Jennifer Williams has been obsessed with boudoir photography since being photographed for her own session years ago. That session led her to start her own boudoir business in 2009 and she has experienced overwhelming success since relocating to Vancouver in 2010. Her work as a high-end luxury boudoir photographer has earned recognition by some of the top wedding industry publications, including Grace Ormonde and Wedluxe Magazine. Jennifer’s passion for helping women feel beautiful is evident in every aspect of her business Jennifer Williams Boudoir Photography Studio, and she has brought that passion to her second photography business, Gloss Boudoir Studio.
Jennifer’s goal is to make sure as many women as possible have the opportunity to experience a professional, exciting and empowering boudoir session just like she did.
I had the chance to shoot with Jennifer and get glammed up by her business partner & Makeup Artist Kelly Trerise. It was such a pleasure to work with these two incredibly talented women. What I love most is you go with what’s most comfortable to YOU. A boudoir shoot doesn’t have to be all about skin to be sexy. You can be your favourite dress or in a sweater with bare legs. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and both Jennifer and Kelly are the perfect pair to capture that inner beauty. I’m already craving another shoot with these beauties. I hope you enjoy the interview and find inspiration in capturing confidence.
BB411~ How did you come to work as a photographer, was it something you knew from an early age?
JW~ My interest in photography began when I was around 7 years old, when I received a film camera for Christmas. I immediately styled my Barbies into a photo shoot…I guess what I do now is no different! In 2008 I bought my first dSLR and started playing around with it as a hobby and quickly became interested in shooting with my friends. Once I tried it, I was hooked.
BB411~ Which photographers did you admire growing up or do today?
JW~ As a teenager I used to drool over David LaChappelle’s work in Rolling Stone. Now I admire the work of Russell James who shoots for Victoria’s Secret.
BB411~ What made you decide to focus on Boudoir?
JW~ I decided to focus on boudoir photography because of the effect it has on my clients. There’s no better feeling than to see a woman transform into a more confident version of herself.
BB411~ What do you love most about photography?
JW~ I love having the ability to create something unique and beautiful out of what I see.
BB411~ What camera do you use to shoot with?
JW~ I use the Canon 5dMark3.
BB411~ Where does your drive and focus come from?
JW~ I think my desire to succeed is what drives me. I spent the first few years of my adult life feeling kind of lost because I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school. When I was 20 I started a jewellery making business with my mom which eventually morphed into a retail swimwear store (which just celebrated its 10th anniversary!). I found photography 6 years ago and have been so happy ever since.
BB411~ If you weren’t in the career you are today and you could be anything in the world what would it be?
JW~ I’m pretty darn happy with my career today but if for some reason I couldn’t be a boudoir photographer anymore, I think I’d like to have a career in marketing, fashion or interior design. I find both fascinating and would love to expand my knowledge in those areas.
BB411~ Is there a certain celebrity you haven’t worked with but would like to?
JW~ Oooh there are so many! I think I would die happy if I could shoot with Mila Kunis or Scarlett Johansson.
BB411~ How did you and Kelly come to team up?
JW~ I moved to Vancouver from Edmonton 5 years ago and was in need of a reliable and talented makeup artist. A mutual friend introduced us and we’ve been working together ever since.
BB411~ What do you love most about Kelly?
JW~ Wow what can I say? Kelly is a really special person to me, she’s become my best friend. Her personality is what initially got my attention – I love her ability to have fun in any situation and especially admire her positive attitude. Kelly and I share a vision for facilitating a positive and empowering experience for women that we feel there’s no room for negativity. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
BB411~ How did your parents influence the person you are today?
JW~ We moved around a lot when I was a kid because my dad’s job involved transferring around in order to advance in the company. I attended three elementary schools and three high schools before graduating, all in different cities. I was painfully shy when I was young and all those moves were hard on me, especially as a teenager. I hated my parents for putting me through that, but now that I look back on it, I am really grateful I had those experiences. It made me learn to be fiercely independent and able to make friends quickly. I think these skills are what help me connect with my clients; most of the time we don’t meet until the day of their shoot, when they have to get almost naked in front of me! It’s my job to make them feel comfortable as quickly as possible and if I hadn’t learned how to do that early on I feel like it would be more of a struggle to get that connection.
BB411~ How do you stay motivated with life’s daily stresses that come up?
JW~ I allow myself to take a day off if I’m feeling unmotivated. Most of the time all I need is a little break before I’m chomping at the bit to get back at it.
BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?
JW~ I’m inspired by a lot of things, but mostly my clients. They are women who are motivated and enthusiastic, and a lot of fun to be around!
BB411~ Do you support any charities?
JW~We have supported a number of charities and community organizations by donating our services for their silent auction, including Vancouver Aquarium’s Toast to the Coast, Fuck Cancer and various others.
BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?
JW~To me giving back means helping others live a better life. I have worked extremely hard in the past few years to get to this point in my career where I feel happy and can support my family. Being able to give advice to and help other small business owners to succeed is very rewarding for me. My mentors have taken the time to give me solid advice so I’m glad that now I can ‘pass it on’. I also think that what we do in the studio helps women explore or (in most cases) discover their sensuality as a woman. The effect it can have on her attitude, confidence and self awareness is pretty incredible. For too long women have been put down (and taught to put themselves down) for being too “this” or not enough “that” and I think it’s total BS. We should be taught to love and respect ourselves right from day one.
BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?
JW~ When I was younger I used to sketch outfits in my notebooks, I wanted to be a fashion designer.
BB411~ Describe your style?
JW~ I dress to feel good and make myself happy. I would say my style is mostly classic and timeless.
BB411~What does beauty mean to you?
JW~ To me, beauty means being authentic and unafraid to show your true self.
BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?
JW~ Keep dreaming and listen to your intuition.
BB411~ What is your skin care regime?
JW~I’m obsessed with Skoah! I use their Kleansing Lotion,Tonik, Skin boost serum and Face Skotion.Then a few times a week I alternate between Skoah’s AHA mask and their Hydradew mask. The Kick it Kream from Skoah is the ONLY Thing I’ve ever used that actually gets rid of zits overnight.
BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?
JW~ Eos Lip Balm, They’re Real mascara by Benefit and Diorshow Brow Styler.
BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?
JW~ Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. It stays on even when I’ve got a camera on my face all day.
BB411~ What is your favorite fragrance?
JW~ Bon Chic by BCBG
BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?
JW~ I am a classically trained singer
BB411~ Favorite quote?
JW~ “Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”
BB411~ Favourite movie?
JW~ I’d have to say Ace Ventura, it’s ridiculous, but it’s a classic.
BB411~ Favorite thing you like to do for yourself when you have some down time?
JW~ I love to wander around the city or go for coffee by myself. Alone time is when I get my best ideas because I’m not distracted and can let my thoughts flow. I’m taking a trip to NYC by myself for the sole purpose of finding inspiration.
BB411~ #1 thing you want to cross off your bucket list?
JW~ I want to take a year off and travel around the world seeing places I’ve never been before. On the short list is Italy, Ireland and Vietnam.
BB411~ What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?
JW~ Discovering that I have control over my life and that I can choose happiness. That was pretty powerful.
BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?
JW~ Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to take some risks. Succeeding is wonderful but failing is even better because you learn so much more by making mistakes.
BB411~ When I say the words #lovethis, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
JW~ Sparkles! haha! Also the fact that I get to do what I love every single day…it never gets old ❤
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Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411