Archive for the ‘General’ Category

I recently had the opportunity to do a commercial shoot for a product that was new to me.  Pleasant E-cigs of Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, SC,  asked me to take shots of some of the products they carry.

Not knowing anything about the electronic cigarette (e-cig) business, I found it pretty fascinating to see the variety of products and styles there are!  I later found out that my clients think that e-cigs are the way to go for their boudoir photo shoots, if they want shots of them relaxing with a smoke in a sultry pose.  There is no cigarette smoking in my studio, and the E-cig solves that problem beautifully!

Pleasant Ecigs at Shem Creek is located at 414 Whilden Street, #105, Mount Pleasant, SC  (843)352-9992  They ship!  Find them on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/pleasantecigsSC  and check out their blog at http://pleasantecigssc.wordpress.com



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This is a blog I wrote over a year ago, but I felt that I need to re-post it because I have been receiving calls from potential clients who have had bad experiences when doing a boudoir session with another photographer in the past.  I told them that these are the things that they should ask right up front.  I know that this isn’t positively going to make sure that the photographer is the right one, but it will help with the short  list.  I’ve sent them this list of questions to help them get started.

I received a call from a potential client back a while ago and I was actually very delighted that she had such a good list of questions for me before she would hire a photographer – especially one that was going to take intimate photos for her. She had done her homework and said that she wanted to be sure she was dealing with a professional and a real business. Here are some of the questions she asked and the answers I gave her.

1. Do you have a business license? (yes – in Sandy Springs where my studio is)
2. Are you a corporation and in which state? (yes – Mark L. Anderson, LLC – Georgia – DBA Casual Elegance Photography®)
3. Do you have insurance? (yes – liability and loss of property)
4. When did you start the business? (2000 – I have been specializing in Boudoir and Intimate photography since 2001. I don’t shoot weddings and have not just added Boudoir photography to my menu of services.  I take the business of Boudoir and Intimate Photography seriously and professionally.)
5. Do you have a Website? – she was referred by a friend (yes – casualelegancephotography.com and my email address is mark@casualelegancephotography.com)
6. Do you have a studio? Can I meet with you ahead of the shoot and see your studio? (yes I have a 15oo sq ft studio in a small quite business park – I encourage that you come in ahead of time to discuss a shoot.  It’s always a good idea to see if you click with someone.  You can see examples of my work and we can go over ideas.)
7. Do you have a Makeup Artist? (yes – I utilize the services of several in the area but work closely with 3 – all licensed estheticians. They all believe in cleanliness and ensure their equipment and products are cleaned between uses. These Makeup Artists and I have worked together for over 10 years.)
8. Can I bring someone to the shoot with me? (YES – I highly encourage you to do that)
9. Will my photos be sold or used by you? ( NO! I do not use client images. If a client wants me to use an image I require them to sign an agreement for me to do so. I don’t even allow anyone other than the client to order prints or a CD)

Another few questions that should also be asked are:

1.  What forms of payment do you accept? (I accept most major credit cards, checks, and cash)

2.  Do you provide Prints or just photos on a CD?  (I can provide either or both.  I can also provide books, calendars, and canvas prints.)

3.  What are your hours of operation?  (I’m by appointment only and have appointment hours 7 days per week and on holidays)

She had a bunch more questions but they were related to the process, the shoot, and the timing. As I said, I was delighted that she was taking the task of hiring a photographer so seriously and I gladly answered her questions. It made me very happy that I had followed all the right steps to build my business correctly, and that Casual Elegance Photography® had all the right answers.

Visit our website to learn more about Casual Elegance Photography® and read our client testimonials.

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Unlike the wedding photography business, the boudoir business (at least my business) isn’t booked a year in advance.  Most of my clients book their session about 2 to 4 weeks in advance.  But lately I’m getting bookings 8 to 10 weeks in advance.  It’s nice to have a bit more time to prep for a shoot and to make sure that everything is in place for the shoot.  But it’s not a necessity.  I normally recommend 3 to 4 weeks in advance but have had shoots book less than a week in advance.  They all have gone well.

The reason I wanted to mention this is because clients are always amazed when they call and find out that they don’t have to book months in advance and that they don’t have to wait for months to get their images.  I suspect that the wedding business, because of the sheer volume, has given people the idea that they need to book all photography far in advance.  It’s a good idea, but again, it’s not a necessity in my boudoir business.

