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Styling Q&A

Lesson 14 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

Styling Q&A

Lesson 14 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

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Lesson Info

14. Styling Q&A


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

Styling Q&A

Are there any done to death outfits are poses to avoid and that's from sam cox yes sam cox good question there's some that I feel are done to death and I don't dio um woman lying on her back with feet up on the headboard seen it a million times don't do it really don't love a woman with her head on the edge of the bed looking back at the camera with her eyes rolled all back in her head I mean that looks so unnatural and unsexy and I see it and almost everyone's portfolio jasmine it's um then the other one I don't do is woman line on her don't make with her heel through her g string you've seen that one hate that is personal woman biting on pearls not gonna do it um yeah the football jersey not going to do that either this is just a personal preference yes so these are just things I don't want to dio um I think a great question asked is like well, what if your client really wants to do it and you don't um I try and discourage is much is possible by encouraging other things and saying, y...

ou know, everybody does that you know, let's do something a bit more personal meaningful but if she's really hell bent on whatever it is um you know, I like to throw my client so I will and if it wants that maybe it won't wind up in editing and she probably won't ask me about it but if she does, I'll be like big grudges and I'll be like, okay, here it is and I'll show her one shot and so I will do if push comes to shove but that's only happened once in hundreds of experiences, so going back to some questions around uh a stylist and make up, huh uh, lulu had asked, what are the makeup priorities? Okay, my personal priorities are for definition I want contouring I want contouring of the chief, says that's not something I can create on my own I want contouring of the eyebrows and um defining the lips and lots of lash so those are my personal priorities like I don't need you to put foundation on her skin I don't need you to even out that's good color tone or like cover that blemish like so I can let that go john has a question unless they're individuals individual ashes are my faves uh I won't do the strips I'd rather not use them at all or he cut them up so those are my priorities maybe you have different ones have a question you may be covering this later so if you are shut me up but um you did you said you do about two hours per session roughly while shooting how many images air you usually taking in those two hours do you have do you find yourself shooting around the same amount every time? Um, no, it depends on the woman how many wardrobe outfits outfits you have and how much I'm needing to work it and build her confidence sometimes itjust works easily sometimes it requires a lot more having said that if it's like a two and a half hour shoot to our shoot it's about five to six hundred images and a lot of those, as I mentioned before are just confidence building where, you know, I don't shoot that much ever on any other portrait session um or lifestyle shoot or whatever I do that's a very high for me I'm not trigger happy and I don't shoot on dr um so because I started in film so I'm not sitting there with my finger on the shutter of the whole time but for boudoir I think six hundred is a ton in a couple hours that's like a lot and then I usually show um about fifty images I tell my people to narrow it down to thirty five just to be ruthless and make sure you get your a plus plus images and we'll talk about this more editing tomorrow getting your best at it, but so if I can get it down to thirty five, fine but having said that, I like to take all those storytelling elements so when I'm shooting like we're doing hotel rendezvous that's our story line um and she's doing something in the shower you know I'm going to take a picture of the tap that says hot and gonna album thinking that hot is going to be right next to her in the shower getting all sudsy so it's not necessarily an a plus plus image in that you know wow that fawcett picture was was the stellar but it's essential to the story yeah or you know, a shot of her shoes etcetera all those details so as long as you're telling a complete story and she can't live without every single one of them like none are redundant you're not hitting the same note twice I mean yeah are you shooting? Um I know how many men you try to place in all of them all of the thirty five no I'd like to do about, um twenty twenty four syndicate tour photography is wondering what if your client wears glasses would you recommend trying to convince them not wearing them? I find them to take away from sexy oh gosh, I think glasses are sexy that's just me but I want to shoot them the way they are and feel natural sometimes like glasses are so much a part of who a person is like they just don't seemed like themselves without glasses but if it's like she just wears reading glasses every now and then then yeah, but I would actually suggest wise and she do some with and some without um yeah I haven't had to work too much with glasses but they're definitely make sure they're anti claire that's a question from alessandro seven o to do tattoos ever become an inconvenience? Um well maybe for the photographer but not the individual usually and they love their tats and they want to actually