Boudoir Security and Your Private Data

If this is your first experience with Boudoir…. STOP….
Make sure you read this!

Unfortunately, as Boudoir Photography gets more and more popular again, the DIY photographers are popping up quite commonly.

Truth be told, the best Boudoir studios are home studios. The home environment makes for the best Boudoir photos. Unfortunately; for someone to be able to open a “studio” in their home, it is not difficult to do.

All you have to do is go down, buy a professional-looking camera with a basic lens and a fancy couch or backdrop, and BAM! You are now a photographer! Right?….. NO, WRONG!

Having a place to take photos is only a VERY small amount of what it means to have a Home Studio!

Was the space designed as your home? Or as a place to run your business? What about security? What measures are taking to ensure the safety of your clients and especially their photos!
If it is your home, do you have IT and security staff on your payroll?

We have put this guide together to help educate not only potential clients on how to be careful with their private phots but also for those seeking to be Boudoir Photographers on how you should be securing your client’s photos. 

You should always be asking your photographer very important questions. Where do they store your photos? Do they have I.T. staff on payroll? Do they have ANYONE on payroll? If they can not answer these questions without total clarity, we suggest you find a different photographer. 

We have heard so many stories about Boudoir photographers with model releases that ask questions like “Can I put your photos on Facebook, but not on my website?” or similar questions.

This is unfortunately a complete lack of understanding of how the internet works. Once those photos are publicly ONLINE, they are ONLINE. They can and will be circled around the internet.

The only true way that this won’t occur is if the servers the images are hosted on, are not available for public access and are SECURE.

What do these fancy geek words mean? This means that they meet actual qualifications that certify them as safe. It is just as a retail store collecting credit card information. Your personal data is being held with this company, and that company should treat it with the utmost care and attention. Opening a home studio and taking photos is something any professional photographer can do. Doing it safely, and keeping in mind your security is MOST important is a whole other ball game. 

So what about a portfolio and showcasing work? Well, most boudoir photographers hire models and use them to showcase their work. Some studios, like us, over time, have collected a good portfolio because of amazing clients that have actually signed off on us publishing their photos online. You won’t find a single model on our site! All of the photos are our amazing (AMAZING!!!) clients that have signed off on a document that very specifically outlines which photos and how we are able to use them. 

This is why we have 4 options on our release: (they are more specific on the release, but to summarize…)

  • Yes, you can use ALL of my photos!
  • Yes you can use my photos if only for marketing purposes.
  • Yes, you can use ANY photo from my session that does not show any identifiable marks (face, tattoo’s, birthmarks).
  • No, you can’t use ANY of my photos, sorry!

More important than us using your photos, is our respect of your privacy. For every client you see on our website that let us use their photos, there have been 5-10 that have not let us use their photos 🙂 We respect their decision and honor their request for privacy. We do keep their photos, but they are on a secure server that is not accessible to the internet. If they ever want more prints, we can access these photos securely for them and get them printed by our private printers. 

When a client signs off, these documents are done digitally and stored on our secure servers. Photos set up to download, are stored with a third party that has a very strict privacy agreement and also meets very high and strict security guidelines! (read here) They are only on these servers for a limited amount of time before we archive them offline.

It is true, no company, nor any website is 100% secure in any way. You have all heard of some VERY large and considered secure companies being hacked (even the FBI has been hacked). However; to ensure that the chances of this are as minimal as possible, we do adhere to these strict guidelines, and so should EVERY Boudoir photographer. Unfortunately, in Canada there are only a handful of us that adhere to these guidelines.

Even if you choose not to use us, we want you to at least make a safe choice. So, we have done our best to help you with these questions.

7 Questions to ask your Boudoir Photographer

  1. Does the photographer have a proper model release, and do they ensure they get a signed copy from EVERYONE, and store these documents.
  2. Can the photographer show you in the studio where your security equipment is? (is it more than just a home computer or portable hard drive?)
  3. Does the photographer invite you to see the space PRIOR to the shoot for a consultation and to look around to ensure your safety?
  4. Does the photographer have an alarm system and security Cameras (not in the shooting space, but in the entrances and perimeter) that are clearly visible?
  5. Does the photographer’s website have an SSL certificate (does it say HTTPS:// when you go to the site instead of HTTP://) ?
  6. How are archival photos kept, and for how long are they kept? Do they have a form for photo deletion? 
  7. What happens if a breach occurs? Do they have a plan for disclosure?

Basically, if your Boudoir photographer asks you a question like “Are you ok if I share your photos only on a specific part of the internet” then you should DEFINITELY FIND A NEW PHOTOGRAPHER and do it quickly if you care about your privacy at all.

If they try and use Facebook Closed Groups to protect your privacy, this is also a red flag. Once photos are on the internet, they are on the internet. These are signs that your photographer has not done adequate research and/or has not invested in your security at all.

While A LOT of women love their photos, and have no issue showing them, there are other women who are very guarded.

No matter which type you are, we cater to everyone’s privacy and comfort. Obviously we love it when women let us use their photos for advertising but honoring our client’s personal choices is most important to us. We protect all of our clients, and respect their choices, at all times.