When you are planning for a boudoir session I recommend that you be sure to leave enough time to get everything in place for the shoot.  Some clients order lingerie or outfits online and they need to consider the shipping time as well as the possibility that they may need to exchange something.   Some clients want to “get in shape” for the shoot and that may take a few weeks to do.  And still other clients want to plan it for a time when they don’t have any other commitments.   So it’s best to get out a calendar and set up a timeframe that will work for you.  Allow a few alternative dates/times so we can work together to get your session booked at a date/time that will work for you.  Once you have that, then call me so that we can figure out if it’s doable.  Also remember that weekends book faster than weekdays, and that afternoons book faster than mornings.   I try my best to accommodate my client’s schedules, but there are times when there are conflicts.  There could be a conflict with the makeup artist’s schedule or that I am not available, or both.  But I will try my hardest to make it happen for you.   🙂  I try not to plan a lot of shoots for any given day because I like to devote my full attention to each shoot and not worry about the time.  I try to allow time on both ends of the shoot so that there’s no pressure about time.  It also gives me the time to setup and cleanup before and after the shoots.  This is not a volume driven business for me – it’s all about the client and attention to their session.

So if you are thinking of doing a session with Casual Elegance Photography®, take a look at the packages I offer and then give me a call.   By the way, the Intimate Plus Package is on sale in October for $30 off.  It’s one of my most popular packages and makes an outstanding gift for yourself and your loved one.


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In the past several weeks I’ve had a lot of calls about Body Painting.  Many of the callers wanted to know what it’s all about, and others were just shopping for a price.   The thing about body painting is that it’s all about the time it takes to do the work.  It’s a cost of labor price point.

A body painting session takes a few hours.  First, the makeup artist does the client’s makeup.  This can take 30 to 45 minutes.  Then comes the body paint.  The artist typically sketches out the pattern that will be painted.  Once that’s complete the painting begins.   Depending on the complexity, the colors have to be mixed, several different layers need to be put on, and then everything has to be refined to make it look real.  A full body floral pattern can take upwards of t hours to finish.   It’s a long process but  it looks awesome when it’s done.

Once the painting is done the photo shoot begins.  Typically it’s a quick shoot because there are just so many poses that work with the theme of the body paint.  I try to get several differently lit shots from different angles, and a variation of the poses.   I just did a session for a client and the images looked FANTASTIC!   It was hard to believe that she wasn’t really wearing clothes!

If you are considering a body painting session here are some items to be aware of.

Utilizing body paints:

1.             Requires the Client to prepare for the shoot by washing using a soap that does not contain a moisturizer or body sheen.

2.             Requires that Client not apply anything to their skin after they wash.  

3.             Requires that the Client trim or remove all hair from areas that will be painted.  

4.             Requires the Client to be nude in the areas to be painted during the painting process which can take up to several hours.

5.             Requires the Client to be painted using brushes and/or air brushes.  Stencils may be used for certain items.

6.             Body paints may stain the skin and take several days to completely disappear. Client understands and agrees to this.

7.             Body painting will be done by the artist and assisted by the photographer if needed.  

8.             Body painting may not look like a cloth item and will be the artist’s interpretation of the design requested.

9.             Logos and emblems may not be exactly like the original. 


Client also understands that body paints may cause a reaction to the skin.  It’s the Client’s responsibility to test the paint before the shoot to ensure there are no reactions.  If desired the Client may come by the studio ahead of time to have a small test spot painted as a test. 

At Casual Elegance Photography’s Studio we have a shower where the client can wash off the body paint if they want to before they leave.   Our Body Paint Packages include a 1/2 hour photo session and 2 edited 8×12 prints (or 2 edited images on CD).  Prices range from $300 and up.   It’s actually a very economical price since you will be getting your makeup done, a body painted “outfit”, a photo shoot, and  prints.   Besides that, you will have a great experience and a lot of fun.   🙂

Visit Casual Elegance Photography® to make your appointment today!  

