Skip to main content

Shoot: Budget Hotel Room

Lesson 11 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

Shoot: Budget Hotel Room

Lesson 11 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

11. Shoot: Budget Hotel Room

Next Lesson: Sexy Styling


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

Shoot: Budget Hotel Room

Okay so we're gonna start off with one of the chutes we shot on tuesday um we wanted to duplicate kind of ah experience the most food wire photographers have body conscious uh soccer mom woman plus size but has the same insecurities as most women do and um very budget hotel like super low budge because I know when I was shooting in l a and I shoot in new york a lot of people like you have all the sexy boutique hotels of course that looks amazing it's like well I'm shot and really crappy hotels teo and it's a for you to get creative and work around it so we're just going to show a little bit of the footage and then we'll show you some of my selects um location is a very nondescript budget hotel room I think the room was about one hundred twenty nine bucks for the night and usually I book it the night before and when I first arrived I kind of check it out see where the best light is um so I've already taken a peek around moved to tennis stuff already esso I like tio do three locations wi...

thin the suite so we have the four foot gray backdrop with the stroke that's going to be one set up sometimes I set them up in the bathrooms I set him up in front of the front door if there's no room there's always somewhere you can fit a four foot so that's one set up on dh then the bedroom is another one that's that way uh right here this will be our second set and there's plenty well is not plenty but we're going to make it work there's some natural light coming in here and so we decided to do this one hundred percent natural light and what I usually do is remove everything off you know, take the phone down the lamps and all the church keys to make it as clean a set is possible and then I take the paintings down um and then we're gonna go over here the only piece of furniture that actually almost nice eyes this chair so we're going to use this chair probably shoot that natural light by this window here has watched as possible and that's it so my supposed to advance here? I guess that's one time I was going to say is that's pretty much what I do when I get to go to a hotel? I'm looking for where's the best light I'm looking for three distinct sets if I don't feel like in this particular instance there's a third quote unquote set corner of the room part of the suite that I like then I will set up the studio backdrop especially when I'm doing parties I want to have one set that it's easy to light that it's gonna work they don't have to think about I got my settings down and I can just get that up anywhere s o I usually bring the grey and the stroke with me and can you have a question is do you inform the hotel that you're doing a shoot there on dh? If so, are there any great guidelines and how to do that? Do hotels have issue with that or awesome question? I get asked out, what about that? So questions I get asked, do I get a permit and do I tell them and do I book the night or the date night next night or what? So I don't tell anybody what I'm doing I'm not recommending this to anyone, I'm just I'm pretty low key I let my client book the hotel this way it's like her job, her responsibility, her liability and so she will book it the night before is what I request because I'd rather start really early and keep extending check out as much as possible and I usually get late checkouts toe like three or four I can kind of really work that, um and I, um don't bring a lot of equipment with me and I'm very low key and I don't bring it up to the front desk I'm not the one checking in, but I usually bringing in later um and I don't ever say anything and I've been shooting in hotels now for three years it's never been an issue again not recommending that for everybody just a little ass trick on that um what else? Anything about shooting at hotels? Yes, I do shoot in the lobby by the way um I will just I know where I want to shoot I'll tell the girl beforehand with the actions that were gonna dio what kind? I just checked my setting super quick and then I don't have ah battery pack I don't have a hood I'm very late keep my camera down on my hip I've put her in the position and I take a couple of shots and we move on um and I'm definitely more practiced in asking for forgiveness than for permission that's just so that's that um so yeah, just back to the super quick so it's all based on lighting and then also at what's cool sometimes there's just a little piece of wallpaper that really looks cool so use that as a backdrop there's mirrors at every hotel that I love to work with um there's usually like a coffee table that khun use some way so you got to get really creative, especially the budget hotels and if you I don't know if you saw it or if we mentioned it but there's a lot of crap are that cheap hotels you got to take that stuff off and believe me you can you just get it jigger it? Yes, funky two thousand four had the question I booked a hotel and couldn't take down the wall hanging yeah, you have to incorporate it and we're going to see a shot of how I did that with some crap part but yeah, also I always bring black muslim because you could just cover it up already. Yeah that's what I'm talking about a perfect re your right hand higher on your collar yeah, right now actually go ahead and left like actually do it yet be cool. I love that necklace. Are you serious? It's crazy needed a favor. I want you to just shaking like that bullshit all forward. I know it's hard because you get extensions in but do this work with the