Who is the target audience for your style?

The target audience is one of the things you always need to keep in mind while you present your photography business. Target audience can be a tricky word, especially if you are just starting out. Fear not, as reality is easier that what it seems: the target audience is that particular group of people that can be your customers. So, the target audience for pregnant clothing brand are… pregnant women! And what about the target audience¬†for boudoir photography? Well, it depends on who you are and how your business operates.

Is your target audience man or women?

There is a huge distinction in the boudoir world in terms of “what is your target audience“. You can either target man, who want to gift a boudoir session to their partners, or you target women to offer them a personal experience. Which one is your target audience should be a business decision. Our decision has always been to focus on women: we photograph women for women.
This distinction in your target audience is very important and you should always keep it in mind. This defines how you can market yourself and, even more importantly, it impact your style of photographs.
In our idea, a boudoir photo is a gift a woman does to herself. This is one of the main differences between Boudoir and Glamour in the UK.

The difficulty of a women’s target audience for boudoir

From a man’s perspective, I can say that is quite easy to produce images that men like. If your target audience is geared towards men, you will run in less issues than if you are geared toward a target audience of women.
First and foremost, focussing on women, your images need to be elegant. Something I have learned in the past six years is that men are easier to please. Images that men like can be more titillating, even more vulgar than those women like (and consider that those kind of images are easier to produce).
The difficulty in a target audience geared towards women is that you have to consider one implication. Your customers will identify themselves in the photos you produce. If you produce images which do not portray a certain class, women will generally tend to shy away from them. I know I am generalising, but let’s take, as example, the glamour market. Its photographs were geared towards a male market, and they were despised by the majority of women. Personal Portraiture or Boudoir Photography?, the issue glamour photographers face is that their style is not widely appreciated by the main drive behind boudoir photography: women. Glamour photos don’t sell boudoir because the target audience is wrong. It would be like trying to sell shampoo knowing that the only buyers are bald.

Does your brand portray what your target audience wants to see?

With women in mind, would you say that your portfolio reflect what women want to see?
This question is important, and more important is a truthful answer. With women being our target audience, we have approached our portfolio as something that is appreciated by female consumers. We kept it edgy in certain part for two reasons: firstly, we want to show our flexibility in terms of style. Secondly, we want to make sure that the collateral market, the men gifting a boudoir experience to their partners, find something more targeted to them.
I won’t deny the fact that it is difficult to maintain focus. The main challenge is to keep the portfolio on the edge, without going over a certain limit. That limit is personal, not to the photographer, but the watcher. You can’t say “this picture is elegant“, as one person may agree, and another may disagree.¬†The key element is to have alway in mind who your target audience is, and look at your photos as one of them would.
Would you say that your brand portrays the taste of your target audience? Especially when photographers are male, this is a challenging task to do, as we see things differently. Have you tried asking your friends?

The target audience is more defined than a simple man/woman distinction

Last, but not least, I wanted to clarify something which has a deep impact in the whole article. A target audience should certainly be more detailed than “targeting men” or “targeting women”. Which kind of women? How old are they? What do they perceive as tasteful? …
The more you design your target audience clearly, the easier it will be to understand what your possible customers will find beautiful, and what will they consider poor taste.

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