Inclusive Love with Ore Adesina

December 22, 2021 Artist Spotlight

Episode 107: Ore Adesina

In Episode 107 of the Portrait System Podcast, Nikki Closser chats with Ore Adesina, an Oklahoma City photographer who specializes in boudoir for all types of people and all types of bodies, especially couples.

Ore is a real estate lawyer, who does photography part-time as her creative outlet. She has great passion for creating photographs that are uniquely attuned to her clients and that capture their deep love for each other. Ore’s artistic vision for her photography is to be able to produce images that are truly one of a kind, so pursuing photography only part-time is an intentional decision so that she doesn’t run out of the energy she needs to succeed in her vision. As always, Nikki brings great perspective, reminding us that it is so important for each of us to know our limits and know what we want to get out of our businesses.

Be sure to listen to the whole podcast to hear about Ore’s photographic journey from cross-fit to lifestyle and documentary to finding a home base in couples boudoir. If you shoot couples, you won’t want to miss hearing how Ore brings her clients into a deep and intimate emotional space with her incredible banter that includes a range of questions from the lighthearted, playful, and fun to the middle serious to the super serious. You might also be interested to hear how she communicates with her clients about which photos are safe for her to share in her portfolio and online.

In this blog, you’ll find some of Ores intimate portraits, links to her web presence, and answers to some bonus questions.

Here are links to some things mentioned in this conversation: The Portrait Masters Shootout, TikTok Tell with David Suh, and Empower Body Positivity with Teri Hofford.

You might also enjoy these Portrait System courses on body image and boudoir:

Get to Know Ore Adesina

Q: What has been your biggest breakthrough in business?

A: My biggest mental breakthrough was finally deciding to focus my photography business on what I felt most passionate about photographing, instead of focusing on what I thought would be the most profitable and accepted based on where I live in the Midwest.

When I started photographing boudoir several years ago, most of the tutorials, workshops, and educational resources were only geared towards teaching photographers how to pose, photograph, and market to women. There wasn’t much in the way of education about photographing men or photographing couples.

My work was great objectively, but personally, it felt like my images looked like a second-rate attempt of someone else’s first-rate work.

And then I came to the realization that with not many professional photographers choosing to photograph intimate couples portraits, I could create my own unique voice within this growing boudoir niche, photographing one-of-a-kind images for clients that make them feel connected to both their portraits and their partners through those portraits.

Couples boudoir has continued to grow more popular within the boudoir community from even when I first started, and I love seeing more boudoir photographers add it to their offerings so that it becomes more widely available.

And my concern about not attracting local clients because of where I live in the Midwest turned out not to be as big of an issue for me because I’m blessed to have clients who love my work enough to travel from all over the US to have me photograph them at my home studio.

Q: Most artists have a point in their life where they knew this was meant for them. Do you have that moment?

A: I’ve had the unique opportunity to photograph several different types of photography genres over the past several years, from food photography, sports photography, family lifestyle portraits, weddings, and everything in between.

With couples boudoir, I knew it was for me because of the joy I experience with each couple I photograph — having the opportunity to tell their love story in a way that honors their relationship, gives them space to be themselves, and provides them with one-of-kind intimate portraits that convey the love they have for each other.

And I get to make a (part-time) career out of it? Sign me up please!

Q: Explain how Sue Bryce Education helped you overcome obstacles in your business.

A: I started as a natural light photographer, and was intimidated by the thought of using strobes. Before joining SBE, I had taken other online and in-person lighting courses, and while helpful, they didn’t make me feel 100% confident in my skills. One of the things I really enjoy about the online courses offered by SBE, especially the lighting courses, is that the instructors do a great job of breaking things down and explaining how things work in easily digestible tutorials, which helps me to process the information, and also helps when I need to find it later when I want to reference it again to reinforce what I have learned. I’ve started incorporating strobes into my couples boudoir portraits — offering couples the option of more fine art intimate portraits, and my couples have been really enjoying them as well.

Q: For someone starting out on their photography journey what advice would you have for them?

A: Surround yourself with and build relationships with people in the industry who seek to encourage and uplift each other. There is so much to learn about building a successful photography business, especially when you are first starting out and trying to establish a business from the ground up. The Sue Bryce Education platform has tons of amazing online courses that can help you create a successful photography business. But it’s also important to have people in your corner who can help guide and support you, and who you can run ideas by, and who you can also help guide and encourage along the way.

Subscribe to The Podcast

ART19SpotifyStitcherTuneInRadioPublicApple Podcast



Ore Adesina

Follow Ore: Website – Instagram 



Click Here to Read the Podcast Transcript

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Please note this transcript was generated by AI and may contain errors.

00:00:00:02 – 00:00:02:07

You’re listening to the Portrait System podcast

00:00:02:28 – 00:00:18:09

And at the end, I’ve had them look and say, Look, I felt like I was in a therapy session for however long you photographed me. But like only the good parts were talked about, I was like, You know what? Whatever happened tonight, you’re welcome. You’re very, very welcome.

This is the Portrait System Podcast, a show that helps portrait photographers and people hoping to become one. Navigate the world of photography, business, money and so much more. We totally keep it real. We share stories about the incredible ups and the very difficult downs when running a photography business. I’m your host, Nikki Closser, and the point of this podcast is for you to learn actionable steps that you can take to grow your own business and also to feel inspired and empowered by the stories you hear.

Hey, there this week, my guest on the portrait system is Ore Adesina, and she is someone I instantly liked when we met at the Portrait Masters Shootout.

00:00:55:19 – 00:01:26:22

She has amazing energy and she’s just a great storyteller. On top of being an incredible photographer, Ore’s main focus is individual boudoir and also couples intimate and boudoir sessions. She makes it known that she photographs all bodies and all partners, and she tells stories of love in a raw and beautiful way through her portraits. We talk all about how she makes her clients feel comfortable, how she gets them to interact authentically, and while she’s serious about making sure everyone feels good about the interactions, she brings a ton of humor to her sessions.

00:01:27:11 – 00:01:37:08

Ore is someone I’m so happy to have met and chatted with, and I’m really excited to introduce her to you. OK. Here she is. All right at Ore Adesina. Hi Ore, how are you?

00:01:37:19 – 00:01:38:22

I’m good. Thank you.

00:01:39:06 – 00:01:59:03

I am so excited to have you. I just want to let our listeners know that we met in person at the Portrait Masters conference are the shootout, excuse me, the shootout. And I just instantly was like, Oh, I really, really like her. And then I pulled up your work and I was like, Oh, can I interview on the portrait system? So I’m just so honored to have you here.

00:01:59:12 – 00:02:00:12

I’m honored to be here.

00:02:00:24 – 00:02:14:22

OK, so before we get started on, just like your story and what you how you got to be, where you’re at and all that good stuff, will you tell the listeners what you mainly focus on and what you mainly shoot and where you live, too?

00:02:15:11 – 00:02:46:20

So I shoot boudoir, I shoot all types of people and all types of bodies. What does that mean? Generally speaking, I shoot women individually. I shoot men individually nonbinary and then I shoot couples. So we will ask, I can shoot you by yourself with a partner, or I can shoot you with two partners. If you have that literally just a body in front of me and I will photograph you.

00:02:47:05 – 00:02:50:00

Yeah, yeah, I love that. And where are you located?

00:02:50:18 – 00:02:51:20

I am in Oklahoma City,

00:02:52:00 – 00:03:10:18

Oklahoma City, OK. So something that I really love about your work. It’s exactly what you said. There’s so much inclusion happening and there’s so much like raw like love happening in your portfolio. And I just thought it was so refreshing and so beautiful.

00:03:11:00 – 00:03:47:14

Well, thank you. I love the way that my mind works is I don’t want to create something repetitive in my artistic expression. Like for my day job, everything is repetitive, everything is streamlined, everything has a system in place, and I need it to be that way because I just work very fast paced and the things have to go out and things have to be correct. And to do that, I just have to get everything streamlined very well with photography.

00:03:47:18 – 00:04:18:29

This is my creative expression. And so if I’ve done it once, I don’t want to do it again. Exactly that same. It has to be different for me, which is kind of a two edged sword because like, I’ll create a picture of a couple and I’m like, This is the best picture I’ve seen. You guys are amazing together. I am in love with you both as just a spiritual being together. There is no way I can ever recreate again and I’m crying tears on the inside.

