The Luxury Fine Art Studio with Joanna Booth from Sanguine Portraiture

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luxury fine art studio

“Do unto others as you would want done to yourself … but take it up a notch.”

This approach to her luxury fine art studio portraiture has ensured Joanna Booth’s clients walk away with museum quality works of art, allowing them to remember their strength, grace, and confidence during poignant life experiences like pregnancy and motherhood.

Introduction (2:13)

Joanna is a luxury fine art photographer who focuses on women, specifically on creating a diverse portfolio that include women of all races, but also showcasing different cultures through clothing and styling.

The Story behind the name: Sanguine Portraiture (3:11)

Sanguine means to remain positive in the face of adversity. This represented Joanna’s stage of life during a time of career change and a big move across the country.

The journey to find your own artistic niche in the luxury fine art space (4:44)

The journey started with kids wanting modeling headshots, and evolved into creating more soulful portraits for tweens, and then moved to more elaborately styled shoots. Parents noticed and started wanting these shoots for themselves, including those clients who were pregnant and were doing newborn sessions, so they naturally asked about styled maternity sessions.

The process of getting featured (22 times!) in Vogue Italia (6:29)

A workshop with an Austin photographer introduced the idea and mentored the submission process.  Getting featured is somewhat random, as they don’t have specific indications of what they are looking for at that given time.

The secret ingredient to extracting the beauty, strength and power in subjects (9:49)

Find your voice as a director. Joanna doesn’t like working with models, much preferring her own direction with the client to dictate how they move in the space. Real people can be directed to move and pose according to their body type, and it’s often the images taken in between poses that become the iconic ones.

Editing: pre-planned or evolving? (13:57)

Joanna starts by knowing what she wants an image to look like overall. And although a set is preplanned, the session unfolds depending on how the client moves, and smiles, and interacts. Sometimes, something special is created right on the spot.

Editing the first image in a series will typically take 3-5 hours, but the rest then fall into place after that.

How to position your brand as a luxury fine art experience (18:51)

With a love language of gifts, Joanna goes all out to spoil clients. The luxury fine art experience has evolved over time, but currently includes their favourite foods in the studio, wine, champagne, gift bags, etc.

But this luxury experience should be priced accordingly. Photographers shouldn’t be worried about retirement, and healthcare, and dentist bills. We should be able to afford that because we work a real job.

It’s also important to know what your confidence markers are – the things that allow you personally to be content with charging more. For me it was winning awards, having editing actions built, having a workflow down, and being published.

How can photographers define what it is they want to do and who they want to serve (25:53)

Do what you love and brings you joy. It is not uncommon to get bored creatively – in that case, simply create something else. Add a new challenge. Offer a genre that still scares your shoot. Keep leaning and moving forward.

The dream photoshoot … with an unlimited budget (28:50)

A Vogue-style destination shoot in Paris or Venice. And Oprah!

The mindset shift required to establish yourself as a luxury fine art brand (31:58)

You need to full understand your own value and the level of service you provide. Everything in your business, from communication, to products, even down to packaging has to match this luxury style.

Also, don’t just provide luxury – make your clients FEEL a certain way. Luxury is really about them, and what they really want.

The team needed to create a luxury fine art experience (36: 27)

A powerful women team consists of a hairstylist, makeup artist, assistant, and many powerful female vendors

The evolution of luxury fine art as a maternity style (38:10)

Joanna was inspired by the thrown fabric style of Lola Melani, but evolved her own style to draped fabrics, especially those weighted, heavier fabrics that create form.

There is so much power in just taking fabrics and playing with it creatively to see what you can create.  

What to expect at the Online Newborn Retreat (43:24)

As a former student, Joanna has come full circle. She will teach students how to use fabrics to create elegant, regal looks that will form the basis of the luxury fine art portrait, as well as the editing needed for the finishing touches.

What is Joanna artistically curious about (46:23)

Joanna wants to play around with makeup, costuming and headwear, especially for clients with Asian heritage.

Creating a luxury fine art portrait experience for your client is really about putting yourself in their shoes, and imagining what they would want from a perfect day creating gorgeous photos. Joanna has mastered this with warmth, grace, skill and experience. She crafts experiences for clients that they will never forget.

Discover more about Joanna Booth

Joanna has won several silver awards in several prestigious world-renowned image competitions. She has achieved her associate photographer accreditation for both WPPI and PM and is working towards a master photographer designation. Her work has been featured
over 20 times in Vogue Italia, and can be seen in online magazines and articles from all over the world. In addition, Joanna has taught on the Tomaiya Colvin Education platform and has been interviewed by several leading industry icons. 
Resources shared in this episode:
Vogue Italia
Erin TolePureTotally RadMusea LabLola MelaniAnnie MitovaTiffany’s
2021 {online} Newborn Retreat

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