PREPARING FOR YOUR BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE
Reserving Your Session Date
We offer sessions on Fridays and Saturdays only. During high demand season we might open special session days. During the winter months, daylight hours are shorter and we can only serve two to three clients a day. We often book four to six weeks in advance and our Album Collections might take up to eight weeks to be delivered so please plan accordingly. You will view your images immediately after your boudoir session: allow three to four hours for your entire experience at our studio. After setting up your appointment you may contact us to answer any questions or to change your appointment. You can reach us at: [email protected] or by phone at (630) 667-4633. The best way to contact us is via email; however, if you wish to call us, be aware that we cannot answer the phone all the time so please leave a voicemail and we will call you back as soon as we can.
Confirming Your Appointment
We require a $500 deposit before your desired date can be confirmed. If you are reading this page, most likely we have received your payment or you secured your session with a credit card so your session date and time have been reserved and confirmed. If for some reason you still don’t have a date and time reserved, please let us know as soon as possible before our calendar fills up.
RESCHEDULING AND CANCELLATION POLICY
Our appointments are in high demand and we are booked up several months in advance, especially on Saturdays. Please make every effort to be on time so you can experience your full photo session.
IF YOU DECIDE TO CANCEL YOUR APPOINTMENT, YOU MUST DO SO 24 HOURS AFTER MAKING YOUR PAYMENTN IN ORDER TO GET A FULL REFUND. Any time after that grace period, you will be charged a $250 cancellation fee. If your session is canceled LESS THAN 7 DAYS from your session date, your deposit will not be refunded. To cancel your session and get a refund, please send an email to [email protected] (DO NOT CALL AND LEAVE A MESSAGE) so the time and date of your cancellation is recorded and we can honor the full refund.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR SESSION
Our studio is located in the second floor of 2250 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Our business card is next to the buzzer for our studio. Our studio is open by appointment only and walk-ins are not allowed. Be aware that we are on the second floor and it may take us a few minutes to come answer the door. Our studio has an all-female staff so please let us know in advance if you will have a male guest with you so we can prepare accordingly.
Please Allow Extra Time for Your Shoot
We are looking forward to serving you on your upcoming boudoir photo session! Our team will greet you and begin your three-step process upon your prompt arrival. Please plan on arriving ten to fifteen minutes early to your session to settle in before your experience begins. If someone is dropping you off, they should return in approximately three to four hours.
You will spend about three to four hours in our studio with the following activities:
Hair and makeup, about one hour
Photo experience, about one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes
Photo selection, will take place right after your session and will last one to two hours
Most sessions include two lingerie outfits, but we encourage you to bring as many as you want and we will help you pick your best outfits. You may choose to add one or two more outfits to your session for an additional $50/outfit. Your session will be extended a little bit when you add outfits. If you know for sure you want to add two more outfits for a total of four outfits, we will include a complimentary change of look. However, this requires advance notice in order to manage our clients and makeup artist schedule. Without advance notice, you may still add the two additional outfits, but we will not be able to change your look.
When you shop for your outfits, shop for your body type. We understand that there are many super cute outfits out there but they might not be the best for you. Pick outfits that enhance your assets (pushup bras are a must!) and hide your troubled areas. Stockings are super sexy and hide leg imperfections. We have a list of preferred boutiques on our Connoisseur page on our website, including one for plus size Divas. http://artofseductionboudoir.com/artofseductionchicago/connoisseur/
If you are taking these photos as a gift for a man, we encourage you to bring along one of his dress shirts or sports jerseys. We would be happy to add some images with the shirt or jersey in addition to your lingerie outfits at no additional cost to you. We book clients an hour to an hour and a half apart so we can provide more personal attention to each client. We have individual tables set up for each client so you will have plent of space for all your belongings. We also recommend bringing a robe and slippers or flip-flops so that you are comfortable moving between the changing area and the studio.
Your shooting time of one hour takes into account the time it takes to change your outfits. If you have complicated outfits, please practice at home putting them on so that you do not lose shooting time. Our staff can help you dress, so don’t hesitate to communicate with us when you need help. We have a lot of practice with bustiers and garters!
Check out our Pinterest board for advice on shopping for the correct outfits http://www.pinterest.com/pin/342344009145619796/
If you are doing a couples’ session, or a “Day After Session”, we recommend jeans or boxers for the gentleman. Your partner may choose to be fully dressed or topless, but no bare bottoms: pants or boxers must be kept on at all times.
