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Lesson 28 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola


Lesson 28 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

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Lesson Info

28. Post-Production

Next Lesson: Lightroom


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


All right, so we're going to just jump right in with postproduction tell is that shooting segment, though, by the way, a lot of you are saying awesome. Now I have something easy that I can use and rely upon. Um, so, jang go ahead. I have everything to actually do it. It was the understanding how the lighting worked, which was the issue. So it's kind of nice to see that it is so simple actually set it up and that I can do it. So I'm gonna go home in practice. Yeah, right on. Awesome. Okay, so I want to talk a little bit about choosing your best elects, uh, because this is totally part of your art, and you really want to be very skilled and editing. It's kind of who you are as a photographer also is what you choose this over. That that's a major decision. Why this one? And not that one? Um and, um, I think a good photographer I'm a great editor. All right, choose your favorites. Don't delete. Hopefully you're all doing this right now. I don't delete in camera. Don't you know, I like to k...

eep brainstorm and keep creative. I like to keep in that one. Um side of my brain instead of being the critic and deleting anything so I certainly don't delete as I go and um when I've got my selects and looking at them in light room which is going to in a minute um I'm choosing the selects I'm never deleting I know the lead out I selected and even when I'm narrowing it down further and further to get to my thirty five to fifty five I will still go around and pick by starring him so first I'll just go and put them in my quick collection and we'll go through this in my room and then if I'm so close that I only need two lose a couple then I will go ahead and delete but if I need to dio major work I will just go ahead and select out by starring for double starting if I need to go another round so I'm training my I'd always look at what awesome what's working, seeing the solution, seeing what my eyes attracted tio instead of criticising myself saying that didn't work because I mean that's useful if you're learning experimenting but as a daily and you know I'm practice try and focus on what's awesome what works go fast and use your instincts so don't overthink it I like to kind of place and fast music I liketo have a time deadline like song or an album that I know you know, twenty minutes five minutes or an hour depends how much you shot uh but give yourself a time limit go fast and you just your gut reaction did you just go wow. And, um or did ugo me then probably not right use the time period expires. So like I said, I like to use a certain record record cd whatever um or a movie that I know oh, by that scene I should be done but yeah, this and this is the best tip ever lives we'll save you so much time ah lot of my students who just just that one tip that was worth the workshop this one tip it'll save us so much time when you go backward think about this so in chronological order and we'll show you end it in a minute if you work uh backwards order usually you move on after you nail it right? So when I used to edit chronologically from front front to back I was always going that's good oh was better pick down to oh, wait that one's good too like that and it was just selecting everything but then when I went back to beginning from the end to the beginning I was like, you pretty much hit the best one and then the rest pal in comparison, so it goes so much faster if you're the type of person who after me after you now let you move on right so hell of that tip and now I'm in such a habit I always do everything backwards when in doubt throw it out if you even though most are like not sure about it you know women are the most critical of themselves so especially with boudoir photography of you're kind of like just leave it out okay let's talk about getting your best at it edit tight only the a plus plus shots um and I say this just really drive home that they should be a plus plus and if it is a storytelling shot or a detail shot okay maybe it's not a stellar a plus plus but it's in there to tell a story that's like the one exception but I really want to talk a little bit about this and feel some questions because there usually are about editing and why I only show a little and some people aren't confident enough to show less because they like but the client might like this um but that's your job it's your art you're the one saying this is it and that's your style and your sensibility coming into play and you are falling short in your job as a photographer if you're just handing over everything it's going to dilute the impact of the awesome ones um elena kenny got a question yeah, a question from caz mob when you're evaluating do you look at cropping possibilities I tend to crop in camera but yes, I will if I want my I will go to what's awesome in that shot and if I think a different crop would it hands that better or I like really didn't create much variety or are you know that was a tough shoot and I need to really make something work I will be back oh, I think I don't actually think of it intentionally but I automatically go god that was cropped this way would sing so yeah, I do think about that not often because I do cropping camera I have a feeling mill on the ones, especially with the black seamless especially someone tall or when um you know, I'm shooting kind of quickly or I'm teaching and I'm not totally being able to be present I will do a little bit more cropping than normal but normally I never crop in all righty no your priorities okay, so again, this is a personal choice. I told you my priorities are pretty much emotion over technical perfection. Um excuse me so uh like I'm looking for something that I can tell she's having a great time and enjoy yourself for all it was an awesome laugh, but like she was falling over and maybe a crops the hand somewhere right wouldn't want teo um I don't care I'm choosing that anyway because she's gonna love that image as a photographer I know compositionally or you know just crap oh my gosh she's gonna love it anyhow um so no what your priorities are for me it's like just raw impact creativity, emotion flattering and less so that it's technically perfect yeah so when you're choosing the best shots that no sing to your eye or speaks here I do you find yourself editing differently when you're doing it just for a private client versus what you would show on your website like if there's an emotion in the picture but maybe it's