By Pam McLoughlin New Haven Register, Conn.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) There are many women in business who focus on photography however Kerri Latty's photos are unique. In an effort to capture empowered women in all their glory her photo studio features boudoir shots which celebrate the female form in ALL SIZES. For the shoot, Latty streams her subject's favorite music, offers water, wine, snacks and has a hair stylist and makeup artist waiting in the wings. One client said she "felt like a rock star" when she walked out of her hours-long boudoir shoot!
When the owner of Milford's newest photography studio gets clients in the boudoir, it's about much more than creating a flesh-filled work of art.
"The shoot is supposed to be empowering," Kerri Latty said of her popular boudoir shots, in which the subjects are clad scantily, if at all. "First I ask them, 'What body part do you like best?'... By the time I'm done, you'll like every inch of your body."
Latty, a West Haven resident and 1996 graduate of New Haven's High School in the Community, has opened a 2,000-square-foot photography studio, Kerrian Company at 354 Woodmont Road, Suite 17. A grand opening will be held at 3 p.m. March 6.
She chose the Milford site in part because of its proximity to Interstate 95.
Admittedly a "risk-taker," Latty said, "we're going to take 2016 by storm."
Latty, who first felt the thrill of getting behind a camera when she took the yearbook photos for her high school class, had that feeling fueled after a class at Southern Connecticut State University in which her photo won first place.
She has a degree in economics, but turned her love of photography into a business in 2012 after she was part of a layoff at Unilever.
While living in New York, she used her severance to open a successful photo studio in Stamford. Following a fire in the building, she moved to West Haven, where she owns rental properties and decided to open the new studio.
While Latty's full-service studio offers shoots of all types of portraits and events, including of families, weddings, babies and couples, her specialty is the popular boudoir shots that women often buy as gifts for a significant other.
Her approach is to get to know the client through a telephone interview or visit to the studio so the finished product reflects their true emotion.
Michelle Tarantino, a client from the Stamford studio, said she "felt like a rock star" when she walked out of her hours-long boudoir shoot. And her husband loves the photos.
"You're going in there to take photos for someone you care about and I was so relaxed and so comfortable working with her," Tarantino said. "She makes you feel like a rock star. She makes you feel beautiful."
For the shoot, Latty streams her subject's favorite music, offers water, wine, snacks and has a hair stylist and makeup artist waiting in the wings.
"Your thoughts could be there and I just make them bigger," she said, and lets the shoot take form.
The largest portion of Latty's studio has all the props for the boudoir shots. Dresses, negligees, angel wings, masks, men's shirts -- for those who want it to represent their partner. If a client's husband is, say, a Giants fan, the artist can paint a jersey on her body. She even has chocolate body paint and rose petals, along with a drawer of garters, thongs and other items that are for one-time use.
The studio boudoir has a blow-up mattress with sheet choices -- red lace, black, pure white. There are also several bedroom headboard backgrounds -- Victorian-era, modern, antique, classical. The studio also has a Victorian couch and an antique chaise longue.
Latty even has the ability to bring a motorcycle or vehicle into the studio.
"If we get to fine art, the client is naked," she said, but the end shot will be tasteful.
Even though the boudoir photo is often a gift, she says it's "supposed to be empowering." She said women are sometimes self-conscious -- even those with seemingly flawless figures -- but leave feeling good about themselves.
That's when she comes in with words of encouragement such as, "Girl, you're rocking the shoot."
"I want to make sure you're getting the shoot for yourself," she said. Latty said she tells them, "I'm short and pudgy and I do boudoir shots."
Latty said she works to make every client feel it's all about them, the same way the grandmother that raised her in New Haven "spoiled me" and always made Latty feel it was "all about her (Latty)" growing up.
"I love what I do, so it's never really like working," she said. "I love my clients." Then she chuckled and said, "When the woman gets naked with you, you build a friendship."
Although Latty has turned her passion for photography into a business, her degree in economics from Fordham University has really helped in running a business, she said.
"Even if you're talented, the business comes into play," she said.
Latty has apparently always had a flair for practical economics. She purchased her first house at age 22 in Hamden and flipped it for double what she paid. Today she owns several rental properties.
The businesswoman in her also plans to maximize the large Milford space. She'll rent out the studio room in back for parties of all kinds -- and even to other photographers. If someone has a function, she can even get a caterer, DJ or other entertainment. She also offers custom-made invitations to parties and other events and has a photo booth to rent.
The best part, Latty said, is the reaction and feedback from customers when they receive their photographs.
"It's awesome," she said.