We are an all-female team and we value our Divas’ privacy, however we also do romantic photo shoots for couples. We try to schedule couples’ shoots as our last appointment of the day to minimize any embarrassment all around. Additionally, if you choose to bring a friend or husband for moral support they must stay with you in the makeup area and then sit in quietly in your photo session so that our other clients do not feel exposed to your guests. We require notification of a gentleman addition and prefer that these appointments are the last of the day.
We have coffee, tea and water available, but if you would like to bring other drinks or food, you are welcome to do so. Your will be in our studio for a minimum of three hours so we strongly advise you to bring a snack. We have a fully equipped kitchen where you can store your items. If you decide to bring wine, be advised that we only allow one glass of wine per client before the session. We want to avoid adverse effects on the quality of your photos, such as redness of the face and eyes as well as inability to walk in your high heels.
We are prepared to deal with unexpected surprises and we have many needed items in stock that you can purchase from us. The most common are eye drops to remove redness of the eyes, and stockings. You will be charged for these items since you will be taking them home with you.
There is free street parking in front of our building and across the street. Here are some things you need to consider about parking times:
Parking in front of our building is not allowed from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also, make sure not to park in the bus stop directly in front of our building.
Parking across the street from our building is not allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Keep this schedule in mind when parking your car since you will be in our studio for three to four hours.
Some of the side streets from our building have no time restrictions but are residential streets so please make sure you don’t block alleys or garage entrances.
Sidewalks by the school are reserved during school days 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Parking in the alleys is not permitted.
Hair and Makeup
Your session includes basic hairstyle/makeup application at the studio. Please arrive with no makeup on and with clean, dry hair (wet hair will result in three possibilities: forfeit of appointment, fewer photos, and/or a $30 charge). Your hair does NOT need to be freshly washed, as long as there is not so much product in it that it cannot be restyled. There is no need to come early for hair and makeup as it is scheduled as part of your session, but please be on time! There is an additional fee if your hair needs to get dried or straightened in order to style it. Please add 30 additional minutes to dry or straighten your hair.
Our makeup artists use a variety of standard makeup brands. If you have skin allergies, please bring your own makeup for her to apply. We highly recommend adding airbrushed foundation ($20) and false eyelashes ($20), your skin will look very smooth and your eyes will really pop in your images: it’s a very smart investment. With advance notice we are able to also attach clip-in extensions $35 (with you providing the extensions).
Accessories Shoes and jewelry are the icing on the cake to your entire look. If you don’t have appropriate accessories and don’t want to spend on buying new ones just for this occasion, we have a great selection of shoes and jewelry for you to use for an additional fee.
YOUR BOUDOIR SESSION EXPERIENCE
Style and Poses
Argentina or her associate photographers will work with you in your Secret Diva photo session, creating beautiful, sensual photographs. We have two studios, our Light studio and ourNoirstudio. You will be photographed in both studios with different lighting techniques, props, angles and backgrounds that will create a great variety of images.
Our style is a combination of fashion photography, much like Victoria’s Secretand pinup photography. Your boudoir experience will be complimented with the creation of artistic implied nudes and scene recreation images (think of the movie Flashdance
Argentina has perfected the use of our vintage studio space to create artistic images that can be mistaken for magazine or art gallery images. Trust Argentina at what she knows best, she has photographed over 500 Divas in three years. You will not regret it.
If you wish to create a different style Sports Illustrated, Themed, Nude, Urban, etc.), you will need to book a custom session that runs for about one and a half hours and is priced differently than our normal one hour Secret Diva session. Please let us know when booking your appointment since a special time slot might be needed for your session.
About Your Photographer
Argentina has over ten years of experience as a photographer. She started her career as a wedding photographer where she got a lot of experience learning how to pose women and make them look their best on their wedding day. In 2009, her brides started to ask for sexy images to create wedding gifts for their future husbands and that is how she got into boudoir photography. Argentina has trained with top photographers from Australia, the leaders in wedding and boudoir photography, to develop her own style.
She quickly became very popular and after a few months of shooting in her own bedroom, she opened up a studio in a co-op loft in Chicago. For over two years, she created boudoir images in a 10’x14’ studio with only two lights and a limited amount of poses. Her exponential growth along with her need to become more creative led her to look for her own studio, with more space and natural light.
In her current 4000 square foot studio, she utilizes the vintage features, like the floors and original doors, to frame a woman’s’ sensuality. Natural light filled rooms create creamy skin tones that hide most imperfections while the Noir room creates striking shadows to contour women’s bodies and hide flaws. Here, she has also installed a pole to cater to pole-dancing lovers and to host Bachelorette and Birthday parties in partnership with S Factor, the top pole-dancing studio in Chicago.
