Name: Samantha Slayton
City you live in: Trenton/TN
If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be? "Jenna Kutcher! She has been such an inspiration to me since I started my business and she seems so down to earth."
One thing I cannot live without... "Coca-Cola. It's such an addiction."
When I was younger, I wanted to be... "A veterinarian. I grew up riding horses and I am obsessed with cows so I always dreamed of becoming a large animal vet. I studied pre-veterinary medicine for one year at Mississippi State University before I decided to move back home to pursue photography."
The one person who motivates me is... "In the boudoir world? Definitely Karla Mason! Her work is amazing and I love the way she promotes self-love."
Im currently working on... "Completing my in-home studio so I can build up the boudoir side of my business."
Always... "Learning and lifting others up"
Never... "Putting others down"
Favorite Quote: "Be happy with what you have while working on what you want. - Helen Keller"
Biggest Dream... "To travel the world."
My Pet Peeve(s)... "My biggest pet peeve is probably incorrect use of the following words: their, there, they're, your, you're. At one time in my life, I wanted to be an English teacher so that probably explains it."
How did you start SamSlay Photography? "I started SamSlay Photography shortly after my neighbors asked me to photograph their family. I had recently began taking photos of my horses as a hobby and never considered it as a possible career until they reached out to me."
What do you do to keep yourself inspired? "As an artist, I am constantly critiquing my own work. Sometimes we forget why we started our businesses in the first place. When I need inspiration, I always find myself in the pasture with the cows or horses, listening to music and just enjoying nature. Other times, I like to put together photo shoots completely out of my comfort zone so I can just pursue that particular vision in my mind."
How did you grow your business? "I have grown my business strictly by social media and word of mouth."
Do you have any mentors? "I do not have any photographers that I have worked one-on-one with. I have several entrepreneur friends who i meet up with to discuss marketing and photography ideas."
What do you recommend to someone getting started in the photography industry and especially boudoir? "In order to successfully start a boudoir photography business, you MUST believe that all women of ALL SHAPES AND SIZES are beautiful and want to serve these women. Everyone has a different story and boudoir photography is a vulnerable subject. It is your job to make your clients 100% comfortable."
What is something you wish someone told you earlier about the photography industry? "There are many things I wish I would have known sooner about owning a small business and the photography industry. I think the one that stands out the most is marketing and advertising. Your marketing approach is just as important as your photography approach. Build a brand that is unique to your personality and CHOOSE WISELY where you spend your advertising dollars."
Have you ever done your own boudoir session? If so, how did it go?
"I have not yet done my own boudoir session"
How do you prepare for each session? "I prepare for each session by helping my clients choose their wardrobe/ accessories and choosing a badass playlist for when she arrives!"
What are 3 things you would tell a photographer to have for a boudoir session?
"Three things that are a MUST for boudoir photographers.
1. A BAD-ASS PLAYLIST! (Did I mention this already)?
2. Cute lingerie. Don't get me wrong, bra/panty sets are awesome but there is nothing like a black lace bodysuit!
3. YOU MUST HAVE an outgoing, fun personality. It makes your clients feel so much more at ease when you have a sense of humor. My sessions always end up feeling like I'm at at slumber party with my best friends, laughing and dancing in our undies!"