bottom go and look at me dead in the face but here's what I don't want to do don't keep pulling your chin in very unflattering on everybody how about in your sleep and zip your jacket? Yeah, exactly. Go for way yeah, shoulder all the way over. Yeah, exactly like that they yeah, yeah, and dry it feels good. Yes, keep going, keep going. Yeah, I was just gonna say open your arms and chest perfect awesome. Okay, let me see if this is going to show the stills okay, so this is just a couple shots that I like from the studio um and color and he did some were touching because she did pull her neck and a little bit on the one on the right so they clean that up a little bit look at the light source awesome oh, yeah you just did it awesome. Thank you. Perfect with your eyes look at me I've only eyes only on me. Okay, relax for a second, okay? Okay, I'm just cross your legs and back I'm kind of seeing them sorry. Okay, you can let him go. Okay? Beautiful. Okay, um laugh your ass off john bend your head over and do a hair flip do something bend your hair over this way yeah, and then back up ready, billy your land and just go I'm serious. I'm totally serious ready to bend your hair already gorgeous stood again to it again keep going. All right, awesome let's see a couple of pics from those really beautiful in actual light, right? She looks great. She looks relaxed, he looks comfortable. I love my negative space, right um so you don't really need a bang and set to get you know you just framing and really tight here's the next segment wait one second you've got like a cone head area much better all right that way you're going you're good you're good okay um here's what we're gonna do I want you to have fun all right have fun have fun throwing up in the air like you're enjoying yourself you're having a pillow fight of your one can you like rub your body all over yeah there we go thank you keep going good keep going uh that's awesome awesome lift one sided that slip up yeah nice smooth yeah I like that smile and your perfect one more can you give me a shoulder more more shoulder perfect good all right okay so obviously this is edited for time and we just cooked little snippets out for you to see but you kind of get an idea like I'm constantly coaching and repeating things over and over again and um thinking of also what will end it well together in terms of the album like if I have her tossing the pillar around and laughing I want you know maybe that side beside with her peeking over the pillow doing stuff like that which we'll see in a second see that shot you know technically whatever composition but I mean it's an awesome moment of her life laughing enjoying yourself it's a riel moment and she looks super cute here and like she actually was having a really great time that is the magic of editing so that's really typical of kind of we're going to talk about this tomorrow about telling a story and kind of putting elements together so you kind of get an idea of like a little storyline and they're not just pretty pictures they're not just portrait's all lined up in a row of the same thing it's like you know something's going on there seven a good time with herself in the hotel okay, so this is what I think the last gorgeous gorgeous you don't want ten but that laughing into pillow all right so now let's take this sheet kind of roll over great excellent. Just get out of your shoulders a little bit you got it oh, perfect did it again I see more thigh uh yep bring your knee up more okay, perfect how do your shoulders and then I had to toss your hair back again loving it loving being naked okay, excellent. Awesome. So is there honestly she really opened up shot naked right onto really funny she's like wow it's so much more self conscious when I was a particle of excuse she felt silly for some reason but when she got naked she got you pretty much opened up right any questions I love working with sheets by the way um so I love like creating leading lines with it it can hide or reveal as much as you want teo people, I mean anyone it flatters everyone naked and white sheets. But one of my favorite set ups eight twenty three photo has a question about the linens. Do you use the linens in the hotels or do you have a nice flight? Leave blanket or specific color that you bring or have the client bring? Um, no, I always go with what's at the hotel it's usually white. Yes, and we have excuse me several questions about the just shooting at a hotel. Yeah, this is a good time to address it. Alright, do you, uh, let's? See, sorry, one second, no problem from just step begun can't get enough. Oh, uh, scout which room makes best works best or use any that you get? I will change rooms like I've changed rooms who my record is three times to make sure I get the best team possible. So I definitely do that. Uh, this shoot, I didn't. I kind of showed up on the producers had booked a room and I was just going to make it work and that was part of the exercise. Um, throwing as many challenges me as possible and so I will and I have no qualms asking, can you move me, move me to a room with better light I requested I'm like, you know the room that corner room with a lot of light they go oh, you know, for twenty three is awesome. So I usually ask for that when I'm booking it or I don't book it I requested and then the client actually books and pace event imaging is wondering, do hotels ever have problems or ever question you when shooting in the lobby or general areas? Um, no, because I move really quickly. Um, usually it's kind of busy and we just kind of don't make a big production out of it, and I don't it's just usually mean a girlfriend and, you know, we just walk around like, okay, there's a guy over there just lean up against the wall and flirt with me, okay, done. Then we