Booking an Intimate Boudoir Session Between Two Grooms

January 15, 2019

By Ray and Melissa Trout

Photos © Under the Garter

This article follows a piece that appeared in our January Interactions issue written by Carrie Swails, a Colorado photographer who helped organize and throw a real wedding held at the Denver Pride parade. The event was originally conceived as a rainbow styled shoot, but she linked up with a host of vendors who chipped in, including Ray and Melissa Trout, who shot footage of the event. They subsequently clinched the clients for their boudoir business, Under the Garter. Here’s how.

The crowd’s cheers and applause along the entire Denver Pride parade route nearly drowned out the shouted pronouncements of officiant Maree Johnston that grooms Dylan and Trent were lawfully married. As the wedding float moved down the street, and the onboard DJ, Dancin’ Shoes DJ, played music, even the professional wedding vendors all had moments of holding back tears and excited cheers.

It can be especially hard to work when you’re crying. We were not just doing a job—we were part of all the action!

Onboard the float, we rolled live video to document Denver’s first Pride wedding. We had planned to focus on Maree’s words of union and hopefully capture the emotion of their family and friends who walked alongside the float. Their story took on a greater meaning once the parade and their wedding was in motion. A big character in this celebration of love became the unanimously adoring crowd—raucous cheers and loud applause all along the parade route. It was powerful to witness.

From the float, the scene resembled a black-and-white silent film of a ticker tape parade, the kind to welcome home heroes of another time. Except this one was in living color—a rainbow of it. It seemed Dylan and Trent were declaring their devotion in front of the entire city of Denver. In return, their city showered them with loud support, love and acceptance. We all had chills.

It was important and meaningful for us to visually capture the love between this same-sex, interracial couple. This was their story.

We booked a couple’s boudoir session for Dylan and Trent soon after their bright and colorful wedding. We usually do our boudoir sessions before the big day, but we made schedule accommodations to fit a boudoir session into all of the planning that went into such a high-energy, high-profile public ceremony.

Their genuine, joyful and playful love for one another gave us some great opportunities to capture all of the spark and tenderness they share. The newlyweds were gracious enough to let us share some of these portraits on our couples boudoir portfolio and blog, and we felt fortunate to include Trent and Dylan in the broad spectrum of our boudoir photography clientele. We want the faces, personalities and bodies in our portfolio to help every person that sees our work to feel seen.

To that end, we actively seek clients and fans of our work who are their authentic selves.

For us, boudoir photography isn’t just about money. Our primary motivation lies in working to change public perceptions of the world at large as well as the personal perceptions of our clients individually. Dylan and Trent are just one version of what sexiness, love and happiness looks like.

As a local business and as creatives, we look for collaborations with other wedding-industry businesses that share those values. The cooperative synergy that in-sync collaborations (like the Denver Pride wedding) has afforded us refills our creative gas tanks while also helping our business grow. Referral business shared between ourselves and others businesses within this shared value system creates new client relationships that are more often a good fit for all included vendors. Not just financially but on an ethical, personal and creative level.

When we network with like-minded vendors, the number of our ideal clients goes up.

We’ve all had those difficult clients. It’s hard to stay inspired if you repeatedly encounter clients who just don’t fit who you are as an individual or a business, no matter the money or number of shoots they garner. Because of the relationships we’ve built (and our carefully crafted website), we’re happy to say that we genuinely enjoy all of our clients.

One such long-standing relationship of ours is with Carrie Swails Photography. We based that on the values both businesses have in common, and because our value systems grow and mature in parallel ways. She has also introduced us to vendors she loves, broadening our community of like-minded vendors.

The Pride wedding, for instance, was our first opportunity to work alongside Maree and witness her unbounded joy and love for her own clients. Her authentic and energetic style seems to flow out of her and onto everyone nearby. Not only did Maree obviously share our value system, but we immediately loved being near her. (Watch our video above and you’ll see what we mean!)

Capturing the Denver Pride wedding as it unfolded live was a unique privilege, as was being able to photograph Dylan and Trent’s love for each other in a more intimate setting: our private studio. Sharing the event with people and business owners like us created a real sense of ease and flow. Contributing to this event will allow us to add more vendors like Carrie and the rest of the Denver Pride wedding vendors to our Colorado business community. Not only will we have the opportunity to expand our network of vendors we click with, but it continually pays off in our business, too.

Ray and Melissa Trout are a husband and wife duo that owns Under the Garter, a luxury boudoir studio based in Denver, Colorado.

Related Links

How Vendors Partnered Up to Throw a Wedding at a Pride Parade

How to Get Work with the Wedding Planner of Your Dreams

5 Wedding Photographers Dish on Managing and Exceeding Client Expectations