Today's Awesome Louisvillager is a New Albany photographer who specializes in boudoir photography. Meet Courtney Paris!
LOU: I know you're a traditional photographer who shoots weddings and engagement photos and senior pictures, but some of my favorite work of yours has been your boudoir pictures. How did you decide to do boudoir photography, and what do you like most about boudoir sessions?
Actually, I don't shoot weddings anymore (unless they're family or close friends). After I shot my first 5 or 6 weddings, I decided it was just too stressful. I've already been married and had to go through the wedding stress, I certainly didn't want to do it over and over again! My studio partner, Tracy Dupaquier, does the weddings and she loves and it shows in her work!
The boudoir and pinup photography are my favorite types to shoot, by far, and right now, it's about 70-80% of my business, and I couldn't be happier. I did my first boudoir session for a friend who wanted something different for her husband's birthday; she called to see if this would be something I was interested in doing for her. I said absolutely! That first session was in my home, in our master bedroom. She loved, he loved, and I was smitten. She referred a friend to me whose husband was deployed with the military. The rest, as they say, was history.
I was in love with these types of sessions. Not only are they fun (who doesn't like to play dress up?), but I could see what it was doing for women and how they saw themselves. My most popular package includes a photo album with 20 images. So many times I have a girl walk in at the beginning of her session and say something about how she's so nervous and she's sorry if we don't get many good pictures, and she doesn't think we'll get anywhere close to the 20 images for the book. It never fails, once their photos are up on their password-protected gallery, I'll get an email saying they just can't choose, there are so many that she likes. To me, that's flippin' awesome. As a female, I know what it's like to be totally self-conscious about our bodies and NEVER EVER feel like we look good enough, let alone sexy. So to know that I'm able to take this gift of photography that I've been blessed with, and use it to help a woman feel good about herself, and strengthen the relationship she's in, well, that's just awesome!!!
LOU: Looking at the boudoir samples on your website, it seems that most of your clients are young fiancees wanting pictures for their soon-to-be husbands. Do you have a marketing pitch for older women? Single women with no immediate prospects? Do you shoot boudoir photos of men?
The clients on my website actually only represent about 10-20 % of my client base. I never post anyone's picture without their permission, and the ones that give permission, are all usually younger. They're typically more confident about their bodies and more comfortable with people seeing them.
I would say that I have about 30-40% of my clients are over the age of 35! A lot of them are doing them for their (or their husband's/boyfriend's) milestone birthdays (40, 50) or anniversaries (25, 30). And I do have a good number of women who do these sessions just for themselves! In fact, I have a couple clients who have a session once a year!
LOU: I follow you on Twitter, and I am in love with how sweetly you talk about your kids, your husband, and your extended family. How does your family life inspire your photography?
Thanks! My family has been HUGELY supportive of me and my photography, in so many ways. My kids are my inspiration for everything I do; I work to provide for them, and now I'm working for myself so I can rearrange my schedule and spend more time with them. They love coming down to the studio and 'helping mommy work.' My husband has encouraged me from day one, as cliche' as it sounds, we've always supported the other in doing what they truly enjoy and are passionate about. My parents and my husband's parents have always been there to help me with watching the kiddos if I have pictures, and my husband is out of town with his job or the military. Plus, they're (almost) always ready to lend a face for some new ideas!
LOU: You recently opened a studio in New Albany. Tell us about it and how it has changed your business.
Yes I did. I opened a studio in Historic Downtown New Albany with Tracy Dupaquier. It's a great feeling being able to tell people that I'll just meet them at the studio. We have a separate office and shooting space. I think people see me as 'more legit' having a studio, and my husband is happy to have all my photo stuff out of the house! ha!
LOU: Finally, tell us what you love most about living in the Louisville area.
I live over in downtown New Albany so the kids can be close to their grandparents but at the same time we love the proximity to the Louisville area, especially Old Louisville. We used to live in an apartment down there and were married at the Conrad-Caldwell House; the architecture there is amazing. The Waterfront gets a lot of use by my family too; the Waterfront Wednesdays is always a blast and the kids love the park. I think that we've got some of if not the best public radio in the country!
Thanks, Courtney, for being the first Awesome Louisvillager!
Twitter is Ceece and Lou_boudoir