A Quick Q&A With Charles Mitri From Bella Mitri Boudoir

What is your approach to working with clients?

“I like to think of it as an artistic collaboration whereby the two of us, photographer and client, are working together to create a series of unique images that emphasize the female form utilizing light and shadow, wardrobe, and posing.”

How did you get started shooting boudoir?

“I got started shooting headshots for actors and models in Los Angeles. Some of my repeat female clients began asking for more revealing modeling shots and that eventually led to me getting interested in boudoir.

It was a gradual transition. I was still shooting headshots and then doing boudoir on the side for about a year or so before committing to it full-time.”

Why do you shoot boudoir?

“I love the art form. I like the expression the entire body can give as opposed to just a facial expression that a headshot offers. I’m also able to be more creative with light and shadow than what a typical headshot allows. 

It’s also great to show women how amazing they can look when a lot of times, they’ve never seen themselves in this way before. The extra benefit of creating unique images for women is how it makes them feel about themselves afterwards. It’s a win-win.”

You shoot in two different styles, correct?

“Yes, I shoot in natural light, which has a light and bright feel to it, and also in a darker moody style which features more shadows and highlights.”

Which do you prefer?

“I like ‘em both! There’s a bit more set-up for the dark and moody style so it requires more time.”

How would people describe your working style?

“I’m pretty easy-going to begin with but very organized. I like to pre-plan what I’m going to be shooting for each client a day or two beforehand, but I always save time at the end for some experimentation.”

Can you elaborate on that?

“I come from an acting background so finding new things through improvisation is a great way to stay fresh with one’s style and posing.

At the very end of the shoot for about 5 minutes or so, I instruct the client to just “play” and have fun making up whatever poses on the spot that comes to mind. The key is to not think about it too much.”

Sounds like fun!

“It is! And I’ve gotten some amazing shots from that process I never would have gotten had I planned everything out! So, that bit at the end is important for the shoot creatively.”

Do you shoot all sizes and ages?

“I do, as long as they’re over 18, but typically my clients fall between their early twenties to early forties.”

How long does a typical shoot last?

“If the client is shooting in just one style, about an hour. If shooting both styles then about two hours. Anything longer than that and I start to see a drop in energy or “model fatigue” as I like to call it.”

What products do you offer?

“I keep it simple. I offer albums, wall art, and digitals in various collections.” 

Your pricing is different from most other boudoir photographers, can you talk about that?

“Yes, absolutely. The main difference is that I don’t charge a session fee, which most other photographers do. 100% of what you pay goes towards albums and wall art. That way you know up front exactly how much you’ll be spending and there are no surprises. You can always buy more, if you’d like, but once you pay for a collection, that’s the total price.” 

Can you tell us a crazy story about one of your shoots?

“Nothing too crazy has happened, although I remember one client who arrived with a duffle bag full of bras and bottoms… a large duffle bag!“

Yikes! That’s a lot to go through!

“Yes, but we finally settled on something.”

What’s a good number of outfits to bring?

“If you’re working one outfit, I’d say bring 3 to 5 choices. And if you’re working two outfits, then bring 5 to 7 choices… if you have them. I work with color a lot but I also talk wardrobe and color with my clients before the shoot, so they have a pretty good idea what to bring to start with anyway.

I probably ask for more than most other boudoir photographers because I’d rather have more choices than not enough.”

Are there any colors or outfits you ask all clients to bring?

“Yes, I always ask them to bring something black — either black bra and bottoms or a black teddy, but something black. Black looks good on everyone… and also jeans and a top.”

Jeans and a top?

“Yes, I like to start my sessions off with a series of shots of them slipping out of their jeans and catching a glimpse of what they have on underneath. It adds a nice beginning to an album and builds anticipation for more revealing shots later on. It’s an important part of the progression of images.“

How can people get a hold of you if they’re interested in a sessions?

“People can contact me by email at info@bellamitriboudoir.com or call (757) 598-1226

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