Skip to main content

Flattering All Body Types

Lesson 7 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

Flattering All Body Types

Lesson 7 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Flattering All Body Types


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

Flattering All Body Types

There's so many ways to flatter body's on dh I get this question a ton how do you flatter every figure? And sometimes, like I don't want people to just focus on fuller figure women and here's why it is so it's even harder to flatter a woman who's got no curves that's where the real work comes in, you know? And I'll tell you what if a curvy girls coming to you for a photo shoot she's digging what she's got she the curvy girls love their curves f y I your boudoir photographer you already know this. Um, so you really don't need to work that hard to flatter the curvy girls they're frigging digging there occurs it's, the skinny bitches who are neurotic e just say that, um, so anyway, um, there are a lot of ways to flatter and I'm going to go through a bunch of those right now. The first one is something I've already touched on and it's what you're focusing on, so I'm going to focus on flattering miss nicole by focusing on what she loves about herself, it's what I'm focusing on it, things li...

ke such a no brainer, but people get tripped out and trying to flatter a body when all you have to do is focus on what she loves it's a instant win right if you love let's say your shoulders your cleavage in your hair one of my focusing on you know what if you say you love your legs and your mouth what am I focusing on? I don't have to work that hard to flatter it right um so I'm focusing on body parts you love and then I'm also focusing on spirit and personality those qualities that they really want to capture that they love about themselves or they want to aspire to I like to do a little bit of all then you can also flatter with angle super important gosh just changing your angle changes everything so it's important to walk around to find the most flattering angle I don't believe in rules I mean there's a couple things like obviously what's closest in your frame is gonna closer to your frame's going to appear bigger stuff like that that we all know, but I don't necessarily know the most flattering angle on kenna I'm gonna walk around or I'm going to look around and try things out, then go over here over there over there. Um so give yourself permission to walk around and find that flattering angle just because you're five ten doesn't mean you should shoot from there a couple things just standard ifyou're shoot from above it's a definitely flattering angle too slender rise a bit if you are shooting full bodied or leg shots you want to shoot that from below the waist I'm horrified when I see it it is obviously a tall dude shot back pinup and her torsos like this and her legs are like that my very first boudoir shoot that I did my friend took the pictures he's six ridiculous I don't know what he is but I kept saying squat down dammit I'm sure enough s so I had to keep telling him the squat down to shoot below my waist to make me a pure have longer legs so that's definitely one rule and everything closest the camera appears larger further appear smaller so you know if you were shooting her from if she's laying on the bed and you're set here and maybe she wants to focus on her great boobs and not so much her ass then obviously you're going to shoot from her head point of view does that make sense so easy oh sorry and then lens choice you can obviously longer lenses offer compression you know wider angle the long gates not so as flattering so if you can work with the eighty five with one hundred or the seventy two two hundred then obviously that's a it's a great choice but a lot of times we don't have the room for it so it's not always possible but if they are very flattering lenses they're super sexy and then lighting um definitely can flatter using certain lighting techniques a few that I use or short lighting this is you guys know short lighting okay, so basically the broad side of her face is in shadow what's in light is that slim sliver on the end so it's um a slimming technique that makes sense it's really simple and then backlit I love shooting backlit anyway, but, um I do tend to overexpose when I know woman his body conscious um and again she could be any size it's just the personality type its body conscious it's not necessary plus or skinny? Um so I like tio overexpose it a touch and then you just see the drop off. You don't really see where her body begins and ends. You just kind of see a nice little silhouette and you just see overexposed and you never really see where her body ends and feathering kind of the opposite. I do this with my strobe on a black or gray backdrop. You turn the light and we'll cover this tomorrow, but I just kind of wanted to address it here briefly because it's definitely a way to flatter if you turn your light source your strobe away from your subject so just the edge of it is hitting her there's this really beautiful drop off that just kind of dropped off to black so again you don't see where her body begins and ends you just kind of see the highlights and then everything else fades to black um and I trying to do the same thing with the high angle so it's not necessarily flatter a feathering but again we'll touch on it tomorrow I choose a high angle sometimes with my medium soft box and the light doesn't get down all the way to the bottom you know it only kind of comes up here and it starts fading to black all right postures is good posture is everything and when I'm touching I'm actually just we're touching to give better posture so sometimes it's like dropping the shoulders down it's putting the chin out like I'm constantly coaching chick now neck down get out because I said that shin out neck down it might feel a little awkward but it's very flattering um and extreme posture going to stand up for us so if you're just standing kind of like this this is kind of like uh but if you start getting really extreme in it and whatever you d'oh you create some awesome curves and like a long gate really pushing it to scream I'm all miked up here I feel constrained but you can't I don't know I'm not wearing a fitted shirt but any way you could see that my body's like more flattered when I'm pushing something to the extreme rather than just kind of you know, like that, um, contra post o this is an italian term it's on our terms, it just means that how can I put this? Um, it's not quite an s curve, but your shoulder access you're basically