How to Build an Inclusive Boudoir Studio

Boudoir should be accessible to anyone and everyone. It’s my biggest passion and it’s why I got into coaching boudoir photographers. There are so many people who want to be inclusive, but maybe can only scrape the top layer of what that means. Here’s some guidelines you can follow that’ll teach you how to build an inclusive boudoir studio of your very own.

Above you’ll see a quick look at my boudoir studio. If you check out my website or instagram, you’ll see some ways it has changed since this video. I get bored easily and switch up my studio something like 3-4x a year.

Location, location, location

I’m currently writing a course about In Person Sales where this is the title of a section and it’s making me laugh thinking about it. I don’t remember where I first heard it, but it’s definitely continued to ring true in so many facets of business.

When I put out the call for a new studio space, I specifically made sure that it would be accessible for folks who use mobility aids. It means I’m on the ground floor because a lot of spaces had less reliable ways of navigating for those folks.

One potential space I saw did have a ramp, but you had to call the day before to arrange assistance. If the ball would have been dropped during that or if someone had to arrive early to a lot of moving parts just for them to even enter the building, I didn’t want them to feel “othered” by this.

It also means that I had to use a frosted film cover-up for my doors and windows. I had mine professionally applied.

Update your Client Closet

Every boudoir photographer is different. Some have massive client closets while some decide not to have one at all. If you have a client closet and want to reach all kinds of clients, you want to have plenty of options for anyone who walks through your door. I currently have sizes S-6X and around 300 pieces. I’ve written a post about how to start and expand your client closet over on Patreon.

If you need to add some plus size lingerie to your closet check out my favorite shops:

Torrid
Cacique Intimates
Playful Promises
Love Vera (Support Black-Owned Businesses!)

Check your Furniture’s Weight Limit

This is one people tell me very often they don’t consider. The worst thing is going to a place or using a service that you think is inclusive only to find out that nothing fits you. Sitting on furniture you know could break at any second is embarrassing. You can also tell on a client’s face when something is super uncomfortable.

I know a lot of folks that thrift furniture and that requires some guess and test work. However, I buy a lot of my furniture from Wayfair. Under Features there is generally something that says “Weight Capacity”. Nothing in my studio is rated for less than 400 pounds. Bed, couches, chairs, and our movable bench.

Use an accessibility checker

The WAVE tool (Website Accessibility Evaluation) checks for contrast issues, structural issues, and Alternative text. Of course, as this isn’t a person and everyone uses the web differently, there is room for error. Use it as a guideline and not a hard and fast rule.

Use inclusive language

Truly inclusive boudoir brands will acknowledge that gender is so fluid that any person should be able to walk through their doors and feel welcome. In the past couple of years, I’ve started stocking more gender neutral outfits on top of size inclusive so that folks felt good about coming in.

Not everything should be “hey girl!” or “hey bride!” even the term “womxn” isn’t as inclusive as well-meaning folks (including me once upon a time) want it to be.

Never stop learning & don’t be afraid to fuck up!

There are so many resources for you on the world wide web. Read the articles, follow the people doing the things that you want to do and if you make a misstep – simply apologize and do better the next time. We’re going to make mistakes as we are all fallable humans, but it just depends on how you decide to learn from it.

If you’d like to learn more about being a truly inclusive business and how to run it in the mindset of body neutrality, check out Teri Hofford’s education.

If you are doing something in your business I overlooked, leave a comment! There are a million things I could cover and they’re all important!

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Hey, i'm Tay. a designer + coach for inclusive creatives. Stick around if you'd like to learn more.

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