00:04:19:05 – 00:04:41:19

But that kind of experience, I want you to see the pictures in my portfolio and say. She can create something special for me. That would be the same as anyone else, but will be along the lines of, you know, what I can do versus like putting in the same situation.

00:04:42:07 – 00:04:57:02

Yeah, I love that you’re such a creator, I can tell and so creator as in like. You’re not just going to create what you see every day on the internet and, you know, recreate someone else’s style like you truly have your own vision and your own

00:04:59:12 – 00:05:04:01

vision that you bring to life, and it’s just it’s really cool. I just absolutely love it.

00:05:04:18 – 00:05:37:12

Well, I will say that I had to get to that place. It did not happen organically, like when I started learning about boudoir going to workshops and mentoring. I was, you know, taking workshops from know top professionals in the industry, and I would use their poses and use. Their exact set up. And my work looks like a second rate version of their work and I get frustrated and like, I just didn’t feel like it was the quality, and I keep trying.

00:05:37:24 – 00:06:10:16

I’m mirroring their poses. Exactly why does it look like that is because you’re not them, right? Like, they’re teaching you what they do, but they have been practicing doing what they do for years and you’re doing it for months. And so finally, it was like instead of me trying to recreate subpar work of someone else. Let me take inspiration from a variety of different areas and use it to create my own work. Mm hmm. That was that was years of learning to get that point.

00:06:10:26 – 00:06:43:03

Yeah, yeah. And I love what you said. And you know, and I should say, there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other people. And you know, some people have more of that creative desire within them. And I think, you know, those are the people who might, you know, try to strive for like gold awards and just just have that like deep, passionate desire to create something. I’m just not one of those people. So I love what I do. But like there are, there’s like a special person like Sue is a creator.

00:06:43:07 – 00:06:51:21

I can tell you’re a creator. Richard, what is a creator like people who just need that, you know? And am I wrong? Like, do you feel like that’s how you are?

00:06:52:02 – 00:07:25:10

Yeah, it is. But I don’t want to say that I’m recreating both of me that I’m creating something fresh and new. I do take inspiration from other artists the same way they take inspiration for me. But what I don’t do is try to replicate exactly what someone else has done. Right? So if I see like I’ll see a either a video or a photo and you know, why am I drawn to sort of what about this photo is pulling me towards it? Is it the pose? The lighting is the mood.

00:07:25:13 – 00:07:57:21

What is it? Then take that little aspect of that photo someone created and say, Let me make this my own in a way that either can celebrate and or pay homage to me else’s work, but does not like, mirror or replicate because they’ve created that. And it’s beautiful just the way it is. And I don’t want to recreate a subpar version of what is already amazing. I want to put my own breath into that and make it, you know, something that I feel came from me.

00:07:58:01 – 00:08:16:17

Yeah, I love that. And not a lot of people, at least, that I’ve noticed there’s not a whole lot of photographers out there who do couples boudoir or couples like intimate sessions, I guess. It’s a pretty bold genre choice. And I’m wondering what if you know, really what drew you to it? What made you choose this, I guess?

00:08:17:12 – 00:08:57:12

When I first started out in photography, ironically enough, I mean, I guess here’s my origin story. When I first started, I bought a Canon 70D was my very first camera. Why do you ask? It was like it was like the top. It was the top line of the year before you got to, you know, the big bad boy camera. But I won’t take pictures of my niece and my nephews or just, you know, whoever. However many kids my brother popped out, I was going to take photos of all the cuteness and I put it out taking photos at my local gym because they needed a photographer.

00:08:57:14 – 00:09:37:11

I had practice. And so my first experience taking photos was a CrossFit athletes, right? I would take photos, the gym on the weekends and for competitions, the literally I’m used to male and female athletes running towards in a way from me knocking me down, yelling at me to get out of the way, but then also like seeing their pain and their tears and their emotion. And I’ve gotten so many amazing photos of just that emotion that I didn’t have to do anything with, right? Like, I didn’t have to pose them like they were going to get like, so bad.

00:09:37:13 – 00:10:08:26

And I had athletes look at me real dirty was like, Are you crying right now? Are those tears a little harder? I mean, look around the goal weight. I’m like, No, but you’re crying and you’re pain. Pain faces off like they knew right over there’s the pain face kind come running, and I would get that pain face, but then then you would see for my gym members, like all their pictures were for me, right? Like these, I’ve captured them in a way that showed them, I mean, they were all different body types.

00:10:09:05 – 00:10:38:16

I had my gym, right? It wasn’t about like having the perfect body. It was having a body that fueled you to get to where you wanted to be. So I don’t know other genres as well. I actually transitioned from shooting CrossFit to shooting lifestyle, and then I got into documentary photography. If more than where it’s shooting like a day in the life and shooting very stripped down. Like Kirsten Lewis, you should have her.

00:10:38:29 – 00:10:40:02

I haven’t. I haven’t.

00:10:40:04 – 00:11:15:23

OK, so she’s like the godmother of documentary photography, and I saw her work a long time ago on Creative Live, and I loved the idea of once again, just I thought it was a bit can be the tripod and capture things happening. But the one thing that kind of consumes you with this is like, you cannot change any element of the situation, right? So if I’m going to go to a family and photograph them, I could say, here’s my ideas of things that you can do.

00:11:16:22 – 00:11:59:25

But if you have three kids and you say, Hey, can you watch my kids really fast while I go do X Y and the other back in like ten minutes? And that 10 minutes is when your child decides to take your makeup and run on the wall. They’re going to do if your child decides they’re going to crap in their pants and leave the diaper out and just start swinging from the chandeliers. That’s what they’re going to do. The only thing I will do is make sure that your children are physically safe. Right? Like, obviously, if your kid takes a knife sticking it into a pocket, that’s obviously, you know, if your kids are saying that, right? But if your kids are going to do something that hey, it’s how it’s going to roll.

00:12:00:07 – 00:12:33:07

But also, if your kids turn the lights off, I’m touching the lights, right? I have to be in that moment. And so you have to like, be prepared for a lot of situations with that experience. Just be ready for anything because you could miss something big. And I think Kirsten calls it the donkey pull where she was a situation where, like she was in a different place and like something was happening in one corner and like literally on the other corner, something else was happening and she was missing. It was happening and like a girl’s pulling a donkey and it looked ridiculous.

00:12:33:16 – 00:13:04:12

But she was so focused on something else you almost missed the donkey pull. And so, so now with all these things I experienced with with shooting athletes, shooting a camera style. So I shoot couples, right? I give them poses and direction, but then I want them to do their thing right. Like, I don’t want to control that environment. Let’s let them go. And then also, I have to constantly be in focus and aware and don’t miss something.

00:13:05:03 – 00:13:54:19

Like, for example, I ask them, Do something a man. Never stop. I’m going to get something real fast. Did you miss the moment where he was going to tell her that, you know, she was his whole world because you saw the clues, but then you stop to chimp in like her right now? And so like, I take those past experiences and use them to create what I want couples to have for their relationship. And so when people ask me, like, how do you shoot like I do? And I’m like, I mean, shoot crossfit for six years? Switch to like family was how for two years, you know, have Chris mentoring you in a Facebook group for a while and then just go rogue for boudoir? And then I was like, I don’t know, like, how do I radically explain my? Yeah, so it’s kind of hard to explain.

00:13:54:21 – 00:14:16:12

Yeah, it’s like you have such great experience that all pulls it together. It’s almost like taking the best of the best of portraiture with, you know, certain poses that are going to be, you know, engaging or whatever and then combining it with that impulsive sort of, I don’t know, impulsive is the right word, but that documentaries life style, right? It’s really cool.

00:14:16:25 – 00:14:24:08

Yeah. And then I will say for a while, I thought I wanted to be a wedding photographer.

00:14:26:05 – 00:14:57:24

Yeah, because I work a full time job and shooting on the weekends is going to be fine in the fall. I reached out to local photographers and asked if hey can only like I can shoot for you or help you out or assist you. And we do that and I go and I was like, Look, can you go take the rings and do some ring shots? Details. He tells me, no, I don’t want to look at me like, I’m sorry, did you back talk to me? I sure did. I do not want to take some stuff and put it in a corner with some flowers.