your body is twisted on its vertical access, so maybe shoulders pointing one way hips towards another. That's contra pasto any sculpture like look all through the town renaissance it's a gorgeous, flattering posture. So I do coach this all the time and really an s curve is just an exaggerated version of contra pashto hands. Okay, what makes it for me? A posture good poses the hands. Im a hand freak. I love hands. I think they're so a motive and sensual and really either make or break a shot to me, it's all in the hands. So I always coach very light fingers. Like what killed it for me is like a claw. Like you see all the tension in that hand, right or it's just in like the wrong spot. And I don't feel like let me lay down and show you something. You know, I I'll show this with the models, but basically where you place the hands can also enhance the shape. Like if I put it at the peak of my hip versus right here it makes a big difference is going to like what in my hips if I put it here depending where I put him on my waist you can either short on my waster like make it look bigger so hand placement is really important but also it's going to kill the mood you can tell right away if someone is tense or not based on their hand since I like also risks I think wrists are vulnerable and they're sexy rather than like this side of the hands a little more aggressive but like all of a sudden just risked their just how is it just me they're sexy right and I like to see separation of fingers so I always coach that separation of fingers so usually like the middle like if you're taking off your strep you're goingto do it sexually you're gonna like do it like this not like like that and what else with the hands that's pretty much it but I always say the kind of like lightly touch your body so you're barely touching yourself instead of like I mean you could do it aggressively that's its own thing but I'm generally coaching like yet uh gosh I get distracted so easily placement of head and neck okay this is another thing so I'm paying attention to this a lot obviously I want the head um towards the light but sometimes if it's just crappy light I just have them not look and then I make the focus something else on their body but also this is another thing that I'm photoshopping most frequently it's like neck shoulder tension and a kick in the kick in the back if they didn't do it or they get exhausted and kind of lose it, I kind of kicked that in for them, but I also like a long gate that neck um that makes a big difference and flattering someone drop the shoulders I already talked about it arms crossed okay here's something this is more when you go to frame something, so if I'm framing someone let's, say chest out I usually have them cross their hands down here. Why? Because it creates a nice curve. It also creates cleavage no brainer so that's part of posture but I coach that all the time, especially when doing close ups, right cannon and then legs crust so if I'm doing from the fire how I never shoot anyone framing them like this like with their legs apart unless it's like an extreme I'm making a point of it my legs are open, I'm always crossing the legs so my frame cuts off here and everything it's just what I d'oh everything ends in a curve so I want the arms crossed from crab in here I want the legs cross oven crop in there so I'm always doing that adjustment any questions so far because I feel like posing trips a lot of people up but it's really not that difficult? One one quick question yeah what happened if what your customer loves about herself doesn't look so great in camera huh uh it's not for me for me to judge um I wouldn't really go really you like your whatever not looking so good um she likes it for a reason uh what have you had that experience cars huh? What did ugo I gave him more selection but I've put what she loved side yeah it's her decision in the end but right I didn't know if it was the right choice on up I think it was the right choice. I mean just I think it's a question for you to answer but yeah it's not for me to judge her body through me to get to know what she loves about her body and then find the best way possible to flatter and also I sometimes ask because if you just love your ass like it doesn't give me a lot of information sometimes like what do you love about it? Some people are like oh, because it's big and dunk you know, whatever then I want to make sure I shoot it to enhance that not trying to minimize it know what I'm saying so what do you love about your legs that they're really muscular that they're slender what do you love about your hands at their elegant or you know what? Um so that's great question actually because I should have said more about that before anything else yes go go I have a hard time shooting full body shots okay myself kind of cropping in aa lot and I don't know why it's not even like I haven't had the lenses but it's awkward like it I don't know if it's the wrong lens because it seems small they seem small they don't seem equally not exposed but equally proportionate when I shoot it what are you using the twenty four seventy amusing twentyfourseven yeah there's a little with distortion towards the edge of the frame right john talk to me about this um sounds good, but yeah, I can tell you that if you're shooting with the twenty four seventy and you're framing them they're in their whole body in pretty tight like there's some distortion at the edges there. Andi so it is your lens choice but there's ways you can photograph the whole body without feeling awkward but you don't need you don't need me full body shots I never take a lot, you know, maybe five out of thirty five because I'm going for him we'll talk about this when we stay talk about shooting to sell one a variety and I do love my close ups, the medium shots, extreme close ups and then a few masters um, but I am really focused on body parts, too, and personality so rarely and machining a ton of a full body shot, ok, yes, um a couple people have a question on summer lansky has a question about how do you work with flattening the stomach, flattening the stomach that's kind of a guy? I don't know if I flattened stomachs unflattering, oh, flattering stomachs finding in flattering there's a couple how about a treat stomach if it's something that they love? Great, but I shoot a lot of I showed a lot of moms, I showed a lot of moms who don't love their stomach, so I don't find myself shooting that a ton. Having said that, I've also shot moms who, like, go to the gym four hours a day and have sick abs and that's what they say they love about themselves because