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Shooting to Sell

Lesson 20 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

Shooting to Sell

Lesson 20 from: The Boudoir Workshop

Christa Meola

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Lesson Info

20. Shooting to Sell


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

Shooting to Sell

Let's, talk about shooting two cells one my favorite topics because we love shooting, I want you guys to be better shooters, but let's face it, we're in business, we're not hobby, so you've gotta shoot to sell I think art for art's sake is, you know, not really interesting that's kind way of saying it, so I don't think it's really are if it's not shared, you know, if someone doesn't value it and trade for it, whether money or something else. So let's, talk about just briefly touching on some basics of composition that's, my favorite thing and retirees composition more so than lighting I geek out on composition, so I want you guys to really be intentional it's very hard when you're in a rush when there's people watching and all that, but every single element in your frame should be there for a reason, and because you intended it to be and where you place her legs at the end of the frame should be intentional, right? I think like an illustrator, it's like they add on to the frame, you kn...

ow, when they're composing an image and we have to subtract us photographers, I'm always thinking, like, taken stuff out, and then I'm shaping, um, my four walls. Okay, so be intentional that's number one because a lot of tigers like oh yeah I guess I didn't want that in the background we weren't even paying attention negative space especially if you're putting together albums for designers they need a lot of negative space to work with but also it just makes it more interesting it gives your eye somewhere to go and that's kind of where the story is if everything's in the center um it's a little boring where's your award your eye going what's the story there on the rule of thirds do you all know this rule? Yeah that's I thought most people dio so basically if you split it up into thirds both ways there's some intersex in points and those they're kind of the areas you're points of interest so I like to always have like I or lip or whatever my story is maybe it's the heel of her shoe in one of those intersection points and actually you probably do this without even, um you know, noticing um framing in tight that's invites us into the emotions of our subject. I like getting super super tight um especially with food war and that's why I love my eighty five so I do see a lot of boudoir photographers that due to get the whole body and they think it's all about the body and boot harm but it's not and especially you know as a set of let's say thirty five to fifty five images you definitely want some really tight crops you standard dimensions this is all beginner stuff okay if you're cropping willy nilly that's um really mark of an amateur and standard dimensions exist for a reason and they're universally appealing so do you know what I'm saying when I say that like lock your aspect ratio whenever you're cropping if you are cropping but I mostly cropping camera by the way I get asked that a lot on dh this one avoid crapping off that joint so no copping off at the knuckle the risk the elbow the shoulder it's sometimes hard especially working in tight spaces but you really don't want to do that during um angles working your angles they flatter your subject they create variety, eliminate distractions in your frame and don't forget that angles are positioning yourself but also your camera so again you know just because you're five ten don't shoot from that necessarily I constantly want to be taller or shorter or you know you know from the side or from above a shoot from above a lot um so shooting for variety these are all the ways that I like great variety on set and I do all of these wardrobe changes that's an easy one set changes another one even if we're on the bed and that's all we have is that little set like you know we moved the bed and we had the mirror that would be one set shooting down into the bed would be another and then maybe getting her onto the floor or we could have done something with the suitcases a nightstand I would really work my butt off to create three totally different looks and many sets does that make sense? Okay, cool um shot compositions it's just being creative with your composition we already talked about it a slight styling adjustments so anything even is like putting your hair up or pulling your strapped down and quickly doing some tight close ups and it looks like she's nude just the slightest adjustment and creates a lot of variety and varied lighting so I like to do three different lighting setup so usually would like to do one set backlit um one natural light very flattering um full uh on and then something maybe a little more creative maybe I'll use a strobe ah and the gear you shoot with so I like to switch up my lenses now I don't just work with that one lens. I like to switch my lenses but I also also use lemos I like my diana plus and being my fujii instamatic my polaroid and that's always great to have a couple shots and give that to them to go home with or you can put it on like your packaging it depends on your brand, but, um I love shooting with those oh, and how you coached your model so you want to coach a variety of things out of her so I like tio we're going to get to the second this sideways into the next one this is what I like to coach and capture on every shoot I want to get every mood so boy, that soccer mom I just wanted to be with her, like for a couple hours because I saw so much in her I would love to get her she had that raul I cannot dang and then but she also had this really sweet, vulnerable side too, and I bet she would be really playful s o you want to get all of those s o you got to make sure you coach it. Otherwise it all looks like the same smile or the same thing throughout the whole session and you're not feeling that emotional roller coaster like that. This is a complete, complex woman which we all are. I mean, we have eight million different moods, right? Let's get him all god nicole had a question. What are some word prompts that you used to get some of those? Yeah, well, you hurt sometimes just like yeah, like I kind of feel where they're going and then push it that way so I'll just say flirt with me or flirt with that guy pretend the light is like you knew the man and I'll just start talking it out and then I mean, it always ends up in laughter because that's just hysterical on dh then I'll just okay let's after usually exhausting them like having them jump for the better runner tossed the pillow or whatever or twirling and working with the fabric they're a little tired out okay let's kind of let's get some contemplative ones that's kind of like take a second closure eyes reconnect with yourself breathe and think about you know and depending on who she is and what I know about her we'll do that and not sometimes really sweet yeah do you take your energy down? Yeah like vocally coach what I'm going for I mean I think you guys can tell that okay that's a great question um get all types of movement so I do I do want to try and get some action and then I get some still shots, get every stage of dress and undress I want to get nude even if she doesn't want to do new this is a great way to do it on dh then uh fully covered so she could use some shots if this isn't something to get, you know post on facebook um and then make sure you get your master's close