The Puyallup photo studio offers boudoir and maternity shoots

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Building an emotional connection with clients is what sets Jody Akerman’s new photography studio apart from others, she said.

“I think I have a knack for putting someone at ease,” Akerman said.

Akerman owns Bright Eyes Photography at 116 S. Meridian #A in downtown Puyallup. Her services include boudoir and maternity photo shoots. Customers spend around $1,299 or more per booking.

Akerman, 36, was born and raised in Puyallup. Its roots in the city go back about five generations. She said she had always had a camera on her hip since she was little.

“I love photographing everyday moments and seeing beauty everywhere I go,” Akerman said.

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Jody Akerman takes photos of a model during a boudoir photo shoot at her studio, Bright Eyes Photography, in downtown Puyallup, Washington on Thursday, October 20, 2022. Pete Caster Pete Caster / The Newsstand

Photography was not a career she pursued at first. She was a professional musician for a while while doing modeling and photography on the side. Eventually, she started a real estate business.

Shortly after starting her real estate business, Akerman said she found her calling. She took some boudoir photos of a friend and found that she loved making her friend feel beautiful and empowered.

“We don’t see how other people see us and how beautiful we are,” Akerman said. “If I can help show them how I see it and then see their faces light up, I just feel like there’s magic out there that I’m addicted to.”

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Jody Akerman poses for a portrait in her studio in downtown Puyallup on Thursday October 20, 2022. Akerman is a boudoir photographer and owns Bright Eyes Photography. Peter Caster Pete Caster / The Newsstand

Clients interested in booking a photo session with Bright Eyes Photography receive a consultation and a questionnaire, asking what the client is looking for. The package also includes hairstyle, make-up and a selection of wardrobe.

The studio has a bed, a sofa, a bathtub as well as different decors for customers to choose from.

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Jody Akerman poses for a portrait in her studio in downtown Puyallup on Thursday October 20, 2022. Akerman is a boudoir photographer and owns Bright Eyes Photography. Peter Caster Pete Caster / The Newsstand

The number of copies as well as the type of format the customer wants the photos in, such as wall art or vintage viewfinders, play a role in the total price.

“It’s a really fun, unique experience that a lot of people don’t realize they need until they have it,” Akerman said.

Akerman said his team tries to find out why clients want to do a photo shoot. Some say they are on the verge of a divorce and want to feel empowered. Others have just given birth and want to celebrate their new body.

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Jody Akerman poses for a portrait in her studio in downtown Puyallup on Thursday October 20, 2022. Akerman is a boudoir photographer and owns Bright Eyes Photography. Peter Caster Pete Caster / The Newsstand

Whatever the reason, Akerman answers it and helps capture those moments.

“A lot of women just want to remember a time when they wanted to feel special,” Akerman said.

The studio opened its doors at the end of August. It is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and sometimes Saturday.

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Jody Akerman, owner of Bright Eyes Photography, works with model Suzanne Akerman during a photo shoot Thursday, October 20, 2022, at her studio in downtown Puyallup, Wash. Akerman specializes in boudoir photography which is a style of intimate and sensual portraiture that she says empowers women. Peter Caster Pete Caster / The Newsstand

Angelica Relente covers topics that affect communities in East Pierce County. She started as a press intern in June 2021 after graduating from Washington State University. She was born in the Philippines and spent the rest of her childhood in Hawaii.

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