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Sets and Props

Lesson 13 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

Sets and Props

Lesson 13 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

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Lesson Info

13. Sets and Props

Next Lesson: 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

Sets and Props

So this is the crap aren't we were just talking about this is what I could not get off the wall it's one of the only painting that wasn't able to remove and it was just like it's actually, this hotel in san diego, it was like marina themed like boats and stuff, and I was like, I was actually teaching this was during a workshop and I was just like, okay, we can't move it, you've got to integrate it into the shot unless he cover it up, I'm not going to photo shop, and I'm gonna work with it, so I was just like, I don't know off the top of my head, this is kind of what I would do. Okay, so you gotta incorporate it. You got to make it part of the shot if you can't remove it. Um so sets what is the story? So, um, in anyone seen anyone vignette in any one area, you've got to pick a story? Do you know what I mean by that? Be picking on you. Really? Okay, so what kind of this beautiful set back here we're gonna work in later is the perfect example. So there are a lot kind of going on and for m...

e, like, I like to keep it clean and minimalist, and I like to only tell one story at a time so for this it's kind of like uh I'm either gonna focus on the chandelier and have her working you know I'm sorry and the mirror and have her working with that but I'm not going to try and get all this stuff you know what I mean in one shot maybe for one master but I like to focus on one element really? So sometimes I love shooting with chandeliers o or any kind of lights in the background because like instant boca right take eighty five do a close up with that in the background it just sex is it up? Um so I love working with chandeliers so that's why I requested this so we'll play with this later um so I just like when I say sets what's the story what's the story here it's a very specific right using the set in a very specific way um keep it simple covered that already include one two three quality elements okay, so I feel like when you guys are building your home studios, everyone goes a little crazy and they buy like a lot of different stuff and they cheez it out crap it up with budget I mean budgets fine, but I mean you're throwing like a lounge chair and like paisley backdrop, you know, I'm thinking of every cheesy thing I've ever seen all that stuff and you're trying to create this a tufted headboard like a pink final and you know all that stuff it's like let's keep it down till it's first of oil, prioritize our investments, keep it toe one, two, three quality items and focus more on the woman um and even when you're on the set like when the budget hotel I'm trying to get rid of stuff like I'm shooting down into the bed so all I see is white space and her because if you don't have expensive boutique hotel, don't try and make something out of nothing does that make sense? Um be creative? I don't even, um so yeah, when you get to some place I have used coffee table um in this one hotel florida sailing windows was gorgeous and there is a gorgeous couch and I just thought that so expected the nice this glass coffee table I'm not sure if the pictures in here actually it is when we get to light room tomorrow, I put this glass coffee table in front of the, um windows and it was backlit and basically she had likes just arched over it and was just looking smoking. So all this expensive furnishing that was super gorgeous, I didn't even wind up shooting know what I mean, I took the freaking coffee table pushed it up against the window that was it just those elements so for me, if I'm not like, I'm no set designer and I'm a mon business owner, so I'm not hiring a set designer to design sets it's not my are like my dad always said, if you don't, you're playing someone who's smarter than you remove as many pieces off the board, so it's like how I kind of like all right, I can't make this into a gorgeous set there's too many elements here, some removing most of it, including just one or two hot items does that make sense to you guys for a mayan thing? All right, be creative, honestly be resourceful bring stuff that you can work with the black muslim comes and key for me a lot and also don't forget you can shoot down the carpet sometimes is gorgeous in hotels um or it's super hardwood floor is really great because sometimes I love the light in the glare coming in, um and love the reflections off the hardwood floor, so don't forget about the floor and shooting down like frame tight that's such an easy solution. But, you know, I didn't really want to see the wall and the windows they're so screaming pretty tight and work your angles that kind already talked about that sometimes I'm shooting down for the whole time because everything else is ugly. Props and questions about steps we're gonna move on the props, props or superfund I did bring a lot of my fun props we have here and we'll play with um um they add variety super easy to throw in a prop and then she'll definitely get it um it relaxes nervous clients like I said, this is an easy set up to start with kind of a field hidden you know um it enforces your brand and style get to be known for something I'm kind of digging I dig the mass I have a bunch of this one cat mask I throwing everybody um and it's fun to see people act differently with that on um but I know you know there's a photographer is known for uh placing crowns on everybody's head or whatever your thing is, um whatever is meaningful teo um you can personalize the chute easily. So this is where you knew doing your homework and giving them some some tips beforehand asking what they're favorite things are like when we did celeste like I didn't just come up with all your shoes those props she just had eight million shoes she brought my well, you really loved shoes, huh? Why don't we do something where you're like on the capitoline play put all your shoes and it was so sexy and fun um so we're almost to q and a, so I'm just gonna finish up with this, and it creates a cool story to be sold as a set aside, kind of mentioned about with the necklace. Sometimes you could just play with the prop for a siri's of shots, and that makes her really nice spread in an album, and they're super fun there. So how can you take yourself seriously wearing a mask? Come on and important, only a handful of prop shots or useful, yes, I don't burn an hour on a prop, don't, you know, spend a lot of time. You're not gonna want a whole album with just one problem, right? So just kind of, like, make it a five minute thing. Super quick thing.

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