With wedding season just around the corner, boudoir photographers are likely to see an increase in bridal boudoir inquiries. More specifically, you may get inquiries about Bachelorette Boudoir Parties.
Here’s Part 1 of the Bachelorette Party Series.
When I received my first Bachelorette inquiry, it was for a 30-something bride about to marry for the second time. Wanting to keep it a little low key this time, she felt she’d outgrown the Vegas-style shenanigans, but they still wanted to have some daring out-of-the ordinary fun.
At the time, I had only done one group session before and I had no studio space. My brain began to race, “How would I pull this off?”, “Should I refer it out?”, “Was I about to refer out thousands of dollars simply because I didn’t have a proven formula?”
I was going to provide the best, word-of-mouth experience possible, so they would tell all their friends.
Bachelorette Parties 101…
Before wedding season hits hard, do some prep work to map out an experience. Put your logistics in place now so you’ll be ready to market them. In the first part of this series, I’ll talk about the logistics. These are not neccessarily the areas where you’ll make your bulk of profit*, but instead where you will make your reputation as top provider.
(*And, stay tuned for my future post about How to Plan a Bachelorette Party That Actually Sells Products!)
If you have a studio, make sure it has private shooting space/area. Dress up the space a bit, or personalize it for the occasion. You want them to lounge, eat, drink, laugh, dance party, whatever. But then, shoot in private as individual mini sessions. Don’t have a studio? Even better. Offering a double-queen bed posh hotel suite is an enormous asset, as they can have a crash-pad after they hit the town. Booking in the downtown hotspots are a huge draw. You can get a special rate or perks with the hotel, then charge accordingly.
HAIR AND MAKEUP
This is a big draw of the event, because it’s where the all the pampering occurs. It’s a rare occasion to get your hair and makeup done professionally. And so, they can hit the town after looking the most glamourous and dangerous they have ever been. This is a no-brainer and should be mandatory part of the day, no exceptions. Two HMUAs or a Hairstylist/makeup artist duo will be needed. They need to be quick, agile and awesomely versatile stylists. Who is best suited for this job? Do they fit your budget to maximize profit?
THE PRE-CONSULTATION, YOUR TIME, “THE REVEAL”
Don’t underestimate the power of the consultation and individual reveal sessions just because these are group sessions. You can be just as profitable (or more) with a group session as you are in a single session, so treat them with such reverence. Since groups are more time consuming in general, you still need to account for your increased time. What is the lowest amount you are willing to profit for this event?
I don’t do mini sessions, but my mindset with these are to treat them as “Mini Session/Max Variety.” It is challenging to shoot 5-6 women in just a few hours, but I would create a schedule of mini-sessions on a specific schedule, for each lady. You have to shoot to sell. Flow-pose and do a quick outfit changes if you can. The more looks you can show each woman after the shoot, the more you will sell.
UP TO 5 LADIES
I believe it is very difficult to offer a rewarding experience to more than five in this setting. If some opt out of shooting, then it’s doable. If more than 5-6 ladies must attend, consider bringing in a second shooter, as well as a second room/suite and charge accordingly.
AN IN-SUITE “CONCIERGE” FOR THE PARTY
…Aka, your assistant for the day. She is positioned to attend to their every whim, but also this person should take behind the scenes footage (give to the ladies with your hashtags and links = instant envy/social media marketing). Your assistant can also help you with serving food, drinks, assisting with lighting, wardrobe changes, etc. Any willing newbie or intern will do.
Make a target list of great partnerships with a hot restaurants that can offer the table a free appetizer or something special. It creates value that the bachelorettes are only obtaining through you. You can book the reservation on their behalf, for added first class value. If they are the informal type or on a budget, find the cheapest but fun venue (for example, that Tapas & karayoke place with servers dressed as scantily matadors!…Wait, did I just dream that up?)
CATERING and DECADENT SNACKS
I like to make delicious hand-dipped chocolate strawberries and decadent baked goods for these events. It’s luxe, yet easy and inexpensive. Save the booze as BYOB, because they may drink quite a bit and you don’t want to foot the bill nor the liability. Limit the alcohol consumed prior to their photo session. Be sure to create waiver forms, etc when alcohol is involved.
LUXE ADD ONS
Know a limousine service who wants to partner with you? NightClub passes? A masseuse? A lingerie or accessories vendor? These are great opportunities to co-market.
YOUR BACHELORETTE PARTY HOMEWORK
- Target potential partners who can help you create an extraordinary experience. Get possible rates and ask for exclusive c0-marketing deals.
- Map out what the experience you envision will cost you, from both an out of pocket-expense and in factor your time.
- As a next step, set up build a budget spreadsheet.
- Itemize ALL expenses…For you, and consider the people attending (=NYC parking is $75 overnight!). The less they spend on things extraneous to the party, the more willing they will be to expend their budget with you after the event.
- Tally it up and determine a price-per-person $ amount. NOW> Go match that per-person dollar figure to your bridal prospect. Does it seem to fit what she would pay? If not, you’ll have some re-planning to do.
Stay tuned for my next posts in this series, The Psychology of a Bachelorette Boudoir Party and Maximizing Bachelorette Party Sales. Do you have specific questions you’d like to know? Comment below.