The biggest problem with most photo shoots I see is that they lack impact. The clothing doesn’t match the model that doesn’t match the lighting that doesn’t match the hair. Its like they want all the pieces to show up independently and fall into line. That is not how I really shoot. The goal is attempting to always be editorial photos.
The concept and the execution needs to start and end with you. I know its hard- the more control you have the less people are willing to pay you. You need to take as much control of the shoot as possible and really not get tired or struggling against the people who are paying for the shoot.
The easiest way to convince the client of what style of shoot you want, is a mood board. These days, its all done on Pinterest- select photos that match the desired mood for the shoot and even some exact elements you might want to steal. This will give them a tanglable thing they can agree with or disagree with. It will also let the hair and make up person be ready for what you are requesting- and its not uncommon for them to be unsure how they can do that. When you shoot enough, you will be even be able to use your own past images to give them a visual map of what you are looking to accomplish. Have images for the location, hair, make up, and clothes. Remember, your shoot needs to be 5-10 images (looks) based on a theme to have the most successful boudoir shoot imaginable.
While this is a slightly different subject, and also obvious, its best to build a team. Most photographers work with a couple of talented HMUA’s, but the best ones work with the same team over and over again. Take the time to find the people you like to work with and you have smooth communication with. What you are looking for is a reliable set of artsists who specialize in Hair, Make Up, Wardrobe, and Modeling. I mention the team because it hits home on something that I have a lot of trouble with in Seattle- Frosty Flakes. The more professional you can make the shoot seem, the more success you will have with getting the team to arrive- you will find some people are spooked right away the moment you send them a Call Sheet. A call sheet is just a sheet referencing the time of the shoot, the location, and what you are expecting them to bring, if anything. It also typically has the contact information of everyone attached to the shoot.
Next: 2) Tethering & Practicing Lighting