Jen Sweden of jenswedhinphotography.com specialises in “dudoir photography” – that's correct, dudoir – boudoir style photography for men. After shooting general portraits for over 7 years, Jen made the leap to focus on mens portraiture in 2015 and she's committed to making it work, despite the infancy of this genre of photography.
Not only did she change her business and creative focus to men, she moved to a new city and is now based in Denver, Colorado in the USA. Most of her work is studio based but she does offer location shoots to her clients.
In addition to her photography business, Jen has a second string to her income earning bow as a virtual assistant and professional retoucher for boudoir photographers around the world. This part of her business was a real surprise to learn about and may hold the key to more opportunities that you may never have considered as income earning potential.
Jen is married with 3 children, sports some cool looking and colourful tattoos and sounds like she's a lot of fun to be around.
Here’s some of what we cover in this interview:
- Why focus on men's portraiture?
- How long it took to make the switch from boudoir to dudoir photography?
- The importance of having different income streams when starting your business
- How to transition to a new business model without compromising how you want to shoot
- Jen income streams
- Why retouching businesses are widely needed in the photography industry today
- The importance of doing the kind of work that will fuel your passion
- Putting together a team of contract retouchers to manage the overflow of your work
- Outsourcing to other photographers to get help with your retouching
- What marketing strategies to consider when relocating to a different city
- Networking with models to spread the word about your photography business
- How to build a portfolio and network your business at the same time
- The ideal time-frame you need to start marketing your business in the city you're moving to
- What Jen does to attract her dudoir photography clients
- Using word of mouth and social media to market your business
- Who is Jen’s ideal client?
- How society views men and women’s bodies and how that affect business
- Men’s insecurities and perception of their own bodies
- How different are the sales sessions between dudoir and boudoir photography
- The level of discomfort men feel during in person sales sessions
- Ways to encourage men to be responsive with in person sales
- Why men are more decisive when choosing their photos online
- Can presenting an online gallery generate more income than doing in person sales?
- What products men usually buy in a dudoir photography sales session
- The type of dudoir photos that sell
- Why Jen still focuses on dudoir photography when she could earn more shooting couples
- Why you need to photograph what you are passionate about
- Where Jen sees her business in a few years time
- How to price your images for licensing
- How licensing works
- Jen’s pricing structure and what's working right now
- How many photos Jen uploads online and where she uploads them for the best sales
- Offering pricing incentives to generate more sales
- How grooming and styling works for dudoir photography
- What Jen does to enhance men’s bodies before a shoot and during post processing
What’s on Offer for Premium Members
If you’re a premium member, you should have received an email with links to your version of this episode where you can hear more of the interview where we dive deeper into some of the earlier topics plus some new ones that I pushed for and include:
- How Jen manages her retouching business
- How Jen landed the VA work to do retouching and kick off her business
- How retouching provides growth in a photographer’s business
- Tips on starting your own retouching business
- The biggest problem photographers have to deal when venturing into retouching as a business
- Why Jen uploads tutorials in YouTube for other photographers
- Jen’s current workflow
- Why Jen outsources her own photography retouching
- Why it’s important and profitable for photographers to outsource their work
- What Jen would do to get things rolling when she moves to a different country
- How Jen handles an unhappy client or complaint
- What is the ’shitty first draft’?
If you’re on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL interview with Jen, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.
Men are serious creatures sometimes but I try to take away all or any of that tension that could be there and just make it a unique experience and something that they can go home and tell their friends like “Yeah it wasn’t weird at all. It was pretty fun”. – Jen Swedhin
Plus, access to a members only Secret Facebook Group where you can connect with other members and interview guests to help, support and motivate you to take what you hear in each episode and put it into action. You will not find more friendly, more motivated and caring photographers online.
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're taking anything away from what Jen shared. Is there something you heard that excited or motivated you to the point where you thought, yeah, I'm going to do that! If so, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below, let me know what your takeaways were, what you plan to implement in your business as a result of what you heard in todays episode.
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Jen or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them in the comments area below.
I don’t like to be told what to do. Money is not going to tell me what to do – Jen Swedhin
Men By Jen – Las Vegas 2017 Workshop
Jen has an upcoming workshop and has kindly put together a promo code for PhotoBizX listeners.
Use the Promo Code: PhotoBizX to save $50 when you register.
Details and a full itinerary is here: www.jenswedhinphotography.com/workshops
iTunes Reviews and Shout-outs
Each week I check for any new iTunes reviews and it's always a buzz to receive these… for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it's confirmation that I'm on the right track with the interviews and that they really are helping you improve your photography business. That's awesome!
Secondly, iTunes is the biggest search engine when it comes to podcasts and it's your reviews and ratings that help other photographers find PhotoBizX. More listeners means more interviews and ultimately a better show.
If you have left a review in the past, thank you!
If you haven't and you'd like to, head to https://photobizx.com/itunes and you can leave some honest feedback and a rating which will help both me and the show and I'll be sure to thank you on the show and add a link to your website or blog if you let me know the URL of your website and your name.