00:14:57:28 – 00:15:38:03

Right, right, right. And then they’d be like, What do you want to do? It’s like, Can I go to the groom’s with the guy? The groom and the best men are getting ready? And can we just like, go there like, literally? So and for some reason, I think for some reason wedding photographers with female ones, they don’t want to go to where the guys are, right? Uh-Huh. It’s just uncomfortable. Like someone, you want to be in a room of 20 guys taking pictures of them. I’m like, What? Why is that weird? Oh, OK, so you’ve been a CrossFit coach where you have been in a room of 20 guys ordering them around.

00:15:38:20 – 00:16:14:01

So that’s not weird for you, for other people. It is. And so and they like they look at me like, what the hell? And then like, they realize, like, I’m just here to take photos, documentary style, and they try to, like, embarrass me and I embarrass them back. Even worse, when they found out I shoot, but was like, Oh, you sure you don’t want to start this? I’m going to finish it. You’re like, I will win. Exactly. And so and then I would we would shoot like the couples like separately, like before the wedding and like, we just keep shooting the couple. Or do they have to go to the wedding? Do they really have to go to their we’re in a field right now.

00:16:14:03 – 00:16:26:07

It’s really pretty and there’s a sunset and no where we want to go. Talk to my guests. Really pretty amazing. Stay with me. And so I realized I did not want to shoot weddings. I’m wedding photographers like

00:16:27:25 – 00:17:00:03

I give them so much props. So totally. They are amazing people like I literally every year they raised, if not getting dating anybody right now. Like, I raise my budget like a thousand dollars every year. Like if I ever get married, my budget for weddings like I my photographer, I’m going to gaslight them in a good way. So hard. Like, You’re an amazing person. I love you. You are just a joy to be around because, like, seriously, wedding photographers. I could not do it. And so like, I’ll have friends think, Okay, I know it’s last minute, but I can’t find someone.

00:17:00:06 – 00:17:32:04

Can you help me? Like, No, I can’t. I’m sorry. I cannot help, but I can, if you desperately have, but you’re going to turn a corner. I’m going to be there. There will be fear in my eyes. I want you to know that I would be here, if not easy. No, I’m doing it for you. Like, how are you doing? Okay, Ray, how you doing? I’m not doing OK. I told you, I don’t want to be here. I’m doing this for you. I go home now, please. With some wedding cake, I think the bride and groom with me. But other than that, I’m out of here. So, you know, that’s funny.

00:17:32:20 – 00:18:04:22

It’s it’s like a lot of people run away from uncomfortable things or things that are typically uncomfortable, like photographing half naked couples like that could be very intimidating to some people. Right? But for you, you run towards it. Whereas weddings, I mean, wedding. I did it for a long time. And yeah, it was very hard. I did not enjoy it. I mean, I did for a little while here and there, but something that you said to that. I think I think that in weddings happens a lot is people miss those moments because they are there.

00:18:04:24 – 00:18:26:06

They’re photographing what they think they should be photographing and then looking down at their camera or taking a break, whatever, and missing those in-between moments. So I’m really glad you brought that up because. And even like just for personal branding, sometimes those in-between moments when they’re relaxed because they think the camera’s about to be done for a moment is when you can get some of those really, really amazing shots.

00:18:26:11 – 00:18:28:05

Yes, exactly.

00:18:28:21 – 00:18:48:03

Now, if you were to look back at your portfolio, if you’re scrolling through how many of those moments that you have posted, because let’s be honest, sometimes we post our favorites, our most favorites. How many of those are those in-between moments versus you posing, directing, telling them, Do this, and then you take the photo?

00:18:48:22 – 00:19:20:01

Hmm. That’s a good question. So I’m not sure that I can say because maybe it would help to explain how I shoot couples. I can’t really get one down. OK. So shooting guys and shooting just for lifestyle, family, they’re afraid. This is a general statement that does not apply to every person, by the way, I just want to caveat that.

00:19:20:03 – 00:19:38:18

But of course, you’re asking someone who’s probably moving around and doing things to sit still in a stiff, uncomfortable outfit for an hour to an hour and a half while you listen to your partner, attempt to negotiate with a small terrorist to sit still.

00:19:40:09 – 00:20:13:24

But you’re like, I want you to negotiate with me as well. I don’t want to be here, either. And so it’s like, and I think of those people not. I just just guys who do this right, it could be different partners, and I’m like, if that was me and my partner wanted to meet you a of boudoir shoot, what would get me to say? You know, yes. Is that because like, if you’re going to ask me to pose with my partner partially or fully nude for an hour and a half? It better be worth it, right? In the sense of like I don’t mean miserable for an hour or however long they shoot them.

00:20:14:06 – 00:20:48:25

And so I give couples direction versus static posing the Hey, I want you to, you know, go against the wall and put your partner, you know, her back against the wall. I want you to give her that your cheesiest most or will pick up line. And he’s like, I don’t know, you know, you have bad pick up lines, are you? Even if you haven’t used them, your friends have used them. And so like, they’ll do that and she’s she’s trying not to laugh, right? Because he hasn’t started and she’s laughing because she knows it’s going to be good and he starts laughing.

00:20:48:28 – 00:21:34:03

So I shoot in silent mode for couples. I shoot the Sony A7R three. You can’t hear a click. And so couples don’t know when I start shooting, and they don’t know when they stop shooting. It’s all silent mode. And so, you know, I give them direction on what to do and why. And they get the laughing shots, right? And then I say, Well, okay, no, seriously. Not like, you know, like, you’re still in the position of the lighting. Why don’t you tell your partner three things you like about them? And then he’ll say, like, I really like the way that she really is encouraging and that she really just knows how to be like there for me when I need it the most.

00:21:34:22 – 00:22:06:11

And she’s like, you know, she’s gaslit in a good way. And I’m like, I’m sorry. Did I ask what you loved about your partner? No, I did not. What do you like about her? That doesn’t count. So let’s go ahead and dial it back. What do you like about her? I don’t know. You don’t like anything about her. Let’s let you know. And so we go back and forth and I’m like, Literally, if you say something and it’s a love, you are wrong and you’re ruining the session.

00:22:06:16 – 00:22:08:11

Like, so they’re laughing because it’s

00:22:08:13 – 00:22:09:19

like a lot of banter.

00:22:09:27 – 00:22:37:04

Yeah, yeah. Think about your husband, right? Think about all the things you like about him. That’s really hard to because like, there’s something like, I like the way he know you love that. You love that. And so that makes them think gets to interact. Like it’s just ways that they could interact where I can be the photographer. But then, you know, ways to get them just to show emotion with them like that, for example.

00:22:37:28 – 00:22:55:21

So do you have like, I think this is good. I think this helps give our listeners ideas of if they are opposing couples, you know, how to get those genuine reactions and genuine emotions. And like, do you have a repertoire of just different questions that you ask or yes, you know, interactions, OK?

00:22:56:15 – 00:23:36:22

So I started with like posing cues that you do for an engagement session, right? There’s so many questions that people, you know, ask their, you know, couples when they’re shooting them like one of them that I used to ask a lot. It was like a question that went viral and it was like, I think you were what, photographer, photographer or somebody that I don’t even know who or when or what a couple of these two or three years ago it was like, Tell your partner, you know, on the wedding day out of everyone on the planet, your partner chose you.

00:23:37:13 – 00:24:11:00

Right? So it’s like, you’re probably not perfect, but you’re perfect for that. Please tell your partner why you chose them. And so I was at the very end I don’t do anymore is at the very end of a Hey, by the way, this is a really personal question. You know, something like you like, you know, we’ve been together like meet month years. So I’m going to take a longer lens. I’m going to go to a point where I can’t hear you answer that question.

00:24:11:02 – 00:24:42:03

I don’t want to know the answer. So it’s not my right to know that answer. So I don’t want to whisper it to her. And also going to play music to make sure that I cannot hear it. And then I just sit back and I’m like, Cry, I hope they cry. Somebody cry. Yes, even a frightening, powerful. Yeah, yeah. You know, and I’m just like, Oh yeah. So there’s a range of questions from like, lighthearted, playful, fun to more like middle serious, I guess.

