Featured Photographer – Heather Voigt

Sep 2, 2020

September 1st – 15th




Business Information:


Heather Voigt

Name of business

Heather Voigt Photography

Location of business

Wausau, WI







Technical Specs:

Camera used

Just ordered a Canon EOS R, Canon 5d mkiii

Lens choices

My favorite for boudoir in the studio is my Canon 35 mm f/1.4L, I also have the 24-70mm f2.8L. I love the Canon 85mm f 1.2L & Canon 75-200 f/2.8L for outdoor shoots.

Processing Software (just provide the names of the one’s you use)

Do you use any actions?


Do you retouch and if so can you give me a quick rundown on if you use any plugins, etc.?

Yes, I use the Florabella Retouch Makeover action for retouching.





What most people want to know is how you market to your clients. Have you qualified who your is your ideal client?

Yes, she is in her late 30s to early/mid 40s. She values self care and is looking forward to a session to reconnect with herself. Most have children and are wives, but they also can finance themselves.

Do you have any inspiring client stories you can share? Also, have you had any issues with clients and how did you resolve them?

I think the biggest way to resolve issues with clients is to try to identify them before they happen. I recently had someone wanting to book a session just for the fun experience since the session fee was on sale and told me she couldn’t afford to buy any products afterwards. Instead of letting her book and hoping she would purchase something after her session, I politely let her know that I don’t do this ‘just for fun’ that it’s my career and how I pay my bills, feed my kids, etc. We chatted a bit more about ways to make her session a reality and she’s planning to start saving towards a session. Clients don’t always see things the same way we do as business owners, I think it’s important to have a well-educated client. That, in my opinion, sets you up for success.

Do you have a “welcome” product you give the clients?

My clients receive a thank you gift after their session or at their reveal. It’s a goodie bag filled with pampering products like bath bombs, sugar scrub, some sweet treats and lotion.





How do you sell to your clients? Can you provide info on your sales process and your pricing? Can you provide numbers on what you charge for a session and what products you offer?

Most of my clients book their sessions without ever meeting me or speaking to me on the phone, literally, I maybe talk to one client a year on the telephone. My session fee is $350 and includes 3 outfits, use of my studio closet, editing and an in-person image reveal/ordering meeting. Clients receive a full pricing guide prior to booking, a link to it again when I send their contract, and one more time when I send the link for them to book their viewing session. Client images are ready to be viewed in about a week and they come back to the studio to view them. I currently order them a set of 4×6 proofs and start their meeting with a slideshow before they get their proofs. The majority of my clients buy a 5×5 or 8×8 album or select a digital image collection. I offer albums pre-priced with 10 or 20 images, but offer the option to add additional images a la carte. My digital image collections also are priced at 10, 20 or the full set. Most clients opt to go for the full set. My product prices start at $350 and most clients invest $750-$1000 at their reveal.

What products perform best in your studio?

8×8 albums and digital images are the top sellers.





Best describe your workspace. Do you have a studio or work from home? How large is your space? What are the challenges with it? What works really well for you?

My studio is located in a 100+ year old home in my city’s downtown historical district. It’s a house my husband bought when he was 18 that has 6 apartments in it. I have apartment #1. It’s probably about 1,200 square feet. My biggest challenges are that I have 5 other people in the same building. I have a private entry to the studio, but we share a driveway and occasionally people are parked where they shouldn’t be. It’s really minor stuff like that that are challenges. I’ve been there almost 4 years and the pros far outweigh these minor cons. My husband being my landlord works out really well! Seriously though, the lighting and historic woodwork is probably my favorite thing. The studio I had before was a 20×30 space with fluorescent lighting and no storage in a commercial space. We had to walk through a cold garage space to use the bathroom that was shared with the company who owned the building. You’d go from 70 in the studio to 40 when you opened the door to walk to the restroom. I’m a glass half-full person usually, so I’ll take the minor frustrations over parking at my studio in exchange for the beautiful space and lighting.

Do you have any plans to change and/or grow from your space in the near future.

