Most of you SHOULD be aware that Dayton has more artistic talent than many cities even two or three times our size, and that talent includes some amazing photographers. We will be featuring many of these amazing Dayton photogs over the coming weeks, starting with this one – Tracy Abston of Blush Boudoir. Tracy’s traditional photography that focuses on portraits, weddings, etc. is amazing in and of itself, and she has many happy clients that rave about their experiences with her. However, it is the ‘other’ type of photography that has helped Tracy make a name for herself – not only in the Dayton Region but in southwest Ohio! Ladies and gents – welcome to the world of Blush Boudoir…
Boudoir (which comes from the French word for ‘pout’) is a growing trend in photography today. Sensual yet classy would be a good phrase to describe these photo sessions, with female clients who might be looking for a unique gift to give their significant others. Interesting, you say? We couldn’t agree more (of course) so we sat down with Tracy to get to the bottom of this boudoir business (so to speak)…
Dayton Most Metro: What got you started in boudoir photography?
Tracy: “I have always had a passion for photography and making people feel beautiful. As a wedding photographer my clients started asking about intimate images for their husbands to be. After several sessions I received countless cards and emails expressing what an amazing time they had with comments such as ‘I never felt more gorgeous’, ‘I’ve never felt so confident before’ & ‘these images brought me to tears’. I knew that I was on to something amazing so I started Blush-Boudoir 4 years ago because I really want to encourage other women to have the same experience. At Blush-Boudoir we feel strongly that EVERY woman is absolutely beautiful and we will work with you to find your inner supermodel.”
DMM: Tell me a little more about this niche market – are there others in the region doing this?
Tracy: “Yes, boudoir photography is becoming very popular and although a hand full of other photographers are offering this as an optional session I believe that we are the only studio in the area that specializes in this type of photography. The Blush-Boudoir experience typically starts out as gift for a spouse or significant other but most often becomes an unexpected gift for them too….I would say it is like a rite of passage or a great way to celebrate milestones. In these cases a creative and classy Blush-Boudoir photograph is not just another pretty picture, it is more of a tangible memento reminding women of what they have gone through and what they have achieved in life. Blush-Boudoir photography is sexy, glamorous, fun and can be shared with your significant other in a very intimate way.”
Tracy: “My clients’ comfort is of the utmost importance and our studio is all female staffed in a very relaxing chic downtown studio. During a typical session we’ll start by going over their ideas and I’ll ask a few of my favorite questions like ‘Tell me a little about your best features’, ‘Do you have any concerns or is there anything you want to hide?’. I reassure my clients that they don’t have to have the “perfect body” to look absolutely and positively sexy in their photos. It’s my job to bring out your flirty and beautiful side by coaching you through your session. I’m always very excited to hear all the wonderful experiences my clients share with me after the shoot and how relaxed they feel throughout their session.”
DMM: Who is your average client?
Tracy: “My clients are generally new brides, married women looking for that unique gift for their spouse, and stay at home moms looking for an empowering beautiful experience . As far as professional experience, my clients are women in the medical field, business owners, teachers and so many other professions that it would take me days to list them. What always amazes me is how far some of my clients have traveled for the Blush-Boudoir experience….. We have had clients from Michigan, Chicago, Lexington (KY), Columbus, Cincinnati and Indiana travel to our studios because of recommendations by their friends.”
DMM: I’m guessing this is something easier for young women to do, but what about those who (how do I say this without getting hate mail)… those who might not be so young? (whew)
Tracy: “I would say that our clients average around 30 percent in their 20’s, 30 percent in their 30’s and over 35 percent in their 40’s+ (a growing segment). I think that some women turn to our Blush-Boudoir photography as a means to launch their new outlook on life. At 40+ years a woman is dealing with running a household, managing work, raising kids and just life in general. It’s nice to take time out and do something special and rewarding like a Blush-Boudoir session. During their sessions they will receive a day of pampering at our private downtown studio, a professional make-up artist and a photographer who is experienced in making every client feel and look like a supermodel . A Blush-Boudoir photography session is one day out of your life resulting in a gorgeous, stunning, sensual, treasured photograph that you’ll have for a lifetime.”
DMM:. Have you ever gotten criticism for doing boudoir photography?
Tracy: “I believe that God created women to be beautiful, and that there is a reason the female form has been painted, sculpted, drawn and photographed for centuries. I’m sure that there is some criticism about my photography but frankly I don’t care because our photos are classy and professional. My entire career has set me on the path to operating Blush-Boudoir and with every session I’m excited to make my clients feel beautiful inside by showing how beautiful they can be on the outside. I firmly believe that every woman that comes into our studio can be magazine cover-worthy.”
DMM:. Tell me an interesting story about a particular session.
Tracy: “A recent Blush client was in tears after her session. I sat down and asked what was wrong…. she exclaimed… ‘Nothing! I’m just sooo happy. I’ve never felt more beautiful in my entire life’. A few weeks later she sent me this.”
Tracy: “When you arrive we’ll chat about the lingerie and outfits you’ve brought for your session while you enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or bottled water. Once we determine which outfits you will wear then we’ll start your hair and make-up (if you choose this option). Getting your hair and makeup done sets the tone for your session and gives you time to relax while you’re pampered for the next hour. I have worked with the same fantastic makeup artist for over three years and love her! Michelle Richardson from Avoge Idea is simply amazing and you can completely trust her to create your vision. After you are all glammed up we will turn up the music, turn on the camera lights, and begin shooting.”.
“One of the most common things I hear from clients is ‘I’m nervous,’ quickly followed by ‘I have no idea how to pose!’ Don’t worry – it’s normal to be nervous so we’ll start with some warm-up poses to get you in your supermodel frame of mind and by the end of your session you will look and feel gorgeous !!!!!”
DMM: What is your studio like?
Tracy: “I LOVE my new chic downtown Dayton loft studio! It has elegant exposed brick, a cool staircase and the abundance of yummy natural light. Since our studio has a focus on the Blush-Boudoir session we can offer several scenes that are not only super sexy but are also a very private experience.”
DMM:. What other photographers do you admire?
Tracy: “Tiny Sparrow Foundation and others like her that are providing memories through photography to families with children who are facing life threatening illnesses. This is something I do as well whenever I get the chance because giving back is good for the soul.”
DMM: What other types of photography do you specialize in?
“I also specialize in wedding and lifestyle photography. At one point I was shooting 35+ weddings a year but have since cut back with my growing Blush-Boudoir business.”
DMM: How do you feel about the future of this niche market?
“I started Blush-Boudoir over 4 years ago and I’ve seen steady and incredible growth. Thanks to all of our wonderful clients who continue to recommend us to their friends we are seeing an increasing buzz throughout the Dayton, Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky regions. People seem surprised when I tell them how popular Blush-Boudoir photography is getting but my busy studio is proof that the demand is there!”