Studio M Boudoir Photography
April 30, 2012
Melissa Yokofich opened Studio M Boudoir Photography in Bay View’s Hide House in April, lured by the generous 2,400 square-foot studio space, friendly neighbors, and sense of community among artists. Her specialty is the boudoir photography genre—tasteful, sexy fine art portraiture of women.
“We specialize in providing the ultimate boudoir experience in Milwaukee. All of our sessions include onsite hair styling and makeup application so clients feel pampered and look their boudoir best,” Yokofich said.
Clients receive consultations before their photo sessions where they receive advice about wardrobe and posing to flatter their body type. “Our photography results in beautifully sexy, tasteful, and intimate images that women can treasure for themselves or a significant other,” Yokofich said. Her clients book a session because they want a portrait to mark a special occasion like an engagement, special birthday, or to give as a gift.
Sessions start at $299 and range up to $795, though most clients upgrade their sessions, Yokofich said. Studio M offers a single portrait, customized photo albums, digital images, and framed images printed on canvas. Her services include professional photo retouching.
Another option that some of her clients elect is a calendar featuring a different portrait for each month of the year. She has clients who return each year to make another calendar, or to celebrate an anniversary. Some women do their boudoir sessions while pregnant and come back after they’ve lost the baby-weight.
A military brat, “Yokofich lived all over the world as a child. She said that her love for photography was born when she lived in Europe. “There’s so much amazing architecture and just, gorgeousness, to love and appreciate,” she said.
After graduating from high school in England, she moved to Omaha, Neb., where her extended family lives. She worked at a brokerage firm to pay for college. She met her husband there. They moved to Milwaukee in 2001 to be near his family, and where Yokofich worked at financial firms until 2010.
Yokofich’s love of photography evolved into a passion after she had children. She began moonlighting as a photographer, shooting newborns, families, children, and on occasion, a wedding.
“I saw that boudoir was starting to come back in other parts of the country in early 2009, and I got a group of girlfriends together and started shooting. I absolutely fell in love. The images are artistic and beautiful, and more importantly, they allow women to see themselves as the beautiful sexy women they are.
“I love helping women feel beautiful and challenging the popular standards of beauty and sex appeal,” said Yokofich. “The majority of my clients are real women. They’re not Giselle-clones or Victoria’s Secret lookalike-types. They’re real people—they have kids… I’ve shot several women for their 50th birthdays, which I absolutely love. I love that women can be sexy and still feel sexy—it’s inspiring,” Yokofich said.
She left her job as a compliance consultant in 2010 and devoted herself to her photography business full-time. She worked out of a studio in Oak Creek before relocating to the Hide House.
Yokofich is considering throwing a grand opening gala to celebrate her new studio. If so, she plans to reveal the results of a secret project she’s been working on at the gala—a set of 21 photographs and interviews of clients who talk about their boudoir photo-experience.
Yokofich hopes the interviews will dispel misconceptions or fears that someone considering a boudoir session might have. She is also planning a free, Friday night makeup application class to help market her business. The goal, she said, “is to get people into the studio…have them feel a little bit sexy,” Yokofich said. It will be an opportunity for women to come in, learn how to do their makeup, see the studio, meet me, meet my makeup artist, see how things look in here, and just kind of check the place out.
Boudoir is a woman’s bedroom or private sitting room, and comes from the French bouder, which means to pout. It has since evolved to describe sexy fine art portraiture for women. — From the Q&A section of Studio M’s website.
Studio M Boudoir Photography
2612 S. Greeley Suite 230, Milwaukee
StudioMBoudior.com + Facebook
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.