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Lesson 30 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola


Lesson 30 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

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Lesson Info

30. Photoshop


Class Trailer

Day 1




Let’s Get this Party Started Right!


Redefining Boudoir: YOUR Brand & Style


Working with Women


Creating Relaxed Clients


Posing and Anti-Posing


Flattering All Body Types


Lesson Info


Photo shot let's talk about photoshopped. Um, I retouching philosophy. I kind of already touched on this because we talked about it a little bit when, uh saying how I discuss it with my client up front because I wanted to know, um, I just I like to make people like, look their best, but I don't want to change who the woman is and that's usually when she brings up. Oh, but I have stretch marks since well, that I'll totally take care of, um but I don't change your size, I just little enhance your shape and mostly I'm working on enhancing your posture, taking attention out of the shoulders, put a little more kicking your back and you on your butt uh, s so I make sure that we discuss that right up front because I could be a problem if you need and they're expecting toe look so much radically different or if they like, you know what I don't really want you and I've had a couple clients like this, I really prefer nover touching at all I know you know, you could make me look amazing, but I re...

ally want to make sure I look supernatural and that's kind of why I chose you because you're images. D'oh and then I'd be like okay, well here are things I would change if you laugh and do this I took that in so is that cool? If you're leaning on a chair and like that arm comes out how about that and then they're like oh yeah that stuff is fine what if I kind of need better lighting on your face and so I just let your face a little better oh yeah that's good so get really specific um and this is your gift to her don't tell her how much he did so most people don't act like I don't ask don't tell situation and you know what? I would never I don't care how long you're sleeping at your computer I don't care how much you're proud of the before after when an awesome or touching job you did you're not going to tell her like sometimes they'll be like, oh man, you must have really I mean seriously and I go no, I showed you on the back of the camera I really did not do much and that's exactly what I shoot for and I do strive for that because I love to be able to say that to every woman to say that this is barely retouched and I'm like to, you know, two percent change, so and again I don't mention it and she doesn't I never dio um and when I say I don't mention it I mean after she sees your photos we talked a lot about my philosophy before him but after she sees him we're done talking about it um limit your retouching time same thing when you're editing your images I had a rule when I was first starting two minutes or two actions in and out that's all you got two minutes or two actions then it came down to like twenty seconds uh one action and now I'm like super fast but even being you know under a minute for each photo I still would rather just I just like being in the practice of handing it off so I can focus more I tend now when I have to sit down I don't want to dread any part of my job and I started like dreading the touching and I would put it off that's not good that's when I knew okay colorado saved me because I wasn't finding anyone else can I ask you one question about the export that you do um when you send a colorado how much sighs you generally send the exporting j paige is a pack full power or twelve no them quality oh twelve upto twelve yes. Okay move in outsourcing I've already talked about this a ton um does anyone have any questions you know, sometimes it's hard to give up control or you might think you're not the artist but you are the artist um you don't need to actually know how teo remove an outlet from a wall that's distraction that's something a digital artist can do you don't need to do that go ahead do you work with colorado to figure out like you're your taste in the color saturation? Is that sort of thing? Is there some kind of process that they have? Absolutely absolutely they totally um we'll do a test run with you they will um, you know want to know your likes and dislikes and honestly, they nailed it on the first shoot because they were so familiar with my work and with my look and I told them right up front like I wanted to be natural don't use canned actions I don't want it to look like an illustration um nothing fancy just take out those things that you know say and sometimes just two percent move in the right direction is all we need I gave them ten images of my most often um we're touching needs and before and after and that's a good suggestion to you also they get to know ok, how much is too much? How much is too little where's the sweet spot and I would go over them and like see this before and after this is what I changed on why and this is what I changed, why? And then here there, um, so give them something they'll totally and that's all like free they're not charging for their time to get to know you and your likes and dislikes, and they'll do it until they get it right. And, um, they're pretty quick. Could you tell me twenty black and white between car? I actually do that myself, so when I'm sending the images to them, it's after I've done the best in light broke, so I do that portion because I like selecting my best at it part of my job as a photographer, I feel, and then I like to make the decision. Is it black or white or not? That's an artistic decision to me, but then saying, tucking her chin light in a little bit of the wrinkles and can you dodge some more light into her eye or something that's kind of like you don't need to do that make son, how much time did it say light so easy since I don't use colorado now, but so is taking me about fifteen to twenty minutes, depending on how