January 2021 // The Beauty Edition

The Business of Beauty | Sal Cincotta

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

First, I will tell you, I hate the word boudoir. Like… with a passion. What comes to mind when I hear the word boudoir? Lingerie. Hotel rooms. Cheesy poses. And a very limited audience. Try this exercise. Post on your Facebook page or ask a few friends: What are some adjectives that come to mind when you think boudoir photography? Document the answers you get. I think you will find they are not always positive in their descriptions. This is why I like beauty or glamour as an adjective. It doesn’t bring with it the negative connotations. Now, you might think this is some small or trivial point I am making, but in reality it is a very important distinction. See, when it's all said and done, this is about making money. And to make money, you need an audience. I'm making the argument that the market for beauty is significantly larger than it is for boudoir.

If I were to ask my mother if she would do a "boudoir" shoot if I gifted that to her, she would laugh at me. However, if I were to offer her a "beauty" or "glamour" session, she would 100% consider it. I know, because I posed this very question to her. And the reason why? The perception of what boudoir is. Beauty, to me, can be anything. It can be sexy lingerie for a 24-year-old bride-to-be or it can be something you gift to your 70-year-old grandmother who just wants to look beautiful and enjoy a hair and makeup session and some portraits. If you are trying to build a business, you want to open your client pool to be as large as possible. Consider a name change and it might help you attract more clients.

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