PRESENTATION AND SELECTION OF YOUR BOUDOIR ART
Viewing Your Images
Immediately following your photo shoot, you will view and select your favorite photographs. Your session will have at least 200 images and don’t be surprised if your first pass contains over 100 favorites! The one-hour session is designed to create about 30 different concepts and poses. This is a very good problem to have but do not get discouraged, we will assist you in narrowing it down to the best images. Once the top images are selected, we will work together to decide how to preserve your images. Most of our Divas choose to keep their images in an Album Collection and a few Divas venture into displaying their images as wall canvases.
Your viewing session lasts approximately one hour and we have reserved this time just for you. We highly recommend that you don’t make any plans that rush you out of our studio. This time is the icing on the cake and the most satisfying part of your experience. Additional viewing sessions are $50/hr.
Your skin will look almost flawless in all your photos even when they have no Visual Magic (photo retouching) thanks to the fantastic natural light we get in the studio and the lighting techniques we use.Visual Magicis included in all the images that go into Album and Portrait collections. Our Artistic Director, Rose, is highly trained in digital techniques. She will smooth your skin, remove imperfections, even out your skin tone, do a little tucking here and there to create overall smooth curves and enhance the colors and sharpness of the images in general. We are experts in knowing how to perfect your images but we welcome your feedback. You will get proofs of your images before going to print to make sure you like the Visual Magic applied as well as the design concept. You will get one round of changes to your retouching and album design at no cost to you, any additional changes are billed at $50/round of changes.
In some instances clients request out of the ordinary retouching such as combining images or creating toned abdominal muscles. While anything is possible with digital manipulation, we work hard to create images during your session that make you look the best just the way you are with the outfits you bring. We try to avoid having to alter the original image to fix a tummy or put something that was not originally there. In the case that out of the ordinary digital alteration is requested, please be aware that we will give you a special quote that can range from few dollars to over $50 per image. Sometimes it is better to let go of that image and pick a different one.
If after seing your album proof you decide to change one or several imges in you album, you will be charged $35/image changed.
INVESTMENT AND PAYMENT
Investment and Payment
We are very grateful that you choose our studio to do your boudoir session. We know that your investment goes beyond a sitting fee and includes: outfits, accessories, beauty treatments, body preparation, travel time (sometimes from out of state) and your time at our studio. For this reason, we are committed to provide you with the best service, best photographs and best products to preserve your images. Our small boudoir studio is a boutique committed to providing the best service available. We would like you to understand that doing a boudoir session is no small investment. As with all great things in life, there is a cost, but if you consider the life experience, it is minimal compared to other choices of shorter duration.
Most of our Divas’ investments range between $1200 and $2000 including their session fee, taxes and tips. It is not uncommon for our clients to take advantage of our convenient interest free payment plan that can be as low as $100/month with 30% down. Your order will be processed when your contract is paid in full if you choose to do the financing through us. There is a $35 fee for declined credit cards or returned checks. Also, keep in mind that we cannot store your files indefinitely so, if you postpone your decision to purchase an album, we can only ensure to keep your images in our storage drive for 30 days after your session: after that time, we might delete your images to free storage space.
To receive your order right away, you can choose to pay in full with a credit card or get financing through PayPal and its partner BillMeLater, approval of your financing is immediate and we help you fill the application. With this option, you can defer your payments for six months and you will not have any financing charges if you pay in full within six monts.
We encourage you to do your research to discover that our prices are very comparable to other boutique portrait studios.
We offer a great variety of products to preserve your images. Most of our Divas prefer to preserve their images in an Album Collection.
Albums: our album collections are very customizable to fit your décor preference. They can have 10, 20, 30 and 40 images with the 20-image album being the most popular. If you can’t let go of an image beyond your album choice, you can add extra images to your album for $35/image.
Digital Images: Most albums come with a CD of your entire session so you don’t have to pay extra. The CD will include your retouched images as well as all the original photos from the session.
Prints: we offer individual prints for purchase up to 8×10” size.
Shipping and Taxes
We have a flat shipping rate of $15 of your entire order even if you decide to pick it up at our studio. If you decide on the latest, you may do so on our shooting days, which are Fridays and Saturdays by appointment.
We ship priority mail with delivery confirmation. We are not responsible for stolen packages or damages due to being left outside exposed to the weather. Also, unless you upgrade to signature required shipping or FedEx shipping, we are not responsible for the Post Office’s mismanagement of your package.