00:24:42:15 – 00:25:15:00

And then like, super serious. But the goal? Is to just have them talk and share their passions are one when partners like, I don’t even know that about you. I had no idea that that even happened or you thought that, you know, and though and especially couples who’ve been together for like years and just find out more things with their partner. And at the end, I’ve had them look and say, Look, I felt like I was in a therapy session for however long you photographed me.

00:25:15:07 – 00:25:23:13

But like only the good parts were talked about, I was like, You know what? Whatever happened tonight, you’re welcome. You’re very, very welcome. Yeah.

00:25:23:23 – 00:25:55:11

That’s so cool because it’s, you know, obviously being photographed can be a very, very vulnerable position to be in, especially if the partner who didn’t book the session didn’t really love the idea of it. And man I remember some of the couples that I photographed, they were just like, they weren’t touching each other. They just were. I don’t know if they got into an argument in the car on the way. They’re like, Oh, so much can happen. And I feel like that is such a great way to bring them back together and remind them like, OK, you do love each other and you are intimate.

00:25:56:08 – 00:26:11:20

And I just feel like it puts them at ease. And at the end of it, they can think back about the most beautiful things that were said to them. Hopefully, you know that hopefully their partner was able to say wonderful things about them, which of course, was ninety nine point nine percent of the time it does happen. But what a cool experience

00:26:12:28 – 00:26:47:18

That’s definitely my goal, and one thing that I do play a little bit unique is I need to make sure that both couples are on board with the session. There definitely can be varying levels of this. Not being sure what’s going to happen, like being nervous, like everyone is nervous, everyone is anxious. But I need both people to be on board. So I’ll ask like each couple to make sure that like, do you really want to be here? Do you really want to do this? No one is forcing, you know, and cajoled you.

00:26:47:27 – 00:27:18:06

You really are trusting me with this process because if we’re going to spend two or three hours taking a of emotion and your emotion is fear and disgust and or panic, I don’t want to be there either like, I’ll go and leave this place, right? And it’s usually the one partner who wasn’t sure that by the end, I’m like her. You’re getting real aggressive right now or me. I’m I’m sorry, but I thought you didn’t want to be here.

00:27:18:20 – 00:27:53:23

And now you’re you’re doing something. That’s not what I thought you’d be doing right now. So let’s dial it back a little bit and remember a little bit of why you don’t want to be here because you’re acting a fool coming down. And so I do like love that energy of like I tell my clients to like, you will have a little bit of like worry. I’m not going to try to remove all worry and doubt. It’s impossible. Mm-Hmm. Mm-Hmm. But you can ask me any single question that you want to answer.

00:27:54:08 – 00:28:28:24

I will answer it so thoroughly that you will ask me to stop answering your questions. You will tell me Ore, please. I know they ask that, but you’re giving me a lot of information like, Well, you asked and you want to know, I want people to feel empowered by their session. I want them to know that anything that happens during your time with me is because you voluntarily wanted to do it. And so I probably err on the side of being overly cautious. I’d rather that than someone say, You know what? I went to Ore and I wasn’t sure about it, and I felt she was pushing me and I didn’t want to do it.

00:28:28:26 – 00:28:39:21

But she said, I should ask not what I want or what I want to hear or read. We said, Yes, at least 7 times, let’s just do it now, OK? So if you said yes for the first time, we’ll do it. All right. Yeah. Oh yeah.

00:28:40:05 – 00:29:04:13

Well, I know someone out there is thinking like, OK, sometimes we have clients who are fully clothed, who maybe don’t want their photos shared publicly. So do you have that conversation about what photos, you know, will? Will they let you use this in your marketing? Because let’s face it, we need we need photos in our portfolio in order to market, but that is not our number one priority when we have clients paying us. So how do you handle that?

00:29:05:20 – 00:29:37:16

Well, you know, these are not everyday portrait that you’re going to put on your mantel. Well, excuse me. Generally speaking, some people do like they’re very proud of their photos. They put in an album in the coffee table. Usually it’s like an individual versus the couple’s photos. And so because of the nature of these photos, I just tell couples, Here’s the deal you’re paying me to celebrate you. Whatever that means. So if you don’t want anyone, see these photos known to see these photos.

00:29:37:25 – 00:30:10:05

And so I have different levels of reveal. So the first one is like, I can share anything that we take on the fashion that you pay for. That’s like level one. Level two is like I can show photos if it’s anonymous, right? You can’t tell, I told people it’s only really if you don’t have tattoos, if you have tattoos, even though you can’t see your face. We know who you are. Right? So just be at your discretion or couples are like, we want to see them first. And so with those couples, then, you know, we’ll do the reveal from the photos they choose.

00:30:10:07 – 00:30:40:20

I ask, you know, which photos are you comfortable with me sharing on social media and the ones who control the social media? I would put them in a file saying, You can only share these right. I don’t have to memorize which ones they are right. So I put in a file, social media approved. And so like a couple of months later, when I go, I can go to that file and say, OK, here’s the file I can show we’re good to go. Yeah, that’s smart. Yeah. So that’s how I do some releases I do do. They’re called, you know, generally speaking, in the car for the called model calls.

00:30:40:22 – 00:31:07:03

I call them creative calls. And in these creative calls, where I get a model, really a full model release exchange for a session fee and a discount on products, a minor, a small one. But I’d rather have that and people know and understand what’s going to happen with their photos versus wanted to ask someone who came to me if they trusted me to then, like, try to get them to get their photos posted online.

00:31:07:11 – 00:31:22:18

Right, right. Yeah, that makes sense that makes sense. right. Well, you OK. I’d love to go through a little bit of your your business process like, OK, you know, do you do packages in your pricing and that sort of thing? But before we do that, I know you have a full time day job. Tell people what your day job is.

00:31:23:13 – 00:32:02:06

So I practice what’s called commercial real estate finance law, and so I help banks service their commercial loans. That is what I do during the day, right? What is it? So that means like, for example, let’s say there’s a property in a mall, right? Like a mall ten minutes from my house, it’s more than likely going to have a loan for, I guess I’m just randomly guessing ten million dollar loan? Well, so that loan was probably securitized and will not go in depth on that because that would just make your eyes glaze over.

00:32:02:18 – 00:32:38:23

But the property owner can have questions just in general about their loan. And so they’re going to go to the bank legal question. The banks come to me and say, Hey Ore, we were a borrower who has a question legally and legally, and we want you to represent us, you know, as we go back and forth with that property owner. That’s what I do during the day. It’s completely 100 percent different. But I was going to say what I do, and it’s funny because for like Ore, why? How, how, how does that work? And I tell them, one of the things that helps me is that everything is streamlined.

00:32:39:03 – 00:33:10:21

Everything has its place. Everything is like I was obviously legal issues are not black and white, but my processes are the same. And so that helps me feel confident in what I do, especially with a fast pace. And so like, I can hyper focus on that. Like I literally there’s a couple two weeks ago I was asked to draft a document and I was I’ll update this document as I’m drafting right? The help, you know, like, it’s just a quick update

00:33:12:21 – 00:33:32:28

nine hours later and halfway through the update telling myself Ore, No. What? Why did you decide that this was the time you were to change the spacing? Why did you decide this was the time you thought that the commas and quotations needed to be different, but yet the same?

00:33:34:15 – 00:34:04:29

Yeah, I’m like a different person, but I definitely have my what do you call them, idiosyncrasies in terms of that. And so like, I’m definitely a perfectionist and it just it’s a different part of my brain that’s being used when I’m doing my day job. It just I get really excited to have clients ask me questions about things like easements like, I would tell you about this easement is going to do this and do this, and the just laughing at me, like, you really care about easements, but you have to care about easements.

00:34:05:06 – 00:34:37:04

What are they going to do like? You want the county to come onto your property without having a piece of paper. That’s how they to repair and restore and structure and the like. OK, well, I mean, take your word for it. Yes, you will take my word for it. Easements are important. And then I’m like, Did you say out loud or right that it was are important? Yes, I did. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to my ten year old self who thought that I was going to be. I don’t know what, about 10 years old, although it’s funny because when I was little, I wanted to know everything.