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Casual Elegance Photography ® – The Boudoir Photography Photoshoot Process – Answers to the most FAQ’s  (Boudoir – Nude – Intimate Photography Information)



Can I meet with you prior to my Boudoir / Nude photography session?  Definitely!! At Casual Elegance Photography ® your comfort level is my highest priority! I am always happy to set up a time for my clients to come in and chat – look at my portfolios – discuss the types of photographs they would like for themselves… besides making them more comfortable with their experience, it also allows us to set up a “game plan” for what types of shots we will be taking well in advance of the day of the shoot!

Do I need to come in for a consultation ahead of time?  No. Because many of our clients come to us from across the United States, and even from other countries, for their boudoir photo sessions, we have gotten very good at doing complete consultations by email and phone. So if your schedule is too crazy to allow time for an in person consultation, we can always do a consultation for you over the phone or via email. Lots of my clients send me several emails ahead of time discussing what types of boudoir / nude photos they want, what outfits they plan to wear, etc. Whatever works for you, works for us!

Do I have to be nude for Boudoir Photographs?  Absolutely not!! In fact, most of the time boudoir photographs are not nudes. One of the reasons boudoir photography is so popular is that it allows you to create the illusion of nudity without actually having to be nude. Of course many of my clients elect to do at least one or two shots where they are completely nude during their boudoir photoshoot, and that is totally up to you! Even in the completely nude shots it is possible to leave everything to the imagination through posing and lighting/shadowing.
Can I bring someone with me to the photoshoot?  Of course! We have a very comfortable area set up in our studio for friends or companions of our clients to wait during the boudoir shoot. It is right off our shooting rooms, so they are able to be part of the process without interfering with the shoot.

What type of outfits should I wear for boudoir photographs?  The answer to this is simple – articles of clothing that you are comfortable in (if you buy new lingerie or clothing for your shoot that is not comfortable, your discomfort will show in your photographs), and items that have special meaning to both you and the person you are taking the photographs for. Don’t forget the accessories such as heels and jewelry that would go with your outfit. One important note regarding outfits – PLEASE arrive for your shoot wearing loose clothing or undergarments – many clients choose to wear a loose sundress with nothing under it. Why? Clothing lines take hours to disappear, and although many can be removed in post processing, excessive or deep indentations in the skin cannot always be completely eliminated. If you are doing a combination of boudoir and art nude photographs, your session will start with the art nudes so that the articles of clothing you choose for your boudior session do not leave marks on your skin.

Do I need a makeup artist or can I do my own makeup? Unless you are familiar with how to do makeup for studio photography, we highly recommend using a makeup artist. The ones we use are not only great makeup artists, but also help with ideas for the boudoir / nude photoshoot. If you are on a budget, our makeup artists also can provide a “paint and go” service, which runs a little less than full service. Some clients prefer to have their makeup done at one of the larger department store makeup counters prior to the shoot. If you decide this is what you want to do, be sure that they understand that it’s for a photoshoot – not everyday wear. There is a significant difference in the type of makeup as well as the application of it for photography. Also make sure that they blend your neck so there is not a drastic transition from your face to your body. Remember you will be shooting under powerful strobes, which wash out normal, “everyday” makeup.

What is “paint and go” makeup?  With a paint and go service the artist will arrive when you do, apply one look, wait while we do a test shot to make sure it is perfect, and then they leave. With full makeup service they stay for almost the entire shoot (until the last look is applied) and continually adjust/touch up your makeup during the photoshoot. They can even change your look entirely during the shoot if you are going for multiple looks in your photographs.

My husband likes to read “men’s magazines” and loves the more explicit pictures in some of them. Can I get that type of photograph taken during my shoot?  Yes! Our goal is to capture the type of images that you want taken. At Casual Elegance Photography ® we have only the highest respect for our clients and understand that they are coming to us for the most private and intimate of photographs. It is important to us that you feel safe, secure and confident in our studio. Your privacy is our utmost concern, and aside from you and me, the only people allowed at the shoot are the ones you allow! This is one of the reasons we offer the paint and go service – if you don’t want her to stay for your session, she doesn’t have to (however if you read our testimonials – our clients love our makeup artists and their input into the process!)