not it's not perfect but you think they would really like it? Would you keep it or would you throw it out? I would keep it if I think she's going to really love it even though I as a photographer don't think it's like my best work yeah because if it's flattering to her and she looks like she's having a good time yeah, it went so it wouldn't go on the website in other words, aaron, what you would show because it wouldn't they wouldn't be what you love to show everybody um I don't know yeah, I'm blood stuff that I thought, hey, this is kind of a now take, but I kind of love it anyway so yeah, I've done that. There are some images that they are harder to take. You spent a little bit more time and you're more attached an image because off the time you spend taking them, but when you look at the screen, they're not so awesome, but you spend more time to get them in or out, out that was simple have realistic expectations. Um, so again, like, you know, big photographers, um, big budget shoots have the best of the best in the industry, helping them out, they have a crew of I don't know how many and, like, exotic locations, supermodels, how many images do you think they choose for an editorial shoot or an advertising campaign? One to five? Something like that, you know? So just think about it don't put so much pressure on yourself, I know I'm staying, keep it tight and only your a plus plus shots, but like, don't even manage your client's expectations too. We don't need one hundred twenty shots, we don't need seventy, you know, depending on how many outfit does this way, we just need, like, a good set, I think feels around fifty didn't get fifty awesome shots, uh, don't dilute impact, okay? So here's where I really want to drive home how it's so important to just select awesome ones if you were to look at and it's hard to just talk about if you were to look at thirty awesome images all of them were like, wow wow wow um you're like what the photographer is amazing I loved every single one of them that was so great I want them all now if you're looking at the same thirty wow images junked up with about fifty and maybe ten new think about that you're spending a longer time watching them every now and then you're like okay, that one's good and then mm you know it's too much dilutes the impact of the awesome ones and then you have your client gun yeah, you know, if I need all of them you know, some of them I really didn't love I mean, there are a couple good ones remember like they were you know? But I'm already kind of like more okay, you did a good job do you know what I mean? Whereas if everyone was a wow you're like, damn, you're awesome and I have to have every single one even though it's the same thirty that I'm showing that other girl like you know what everything I'm saying but it's junked up with all the others just gets lost in this sea of mediocrity okay? A light room um nice question before degree so question from tame sebring is when you select your images how much do you take into account what your client or model wants versus the shots that you think turned out the best in other words, if the if the client says you know what about that one I told you my favorite body part was my ankle what happened with that one right? I will try my best to get her great angle shot, eh? So I'm definitely shooting for her is in editing it really didn't turn out well and it wasn't flattering there's nothing that's going to make me show it to her um but I'm like yeah I just say I know you had those didn't turn out great we'll have to do it next time uh no um I rarely do I have anyone ask and that's another reason why if you blow them away with all the good stuff rarely then ago well, what happened to the yeah and often what I love and what I know the client will love are the same thing they actually are quite aligned um and I think a lot of people kind of doubt that and I think if you to use your ideal client and you get to know her and you really want to serve her you guys were gonna have the same favorites uh okay caution yeah brandy so when I taken our shoot with my client and then I select down to like fifty and light room and then I let there another twenty five and I edit all of those twenty five heavily heavily it it meaning like styling and I take it all the dimples and back rolls and all that stuff if there are any but it takes a lot of times when you're saying fifty are you heavily editing fifty and like making each fifty is like fifty showpieces thatyou're doing or right I hear you fifty includes some storytelling shots masters don't need a lot of touching and you know, detail shots stone and there are some images that go totally untouched you know? Um so I would say about out of fifty probably twenty to twenty five are being retouched and that's including dodging and burning I consider that part like any time you go in a photo shop to touch an image I know you can do dodging a burning in light room I don't because I just don't enjoy the control you have over it but uh I know it's a time suck and I think a it's so worth it that's what my clients are paying for I want them to look their best from putting images out the door I want them to look awesome uh so I will get to this and we talk about touching heavily recommend outsourcing um it's good for you to be skilled and kind of know what can be done um as a photographer and you should know kind of what possibilities there out there um I loved in my hours I'm a super fast awesome or toucher but that's not what I want to spend my time doing I used to enjoy it I don't so much anymore now I'm kind of like someone else could do that and do it better than me and that's color roddy uh so I would definitely consider that and then you'd constructor and into your pricing but it's a good question but I do show only you know, retouched images I mean if it needs it does that make sense we'll talk more about what is retouched and what isn't is that the question coming up? Okay good just in regards to the number of images and uh jeremy I was wondering if uh what if a client asks for all the images? Well all the images that are shown absolutely shaken by the x will sell the cd of all images but if she wants all the images taken that's ridiculous I don't think anyone would ask for that like seriously I want to see everything that's a control freak but I would say oh no you know these are the ones that worked these this is my set of selected images yeah hold true to your policy you had mentioned earlier and used again just now the word masters when you're referring to certain types of shots could you just explain to folks but sure that's a wide shot that kind of sets the story tells us where we are and who this is um what is our setting it's kind of the furthest back