00:34:37:10 – 00:35:13:21

I thought for some reason that a person can know every single thing and to start my journey of knowing every single thing. Who is the smartest person that I knew at 10 years old, my dad, my dad, was a really, really smart right. He’s a doctor. He’s intelligent. He talks to other doctors. He’s a brilliant. And you know what he’s going to do he’s going to share his wisdom with me and how I’m going to do that. Dad why why why why why everything was why.

00:35:14:19 – 00:35:29:29

And at one point he was like, You are going to make a great attorney one day. And I was like, You said, but you say that very frustrated. No, I am not frustrated. I am not. But maybe for a little bit, we can stop asking why. I was like, why?

00:35:34:00 – 00:36:04:03

Why do we you asking why? Like, just go away. Go away. OK, well, OK, bye. But I came back. Yeah. So I think that kind of like spurred me on and then I learned in law school, and now it’s all a matter of knowing everything. It’s a matter of knowing what you don’t know and having their resources available to get your questions answered. That is what I learned. Just generally speaking as an attorney.

00:36:04:18 – 00:36:18:29

Yeah, yeah, that’s great. So then if you, you know, you have your full-time job, so how how often are you shooting per month and then tell us a little bit about your pricing and how you how you price this, you know, this whole genre.

00:36:19:16 – 00:36:33:02

So I shoot about once or twice a month for clients. And then I try to do a creative project or, excuse me, a creative personal project, at least like once

00:36:34:21 – 00:36:52:22

every couple of months. Those are just for me. Like, I usually try to reach out to a professional like I. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really amazing people who were just roped into being my friend. Like, they don’t really know how it happened

00:36:54:20 – 00:36:55:08

to grow

00:36:55:10 – 00:36:56:15

up and be like how

00:36:56:17 – 00:37:29:27

to become friends. And I’m like, I don’t remember. All I remember is we’re friends, but really, I was like, You had no chance to not be my friend. I think if you thought you had a chance not to be my friend, you didn’t. And so if I meet someone and I think like they’re pretty cool people and I and I see that they might think I’m kind of a cool person to something in my mind says automatically, we were friends. I met this person like two minutes ago, but in my head, we’re friends and with friends that I really don’t have filters.

00:37:29:29 – 00:37:52:12

I’ll just say random stuff. And there’s like, what? Yeah, like what happens, what people like? Like, Oh, this is a little weird. Like, You’re really coming on strong. I don’t really, you know, like many other people are like, Oh, OK, well, you’re not do it back to you. I’m like, Oh, OK. And so we’re talking. They’re like, Wait, wait a minute. Somehow, I’ve agreed to do a photoshoot and we’re going, I’m going to poll what is happening, and I’m like, No, it’s too late.

00:37:52:14 – 00:38:05:15

Sorry, just like, I’m like, You are going to be on my podcast. I like it right away. I’m like, I can relate so much to everything you’re saying. Sometimes I’m like, People must just think I’m too much. They have to just think I’m too much. Just rein it in,

00:38:05:17 – 00:38:38:12

rein it in. It’s now so so I like I have a friend who he used to be a professional ballet dancer in the OKC ballet, and so I reached out to him. We collaborated. He’s now in San Diego and he’s just he’s like, I, why would you move? Oh, yeah, yeah, you’re in then Diego professionally in Nutcracker. But what about me? Right? What about me? And so I have several friends who are professional ballet dancers, and then I have some friends in Vegas that I met. One friend he used to be on the Magic Mike show.

00:38:38:14 – 00:39:08:22

Now he’s doing the RuPaul’s Drag Race and his husband used to do. I think he was in one of the swimmers in a hotel where what it was like through the Rev? Anyway, he’s modeling now, so I’ve had them do stuff for me, and then I made them volunteer their friends as tribute. And that’s how I was able to photograph a professional aerial poll dancer. Really, how do you meet these people? I’m like, I have no idea. I can’t tell you. I’m sorry.

00:39:08:24 – 00:39:34:01

I don’t know. It just happens. Just it. Just it just it doesn’t. And so I love it. That’s completely separate, right? Apart from what I do for a boudoir. And that that structure is different. But just in terms of just like the creative process of like, I mean, if I was safe, right? Although if I had the ability to add pyrotechnics to my boudoir experience, I would do it in a heartbeat. It’s sort of how that can happen.

00:39:34:03 – 00:39:36:25

I’m like, if anyone out there who’s listening, wants to help Ore do this

00:39:37:12 – 00:40:07:27

If you want to give me a movie set budget for my boudoir business. I’m here and how I do that, but for boudoir. My fashion fee for individuals is $300. I couldn’t get, you know, time with me. We sent a questionnaire. Got kind of pretty in-depth there. Like what you want with your experience to be, do you want to make it unique? Do you have a special thing you want to do or do you want me to be the one in control? Kind of.

00:40:08:01 – 00:40:39:25

Let me take the reins. And then for couples, it’s 400 and then my prints and products are separate. I offer digitals. They can buy digitals, so they don’t want if they don’t want products at all. And my digital tools are two hundred and fifty dollars with a minimum of five. So you have two buy five digital from me. And then my collections, you know, four packages that include, like, like, excuse me, my first package is like the Sue Bryce reveal box.

00:40:40:26 – 00:41:16:07

You’ll see that you’ll get that that box. And then eight matted prints and the digitals that those for nineteen hundred. And then I offer my middle collection is get 20 images, I believe. And the bigger reveal box with the smaller one is Abraham. The bigger one is eleven by fourteen. And you’ll also get a middle wall with that as well. And I find that especially couples like the metal are like seeing their images that they can hang in their bedroom walls, and I really like them to be able to share and display that.

00:41:16:21 – 00:41:44:05

And then my top of that structure package is thirty nine hundred. And with that, you’re going to get a 10 by 10 boudoir album. And then an added print. If you want the reveal box, you’re going to 20 or 30 minute large and then you’ll get digital as well. I then do have awesome packages for an all inclusive experience as well for both individuals and couples. So if you want the whole shebang,

00:41:44:20 – 00:42:08:04

OK, gotcha. OK, cool. All right. So yeah, it’s, you know, pretty like simple, straightforward packages. They get prints, they get the accomodating digitals. That’s cool. OK. Yeah. And then I know you said that sometimes people are like, How are you meeting these people? And you’re like, It just happens. But it’s like, just for the listener, say, how do you market this? And how do you how do you find your paying clients? I guess mostly, OK.

00:42:08:24 – 00:42:40:10

So I primarily market using Instagram. When I first started, trying to find my ideal client. I wrote in the list of what they did, who they were, just like where they would be. And I talked to like former clients I had photographed as I experienced that, and I realized my clients might not even have a Facebook let, maybe just cut them in, deleted it. And or they check a couple every couple of months to like update, make sure their grandparents are happy. Sounds like my ideal client is not on Facebook.

00:42:40:12 – 00:43:12:08

Why am I going to spend my time trying to create a boudoir Facebook group to engage my not ideal client? And so I transitioned over in just marketing to Instagram, and then I also get business through my website. You know, as we mentioned before, like shooting guys and shooting couples is still relatively new. So what if you Google couples boudoir sustainable Oklahoma? I get pretty good with SEO. Just because it’s it’s relatively new.

00:43:12:10 – 00:43:25:29

I mean, obviously, as it picks up, I may get pushed down a little bit more work in terms of like updating the. But how I get clients is Instagram and my website. Very cool. Yeah, I tried TikTok.

00:43:26:15 – 00:43:28:01

You did. You did. Didn’t work

00:43:28:03 – 00:43:45:19

out. I tried to talk and I was just like, I got sucked in. And then I was like, It’s like four hours later, like, you did not create a video, but you know, all the dances and you know, all the jokes, and you can make a recipe for a fried chicken wing butter pineapple salad cake. No problem.