My studio is actually in the middle of a renovation/redesign. We ripped the kitchen of this apartment out earlier this summer to make a beautiful entry/IPS room. My old IPS room is becoming a 2nd shooting area and should maybe be finished here in September. It’s a process for sure. Eventually, I would love to buy my own boudoir house, but it’s going to have to be pretty special to get me to leave the space I’m in now so until something magical jumps out at me, I’m content where I am.

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

Yes! So much yes. I schedule clients around my kids’ schedules. I just switched to offering sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Tues/Thurs/Fri. I take one day off in the middle of the week to be at home doing laundry & such, one day is for admin purposes like accounting & editing and then I offer sessions/meetings the other 3 between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. while my kids are in school. In the summer, I only work until noon most days so that I can be a mom in the afternoon and offer evening appointments as my kids’ schedules allow.

Natural Light, Studio Light, combination of styles? What’s your preference? What are your strengths and weaknesses with lighting, if any?

I prefer natural, but use fill flash as needed in the studio. I know how to use studio lighting, but honestly, haven’t perfected it in my current studio because I haven’t needed to. I used strobes with every session in my prior space because I had to due to the natural lighting conditions.

Do you have makeup artists you work with in your studio? If so, can you give me a run down of what the rate is you pay them and how you feel about the importance of that relationship. If you don’t use them, is there a reason?

Yes, I work with a hair & makeup artist. She charges $75 and it includes both hair & makeup along with false lashes. I think the relationship is incredibly important. It’s been the hardest struggle in my business to find someone who is a great fit and whose experience aligns with my experience for my clients. Even though they’re a separate business, they are acting as an extension of your business so this relationship is definitely incredibly important.

Do you play music during sessions, and if so, what are some tracks on your playlist? Do you ask clients what music they like and if they would like certain music during their session?

I do play music, I never really know what’s playing until nothing is playing and then it’s like where’d the music go. I send clients a pre-session questionnaire and on it it asks what type of music is their favorite, so I usually play something that aligns with that answer.





How long have you been in business? What were you doing before you started your photo business?

I just celebrated 11 years a few weeks ago. Prior to starting my company, I was a stay-at-home mom for a year. Photography has given me the best of both worlds.

Did you go to school for photography or are you self taught?

Self taught.

Did you always want to be a photographer or was it something that came later in life?

I remember having a love affair with photographs as a child/teenager, however; I never believed it was something I could do as a career. Art class was never my strongest course and I’ve never considered myself artistic. I went to school for business majoring in accounting and planned to climb the corporate ladder with aspirations to work on Wall Street. Instead, I never left Wisconsin and quit my corporate job here when I had my first son. I, honestly, struggled with not having my own income and was in this weird place of figuring out who I was. My friends were all still mostly single and here I was with a husband, baby and mortgage. When I was pregnant with my second son in 2009, I gifted myself a $300 Canon 30D off eBay for my birthday and thus began my journey into becoming a photographer. I started photographing my kids, family members, etc. and then was asked to photograph my cousin’s wedding in 2010 which launched me into wedding photography. As my kids got older, it became harder to commit to a schedule a year out with weddings and I shifted gears. I launched my boudoir brand in 2016 and now it’s basically all that I do, I still dabble in some family portraits here and there as my schedule allows.

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

I think the biggest struggle is finding work-life balance. Juggling 3 kids with crazy sports and extracurricular schedules coupled with a drive to grow my own business isn’t always the easiest. My husband also owns his own business and often works late. I typically schedule my clients around my children’s schedules which has alleviated some stress, but it also makes it difficult to schedule those clients who want an evening or weekend appointment since I don’t typically offer that option.

Is there a reason you shoot boudoir and do you shoot any other genre? If you’re exclusive, and/or recently went exclusive, can you give the readers some insight into why you did? If you’ve only ever done boudoir, again we’d love to hear why.

I fell in love with women’s portraiture early in my photography career, like year 2. I never believed it was something that I could actually pursue where I live. It felt incredibly terrifying to put that out there, but I did dabble in boudoir a bit all those years ago. I think I was more afraid of any backlash from the conservative area I live in than anything. I focused on weddings for almost 10 years before someone I know asked me to photograph her before a fitness competition. That reignited the spark and 3 months later, I was signing a lease and starting renovations on my first boudoir studio after launching my Facebook group and offering a discounted session package with really shitty images from 6 years prior. I gave up weddings 2 years later and have consistently made more money with boudoir than I did the year I shot 30 weddings while pregnant!