they've worked so hard for it or whatever. So I feel like it's all or nothing, you don't love your belly or you don't. So, um, if I am shooting it, it's probably super easy because they've got rock hard abs or whatever if I'm not so easy to work around lying on your stomach is a great one anything where you're like turned to the side I'm shooting from that angle right? I don't see your belly like I've done I have done sheets with like very new moms um and so yeah you just work around it thank you okay moving on um I line I consider this part of the post so I talked a little about my favorite islands but this is kind of this is definitely posture imposing so the first thing a non model will do when they step in front of the cameras like where do I look so I give that to our pretty much right off the bat as soon as we start I'll tell because they're like doing looking you are or were or do you want me to look and I just say I give her my favorite islands at the light source down your body at me and I cz closed and I say and do him in this order ago I'll coach you along and don't look at me unless I ask you to look at me and then when I d say I say with your eyes only look at me because sometimes I want them you know, just I don't want them directly at me um so I like to coach these also and every put pose that I d'oh because I want a variety and some expressions go better with some poses but now I'm in editing I'll be able to kind of choose okay I have a lot of her looking at the light source there are a few of her a couple of her looking down at her body a couple with her eyes closed couple at the camera but I like this one better with that do you know what I mean and this is easy for hurdle it's a natural flowing way tio organically coach model just okay started the light source that's always the easiest just look at the light source and then you like tweaker imposture and then ok look down your body the slight smile with your eyes only look at me and then okay close your eyes and enjoy yourself in that order a couple of questions yeah because we're about to move on to different great uh anna mc g eighty nine asks what do you do about search marks and cellulite I ever touch it um so here's my retouching philosophy I will definitely were touched anything that the woman is embarrassed about but I wouldn't necessarily um you know I will let her tell me what she eats and believe me I can't stop her from telling me like I have a search warrant okay why were touch that and cellulite same thing like no one wants pictures of their you know that kind of stuff so I retouch it for sure that was I don't want selling like e I wanted to come on was that I loved that stood out to me was when you with the eyes to the light are looking looking to the light was when you did say like, flirt with the light like when you were talking about with the thing that is very different coaching then just look at the light that's a good way that's true and you're absolutely right you do have to say I find flirting to be a good one because everyone kind of giggles at that and you just become a little silly and that means I'm not gonna presuppose anything you could put anyone in that light source that you want teo does it for you so I don't even say husband like flirt with you know who over there um and you definitely get a good react a better reaction than if you just say yeah look at the light source kind of how do you deal with a strap marks after doing a wardrobe change? That's a good question if you are in a hurry and you do have strap marks because you've done nude or something after some heavy straps you have to photo shop it it's just unavoidable unless you have the time toe wait yeah jenna how do you know the women who wouldn't pucker face all the time because they have this conception of like what they think should be sexy and so they come in here yeah, it kind of runs your facebook profiles or everyone makes that duck face yeah yeah and they do without pointing it out without making them feel self conscious about it but I told you I had that one girl biting your lip the entire session and you can't say, don't do that yeah really wanted yeah, you really want to get beyond that so um I just keep coaching other stuff I said, I'll just say partner lips okay let's have a slight smile like I will, you know, try to provide a fun experience so they're laughing anyway and not doing forced faces on dh like they can't do that fish mouth, whatever what lives I don't know, whatever the hell that is if they're like doing a hair toss or stuff like that, you know? So I try and coach stuff to give them something to do instead of it I will never say don't do that because I don't want to be negative, but I don't want to like kill something, um and occasionally if she's sitting there staring at me with it, I'm going to shoot it no, I'm not going to use it, but I'm building her confidence, you know, I want her to keep hearing the chute still shooting most of what I shoot when I shoot boudoir when I shot families, it was like I shot two hundred frames and I show seventy when I shoot boudoir shoot like six hundred and show like fifty, fifty five and it's because most of what I'm doing this more than I ever would only tio let her not know that I'm like, not yet yeah, no building your confidence so you have to keep coaching other stuff that would be my suggestion I've had to do it yells nicole, what about the one who is so nervous that they can't stop talking? And then while you're talking, keep respond that's one thing I just stop talking, okay? Because that'll ruin everything because it'll be in middle class uh it's just not attractive and there's nothing you can do and every single shot wilson because she was talking so I do have this. Okay, no talking. You could do whatever you want, bust out laughing or whatever, just no talking e I will say that you kind of have tio you ain't getting anywhere. The person's talking it happens to get a little nervous and they get a little chatty have a question from sam cocks do you suggest different poses for clients with very short hair at versace and very long hair actually sank, so both short and long oh, that's, an awesome question, I guess. Um, I would really I'd love to shoot her if short hair like, I'm sure her neck is pretty sexy, and that would be cool. But no, I really let the client tell me what her favorite stuff is. So obviously, with short hair girl, we're not doing the hair toss right, waken below it a little bit, and we could screw it up a little. But, yeah, there's, no hair. Toss it, jj.

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