00:43:45:21 – 00:44:21:11

Oh my god, it’s such a time suck on TikTok. Like, I will not allow myself every so often. I have to look at it for some reason, and then I’ve lost 20 minutes and I’m like, OK, nope, I just will not allow myself to go there. Yeah. That’s very smart. And some people are amazing at it. Oh my gosh. Some people are like, like David, who I interviewed. He’s like, he has millions of followers now, and he’s just absolutely incredible. But OK, so. So you said is is a huge part, which makes sense because if it’s not a saturated genre yet like, you’re going to pop up, so that’s pretty cool.

00:44:21:20 – 00:44:22:09


00:44:22:25 – 00:44:34:14

Yeah, it’s pretty nice. Awesome. So do you do you see yourself wanting to do this full time or is this something that you’re cool with just, you know, your attorney job and then doing this on the side?

00:44:35:12 – 00:45:09:24

I don’t want to do photography full time just because this is a creative outlet. And once this becomes a full time job, I have to find. Another creative outlet. And that’s not something that I want to do like, I obviously the goal not only to make money. The goal is to be compensated for the value of my work and make money to then be able to fuel the passion for creativity, right? Like my prices are in line with the other.

00:45:09:26 – 00:45:42:12

Boudoir photographers within my same skill set and level, I’m actually ironically priced a little bit lower. I’m on the low end of the photographers in my same level of experience. I’ve actually reduced my pricing from what it was before because I, you know, I had friends. They already like. Your work is so amazing. You are under charging. You should raise your prices higher. And I did for a while. It was like my ideal client cannot not afford to pay these prices.

00:45:42:21 – 00:46:28:10

And so, yes, there are boudoir photographers who can bring in, like seven thousand eight thousand dollars for a solution, but that’s that takes a lot of time investment to get to that place. And I don’t want to do that right. I don’t want to have to do that level of work to provide a collection that’s valued at $8000, meaning the size of my lingerie closet, the studio space, the props, the level of like CRM management like these photographers are doing this as their full time job, and they’re photographing probably, you know, between eight 12 clients a month.

00:46:28:29 – 00:47:01:19

And at that point, it’s going to start to become repetitive. It just has to be you have to streamline it when it becomes a job like that. And so while they can still be artistic, to some degree, they cannot. They cannot invest the amount of time trying to create a one of the kind of experience if you’re doing it that many times. And so I celebrate them for that. But I, my mind would probably shut down pretty fast quickly in terms of like enjoyment.

00:47:02:16 – 00:47:16:03

Yeah, and that’s good. It’s like, you know, your limits. You know what you need. You know what you want to do. And and not everyone has to be a full time photographer. So it’s yeah, you can make it whatever you want, whatever you want your business to meet, you can make it. So I love that.

00:47:16:08 – 00:47:24:23

Yeah. And also like doing this part time allows me to say no. Right. I’ve had some inquiries where I’m like,

00:47:26:11 – 00:47:45:18

this is like, look, if I have to pay rent, right, I have to pay for some stuff. I probably maybe ignore some red flags. But because I don’t have to. I’m going to say no. Yeah. So that’s that’s nice feeling

00:47:45:22 – 00:47:48:16

when you don’t need it. It’s so much easier to say no.

00:47:48:22 – 00:48:13:19

Exactly, exactly. And that’s and that’s a luxury. I completely understand. Not everyone has that luxury, and so I definitely appreciate it. I also appreciate health insurance, vision insurance and dental insurance. Those are really important things. And there’s the marketplace, but I can barely adult myself trying to frame.

00:48:13:23 – 00:48:16:00

Yeah, adulting god.

00:48:16:04 – 00:48:21:20

It’s not. It’s not cool at all. Man, I don’t like it. Oh yeah.

00:48:22:09 – 00:48:33:00

Well, I really appreciate you sharing all this with me. This is a super interesting. And yeah, we’ve never had anyone who’s talked about a couples boudoir before couples boudoir before on this podcast. So you’re the first. So thank you.

00:48:33:12 – 00:48:34:09

Oh, you’re welcome.

00:48:34:19 – 00:48:47:21

But I do have a couple more questions for you, and I always ask these at the end of each episode, OK? And the first one is what is something you can’t live without when you’re doing a photoshoot? Music, music? Yeah, OK, yes.

00:48:48:01 – 00:49:17:14

And I typically will ask my client what musical genre they enjoy listening to. I do have some hard limits of what will not be playing in my studio, but I’m from that. It’s pretty free rein and I find music relaxes. Music is just kind of facilitates. And then depending on like what we’re doing can change the mood. So I really and sometimes me and my clients take dance breaks when a really good song comes on and usually dance.

00:49:19:07 – 00:49:20:18

So as a music?

00:49:21:13 – 00:49:39:24

Very cool. Real quick analysis. I’m totally getting distracted here, but there is a series of photos on your Instagram. Mm hmm. It’s a couple and they’re in a pink tutu and they’re like on the roof. Yes, freaking love it. Was that your idea, or is this one of your put together, or was this their idea?

00:49:40:15 – 00:49:43:19

You have opened up a storytime?

00:49:43:21 – 00:49:44:19

Oh, let’s do it.

00:49:44:28 – 00:50:16:17

OK, so a couple of years ago, I went to College Boudoir Camp. It was a group. It’s no longer in existemce right now. But at that time I met a fellow photographer and his name is Rob Wood Cox. And he was their kind of to experience the camp because he’s was going to teach them the next year. And I had wanted to do a session with queer couple. And usually other photographers there. So it’s kind of like they don’t know each other very well.

00:50:16:29 – 00:50:32:03

And there was not that many opportunities to do that. Hey, Rob, I really want to do a session, but it can kind of be a stranger session. And actually, have you heard of those before stranger sessions?

00:50:32:15 – 00:50:39:04

I have. Isn’t that we’re just two people all of a sudden, are bing thrown together as a couple. Yeah. And you’re photographing them as though they’re a couple.

00:50:39:11 – 00:51:18:00

Right? And I like to make things very hard right now. It’s like, Oh, we’re going to hold my beer. And so I said to myself, You know what I haven’t seen anywhere is a queer couples strangers boudoir session. Mm hmm. And we were like, Why? And I was like, Just roll with it, roll with it. And so Rob volunteered as a tribute, and he actually connected up with somebody that, like a friend of a friend. And he messaged an individual who seems Marc Shay, that, Hey, Marc Shay, I have a friend who’s a photographer and she’s interested in doing a stranger session.

00:51:18:18 – 00:51:26:17

Would you be interested in taking place? And Marc Shay, whether he’s like, you want me to what? I what

00:51:28:13 – 00:52:05:28

he’s going to say, no, but these are my work. And he said he would at least listen right to like just if he was intrigued, but also like, not 100 percent sure. And so and I was actually with some other photographers. So there’s included three or four of us. I photographed that session, but I also kind of like the lead. It was my idea. And the one thing that I think that helped us get some amazing photos is like, first of all, obviously Rob and Marc Shay met and then talked to me and kind of walked through how it would work.

00:52:06:09 – 00:52:37:02

And the one thing that I was very, very clear on was, you two are highly intelligent individuals who know like what you’re comfortable with. This is a stranger session. It’s boudoir. Your body, your choice. Body autonomy, if there’s any inkling whatsoever that you are uncomfortable and you want this to stop at any point in time, you please tell me if I see your face is very uncomfortable and you don’t want to do this and you haven’t spoken up yet.

00:52:37:07 – 00:53:12:19

I will yell at you so hard. I will make you cry for not standing up for yourself. And they’re like, OK, OK, OK, good. As long as you know that if you don’t stand up for yourself, it’s going to be bad for you because you know that we’re good to go. And so oh, and then also after that, they went to lunch together, right for two hours. They just talked and I was like, kind of made their own little like rules for themselves. So when they came back, it was so your session, but it wasn’t like a complete stranger session, if that makes sense.

00:53:12:28 – 00:53:31:20

And so we photographed in different ways, and a friend had a tool skirt, a plus size to skirt, and we’re like, can two guys fit into a plus size tool skirt. Turns out, yes. Yes, they can. Are they a couple now? They are friends now, and they remain friends with each other.

00:53:31:22 – 00:53:38:06

I mean, you can tell. Yeah. Not that I wasn’t stalking or anything looking at, you know, because they’re both just such beautiful people, you know?