Alternatively, if you've left a review for PhotoBizX and are looking for more backlinks to help your SEO, leave a review for the new Photography Xperiment Podcast and email me your key words or keyword phrase and where you'd like me to link to.
Here are the latest listener reviews for the Photography Xperiment Podcast:
One of the BestPhotography podcasts going around
In iTunes by Melbourne Wedding Photographer, Clarke Scott in Australia on December 17, 2016
Andrew is a great guy! No doubt about it. He knows photography. Is a keen listener. Asks good question at the right times and guests genuinely like talking to him.
If I were asked to point out anything that I would like to change it would be for Andrew to care less appearing to be a “nice guy.”
Just be a great interviewer. This is enough imo.
Incredible amount of useful information
In iTunes by Fila_boy from Australia on December 25, 2016
I have never come across a resource filled with so much content at such an affordable price. These podcasts by Andrew Hellmich are absolutely amazing.
Seriously, I have been losing sleep listening to as many as I can but I know in the long term, if I implement some of the information provided I will be streets ahead.
Everytime I need a direction in which way I should take my business I just dial in the relevant podcasts and gather the gems I need to use. There is nothing anywhere else like it. The interviews are so easy to listen to… get ready to be hooked.
And here's the latest review for PhotoBizX:
Upgrade your business today
In iTunes by Rob Brampton who specialises in Gold Coast and Brisbane wedding photography and videography on January 3, 2017
I have really enjoyed getting to know Andrew via the podcast. I feel we have been growing our business's together as we have both been implementing the advice given in the interview's.
Keep up the good work mate and hopefully see you in Japan.
The NEW Photography Xperiment Podcast is live and available
Following the success and support shown by listeners after the experimental format of the recent interviews, the new Photo Xperiment Podcast has been launched and is available on this site and in iTunes now.
Interviews are underway and I'll be looking for new guests, not restricted to wedding and portrait photographers. If you have someone you think would be a good fit, let me know in the comment area below or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The idea behind these interviews is to get into the headspace of the photographer and find what makes them tick, what drives them, their thought process, philosophy on shooting and how they achieve what they do with their photography. So yeah, a little technique type content too.
These interviews will not focus on the business of photography – that'll be preserved solely for the weekly and unchanging format of the PhotoBizX podcast.
To hear these interviews in your podcast app, you will need to subscribe to the podcast – these interviews will not be delivered automatically if you're subscribed to PhotoBizX. Open your favourite podcast app and search “Photography Xperiment Podcast” or enter the feed URL, https://photobizx.com/feed/xperiment/ into the search field of your podcast app.
The last episode featured Neale James who is a former BBC Radio 1 broadcaster and his background in sound alongside his documentary photographic style has seen him become the pioneer of wedding photo films. If you’re unfamiliar with the term Photofilm – it’s a combination of stills and sound, recorded on the wedding day at an event or on a shoot.
Think, cinematography meets stills photography where you see the images captured by Neale with the voices and sounds of the real wedding day, portrait session or event interspersed with Neale’s narration as he ties the story together.
One day somebody believed in me. It took that one person to say “I have that”. And that’s the same with everybody who succeeds in life, isn’t it? One day if somebody says “That’s crackin’, we’ll have a bit of that.” And then before you know it, you’re a filmmaker. – Neale James
Check out the interview and learn more about a photographer who is working toward a legacy any photographer would be proud to leave behind.
The interview is available here: Neale James Interview
Adelaide meet up for PBX'ers
Adelaide, Australia listeners, I'll be in your neck of the woods in a couple weeks time and am keen to meet up if you are. I've been chatting with local photographer and listener, Debbie Smith and the plan is to meet at:
Cafe Amore on Pulteney St Adelaide
Thursday 19th january at 3pm
Hope you can make it!
You can reach me on 0413 852 222 if you're having any troubles finding us on the day.
Photography is something I really love to do but I don’t feel like it’s something I have to do – Jen Swedhin
Still trying to find your photography niche
We've heard so much about the importance of niching down in your photography business to be able to brand effectively, stand out and attract “your people.”
I recently came across a site that lists over 100 different photography niches complete with links to successful photographer in each. You can see the list here: Find Your Photography Niche
One that immediately stood out to me was the Tinder Headshots business! There really is a photography niche for anyone, anything and every photographer!
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
Thanks again for listening and thanks to Jen for coming on and sharing her thoughts and ideas on what is an exciting and growing genre in the world of professional photography
The society’s view of men’s bodies is pretty cut and dry. To be physically sexy you’re supposed to have this six pack and be really cut and lean and all that. Whereas women, our standards, we have unrealistic standards but they are a lot more fluid and flexible than for men – Jen Swedhin
If you have any suggestions, comments or questions about this episode, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post, and if you liked the episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post!
That’s it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!
Thanks and speak soon