshop. Why does this matter? Because it could mean lighting, sets, and posing was all done by someone else – the instructor – and not the photographer themselves. They may not be able to produce the same level of work with a client.

5. Go with your gut and trust yourself.

If someone talks to you in a way that is demeaning or condescending, or you just feel YUCK after interacting with them, it’s not going to be a good fit. And in this case, it may not even mean that the photographer is a creeper – it might just mean that it’s simply not a good match. As women, we are blessed with intuition – don’t ignore it. You know those memes that ask something along the lines of “if you could go back and tell your 18-year-old self something, what would it be?” I wish I would have learned to trust myself much, much earlier than I did, and I want to encourage you to trust yourself. If you feel like something is off, even if you’re THERE and it feels wrong – you have every RIGHT to stop the session.

EVEN IF YOU DON’T HIRE ME for your boudoir session – I want you to be safe.

I want you to find the best boudoir photographer for you – and feel 100% comfortable with the person you choose, even if you’re nervous going into your session.

You should be nervous because you’re doing something that might be outside of your comfort zone, not because of someone that is behaving in an inappropriate way, or because someone doesn’t have the experience that this genre requires.

Your safety, your body, your peace of mind, and your confidence is of the utmost importance with ANY photo session, but especially with boudoir. “The best boudoir photographer” is a loose term that has zero regulation or requirement.

Bottom Line: Anyone can call themselves the best boudoir photographer – scary, but true.

Y’all I have even watched new photographers create full on websites for awards they made up, so they can bestow it upon themselves – TRUE STORY.

It is up to you to do your homework, and ask questions. Any boudoir photographer that is worth the experience and investment will be more than willing to answer any questions and do whatever they can to help you feel comfortable with what can be an exhilarating but nerve racking experience.

After reading all of this, you might be wondering – why do I call myself the best boudoir photographer in Colorado, or in Denver?

When I say I have been called the best boudoir photographer, I use those words for a few reasons.

First, because I was named the best boudoir photographer by Denver’s 7 News years ago. Second, because I have been called the “boudoir queen” of Colorado and Denver several times over by fellow photographers who refer their clients to me, as well as my clients.

I don’t take ANY of those things lightly, the titles mean the world to me, and I strive each and every day to make sure that my client experience matches the best boudoir photographer title that my peers and clients have given to me.

I have said it before and will continue to say it – there are a few genres in photographer that require a higher level of responsibility. For instance, with a wedding, you will never get those moments back. With a newborn, they’re only that tiny and squishy for a few short days. And with boudoir, a bad experience can leave a woman second guessing herself, her body and her judgment – which is absolutely unacceptable.

I said this above and will say it again:

EVEN IF YOU DON’T HIRE ME for your boudoir session – I want you to be safe. I want you to feel 100% comfortable with the person that you choose, even if you’re nervous going into your session. You should be nervous because you’re doing something that might be outside of your comfort zone, not because of someone that is behaving in an inappropriate way, or because someone doesn’t have the experience that this genre requires.

Your safety, your body, your peace of mind, and your confidence is of the utmost importance with ANY photo session, but especially with boudoir. “The best boudoir photographer” is a loose term that has zero regulation or requirement.

If you have read this far and you’re like BROOKE I’M SO IN, I would love to have you in for a boudoir session.

Because you’re fucking gorgeous, just as you are, right now. Because you deserve it. Because taking care of yourself and treating yourself should be a priority. Because a boudoir session with me means walking away feeling AMAZING, which trickles down into every aspect of your life, with confidence and love for yourself and others.

Ready to book your session!? I’m excited to work with you! Click here to contact me and get more information about booking your session with me!

If you’d like to have more information about what the heck is going on with sessions, parties and more, click here to grab guide from the best boudoir photographer in Colorado and Denver – How to Look Amazing in Photos. It has tips and tricks to help you look amazing in photos – whether your clothes are on or off – and avoid having to untag yourself in a social media photo again. Or, just laugh with me at various shenanigans and get early access to events, model calls, and awesome goings-on. Either way, come join the list. We have cocktails.

I am so privileged to be called the best boudoir photographer in Colorado! My clients’ privacy is a top priority for these intimate portraits. Any and all boudoir images that are posted have been shared by the subject with written permission. I am honored that my clients choose to share their images with the world, and talk about their experiences with those images.

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