There is also a tax charged on each of the complimentary print or digital file, which is collected at the time of the appointment. (It is an IRS law that tax on “gifts” must be collected. Value/Deal marketing firms do not want to collect tax, track, nor pay to the IRS so they place the responsibility on us.) All our products are subject to Illinois 8.5% sales tax. Beauty services as well as session upgrades are tax-exempt.
Order Change and Cancellation Policy
When you place your order with us, you are agreeing to pay the amount in your contract either in full or with our convenient payment plan. We do not charge a financing fee when you take the payment plan, however, we have a $35 fee if your credit card is denied or your check does not go through. We are more than willing to work with you to help you get the album you really want, so just let us know what would be a comfortable payment plan for you.
Once you decide on your order and sign your contract, we transmit your order to our production team immediately, so if you wish to make changes to your order, you must do so within 48 hours of your session. If you decide to cancel your order, there is a $200 cancellation fee and the cancellation must be done within 48 hours of your session. If your order is less than $500, you cannot cancel your order, however you can still make modifications within the 48-hour grace period.
If you require an additional viewing appointment to review or modify your order, you must email us within 48 hours to place your order on hold and set up an appointment for you to sit down with our Artistic Director, Rose. There is a $50 fee for additional one-hour viewing session.
You will receive a proof of your album before it goes to production. If at any time you decide you want different images in your album, we will be delighted to change or add images to your album for $35/image.
PORTRAIT FINISHING AND DELIVERY
Our Production Manager, Tracy, will be your main point of contact for updates on your order. Any questions regarding your order should be directed to Tracy so she can give you an update and accommodate your requests. Please contact Tracy at [email protected]; this will be the easiest and fastest way to get information about your order.
Please understand that the process of retouching your images to perfection might take from 20 to 50 minutes per image. Album design takes an average of four to six hours, production time from our album and CD manufacturer is about one week and you also have to take into account the time it takes for products to get shipped to us then the time it takes our production team to prepare your albums and then ship them to you.
We work hard to keep our delivery time frame from six to eight weeks, however it is possible to produce your albums in about 2 weeks if you are willing to invest in our rush service (normally $50). This includes placing you on the top of the production line, rushing your order to our album manufacturer (we only charge you what they charge us for a rush order) and next day FedEx delivery costs, if needed. Even if you only order a print or two, your order is on a production line. We process orders in the order the sessions take place so unless you order our rush service for a 2 week delivery time-frame, your order will still take six to eight weeks.
Regarding Your Privacy
We protect our Divas’ privacy, but we really love it when our Divas allow us to use their images for marketing purposes. If you do not opt out of the model release at the moment we finalize your contract, you will automatically be releasing your images to us for marketing purposes. We keep most of our marketing material to sample books and portraits to be displayed at our studio for other Divas to appreciate.
Regarding Your Images
Most albums come with a CD of all your images. You assume any responsibility for the safety of your images. If at any point you wish to share them with friends via the Internet, you assume the risk of your images being seen by strangers, and copied and distributed without your permission. We will never use your images online unless we have a model release from you.
DOS AND DON’TS
DO always wear underwear. We aim for a Victoria’s Secret style, NOT PLAYBOY!
DO be on time. Even though we only serve a few clients per day to provide personal service, we want to avoid overlapping and delays in the attention our clients get from us. It is better to arrive 30 minutes early than to try to catch up and rush you through the beauty salon or cut your session short. We highly depend on daylight to create your images, so it is not fair for the last client to lose valuable daylight time because another client is late.
DON’T spray tan. Even though our Artistic Director, Rose, is great at retouching, deep tan lines or unwanted skin tones are time consuming and hard to fix. We want your images to be perfect and we don’t want to charge you for unnecessary retouching time. However, if this is the case, please be aware that difficult retouching situations will be charged up to $50 per image.
DO get outfits that cover your tattoos if you prefer not to show them in your pictures. Digitally removing tattoos is possible but costly and ranges from $20-$150/image.
WHO TO CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS
Here is a list of emails that will direct your question to the appropriate team member:
Rescheduling and Cancellations ————–[email protected]
Questions about your session ——————[email protected]
Hair Makeup and Tanning ———————[email protected]
Production/Quality control Questions ——–[email protected]
Billing Questions ——————- ————-[email protected]
Order Changes ——————- —————-[email protected]
Complaints/Feedback about our service ——[email protected]
Any other questions —————————–[email protected]