I’m not a model, and I don’t know how to pose for photography. Do you offer assistance with posing etc? We will guide you with suggestions for posing based on what has worked well for other clients. At any time, if you are not comfortable with a particular pose, you can simply let me know and we will choose something else. During your photoshoot you will be able to see your images coming up on the computer screen, and if you or I feel that a certain pose does not work for you, we will make the necessary adjustments. You will be surprised at how much fun you are going to have during your shoot! Once the pictures start coming up on the screen, any jitters you might have are sure to disappear!

Is there an age limit for doing boudoir or nude photographs?  Yes, you must be over 18, and less than 145! Seriously, at our boudoir or nude photoshoots you must present at least one form of photo ID (preferably two if there would be any question as to whether you are of legal age) before we will even begin the process. Each client must sign an agreement that they are of legal age and that they are doing the shoot of their own free will and desire. We’ve also have had clients come in who were well into their 60’s and many of our clients are in their 40’s and 50’s. Remember, beauty is not age dependant, and the boudoir photoshoot experience is for woman of all ages.

A lot of the photos on your site are young and have perfect bodies. I’m older and have a few sags and stretch marks. Do you edit the photos before they are printed?  Yes. The images you select for editing are edited to provide a great look. After most shoots I wil take you through the editing process so you can see what gets done and let me know what things you would like done on your images.

Will I get all the images from the shoot?  Yes and no. You can purchase a Prood CD that contains all the images (unedited) in a low resolution watermarked format. But images that are printable resolution have to be edited before they leave the studio.

Will my photos be used on your website or for advertising?  Your photographs are never used by us unless you sign a usage release for us to do so. The usage release is seperate from the contract you will sign at the shoot. The contract states that your images will not be used by us. We take your privacy seriously.

What if someone calls you and asks for copies of my pictures?  Your photographs are never made available to anyone without your signed, written permission. This means that even if your boyfriend or husband paid for your shoot, and they called me later for reprints, they would not be able to get them without your specific written and signed permission. We are known for our integrity and the value we place on our clients’ privacy.

What if one of your packages isn’t quite what I want?  All our photography packages are able to be customized to your specific requirements. Just give me a call or send me an email and let me know what you are looking for and I will create a photography package just for you!

Is your studio located in a shopping mall or strip mall?  No, my studio is a completely private and comfortable studio – and not located in a shopping mall or strip mall. We are in a very quiet office park that’s not right on the street. We are close to a MARTA stop too. It took us several years to find the right location that provides privacy, comfort, and a home like feeling. My wife created the look that’s an atmosphere where you feel comfortable and secure.

How long does it take to get my photos, book, or calendar back from your lab?  I recommend planning about 15 – 20 days after the shoot. It takes a day or so to build your gallery so you can select the images you want edited. Once you select the images and let me know it takes a few days before I will send you the edited proof images for your approval. Once approved, I will transmit them to the lab for printing. Normal prints take up to 7 working days, books and calendars take up to 10 working days (unless you want expedited service). On average most orders take about 8 – 15 days from the end of the shoot.

How far in advance should I book my boudoir photography session?  The earlier the better. We are available for weekdays, evenings and weekend shoots. The closer it is to a holiday like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc, the more booked up we get. If you have a specific date that you need your images by (for instance if you are booking a Bridal Boudoir session) PLEASE talk to us well in advance so that we can do your shoot with plenty of time to get your prints back. Our overall process can take 8-15 business days to turn around orders.

Do you require a deposit?  Yes, we have a modest non-refundable retainer fee to secure the date and time of your shoot. Should something come up that impacts your ability to make it to the planned shoot, your retainer can be used to reschedule your shoot if you cancel 48 or more hours in advance.

Can I pay with a credit card?  Absolutely. We accept most major credit cards, checks and cash.

What if I have to cancel my appointment? A deposit may be required to book your session. Please visit our website http://www.casualelgancephotography.com under Services and Pricing to read our deposit and cancellation policy.

Can I get images on a CD instead of prints?  Yes. There may be a slight difference in pricing, but we can provide your images on a CD. Call or email me for more specific details.

I have stretch marks and a few scars. Do you edit the images and airbrush them?  Images that you select for printing are edited to give the best appearance. We have many techniques that we can use to make your pictures gorgeous! Please see our before and after images.