What process did you go through to find your specific style? Where do you draw inspiration from? 

I think it’s just a matter of learning the light and your camera. I can’t really pinpoint the process, I guess it’s evolutionary really. I certainly do not shoot or edit the same way I did 4.5 years ago when I first started boudoir.





If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?

Get a business degree or at least some formal education on business and accounting fundamentals. Also, be prepared to hustle hard and have plenty of people think you have a hobby instead of a business.

Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself? Do you think it’s something that is important for boudoir photographers to do?

I have had multiple sessions for myself. I make sure to strip down for at least one session every year. I do think it’s important for boudoir photographers to do, how can you know what your clients are feeling if you’ve never been in their shoes?

How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?

A good photographer is a good photographer regardless of their gender. I think it’s important for clients to find a photographer that’s a good fit for them who has integrity as a human and possesses the skillset they’re looking for as a photographer.

What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?

I perpetually overbook myself, I thrive on a full plate actually. However; as the years go by I am finding balance more and more. I have become much more selfish with my time. Instead of saying yes to every project that inquires, I’ve found it a lot easier to say no. I gave up weddings so I wasn’t missing my kids’ games, so I refuse at this point to book sessions when they have things going on. I think the best advice I can give is to find out what works for you, what are you willing to sacrifice and what is a hard no for you. For me, soaking up every ounce of my children’s childhoods is at the top of my priority list. I also am very conscientious of taking time for myself and do it unapologetically. I get a 90 minute massage at least once a month, it autodrafts from my account and I schedule them out at least a month ahead. I schedule time to go to the gym, for manis, etc. Some days, I spend the afternoon reading or watching TV until my kids are home from school, just finding these little ways to recharge your battery helps a lot.

What do you love about the business?

I love that I get to connect with so many amazing women each year. Honestly, jumping into boudoir photography has completely changed my life in so many ways.

What do you hate about the business?

I don’t get paid vacation? I don’t know that I hate any part of my business, honestly.

Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI? What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?

I am a PPA & WPPI member. Secret time, I’m not sure that I’m actually getting much out of either. Several years ago, I attended WPPI and took courses which were helpful in some respects. Last year, I was supposed to go to Imaging, but then had surgery so I didn’t travel. I’ve been a member of several other organizations, as well, over the years. I think AIBP probably does the best job of creating a valuable community.

Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it? AIBP runs contests regularly. Do you participate? If not, is there a reason you don’t?

Yes, I participate in the contests.





Favorite food?

Toss up between chicken tacos and surf & turf.

One guilty pleasure in life?


What is your favorite piece of clothing?

I have a chambray dress from Anthropologie that’s probably my fave. I mean, my husband knows what dress it is when I talk about it, so it’s gotta be that right?

What’s one song on your playlist?

“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

Romantic Comedy, but I live in a house filled with boys so I watch a lot of action & super heroes too. I also love non-fiction.

Favorite shoes to wear?

Flip flops, but I live in Wisconsin so knee-high leather boots are my fave for 9 months of the year.

What are you currently reading?

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be? 

Is everywhere an acceptable answer? I seriously love traveling and experiencing new cultures. Maybe Bali, if I had to pick a dream vacation spot.

If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?

I’m incredibly content with where I am, I believe all of the mistakes got me here. That’s super cliché, I know. I wouldn’t have let my 9th grade basketball coach ruin it for me and I would have spent more time with my friends instead of my boyfriends over the years, I guess.

If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?

Kate Middleton, because I think she’s incredibly beautiful and I would be interested to see if her personality matches her public persona.

What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)

I grew up in a small town where everyone judged everyone, those demons creep in from time to time and leave me filled with self-doubt wondering who I can and can’t trust.

Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?

I have a husband and 3 sons. Life is a perpetual juggling act for our family. We are crazy busy and also crazy happy.

Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

My children and husband. Being a mom pushes me to be a better human. My husband is the hardest working person I’ve ever met, his determination and fortitude are beyond inspiring.

If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be?

Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible. If you work hard, you can achieve your wildest dreams.




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