00:53:38:17 – 00:54:15:01

I honestly like Marc Shay is an amazing human as well, just such a he at the time. He’s former professional dancer. He was a model. He is also in school for I can’t remember what it was. And so I was just like, How can you pick perfection, Rob? Like, literally you picked. And obviously, Rob is beautiful, right? Look, forget that. But I was, and I told them, like, I think I told Rob much since then, I will never do another couple’s boudoir stranger session.

00:54:15:17 – 00:54:45:26

First of all, the liability is just like kinematic, if anything, were to happen with two strange people, right? That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. And then also to I just like, you know, right, like you did that and that experience and the connection, like, how can I top that? I don’t even know. I love their photos so much like two and a half years later, like literally they they connected so well together. I I didn’t create that.

00:54:45:28 – 00:55:05:06

I didn’t do that. I don’t know how that happened. So that’s kind of the story behind that session, and we kind of shot them all day like me and some other geographers. And so at the very end of the session, it was like seven or eight because we stopped for a little bit to the breaks. Ate. They went out and did some stuff came back.

00:55:06:23 – 00:55:33:29

I’m sorry, didn’t do some stuff, grabbed a dinner and then came back and then I think, Hey guys, how do you feel about getting in the tub? And they were like, Oh, sure. And I thought I was hot offers that you’ve you’ve had your fun with these two taking photos, but they’re mine starting now, right? And so the photos of them in that time there was a there’s a skylight right on top of them. That’s how they’re lit.

00:55:35:17 – 00:56:07:11

That’s because I don’t think at that time there was it was natural light. So people like, how do how does that work, right? The room looks like it’s it has four walls. There’s no light from the walls themselves, but the entire top part was a skylight. So I had I try to shoot down from from outside and look really weird, but like I shot them that way. So then we have like eight hours of just talking, like just being physically at the hilt with each other. By the time of the eight hours of shooting that portion, it was really great.

00:56:07:13 – 00:56:13:08

I really I really enjoyed that experience. But it’s a one of a kind experience, I we do it again. No, no, no, no.

00:56:13:24 – 00:56:15:24

Yeah. Well, I love those photos, too.

00:56:15:29 – 00:56:19:09

Yeah, especially. Yeah, I know there’s yeah, that was fun.

00:56:19:20 – 00:56:26:00

Cool. All right. Number two is how do you spend your time when you’re not working either job?

00:56:27:04 – 00:56:33:22

I really that’s what I do, right? I don’t do anything else, really. I’m

00:56:35:24 – 00:57:09:17

I used to work out a lot more than I do now. I do not. And funny enough. I didn’t even mention this before cross fit. There was something before crossing, I was going to be a food photographer and had my own food blog. And so for a little bit, I did food photography and I went to a workshop in California with a couple called white and called white on rice. And I really love to cook. I immersed me in the CrossFit world. There’s like whatever random diet people to be doing a paleo primal.

00:57:09:27 – 00:57:14:14

And so I became known as the Faileo food queen.

00:57:14:26 – 00:57:18:03

Do you know what Faileo is? I don’t.

00:57:18:24 – 00:57:49:16

So generally speaking, the paleo diet is like, you know, you eat with your ancestors. Eight. So what? You don’t eat like no gluten. No. Some people say milk, no milk. You know what? You just know grains, that kind of stuff. Well, as it turns out, even eating paleo, you can make stuff especially using like flours with made out of nuts or like cassava or whatever. And so people like hey Oreo were having a paleo party.

00:57:49:18 – 00:58:20:22

Can you make something like come in with a cake? Why did you make a paleo cake? And I was like, Butter’s paleo, isn’t it right? It’s flour is paleo, isn’t it? So it’s really the thing with the paleo of food is it’s much denser fat and it’s much more caloric. So the healthier it just meets the general requirements of paleo. And I was like, You know what again? Hold my beer.

00:58:21:01 – 00:58:36:03

So technically, I’m eating paleo, but they called it failure because you’re failing the paleo diets. That was called a call, OK? I was wondering if there was a failure. I know that. Yeah, I was like, Yeah, I mean, but I was like, But it’s a grain free cookie already,

00:58:37:25 – 00:59:00:02

but it has coconut sugar in it. It is delicious. Like, you know it. Don’t ruin this for me. Let me, let me have my fun. So I used to do that, but I’m trying to do other stuff. But like really, right now, if I’m not working, it’s usually photography. If it’s not that it’s it’s really TikTok because it’s bad, but there’s so many funny videos I can’t help.

00:59:00:05 – 00:59:09:02

Yeah, I didn’t mean to like, say, TikTok is not worthy. I’m just saying for my own, like, I just don’t have any regulation at self-regulation when it comes to like,

00:59:09:23 – 00:59:42:18

No, really, if you like, watched TikTok long enough, there is a voice that comes on and kind of tells you, like, Hey, you’ve been on this for a while, I think you should stop. And for the longest time, it was two guys right for anybody. But my initial reaction was like, I don’t need you telling me what to do at 2:30 in the morning, sir. If I were watching another video, I will. You can’t know what to do so, but recently they’ve added a new person and because you know, Tik Tok is like the for you page is geared towards you.

00:59:43:02 – 01:00:13:10

So like, there’s this like black woman, like with my skin color, with like long dreads and our hair thing. Hey, you know you done here for a while, and that’s totally great, you know? But maybe just do you think you kind of maybe want to take a little bit of a break? You know what? When you put it like that, maybe I will log off like, OK, fine, fine. I see what you’re doing here, and I see what your manipulating me to do this and that, like she’s saying the same thing to other guys said. And it shouldn’t matter because it’s the same thing of get off.

01:00:13:21 – 01:00:21:29

But the approach is different, so I will log off, but I know that I’m being mentally manipulated. I don’t like it.

01:00:22:01 – 01:00:52:11

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I was mentally manipulate, manipulated recently into buying some really great things though a new pillow that it’s like, OK, I got this pillow. This is so off topic. Sorry to listeners, but you’re going to hear what? I just got Sutera pillows. I think it’s called Sutera. It is like changing my life. Ooh, that. And then I just signed up for these kits, a science kit and a sensory box subscription for my kids, which I’m super stoked about.

01:00:52:22 – 01:01:24:20

And then I also just got this. I got an email this a little while ago. I get a lot of random like affiliate. Will you post this and I’ll give you something free and I’m like, This is I’m never going to ever post and promote a product that I personally wouldn’t love and use to my like, quote unquote followers on social media. I’m never it has to be authentic and genuine of someone reached out and asked if I would be part of their pasta and bread, fresh pasta and breads, awesome like subscription service.

01:01:24:22 – 01:01:52:15

And I was like, Oh yes, this is. This is so like, so am I. Fresh pasta and bread is like, Oh, give me all of it. So anyway, so I just signed up for that, and they’re going to send me my first box and then they’ll like, have a code if people want to sign up anyways, like, I’ll have my own special code. I have to eat it and try it first, but anyway, so those are the three things. Within the last week that I have been like suckered into, but they’re all great things, so I’m I’m happy about it.

01:01:53:15 – 01:01:55:12

Awesome. That sounds amazing.

01:01:55:14 – 01:01:59:15

I’m happy about the manipulation for those three things. So anyway, yeah, for sure.

01:01:59:17 – 01:02:19:07

I appreciate that. I really do. I used to have a kitchen appliance addiction, so I do understand buying things that you’re like, What? What’s happening? Why is why is my card being entered into this website to buy this thing, you know, cooling later? It’s so pretty and shiny I can slice and dice and do all these things.

01:02:19:09 – 01:02:21:08

Yes, so much dicing. I love it.

01:02:23:00 – 01:02:32:22

I’m such a sucker for everything like that OK. Anyway, moving on. I feel like I could talk to you all day, OK? Number three is what is your favorite inspirational quote?

01:02:33:05 – 01:02:33:20


01:02:35:04 – 01:03:06:00

I don’t really have a quote per say, or if it is a quote, I’ve internalized the meaning more than the quote itself. But thing that helps me, especially when I’m really stressed and or just feeling overwhelmed with something. Is I ask myself this thing that you’re feeling and you’re so overwhelmed and worried with it. It’s consuming your life in three weeks or two weeks or four days.

