Name: Alicia Schmitt
City you live in: Port Washington, WI
If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be... "Richard Brautigan. I'm a writer at heart, and he's my favorite author. I probably wouldn't even say anything. I would just love to listen to him."
One thing I cannot live without... "Liquid eyeliner. Any day I don't have winged liner is a sad day."
When I was younger, I wanted to be... "A veterinarian. I love animals, and when i was young, I was really into science. I I thought I was going to be avert until I realized I wouldn't be able to save every animal that came through the door. Then the career was a hard pass."
The one person who motivates me is... "Teri Hofford. Her work is incredible, and she is so passionate about healthy self-image and body positivity. I'd love to have just a tenth of her talent and expertise."
If I could change anything in the world, it would be... "ending sexism would be pretty great. Let's just nip all inequality in the bud, actually."
I'm currently working on... "Plans to travel while shooting boudoir. I would love to take my studio on the road."
Always.. "Learning and Growing."
Never... "Wearing socks with sandals. NEVER"
Favorite Quote... "Comparison is the thief of joy." - Teddy Roosevelt
Biggest dream... "I want to see as much of the world as possible and have the freedom to do so."
My Pet Peeve(s)... "I hate clutter, and I really hate it when people say they are going to get something done by a certain time, and they don't. HUGE PET PEEVE."
How did you start "Buxom Boudoir"... "I started buxom boudoir when I was looking for a boudoir photographer and couldn't find one in my town. I had already been thinking about doing more with photography, and not finding a boudoir studio nearby felt like the push i needed. I knew I wanted to empower women because I struggled so much with my own body image and boudoir was the best way for me to do so."
What do you do to keep yourself inspired... "I love pouring over the work of other photographers. Who doesn't? Not just boudoir, but portraits, editorials and even landscapes. There are amazing people creating stunning artwork. Speaking of artwork, I love galleries. I could (and do) spend hours in art galleries when i get the chance. IF I'm really feeling stuck, I'll take a hot bath or go for a long walk to clear my head."
How did you grow your business... "I've grown my business significantly through my private Facebook group and my Instagram. The women in my group are phenomenal, and a lot of my Instagram followers spend time following me before they send me an email. I try really hard to establish a relationship with the women before we ever even talk."
Do you have any mentors? "I don't work one on one with any photographers, but I have a rad bunch of photographers I meet once a month to go over business and photography ideas. They are a phenomenal sounding board. I look up to about a thousand photographers, and I would completely overwhelm this interview by naming them all."
What do you recommend to someone getting started in the photography industry and especially boudoir? "When you get started, make sure the people you're shooting for your portfolio are different sizes, ages, races, etc. Boudoir is for EVERY body, and you're going to have a hard time booking different women if every woman in your portfolio looks the same. Let's celebrate every size and shape."
What is something you wish someone told you earlier about the photography industry? "It's not so specific to photography, but just owning a small business in general. I wish I had known about sales tax. I knew I had to collect it, but i had not idea when to send it to the stare. That fine was not fun.... whoops! Set up an account with your state's department of revenue right away."
Have you ever done your own boudoir session? If so how did it go? "I have done my own session. I was a little self-conscious at first, but it was a lot of fun and I would do another in a heartbeat. It would probably go over better the second time around since I'm far more comfortable in my skin now. Plus I own some killer lingerie now."
How do you prepare for each session? "To prep for a session, I go through my client's pre-shoot questionnaire to make sure I have everything set for their specific session. Decisions about the poses I choose, the accessories I grab or the lingerie I want to shoot her in start from hat questionnaire. I make sure the studio is clean and ready to go. I male sure there's ice water and snacks and that the client has my cell number. I always, always, always send a confirmation email a day before reminding the client how to prep, too. Her preparation is just as important as mine."
What are 3 thing you would tell a photographer to have for a boudoir session?
"1. a 35mm lens - I use mine constantly. 2. Music - tonnage will put the client and the photographer at ease. No one wants total silence. Awkward. 3. A sense of humor! It's really hard to strip down to your underwear in front of someone you barely know. Have fun with it! The funnier the conversation the less awkward your client will feel."
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