much I had to work with a body like, you know, making away so whatever, how much time do you save? How much time have I saved while that's such a great question? Um in terms of let's say per week I just started with them and my business is so much like I kind of like intense periods of work and then intense peers of focus on another project so I have to I don't know hours and hours per week um five hours a week on average, what is your turnaround time from the time you shoot a session to the time you're showing the clients your images because how does that factor and with how long it takes them to get your image is not a great question I'm totally working out that process right now they're turnaround time for me has been like this but it's probably because it's mean because I'm saying, can you please do this right now? Because it's for creative life ana, I need you to do it quickly and I'm like sure, but having said that I think their turnaround times more like three to five business days more closer to the three but they want to give themselves but I like that under promise and over deliver it's a good quality so I like that um mostly saying was saying so three to five business days so I like to get in with my client very soon so I used to like to shoot on saturday and show images on tuesday that kind of was my workflow I love tio have a consistent task for each day of the week, and that was just kind of what worked for me. But now that I'm shooting all this destination stuff in new york and people are flying in for the weekend, I've gotta work out a system with colorado if I'm shooting on thursday or friday, can I have the images by sunday night? Because that's, what I want to be showing before they leave town at happy hour, like four thirty five p m on a sunday it's kind of what? Uh, my next discussion with colorado would be the answer. You're literally digitally uploading them. They're doing it and then sending them back to you. Is it through, like, a light light room catalog? Or, you know, they have an ftp site. Ok. Yeah. So, um, if they're in town, then it's. Fine. Then I can take a week and a half with them. But I still like to show as soon as possible. Are you specifically telling them what you want done? Like you were saying? Dodge the ice. You okay? So you? Yes, but now I need to less and less success. The list is always the same. Look for this, this, this and this. So they're going to scan and you know, if I need to call out anything in particular I will I'll just say like, a sentence this client had awesome skin, but here that you need to focus more on the lighting in this one or, um, you know, the client was really self conscious about this in particular, so please focus on that, you know, it's just like a sentence, but in general, they know teo, you know, clean up under here because sometimes makeup well, you start running down towards after two hours, right? It wasn't focused on that, um or I'll say, you know, remember photoshopped the armpits, please, um, or, you know, this client really had a problem kept going with this, you're gonna be working on a lot on the chin to something simple like that, but they have the list of what to scan for when you get back the images and you go to the customer, the customer sees the image on your computer on the night, but what is the best way for you right now? For me, it's laptop? I'm probably gonna start doing the ipad any through images or slight slideshow we'll talk about that more tomorrow and how I put the slide show together and how to present and sell and all that stuff. So I'm gonna move on we're very close to break um actions I love to use we'll go over those like I said there's so many actions out there speak out experiment she's the ones you love but why not narrow it down to about three to five that use over and over again just so your brand is a little more consistent? Um oh, so that's tomorrow so let's quickly let me get this uh and we'll kind of show some of the actions I liked to use, so why don't we take a couple more questions while I'm waiting for this to go? Do your clients know that your images are outsourced? Doesn't matter? Does it ever come up that's such a good question has never come up some but it's a fairly recent and if it does, which I bet you probably will um I say that their artists that are better at it than me I'm a great photographer and they're great digital artists and you know, I'm going to make sure you get the best hand I've hired the best you had any customer last you specifically know to keep copies off the images oh gosh should know interesting what would you do in that case? I would delete them that they wanted me to for sure have you been asked that before? Yes oh gosh interesting um I could imagine if they were like a high profile client and they were afraid that something would get out after the nice to ourselves more and more for example in the case was if you lose the city or distinct get scratched that's the only thing you have do you ever give digital files to your clients okay awesome yes I d'oh always yeah always um I'm always available for purchase just as a photographer I kind of want my images so that what's what speaks to me you know I'm so bias in such a photographer so I'm going to sell exactly what I would want it I want my name in it so you know you make it a price tag you know that's worth your your time um so okay um let's quickly just do a couple things uh maybe choose one that wasn't retouched that maybe needed tio okay that's like a difficult one um so this is cathy or soccer mom mrs before and then you saw her after yesterday got like, you know, some beautiful shots here of her right? So here is one that wasn't touched so you know, maybe I would clean the us up here the images I mean the whatchamacallit the tools I love filter liquefy absolutely finally had one tool just like a ball I won let's liquefy it's freaking awesome show you how that works so you could zoom in but you know using your little magnifying tool taking a while warp tool right here um change your breasts