it's the most wide angle. Thank you. Yeah any more from our studio when sexy six pack we have going on over here when you, uh send you send your twenty twenty five images is there a way you can know how long it will take both in terms ofthe your cost? Because maybe one customer has a perfect skin so the coverage touching its little or another one he's very happy, right? Well, colorado charges per hour instead of her image which I think is more accurate um because some images like that could be done in under a minute and some might take a few minutes more. So I think an hourly charge is probably much more, um effective than a per image charge. Is that what you're saying in terms of time in terms of turn around everybody when you sell uh the product to the customer you still don't know how much uh it will take for every single image to people's process, so the cost for post processing is something that you keep it very variable in the sense that for one customer no, no, no it's all built into you, you know the cost of my products album the session and it doesn't vary that much it's like maybe fifty bucks a hundred bucks color but he's very affordable, so it doesn't like very like once up it's fifty and then it's three hundred it's never like that always kind of like middle road. Yeah, and go ahead, do you like? My problem is I have a hard time like making decision quick, oh that's, great that's, great it's so similar like one hand change and I can't make up my mind that just come with time knowing like, well, the hand down there, how did you get cricket choosing your best one? Because I just I have a hard time doing that. I started valuing my time or I just kind of said, you know what? I'm tad in this chair, you are out of this chair in a half an hour, so what? I'm seriously, you know, when you're on a tight deadline and you really got to go do something else when you actually have no time, you zero and you kind of know what you like anyway, for some reason we enjoy suffering over it going up, but isn't that is that um, just do it and move on and take a breather, you know, go to bed and then the next morning, look it again and go, you know what? I was right. I don't even know why those air so b minus. Okay, you mentioned earlier about not deleting in camera, but after you call through or pick out your favorites, do you delete the ones that you're not? You still keep them just in case I don't keep him just in case I keep them, because why dally it's? Just an extra step? I don't really you're editing process he's done the same day, or you let some days passed between the shoot and the thinking process. Good questions really depends on my schedule. This kind of varies, but I always come home and immediately start the import into the light room. I put my camera bag down, pop out card, stick it in there and importing until like room sometimes import takes awhile, especially now that she can't move five demark, too it's like, wow, taking a long time to import people do like photo mechanics for that, I think, um, is another program that's a little faster, but I like to just keep it all in one, so I will usually I just can't wait to get to them and I'll do it that evening after a shoot I want time to pass I'm never looking at them immediately after the shoot I kind of want to step away so but sometimes like that'll be my late night geek out I'll just take a half hour ago who and I'll do my first pass and then wake up from I'm kind of fine tune it a little bit more but I like to put breathers in between it's interesting how much when you get distance from a shoot the pastor editor you are in a way go ahead of you said that like the next morning you go back so do you normally have multiple sittings to get down to your selects um sometimes it's just one if it was a crazy awesome shoot uh like yeah I know ken isn't the less it's gonna take me oil we spent a long time we do a lot of fun stuff uh so I think I'll probably do that in three sittings first second third pass had nice thighs requested for you from digital purposes uh when you are using these photos in your portfolio your website your blawg do you ask for your client's written permission before posting grace uh this photos are more delicate so for wedding photos you might do a sneak peek and all that how does that work with edouard great question I'm gonna answer to different first of all I never do a sneak peek for a client session I don't like tease them at all I just definitely call them that night after the shoot and just let them know how awesome it was I took a sneak peek at your picture unloving it especially the ones where we did this that and the other thing I'm very specific but it's just a quick little note it's really actually tease her pain because I know that night just going my ass on her big screen and I can't believe I got naked and you know how women are so you saw her naked color um is that you are awesome on and uh um so I don't really block a sneak peek in terms of getting permission and stuff I don't really require that for my clients in fact I'm moving a further further away from blogging clients bac for a few readings one is started creating a lot of arguments between husband and wife wife wanted a blob um husband really didn't they get into an so any negativity towards experience it's kind of like that's a bummer and happened a couple times and then like by the third time I was like okay seeing a pattern here and I don't want to continue that also sometimes they're super excited but then like six, eight months down the road something changes or maybe you know whatever, for whatever reason there all of a sudden little conscious that there odds all out there, then? I'm shooting higher profile people on there going like I'm showing too much skin. Um, or, you know, they're in a position of authority where they feel like being on aug and their underwear isn't necessarily such a good idea, and I totally agree, um, and then I want some kinds not to be offended if I don't log on and probably only not blogging because I did that hotel, I don't want to keep showing the same stuff I like to keep my block fresh, so I'm more, more moving. Tio I don't just I don't block the client images every now and then I really want to, so let them now, like, you know what? I really am gonna want to block? Your image is totally not necessary or expected or required in any way, but I would really love to bloggers in particular, because maybe it's, you know, older woman or a breast cancer survivor, some something I think everyone would love to see. Uh, kirby girls I loved blogging knows because everyone thinks I just bought my home and I don't there's a ton of curvy girls lets go through my archives.

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