picture pictures off them um and I've photographed tattoos in many different ways um I don't necessarily love them but you know, my client does so I'll definitely hands up for them some clients have tattoos that they wish they didn't have so we were touched that if they don't want it to exist on their image than totally fine that's something I'm comfortable with totally removing but again I would never take that step without them saying yeah and I really hate this tattoo I'm getting something else on it so could you just remove it? Same line of question regarding body jewelry from from riggs h b what do you do with people who have body jury how do you feel about it? What do you advise them to wear? Oh my goodness something so funny I photograph my first julia way won't go there so let me just say that's a perfect set up tio um whatever the girl loves the girl loves you and if she's got nipple piercing or sidorsky crystals ever you know it's myself teo love my weapon and do it she would like just don't wear football surely know so in terms of body jewelry if that's what she loves like I don't advise one way or the other uh you know question good how do you approach the subject of like if somebody has an obvious scar or something like that I've shot a girl and I know a girl that has a major scholar right through here and um I didn't know howto I knew really well so I just said do you want a dinner out you know because I've known for a long time but I wouldn't do it that way with you know I don't know I mean how do you approach that subject right uh usually I that's a good question I knew she didn't like it we'll have breast augmentation scar right that I get a lot of so I usually wait to get directed from the client's point of view if I don't get any direction like I really don't like this scar would you remove it then I won't remove it but I'll try my best to kind of work around it and with lighting and or posing you know kind of not make it the focus having said that I've shot so many women with fake boobs now it's getting more and more prevalent I feel like and uh um I light in the scars I don't remove them away on them usually like I take my clone stamp and maybe thirty percent capacity and stamp it a little bit helpful times to diminish it just just a little bit and it would seem some of the similar questions about, um just acne or different, you know, different things on different parts of the body do you leave them out? You have the makeup person do it due in post, um acne something I feel okay with touching because that's not a permanent part of who she is like, you know, blemishes too, like that's fine like remove its not, like, permanent on it. So I'm okay with protesting that or do you? And I could think the question was more around the makeup do you make sure that everything's covered up or, you know, I try and get shooting quickly like to cover up all that whole other thing, I actually would rather just get shooting. You know, some people might disagree and like I'd rather be all covered up, so I don't have to deal with it later, but how about for the mom who has had children and then it is still fit and everything, but then they have that extra skin around their stomach and they want to be photographed and like underwear and bra and stuff but then that you have that extra skin down by their stomach that's you know, a little stretched mark but a little puckered do you retouch that or do you believe that? Um I wouldn't leave it, but I would I would try and work around it mean, I won't necessarily showcase that if there if there is an image where we see her full front maybe it's one or two and then I would touch it, but I would try my best to work around it during your feeling that you get when you bring them back in. Do you show them fifty pictures and say, you know, you want twenty five in a book you pick or is it artists? Do you do you pick or does the client pick I picked because I like to make it easy and no brainer for everybody and waiting for someone to do something? Sometimes it will just never happen. So I'm just gonna say, I'm going to take take a stab I think I know what you like um and I'm gonna take a stab and do this, and normally people have one change at most, but I usually kind of figure I usually pick the right ones, but they're welcome to unlimited changes but usually like they won't have any changes or the like change one so I think if you put it on your clients to do list it's not gonna happen and what about the woman that wants to see like I've had maybe one or two that have to see all of the images they want to see everything even un retouched to say, oh, I what she would have done that one like I wanted to tell him though, because I don't that's not my process but they were very personal particular about having to have that master set of images and having do you know the choose like, right? Why to say you've got to be a little bit more forthcoming about your process up front so that's part of the first phone call and I say, you know, you typically show about thirty five to fifty five images and totally depends on how many outfits cpic um, so you'll be seeing thirty five to fifty five images, so be really up front about what your process this isn't just maintained that I have no problem saying, no, I don't do that, I'm sorry, and if someone ever asked, what about the ones with the hat over by the window I go, they just didn't turn out, I say with a smile and just like, okay, so let's talk about changing subject right away doesn't happen often, but I'm not going to show something I don't feel it is really, you