I’ve been shopping around and have found a wide price range for boudoir photographs. Why should I come to Casual Elegance Photography ® for my photographs?  Casual Elegance Photography ® is competetively priced. We hope to earn your business based on the work you see on our website, our client testimonials, and the integrity that Casual Elegance Photography ® is known for. We have been specializing in Boudoir and Glamour Photography for over 10 years. It’s not a side business to us and we have invested in our business to make sure we have the latest equipment and processes to get the results you want. Please don’t shop for these important images by price alone. In choosing a photographer for boudoir or nude photography, please be sure that you feel comfortable with the photographer, the processes, and the work that they have done in the past. We have been a business for over 10 years and pride ourselves on being able to capture the images you want and providing you with a professional, comfortable, relaxed and private atmosphere for your photo session.

Visit our website – Casual Elegance Photography

And don’t forget to LIKE US on FACEBOOK 

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I think that sometimes we miss the real important point of family portraits.  Should they be perfect photos in the perfect pose of the perfect family?  Or do we want them to be US with the love, fun, and reality we share?

I’ve done a few family portraits lately that I felt like it was of the real family, not the proper posed shots we have all seen on the walls of homes and windows of photographers.  The recent family portraits I’ve taken were just real life fun images that showed the bond between all the family members.  The didn’t have matching outfits, they didn’t have an exceptionally perfect pose, and they didn’t all have the perfect “Colgate” smile.  What they did have was a good time, a natural fun family interaction, and they got some exceptional images that showed who they really are.

The point I’m trying to make is that we are sometimes too critical of the photos we have taken.  I have found that most people look for the “flaws” and miss the good parts.  When one child isn’t doing the perfect pose, but the image is of their real personality, that’s the best shot in my opinion.  I can remember many photo sessions I’ve done with my kids and their families where one or more of the kids were doing something different.  I look at the images today and still get a smile on my face – “yep, that’s so and so…”

So the next time you do a family portrait session think of these few suggestions.  1. Don’t go into the shoot with a mental image of the perfect shot in mind.  Have a general idea of what you want, but don’t have a rigid plan in mind.  2.  Relax and be a family.  Don’t make it a shoot where the kids have to be perfect.  Let them have a little fun and let the whole family be themselves.  3.  Don’t overlook the best images – the ones that show who you really are and how you were as a family.  Years from now you will be able to look back at the photos and think to yourself “yep, that’s so and so…”

Sydney and Payton posing for their Christmas Photos

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Nudity isn’t anything new so why the social stigma about nudity?

“The finest clothing made is a person’s skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.”  ~Mark Twain

I believe that society in the U.S. links nudity with sex or porn.  Many people don’t get the fact that nudity is just the absence of clothing and nothing more.  The human body is a work of art and has been sculpted, drawn, photographed, and painted for centuries.   Back in time the absence of clothing had no meaning other than they didn’t have clothing on.  Today a vast amount of society looks upon the absence of clothing as a sign of sex.

“How idiotic civilization is!  Why be given a body if you have to keep it shut up in a case like a rare, rare fiddle? ” ~Katherine Mansfield, Bliss and Other Stories

I have a deep admiration of the human form.  We come in all shapes and sizes and, to me, that’s what makes us all so beautiful.  There is a beauty in every one of us and we are all a miracle of engineering.  I enjoy photographing the beauty and letting the subject see how beautiful they are through someone else’s eyes.  I love it when we look at the image and see why the great artists in years past took the time to create nude paintings or sculptures.  It was a labor of love.  A labor in honor of the human body.

“If we were meant to be nude, we would have been born that way.”  ~Author Unknown

I actually had a client call to cancel a portrait appointment because her husband “has seen my website and saw the word ‘nude’ ” so he told her that she cannot get her headshot/portrait done by a photographer who has the word nude on his site because nudity is BAD.  He was so against nudity and the word nude that he screamed at her about even considering getting her photo taken by someone who even considered nude to be okay.  I wondered how he must have felt to take his showers with clothing on…  🙂

“A nudist is simply a human being without artificial additives.”  ~Author Unknown

As I stated above, we are all beautiful in our own ways.  We are all different and we all light up the camera in our own unique way.  I get the honor of being chosen by people to capture that uniqueness and beauty, and to help them present their human-ness through the media of photography.  I applaud them for their view of nudity and of life.

Visit Casual Elegance Photography® to make your appointment to express your beauty!

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