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Favorite Photoshop Actions

Lesson 37 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

Favorite Photoshop Actions

Lesson 37 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

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Lesson Info

37. Favorite Photoshop Actions


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

Favorite Photoshop Actions

And here is the uh after but here's the before so again I'm just showing you a little bit of her touching and also removing some distractions we talked about yesterday had how I did that um used the liquefied I like the hair up and just to give a little kick in her back um and I softened it with a little bit of two actions which I'll show you some going to go back to the before actually that's not totally the or but I am here my actions on dh I love using lovely um lovely and ethereal um it's actually a different name under totally rad actions it is um I'll have to think about it for a second it's my own words my own term uh lovely in a cereal oh shoot I have to think about it I totally forgot these were different names um that it's in action set one and let's just play that and um you can separate out each action if you want to have more control and sometimes I really dio so I separate right now just for speed I went through all the steps but if you go into the layer you can you know ...

change these up you can adjust by layer and I never use one hundred percent of an action I usually use more like ten percent but do you see how like this makes the dark starker and as a touch of goshen blur it's the one thing I don't totally love about this and that's why I use a lot less of it cause I don't love goshen blur but you there is a way that you can turn that off you can call them and ask where they give you a tutorial if you love this action like I do so much um um you can turn that off but this is pretty much what I do on almost everything lovely in theory a ll pretty eyes er you I'm certain licked yet derelict I don't like because it's too harsh I'm very yeah pale so harsh hard to flatter people with derelict but pretty isar thank you thank you, thank you, my favorite if I have to say what I use most often it's this and sometimes even ten percent is enough um this right now is at forty nine I'm kind of happy with that where I come from where you purchased them. Yes, absolutely, totally rad actions on dh they've given out prizes this week um weekend I just think they're so easy to use they're so friendly tutorials are great I think they're I just think they're right ever like better word I love them and I I've looked at other actions and I like to be consistent so I stick with thes and so lovely and materials when I use all the time me show you another one I use a lot colorized it's kind of ah de saturation it's just kind of my look and style uh I love black and white so even in my color I still want to feel the light shadow black and white so I'm always de saturating lips I never I don't like vibrant colors it's not part of bold colors are not part of my brand so um so what's going here uh usually turn off that high past mid tone snap to keep it soft I tech up usually the selective de saturation the color curve tweak if you need a boost in light but I usually turn that off um and then I kind of futz with we turn off that for a second uh the overall saturation and then I'll go back into the warming till not down so I you know, I don't just stick one on and put it at one hundred percent like I'm really futzing with it and basically I'm just looking tio enhance the mood and usually it's colorized and um and pretty eyes er er excuse me little happy there. So what do you guys think? I just think it's soups up soup set up kind of without question from frantic and I know we talked about this a little bit yesterday but with a curvy figure client would you still use the liquefy tool or would suck would slimming be offensive oh that's such a good question I used the liquefy tool and I'm not changing like I said I don't really want to change their size I just want to enhance their shape and like just tuck in any like sometimes if the garters air pushing in on you know where your bra straps pushing in or you're like leaned over like this you know you've got like extra little roll up it out there just like pushing in a little I'm not like taken off twenty pounds I'm not changing the woman's size just enhancing the shape and smoothing things out so I do it teo I make the same exact changes to the skinny girls as I do the curvy girls it's like the same thing I'm enhancing shape same exact thing okay so here's before and after you see the actions on that so so all I did was again the same same thing another favorite action of mine and maybe nicole you could help me out with the name of this loveliness cereal just to get it just a little bit of a softer light that's at full power and it's a little much for me so I'll just drag this down this way and so soon I mean can you see it on the screen well okay and then I'll dio another favorite and a question from your mel yeah, you talked about your two favorites, but if you do one shot with an action, do you do all of them that way to maintain consistency for that one client it's a great question. So each set, like wardrobe look, will either have an action or it won't, and if it does, I'll do varying degrees of it. Um, maybe one image from a set like let's say, when she was standing by the mirror, I'll do maybe a little bit more of the action like this one, but I'll keep it consistent and have the action probably put on all of them in that set. Not all fifty of my images that I'm giving to the client, but let's say the one where she was near the mirror. I want a certain light, quality and color and effect, so I'll do this. Um, god, I won't use it at one hundred percent. I like to kind of test before and after to see how much of it I want, and then slim it down a little bit. So that's just how I work with them. I try and be fast because this is another place where you can burn some time, um, and, um in addition to running my business like keeping it simple it saves me time but here's more another place where you could make a million decisions you could dio this image so many different ways and I like tio cut down my decision making so I pick some of my favorite actions and then I see which work want which one works best here so I use the same few over and over again those are probably my top three but there's other ones there's ones that air like warming I definitely love my black and white actions the dodge and burn tool contrast. Do you guys have any questions about how I use actions