know, amazing or flattering on and if it didn't turn out or I don't really love it, then I'm not going to show it and I don't care how many times I ask they don't exist anymore. Deleted before the shoot. Are you coaching your clients about, uh, giving man hears and pedicures? Maxine yeah, specific about all of that that's. Such a good point. Yes, I do. Absolutely. I have my no list, like no bo talks. No new haircuts, no fake tan that's, my own personal nose. Um, and then I definitely suggest the mani pedi don't show up with chip now polished, and I suggest, um, nude only because it works with whatever color they, you know and all changes. But, you know, some want to do something trendy or read or you knew gray that's in right now, blah, blah, blah. So they can totally do that. But they definitely need teo. Um, do mani pedi for sure. Cause that's, like a lot of work in question, had been asked, um, about the hair and makeup. Is that usually the same person, or do you have two different I have a make up artist who also does hair like I like it to be one person and you definitely have some hair makeup people who don't do hair so I like to hire one that does and that's really strong in both you um briefly before about parties yeah we'll talk about it more on the third day of questions on that uh not till they three all right we'll talk about it on sunday cool. Any other question? Alejandro seventy two has a good question you know imposing how do you avoid the pornographic look? Okay, that balance that's really difficult question answer because it's kind of you know a personal opinion um some people really pushed the envelope and get very erotic and some people that's not their sensibility I remember I blogged one images I thought was really kind of up there for me um it was smoking and swing and number one for these knows my blood e got a lot of attention a lot because but I got a lot of email about that one it was definitely uh it was a booty shot girl was on her side smoking it was definitely taken from this vantage point so that booty was the story of the image and uh I had one person on pinterest go keep your porn to yourself did that bother me not at all that's her opinion she's frito have it I don't even delete the comment um totally doesn't faze me whatsoever um so I kind of just use my own taste level not thinking about what other people would think of it um so that would be my advice like whatever does it for you um then that's how you should shoot that's your style is there anything in the preparation called? Can you ask customers to do some research on images what they like yes are that do you refer to your images or is very generic? No, I say whatever images can be a magazine or another um you know, a book our book or a painting or whatever some scene from a movie, whatever and bring it from anywhere whatever speaks to you and that's a good way to know your client's taste level how far they want to go how bold or how modest um so you can definitely adapt based on that so we can kind of take a break whenever but I'm happy to take a couple more questions. All right? I have another question regarding the outfits uh, digital purposes what the difference is imposing clothing angles and selection in photos to deliver depending on age so what's the difference between twenty five year old and a fifty year old in terms of clothing choices clothing, posing angles that's a lot of questions there's one there's one okay, okay um I've shot a lot of sixty plus woman and then I shoot from the same way as she for thirty plus women I had one burlesque performer who was over sixty and she wore like a rhinestone cage and like some make that situation you know that some twenty year olds couldn't rock so totally depends on the woman age means nothing um I will let her and her taste dictate that I would never change wardrobe or opposing or any any differences um yeah, even with lighting like he used more flat why work studio lights a lot of flat lining for older a person with the wrinkles like how do you you don't want to go having high contrast I guess with older we'll just exaggerate wrinkles and stuff so you want to do more flattering straight on and that's true good point brandy or uh yeah, I'm almost had it I lost it here it is a civil area is asking if your client says let's copy this photographer shot is that ok for you? Oh yeah, you know it's so funny I've had photographers go my gosh, my client just showed me like all of your like that's totally fine, I don't care you're gonna put your own spin on it, I don't mind it, I don't know I'm not hung up about it, you could do it exactly how ii shoot workshops and people are, like, right up in here with their camera shooting the same thing. It doesn't bother me at all, so I wouldn't mind it. Um, yeah. And I asked people to bring me inspiration shots. And, you know, I tell them, you know, trying to get off my blood, go look at other stuff and let me see that. So that's no problem. Um, like, who inspires you? Who do you go? Two friends. I love this question whom I inspired by, um, in terms of photographers I love I love irving penn. Um, but I really love painters on dh fine artists. I love sculpture. I love movies and cinema, music, dancers, athletes. Um, and I let the woman inspire me. So I take all that inspiration from a lifetime of eking out on art and continually exposing myself to art. Um, and then I kind of let the woman in front of me inspire me in the moment. Um, but I geek out a ton on such an art lover, so I keep myself pretty inspired possum.

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