up and details this is all storytelling elements um get a fantasy element or a prop so make sure you get some some kind of sassy fun in there um get the shot with a different lens or camera we talked about that so how many ways of this one two three four five six different things to coaching capture and most of all get it and move the heck on okay um can I ask you something you actually for um when you were talking about creating variety do you create variety also changing your props production proposing images similar with different style yes I did discuss that a little yesterday and we'll see it in post production today each kind of set has its own lighting and it has its own post action I don't put actions on everything like just sometimes I wanted to just be true color but backlit might put on some will go over the actions that I love later but each one definitely has its own look especially if you're in one location like the uh the bedroom set and I only have that one location so I'm gonna shoot down into the bed and what I'm shooting against the mirror and then maybe I'll go to the floor whatever but each one is going to maybe I do a whole set in black and white maybe I do one with a little bit of you know de saturated um warm uh well actually did you notice I put some post production on those images shot from yesterday? Yeah, so I definitely do that I didn't lie left that off that because on the previous slide because that's what I coach and capture during the shoot but I'm still creating variety after the shoot yes, definitely with postproduction. Thanks, carla, I have a question from ted nicholas we do have a lot of mail for taller first watching I love it and so to follow up on your question what air that some of the words air pumps or coach that might be different for male photographers um I still think they can say flirt with you know, the light you know, imagine whoever you want you need to know uh s so I think they can do the same thing I think they can also say reconnect with yourself. Um let's do something more playful and fun let's let the well silly out there's nothing wrong with that. You just don't wanna have sexual overtones and you never want to say, do you have a boyfriend or I left that off the list yesterday. Um yeah, cool. Thank you. Something. Yeah, nicole to follow up with that teo teo news where you feel like you want to get him undressed and and you think that they're going towards that but as a male, how would you even as a female, how would you transition into, um some polite ways to say let's without sounding? Yeah let's get naked let's get naked. So you're wondering how to transition into awfully nude in a polite, respectful manner. Yes. Okay, well, this is something. As I mentioned, it's discussed in the first phone call and it's discussed just like do you want mustard on your sandwich? It's not, you know, don't tiptoe into it like like you're doing because you're uncomfortable talking about it. You have to just keep talking about it until it's no longer got any weight teo anymore, okay know what I mean? So you can talk about it like you're talking about what you want for lunch today? Well, let's say I came to you and I was totally in love that we're talking about ugo yeah, but I'm totally let's say I was totally against nude in our pre console, but against well, I didn't really wanna do noon that's the better way, okay, but then once we got going and I felt comfortable with you yes, and you felt that how would you transition into suggesting, okay, you felt like I was I was going to go towards that. There are a lot of women who are not sure, and that means they really do and they always do do it. So is it okay? We can't decide when we're on set but there are a lot of ways to imply nudity and we can start with those so that's that idea so it's like okay, we're not going to see anything I just want to see this side your arm will be, you know, blocking your boob so but why don't you take your shirt off now so we don't have any marks and then we could touch up your makeup put on your robe and then I'll show you how well position you and I just talk about it like that and then, um honestly I always tell them exactly where I'm focusing I'm like okay, so if you're ok do you want to see moving no boob because if you just move your arm a little bit with a little bit um I could frame it out if you want they're like, oh, just go for it they're already naked it's just like, you know, what am I hiding? And you know, so that pretty much how it goes, but I'll just say so if you move your arm a little bit, we will see nipple and I said just like that, I like it I could frame it out if you want but if you want to do new now's the time yeah and I make it sound fun to me naked okay kennedy did you have anything it looked like you parked up okay cool we'll move on to shooting to tell authority make it meaningful so you know what with celeste in her shoes that you know is meaningful to her it's not like I gave her some props that really had and no relevance so and sometimes you don't have to do this every single time if a woman just like you know is can't think of anything maybe you could bring some stuff but er you could just definitely tell a story with shooting master close up on details you don't necessarily have to have a theme or a story or props um but make sure has a beginning a middle and an end so even smoking a cigarette you could do that in three shots beginning middle and you saw my little smoking siri's um or you know taking a drink popping the cork with champagne um any action whatever it isthe had a beginning middle and even if it's just a siri's of closer I think ending is like a sigh or contentment or like you know I have it pleasing yourself uh you know what I'm talking about beginning middle and I'll move on um think cinema master close ups tito oh okay bestselling good where money shots okay, so these are my top ten cellars we've already talked about them a little bit yesterday, but you know you can develop your own um these happen to be the ones that women showed me again and again and again and that we're by far the best sellers when I showed them their images it's nice to have these shots like I said, you could make up your own shot list thatyou love um and it gives you an action plan on the shoot a lot of people I think feel like they need that you don't need it, but it will help build your confidence for sure if you kind of feel like I need to go into this with an action plan said I just show up and have no idea what to dio is that there's some people that is a problem, so it gives you an action plan gives you confidence during the shoot that you know you're going to get great stuff that she'll love and clients will buy them every time, and these are the shots you need to have in your portfolio. Um and I would love to take a look at websites at some point this weekend. I don't know if we could make that happen, but, um I think that's a really crucial element because it's a reason why a lot of people aren't looking is because your website either doesn't showcase your ideal client a showcase twenty year olds. Carlo, this was your problem when you took my online course. Now do on that, um, and now he's booking one hundred percent of all the people that he wants to be booking, uh, because you have to have your ideal client well represented on your site. But it also needs to look like a party's going on, and you want to be in here, so we need laughter and fun and action, uh, in your portfolios, and those are some of my money shots. Uh, laughter is sexy, is one of them.

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