So today I am writing about a couple of the MOST asked questions that I get! Why did you become a boudoir photographer and how did you go about specializing in such a small niche?
I started in my photography journey when I was a junior in high school. Photography is always something that intrigued me. When I say “I started my photography journey”…I mean I BEGGED my mom to get me a point and shoot camera for my birthday! After several months of hounding her, sure enough I got an electric blue fujifilm point and shoot digital camera. I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I took my camera everywhere. I loved taking pictures of nature or random styled type shoots with one of my friends at the time. When I started my senior year of high school I only had 1 credit left to take before I could graduate early and was told to pick a few random classes to fill up the rest of my day. Low and behold they had added a photography class that year! I was over the moon so of course I jumped right in! In this photography course at high school I learned the basics of the basics. Seriously. It was literally shooting on “Auto” while we focused on getting composition, framing and the boring rule of 2/3rds crap down. It was in that class that I was really able to get creative whereas before that was actually a challenge for me.
Fast forward to the end of my senior year of high school. At this point my trusty electric blue little point and shoot was barely hanging on from overuse (two years is a long time for one of those little things!). A lot of the pixels in the digital display were burnt out, it had dirt/sand in all the crevices, and hardly held a charge. For graduation my mom bought me another little Fujifilm point and shoot camera, this time….it was bright pink! I brought that around with me at the beginning of my first year of college. During that first year of college though, I eventually set that camera aside. I did not have as much time for it as I would have liked between classes, mountains of homework, trying to have some semblance of a social life, dealing with a god awful roommate (no joke) and navigating what the heck I actually wanted to do with my future.
A couple years passed. I now moved from my hometown of Muskegon, Michigan and relocated to Bay City, Michigan where my husband lived. We were expecting our little girl and I was working a boring as hell office job where of course they didn’t value all that I did. I knew once this baby came I was not going to want to go back to work. Day care is incredibly expensive and I wanted to be the one raise her. After I had Kaya I took eight weeks off and then did eventually go back to work…but only for a few months. I hated it. Every day. I hated being away from Kaya. I hated that my job wasn’t very supportive of pumping. I hated missing the little moments of her growing while she was tiny. I hated all of it. So I quit. At the time I was also finishing up my last two semesters at SVSU. Now, back to the photography part. When I quit my job I knew I wanted to get back behind the camera. I had always thought about it from time to time but never really acted on it. To this day I still have that bright pink point and shoot in my junk drawer. I really don’t think I want to get rid of it for nostalgia’s sake I suppose. It is like a reminder of how I started and where I came from.
When my daughter was about 6 months old I knew I wanted to take photography seriously again. I knew I still had that point and shoot but I knew now that it wasn’t quite good enough. I knew I needed something a little more….”professional”. But professional cameras are expensive. So I had to save my pennies. Out of the blue I got a call from my momma again one day. This phone call changed the whole course of my life and I still remember it like it was yesterday. She knew I wanted to pursue photography so the phone call I got that day was “Grams and I went in and got you a good camera from QVC. They were having a special. Consider it your birthday/Christmas present this year”. Yall. I cried. Straight up ugly cry. As soon as I got the news I started reaching out to family and friends setting up photo shoots with kids, seniors, babies, pretty much anything that moved.
About two years later I was still photographing! I loved it! The people that I got to work with and the relationships I was able to form was amazing. Then a friend of mine (ayyy Jamie!!) reached out and asked me to do a boudoir shoot for her. I am totally going to admit here that I had no idea what boudoir was. I looked it up and was like like”OMG you want me to take pictures of you like…THAT?!” Low and behold I agreed. In fact, I loved it! My next boudoir shoot was my assistant Mckayla. Then people started referring friends and the ball got rolling from there. Shortly after, I stopped doing kids, seniors and maternity and was solely shooting weddings and boudoir.
It was great…for a while. I got to a point where I wanted to shoot more boudoir but I couldn’t because I had so many weddings on the books. So one day I decided to stop booking weddings and book boudoir only. That was REALLY scary because I was essentially cutting out 3/4 of my income. BUT I knew this is what I wanted to do because boudoir lights my soul on fire! Working with women is the best. After I finished up most of my wedding contracts I promptly rebranded to what is now “Boudoir by Alexa” in 2017!
My journey through this crazy industry has been a range of emotions. I can honestly say that I wake up every day fulfilled because of the work that I get to do! I want to thank each and every one you that continue to support me! It means the world to me that I have such a great support system. I hope you get to wake up and feel the same. If you took the time to get to the very end of this long ass blog, I thank you for taking the interest in learning more about me!