over black or white one just to be sure sure. Let me, um go back to this and take those layers off. Actually, let me keep that one and let's do a black and white I was going to do boring all black and white because it gives me control. Okay, so in here is where you confronts with your with your channels. This is why I have my actions this way you can just do it so it runs through it just changes it to black and white, but I like to fool around with this stuff um so sometimes I decrease the blue channel to make it like subtle and smoky soon I mean or you can like make it really high contrast so you have a lot of control here over your black and whites there was a set I did in italy and this model was just so sensual um her hair and she was part asian part italian she was gorgeous and uh just the whole mood and shatter at the golden hour it was just insane and I just had teo do those all like decreased blue channel and they're just saying like that um so each kind of set I just kind of like to say what's the mood of this and how can I push it even further? I don't like to drastically change it but it's like okay, what was I going for here and how in post can I push it more in that direction and how can I differentiate my sets even further? This is a huge part of creating variety yet if you know that you're gonna convert something the black and white do you, um mess with the wardrobe so you know, I can control that part of the outfit or this part of the set you know, with the channel controls you know, um like I'm going to put her in red because I can control this color I'm going to put great blue background behind her sock I mean, do you do you just with no it's a good question I kind of go with it I wanna make sure I picked something that flatters her and if she only has some bright colors for instance I know yeah we changed that blocking that's all she has yes parkins bread has the question is there a specific action you use for that peachy glowing skin that pt glowing skin I'd say pretty isar bhai totally red definitely does it for everybody huh? My wife shot one of my friends and one of her friends goes oh my god you look amazing who did your hair and makeup are like who did your makeup you look so great and she goes oh krista did it meaning like I did it with pretty eyes er I suppose it really it really is a pretty flying action oh brandy what about people significant blemishes or um maybe say your light or heavy realization in the face so you can work without lighting but it's just texture do you do do these actions control the structure in the images will they have one? I don't use it it's called pro retouch um I just happen to not use it and never got familiar with it I'm sure it's fabulous but I just would use the clone stamp because I would have more control that way um and now I outsource but they do have were touching tools is part it's called pro retouch from nim, do you apply these actions after you get them back from colorado? Uh, no, I do it before, yes, so colorado's absolute last step. I kind of make all my artistic decisions beforehand, because sometimes it will reduce the amount of retouching it changes the image slightly. So yeah, so you're you are editing your photos? You're sending them to colorado tio push inch? Yeah, that kind of stuff exactly? Or remove blemishes like an under I do a little dodge and burn liquefy remove distractions from the background, all that stuff, but prior to your doing it, how you want it? Yes, about how much time you spend on each image on average and on special images where you have to do a little bit more retouching how much time you spend on those as well? Um, I spent about a minute about a minute um if it's the first image of a set and I'm trying to figure out what action do I want to dio I'll maybe spend three or four minutes because I'll try a couple different actions? Um but then once I'm set, I kind of go and speed through and, um yeah, even when I am doing my retouching, I'm not spending much more and I still rather not do it and a question from alex em do you apply and action to a batch of pictures and finish up at the same time or do you go through one by one? I go through one by one now you know I tried matching once and figure it out I should maybe revisit that but I still want to adjust it one by one like I'm not doing the same adjustments to each one so and it really doesn't take me that much time and here's another reason why you want to edit down I'm not doing this for fifty images doing it for like fifteen twenty you know, fifteen, twenty minutes maybe a geek out for half an hour and make it make it a little bit sex it up a bit you have another one I just lost e b s er do you ever use any kind of textures I don't um doesn't interest me I was with a group of photographers and we're all there was like this rusted out bust like well, this is awesome protection shoot for your textures I was like I don't shoot for some texas and I just oh no I didn't do it for me and uh I'm not saying I don't like the look something photographers are brilliant with it and it looks gorgeous it's just not my style it's not really a classic and oh no I don't need one more thing to mess with and a question from casey is uh how do you address freckles when you do retouching I love freckles um so I don't want to remove a girl's freckles that's who she is if she's hating her freckles I haven't photographed anyone like that yet um but I really wouldn't want I would discourage I wouldn't wantto retouch it so I'd probably say you know what does that mean that you you physically don't do anything if you're I'm trying I will not remove you'll you'll you'll treat another part of the body but not that part of the body in photo shop um I just want to touch freckles because it's part of who they are you know and I want them to love who they are so I'll probably send them to someone else if there like I have freckles and I want you to remove them all I wouldn't do that okay so let's move on because we have a lot to cover just does anyone else have any questions about the ones I use I just used t r one um and I'm about to dive into t r to see if maybe there's one or two I want to use to add if you will just repeat those the top one's once again ok I love using pretty isar I love using colorized and seventies I do use um bitch in black and white and boring black and white antique tone is nice rusty cage every now and then, when I'm shooting outdoors. But if I have to pick the top three it's. Lovely, and I'm sorry, pretty isar, which I used on almost everything, um and colorized and seventies. Ok, cool, alright, we don't need my screen. Omo.

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