breasts brushes eyes using this and it's pretty much set actually a good size if I wanted to like eliminate this little lunch just a little bit just I have to come down just the slightest bit right maybe I said I want to give her like a little better posture here just drop that down a little bit right maybe like sex up her arm a little bit maybe give her a little more boob touch little kink in the back a little rounder but see how much my doing not my make that little one hundred ok that's it um also maybe I want to you know do matter hair a little bit or I mean I really wouldn't do much more to this I mean she's loved her shape she's gorgeous and I wouldn't touch it up much this is the really distraction to me so I might do a little bit more here all right and then I would show you quick before after again you don't want to do anything too drastic she still has the same size but like it's significant little change in the shape of right so liquefies a frickin bad ass tool and I'm gonna go to my clones standing I love the closest and so these are my two favorite tools and like I usually set when I'm changing the butt stuff on the body to thirty percent capacity changing stuff on the face like under the eye it's twenty percent legs and forty percent touchy stuff around the nose and the lips maybe like fifteen seventeen opacity and I just pull in and stamp and I'm just gonna blend kind of so I don't see these lines again I'm really not changing her size but I think she was bent over like this a little bit too much and I would keep it subtle probably so just something like that and maybe I'd work a little bit on removing the shine off your face and maybe some of the wrinkles here I'm not used to working where's the right click on this mouse again this isn't these aaron my tools so I'm not gonna be as fast so I would um yeah would kind of bring the shadow over so we don't see these little wrinkles blend this a little more pull that shadow up should have had color colorado coming demo but um yeah and eliminate those wrinkles okay? We got a lot of sick people here today coffers um and then under the eyes okay, I changed at twenty tow like nineteen what sorry, take it from the lighter point and go up don't ever want to remove the beds of the eyes because that's what shows expression and you know I love that she's an older woman I'm not gonna take those wrinkles out just take the shine off her forehead maybe slightly lessen the wrinkles a little bit can't touch this island's closed down clone stamp what is closed down uh got a clone stamp is the tool I'm using okay so just move the dad of a little here's to before here's the after so not much just cleaning up some distractions and then I'd be out of that right there I don't really do much else what is she like a fine clone stamping do everything what's that a bigger mole or something on her back that wasn't really part of the model who was it that had a little mole and I kind of left it um maybe it was kathy but if she hasn't blown it honestly unless she tells me I'm gonna leave it what I'll do is maybe with the thirty percent all like lightning I'll just clone stamp it once hit it once or twice just to like lightning so it's not prominent um but what about on the back or something if it's distracting you know uh I would be hesitant to leave something that mean tio remove something that's permanent okay yeah and so see this armpit is totally would photoshopped this go ahead I'm just gonna um carla you got a question do you ever clean the skin with some clothes on one second think about what you're gonna say well hey do you see how we see texture anderson we see her little I don't know freckles beauty marks we see we see the texture of her skin I see wrinkles on her skin she feels very real to me and not not retouched and this is the look I love not even gonna photoshopped that yeah so you go oh I love being able to say I just did not do much to this and I didn't you go from here to a book you straight lists to print there's nothing there's no other action that you run or softening or anything like that it's printed three hundred gps that you don't love it up or do anything else to it for printing no but for web I up contrasts and sharpening because you know web dulls it down if I'm gonna make this one really big I will probably touch the eyes with some sharpening first maybe I don't like heavily sharpened dies though I do I'm okay with soft um as long as it's in focus not soft focus uh but not necessarily sure yes is this normally the type ever touching you do yourself or are you asking color out again do this for you now and that's from joe photography yes this is what I ask colorado to do for me now but in a pinch I will do it for myself um yeah so when I turned around images like within a couple hours I'm doing that myself off color I don't have a radio so any other questions about stuff I do a photo shop um question from miss h do you sell prince larger than eight by ten when I guess and my only talked about exporting them an eight by twelve uh do you sell prints that are eleven by fourteen sixteen yeah some but boudoir I'm not really doing a lot of that so but with family portrait sir okay, I'm lifestyle um I wanted to show you one that uh let me just export this super quick I want to show you one other tool export tio let me just put this up uh I want to show you one other toy used which is the dash tool or the lasso says what I used to kind of extend the backdrop so if you're working on that four foot backdrop in a hotel room and you need to extend it it's super quick and easy to do um and I use this one a lot so clone stamp liquefy and then this dash tool I don't even know the name of the dash tool sorry folks uh so let's see if that's ready ok open it up so this is super easy you do command j to duplicate the layer command tea to transfer transform and then I just stretch it up and then flatten it have a preset preset action on my computer's set to do command f two flattened layers wasn't working with layers so often I just wantto