01:03:06:14 – 01:03:36:24

Will you remember when you were worried about. And usually the answer’s no. And I myself, yes, yes. So you can feel that stress is not going to go away, but save your mental energy for things that matter. Yeah. And I know I read that somewhere I don’t. Even the concept is is not my own right. It’s someone else’s don’t know who it is. And so especially when I’m at work and then feeling overwhelmed or I’m getting ready for something and I’m just like, the world is ending.

01:03:37:16 – 01:03:52:08

And then I’m like, you know what, Ore. What were you worried about two days ago or four weeks ago, and you’ve hit a rock your brain and you can’t even remember the horrible part when you look back? Good, good, so stressed about those who remember that for myself

01:03:52:16 – 01:04:26:04

that, oh, this is so important, and I’m so glad you brought this up. Truly, this is something I live by, and I remind myself all the time exactly what you just said and the phrase that I say is, this is a blip on the radar. It’s a blip on the radar that a year from now or a month from now, like you said, it’s just it doesn’t matter. So so just, you know, acknowledge it and just move on. So, yeah, it’s a blip on the radar. Exactly, exactly. I’m glad you said that. Well, OK, number four is what would you tell people who are just starting out in that trying to build their photography business?

01:04:27:07 – 01:05:03:05

I would say this. You’re going to want to get better at what you do photography wise, but you need to know how to run a business, especially if you want to do this full time because it’s not necessarily the most talented people that are successful in photography. It’s the ones who know how to market and leverage themselves and get that business. And if you don’t believe me, then go, just look at the top like the the most favourite and most person indifferent or passionate.

01:05:03:24 – 01:05:42:16

Look at the list of the top favourites and compare their work with, like Sue Bryce level work, right? They’re not the best, but they have the people around them and skills and techniques to help them grow. So you can definitely want to grow as a photographer. But being a better photographer, skill wise, is not going to be what makes your business stressful. So don’t forget, don’t about push the back burner of like what you are doing business, how much you to bring in to pay yourself, do you? Are you going to need support.

01:05:42:24 – 01:06:13:25

Are you going to need help when you own your own business, you’re paying both employee and employer taxes. So why while you hear people saying, I’m running a six figure business? Yes, their business is bringing in six figures. How much are their personal salary? That’s what you need to know because you can bring in half a million dollars. Have expenses of four hundred and fifty dollars. So like to know what your business is. Know what.

01:06:13:27 – 01:06:42:22

It’s bringing in and know what you need to do to be successful. That’s one thing. And then also another thing that I think is really important is have people around you such she was in this industry who match your energy and are supportive of you. And if they are not supportive of you or don’t match their energy, take their advice for what it is, but don’t take it personal.

01:06:44:10 – 01:06:44:25


01:06:47:02 – 01:07:22:27

I’ll give you a quick example experience. So shooting documentary style I explained to you that the light changes you don’t control. That’s what happens. So like, I am used to shooting photos like a twenty five hundred ISO. Right? Well. And that photographers are cringing. But I just hear the mental scream of shooting that it’s not going to be great, right? But like if I captured a picture of your two boys laughing and giggling and just crying with laughter and the grain is twenty five hundred.

01:07:23:13 – 01:07:54:10

Are you going to tell me you don’t love that photo? And I’m saying it’s like laughing. Like, just everyday photo. It’s like where you have an image in your head of your kids. And I got that exact image exactly the way you picture it in your head. I captured that, Hey, this photo was exactly what you will think about every time you see your kids or your kids in this picture, like twenty five years from now. This is the photo you want to see 30 years from now. This is what you want to see. This is the photo. You want to have your son at his wedding.

01:07:54:15 – 01:08:33:19

You want to give to your grandchildren. Say the thought your dad looks like. This is the photo of all photos and it’s tried to yourself. Are you going to tell me? Well, it wasn’t, but I thought the ISO is a little too much. So I don’t want it. No, you’re going to buy that photo, right? So you took that kind of play around with that ISO. And so I’m talking about like shooting and having grain in my photos. And people are coming and saying, use your eye, it’s almost too high. Why did you put it that way? Explain to me why I’m shooting at a beginner level, and I need to understand that I shouldn’t have shot those photos at that high grain.

01:08:34:04 – 01:09:05:28

So I ask these people, Do you know what that means? Do you know what documentary photography is like? You know, if you don’t know why I did what I did, that you can’t give me advice about shooting with grain. Mind you, if Kirsten Lewis says, why did you shoot that without ISO? You should have done X, Y and Z. I’m all ears because at this point, we’re friends. She’s, you know, she is the queen. You know, I’m a take her advice. Whatever she said, right? I’m gonna take it. I’m going to run with it. But it’s because, you know, we’re friends.

01:09:06:00 – 01:09:33:27

She matches my energy level. I’m going to put my trust and value in what she says. But these people who don’t even know what I’m doing, I can’t take that advice. And so because otherwise, you know, people just telling you things that are wrong, that you listen to them. There are many times, like my first good walk hug of her mentor ever. You told me no one in Oklahoma will pay more than $400 for a boudoir session.

01:09:34:06 – 01:09:37:09

Oh yeah. People get stuff like that all the time.

01:09:37:20 – 01:09:39:13

The if I listen to her,

01:09:41:01 – 01:10:15:16

I raised a $600 in my friends and people would help or six. One of is way too much for boudoir photos. You’re not going to you’re not going to get anywhere. And I have I had a real struggle trying to book clients a 600 dollars a session, but it was because I was not that there’s an area between 500 900 where you’re too expensive for a certain level of clientele but you’re too cheap for other clientele. And when I pushed past that thousand dollars level, it got above. I got more clients, but if I had just thought to myself, she said.

01:10:15:18 – 01:10:35:28

She said no one will pay 400. Now she has to be right, right? So I would just say, like, take advice. But process that makes sure that you’re just not just letting someone who may or may not know what you do, control and define your life for you. So that’s what I’d say, but that just there’s so much more about like just those two.

01:10:36:24 – 01:10:46:04

No, those are important. Very, very important to them, right? Yeah, awesome. I do have one last question is where can people find you online if they’re looking for you?

01:10:46:28 – 01:11:21:10

My website is in Intimate Lens studio and that’s where I showcase my works, you know, all body sizes, all types. Ironically enough, I specialize in a Plus-Size boudoir. And I say, Why don’t we enough? I don’t get that many Plus-Size clients. And so it’s a little bit like I have like Ore, I’d love to see more people. I would, too. I really would like to see more Plus-Size clients. But I mean, body image diversity is still a relatively new concept of like getting to be more inclusive.

01:11:21:27 – 01:11:47:26

And so I socialize a lot of different things. Teri Hofford, she’s my mentor as well, and I’ve been to multiple of her workshops for celebrating Plus-Size and biodiversity. And so that’s all that there as well. And then I’m also an Instagram at intimate lens studio. I have a TikTok. There’s no videos posted, but people still follow me. I don’t why

01:11:48:02 – 01:11:51:07

don’t follow them even though there’s no phone or no video, there’s no

01:11:51:09 – 01:11:59:29

thought. Yeah. I’m like, what? I’ll get a new message comes out of you. For what purpose? But yeah, you can find me on my website and on Instagram.

01:12:00:05 – 01:12:06:19

Awesome. Cool. Well, thank you so much for spending time with me. I hope we get to hang out in person again at some point. That would be amazing.

01:12:06:21 – 01:12:08:16

Yes, I would love that.

01:12:08:25 – 01:12:13:29

Yeah. Very cool. Well, for now, I will see you online. I’ll be stalking your work. Yes.

Thank you so much for listening to the Portrait System Podcast. Your five-star reviews really help us to continue what we do. So, if you like listening, would you mind giving us a review wherever you listen? I also encourage you to head over to, where you can find all of the education you need to be a successful photographer. There are over 1,000 on-demand educational videos on things like posing, lighting, styling, retouching, shooting, marketing, sales, business, and self-value

There’s also the 90 Day Startup Challenge, plus so many downloads showing hundreds of different poses. We have to-do checklists for your business, lighting PDFs, I mean truly everything to help make you a better photographer and to make you more money. Once again, that’s