move on, so I haven't been questioned. Um, is during that time is your client wearing lingerie or she know she's wearing like a cocktail dress? Well, I have shot lingerie and the elevator in the hallways like so around the room, but if we go to the lobby she's wearing way thank you for clarifying e j bamba five asked who pays for the hotel and we've seen that question a lot. Yeah, client does but that's totally up to you on and how you wantto organize your packages and pricing if you want, you can book a hotel and then you know, say hey photo party going down on the fifteenth I've got three slots available and then you take the hotel cost um that's a great way to book that's also a great way we'll talk about this on the third date offer discounted packages to do a boat a boudoir photo party um without actually discounting your your service doesn't make sense it's a different yeah package offering not gonna be great to talk yes, we will talk about that on day three we have more questions. Yeah gone this is a good time. Great amy bloom is wondering how would you ever shoot at a client's house? I have and I will yeah, of course they don't seem to really want that often I think they want to get sexy outside I don't know I have done it before but I have to say also part of the experience to go to a hotel like kenna was saying yesterday it was so fun it was like almost someone was getting married because we're all going to this hotel and getting dressed up they got men ease and pettys and, um, you know, we had some champagne and chocolate and I had a little girly time, so I wouldn't I always love to sell the whole inch a lot of experience so in that way it would be a little reluctant because I feel like it would didn't that experience a bit question so people warn against going to hotel rooms with photographers and charlotte like you'll steal here that don't go toe don't do a photo shoot in the whole terrible if they said you that you know, be warned for, like, single women or whatever s o do you set that? Do you have a studio or do you just automatically you know, you were going to the hotel that's the best part of the process? Or um I let the creative direction of the shoot dictate the location I did have a studio in l a and I just found, like I didn't use it often, so it wasn't an expense that was really warranted. So in new york, I don't I'll rent one if I wanted, uh, for the afternoon, but, um, you know, I've never had that issue where, um, people warned against you, I don't know warned against shooting me at a hotel um but it's not like it's enforced, we can shoot wherever they want, wherever they're comfortable, we can do it at their home if they want um but again my clientele is pretty ford thinking you do not have a studio where do you set the meetings with your customers? Ah that's a good question we I've never really had a pre session like people don't feel like they need to meet me in person so we always have the consultations over the phone always um but when I do the order sessions those air always in person and usually I like to do it during happy hour but you know that's part of my brand it's all about celebration having fun and I like to do like if I do a friday shoot well kind of if they're coming in from out of town would I get a lot of shoot mostly people like destination boudoir coming to new york city for a sexy weekend they booked the hotel we shoot on friday they arrive thursday night we shoot on friday and then on sunday at happy hour like we have oysters and champagne or martinis and whatever and I show them their images there or we'll go into the lobby of the hotel we shot thank you would never meet a client at starbucks remember this represents your brand so you know just to know you know to sell depends I f starbucks is your brand model you're all set uh lots of folks have been asking misty a nineteen seventy five what about wardrobe? Who provides the wardrobe and how much interaction do you have with the clients about that today? Do they ever expect you to have that and have it work yeah, well we're going to talk about wardrobe in the next segment but just briefly like I have a lot to say about it actually because it's one thing you can't change, you know after the fact and it does represent your brand once again that is such a part of what your images so the clothing that they choose is very much going to reflect your brand so plus they don't really know what works what doesn't work they kind of have their own idea but so you collaborate if you've been doing it long enough, you know the things that work on everybody you know, the things that don't work well, you know stuff that you're just not attracted to you and you go oh, I don't want to shoot that like I'm not going to shoot a football jersey just not gonna do it if your friend if your husband is a fan of that football team, we're going to find a better way we're gonna find more classy way to do it you know, like I'll tattoo something that's just not gonna have you holding a football in the football jersey that is just not gonna happen. Ah martin is wondering how long is a typical shoot from the time the client enters the room and has makeup and everything done to the time it's wrapped up ok so hair makeup usually takes an hour and a half I tried teo. Minimize that time as much as possible, but generally about an hour and a half. And then we're shooting for about two hours. But that's, what stops in between to change outfits and get makeup changed. And, um, sometimes it's. Uh, sometimes it takes longer if we're doing like a really dramatic change in hair and makeup. Um, but usually in terms of shooting time, it's like an hour and a half of actual shooting time because women get tired. It's, hard work.

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