so it's nice to set your own that was so um take your uh whatever fool what is this called marquis the marquis tool I select area I want to extend um hit command j to duplicate the layer command tea, set it to transform and then stretch it up, hit, enter and flatten and it works the same for the sides. That's also something I used colorado for um, you know, sometimes I feel like the whole thing was off the off the backdrop and sometimes her hand will be off the backdrop, but I need to extend the gray beyond that. So it's really nice to be able to tell colorado to do it. Not part of my heart. I could do it, but oh, I'm not gonna have fun, so, yeah, I outsource that look a question from halos and hey, leo's nicely. Hello, he's. Nice face. Uh, cushion is if a client was just in awe of what they looked like in the photos and she thinks that there was major editing done, but she loves it, but you really didn't do a whole lot how would you handle that? She thinks I didn't she thinks I did a lot, but she did e think it was that, um she been client thinks I did a lot to it, but I really didn't right yeah, I would show her I showed her that you know, look, I really didn't do much and actually show her the proof, ok? Yeah that's happened it's surprisingly when you put hair and makeup on a girl and light her beautifully and she was a gorgeous lens on dh she's having a good time, you know it's a pride in that fans working it's magic it's surprising sometimes people like wow, that's me, didn't rachel soccer mom say that when I showed her a picture? Yeah on the back she didn't require anything she was awesome. So another question was from when you're going from like room to photo shop, do you just open in photoshopped directly from white room and do you or do you save it as a jew peg and then open that's a good question and currently I am just exporting out of light room and I never see light room again. Uh, so I just opened my images if I want to do anything further in photo shop, but mostly it's also because I'm giving him over to colorado, so and then I'm not bringing him back into the light room for any reason I'm just working with that best folder from from then on, so light room was really just a just a quick mid step to pick my favorites, make sure they're lit and well and color corrected and then out to of client folder and then off to color roddy, then back to me and then to client awesome. Do we have time for questions that were literally ready to waken, taking free question? Okay, couple questions regarding the whole workflow overflow over overview and it's not necessarily a whole work for overview, but when you're when you're kind of going through the images that you're going to take to this foreign photo shop, is there anything you're looking for that you will see an image and say, I won't be able to edit that it's not gonna look realistic, so I'm going to skip over it and are there certain, I don't know, like, folds in the skin that you just know you're not gonna be able to get toe look realistic, and so you just don't choose the image or is everything workable? I think everything is workable. I mean, not by me, necessarily, but colorado's pro? Yeah, so, I mean I wouldn't want teo have it be a drastic change. So when I say everything's, workable, it's, like, if it's taking too much manipulation to make that image, saying that I'm not going to do it anyway. Yeah, that's. Kind of. That was where we thought we were going.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Christa Meola Day 1.pdf
Christa Meola Day 2.pdf
Christa Meola Day 3.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This is meant to be a HELPFUL review for those that are wondering if they should purchase this workshop. About 75% of what I took away from this workshop was posing, composition for boudoir and the importance of eye lines and capturing movement. I had two boudoir sessions a week after this workshop and my images significantly improved. I was able to coach my clients through poses better, direct them on where to look for better eye lines, I was more aware of their posture and how to fix it, I think I sounded more professional and felt more confidant with getting awesome poses, stand out expressions and adding movement to my images. I put a fan on my client the way Christa does.. and she is right! The instant I put the fan on my client, her expression changed and you could tell she was really "feeling it". She told me she felt like a real supermodel right after I turned on the fan. If you are looking for inspiration on how to coach women and pose for boudoir then Christa is the girl for you. I think the most worthwhile thing I learned watching this is something that will help me in the years to come... with my brand, my website, my workflow and my business goals. I learned how to "keep it simple" which is Christa's tag line. For example Christa brings a roll of gray background paper and uses gaffer tape to hang it from the wall of the hotel (instead of bringing a 12ft background stand). I know this seems simple but this will change my life! I hate dragging equipment back and forth. There are some negative reviews on here about Christa's technical skills, but I think these people may have missed the whole point. If you provide an awesome product and an awesome experience for your client, they will buy it. And guess what.. your client will never know if you used your camera in auto or manual and they won't care if you used one light instead of two. As someone who has been in business for 3 years doing boudoir exclusively I learned a lot. I see a lot of value in learning from someone who doesn't spend a lot of money on fancy equipment, yet charges her clients over $3,000 for sessions. I'm a huge fan of her keep it simple philosophy and I'm glad Christa is willing to be honest about her workflow and how she best utilizes her time. Your not going to agree with or use everything Christa talks about, you take the parts that you like and are most helpful to you and work them into building a stronger business.

a Creativelive Student

AWESOME DEAL on Christa's course. I just sent an email to my husband to tell him thanks for "gifting" me this course. I told him just the ONE CLASS about pricing was worth the full $129 price of the course. And there are over 50 classes?! That is a crazy stupid good deal. You can learn something good from every class you take, every book you read, and just apply the stuff that works for you. There are a lot of people out there who seem to just enjoy giving crappy reviews, and to me it's almost like bullying. How someone could not find $129 worth of value in this course is beyond me. In my opinion this course is worth over a thousand bucks, because it can help you make SO much more money. I hate when I see people whining about things that are not 100 percent perfect, and they get annoyed if the person isn't catering to their exact needs. It's like the Yelper generation, with a disturbing sense of entitlement. I would love to see those people try teaching a class about boudoir and see if they could do any better. It also seems like, the more popular a person gets, the more other people feel the need to tear them down. I'm grateful that Christa even offered this course at ALL. Thanks Christa for all you do to help those of us who really need to know this stuff. You rock.

a Creativelive Student

I never thought I would shoot boudoir. I am a shy and private person. I started entertaining the idea when I first saw Christa's work and saw how beautiful and tasteful it can be. I love her lighting and all that she uses from historic painters and sculptors. I watched all three days live and learned a ton. I have a lot of lighting education, but it was nice to freshen up my skills. I loved the posing tips and the three typical situations she uses for one shoot. I loved learning about how she shoots in hotels and also using things like an outdoor situation. I have now shot my first boudoir session and it was a total hit. I am thrilled to show my client her images. This was fantastic! Thank you, Christa!

Student Work