Category Archives: Boudoir

All Heart, The 22 Woman Shoot No. 2

My true love is shooting subjects as naked as possible, even if they have their clothes on. I want to uncover the bare essence of who you are and everything you are that makes you, you. As a fine art nude and boudoir photographer I shoot a lot of women and love the expressions of the female body. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “I’m not interested in boobs and butt without some heart.”

Marie Forleo gave me a wonderful opportunity to shoot my favorite type of subject for her Rich Happy & Hot Adventure Mastermind group. If you didn’t catch the background story of this crazy marathon 22-woman shoot (of which I had 8 to 10 min’s shooting time with each girl), check it out in my first installment. It was a smashing success and total blast, and I am grateful to Marie and her amazing Mastermind women, who have personality in spades.

This is an incredible group of powerful women, who are sincere, giving, and love life…


smokin’ hot too…



strong, on the inside and out…








genuinely happy…


honest, focused, forthright…


and elegant in spirit.


Location: The Huntley Hotel’s Presidential Suite, Santa Monica CA
Hair & Make-up: the girls’ own handiwork
Photo Assistants: Robin HultgrenHannah Skye, David Glenn

Ciao for now! and thank you for stopping by and saying hello 🙂

x. Christa

ps. Coming up on the blog: more plus-sized real-women awesomeness! dispatches from the streets of Firenze! and a bad ass yoga shoot 🙂

Rich Happy & Hot

Marie Forleo doesn’t mince words – her email to me a couple months back just read: I have a crazy fun idea… involves you. Let me know. I was already traveling, bound for Italy, and before I could even reply, she called me up and revealed her idea. But let me back up… if you don’t know Marie Forleo, you’ll want to check her out! As best-selling author, speaker, Nike Athlete, fitness personality, entrepreneur and all around AMAZING super woman, Marie is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs through her Rich Happy & Hot brand. I got to know Marie better during her Rich Happy Hot Business School last fall, which was incredible! We felt an immediate kinship that can only come from being born and bred in Jersey  – those are bonds that don’t break 🙂

Back to the scheming: Marie wanted to surprise her Adventure Mastermind ladies (all 22 of them) with a sexy and fun photo shoot during their retreat in LA. That’s right, she wanted it to be a surprise, meaning the girls would have NO IDEA what they were in for when they showed up at the Presidential Suite of the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica. Now how could I turn down an exciting challenge like that?  I’m always up for a spontaneous photo shoot, and I love demonstrating to women (myself included!) that the planets don’t need to be aligned to jump into something, and that trust goes a looooong way!  To add to the excitement, I would be given a total of 4 hours of shooting time, so about 10 minutes per girl, give or take. I was so freakin’ excited and jumping up and down ready for the fun and to see how we would all pull it off…

Well I’ll tell you more about how it went down in the next installation, but suffice it to say, I had THE BEST team on the shoot with me – Robin Hultgren and Hannah Skye are both regular attendees at my photography workshops and now have become indespensible to me as assistants, confidantes and friends. Add to that my power house right hand man, David Glenn, and of course the shoot want smooth like butter.  But most of all, I have to give credit to the 22 brilliant women of Marie’s Adventure Mastermind – these girls had the strength to be vulnerable, the sense of humor to take it all lightly, and the cojones to go for it! Each woman and her shoot were so different, but all were a total blast!

Here are some of my favorite photos of the first four of the Rich Happy Hot women, and they’re not called Rich Happy and Hot for nothing – wow! I’ll be blogging lots more of them in the coming weeks 🙂

Location: The Huntley Hotel’s Presidential Suite, Santa Monica CA
Hair & Make-up: the girls’ own handiwork
Photo Assistants: Robin Hultgren, Hannah Skye, David Glenn










We had a studio set-up in the master bath for when the sun went down… this one is one of my favorites – so raw, so honest…




More rich happy hotness on the way… I’ll break down the process for those interested in doing Boudoir Marathon shoots like this 🙂

x. Christa


I’m a dog person, but my inner-photographer is all feline… Some of my favorite props are masks. I picked up this sexy little cat mask recently in New Orleans, and I freakin LOVE it! I’ve thrown it on every girl since, just for a minute or two at the tail end of the shoot. It’s fun to see how each girl behaves with it on.

Here are a couple of my favorites from The Last LA Boudoir Workshop I taught.

**Updated to add: The lighting used was one main light, my Photogenic 1250, with Medium Softbox placed about 45 degrees to the right and turned slightly away from the model so just the edge of the light hits her – a technique called “feathering”. This is a really gorgeous look and especially flattering to girls who are body conscious since the edges of your bod will drop off into shadow. AWESOME right? so now go eat that second slice of pizza 🙂






I must confess to putting this sexy little mask on a number of times myself – can’t help myself! Once you start working with props and especially masks, you’ll see how sexy, silly, fun and addicting they are.

Try one on for yourself…



ps. My 2011 Workshop schedule is almost ready! I’ll be releasing the dates very soon.
First up: coming back to LA for an Intensive One-Day Workshop on Sun 2/27 – save the date!

Photographing Women, Sneak Peek

This past weekend was a wonderful & wild blur of women, photographers, cameras, hotel rooms, laughter, book signings, and a whole lot of fun and new friendships. My last Workshop for the year was my absolute best and a total blast. I am so thrilled with the experience and the outcome.  I will delve more into details over this coming week’s blog posts, but wanted to give you all a quick little peek at a couple of pics 🙂

More coming soon! Stay tuned…

Christa xoxo

Street Boudoir, New Orleans

Taking it to the streets! Boudoir does not have to be about lingerie in a bedroom setting… It can be fashion, fantasy, portraiture, and perfume ads! Recently, I did a shooting workshop at PartnerCon in New Orleans for other pro photographers about how to capture my Boudoir Money shots™, work with challenges, and shoot it up in the streets. I wanted to incorporate the mood, energy, and sexiness of the city…

A wonderful photographer I love and admire, Joe Buissink, says that “Photographers are a bag of tricks!” and I totally agree!  I had to pull a ton out of my bag on this shoot.  Here’s the story:

Our model that day was from a local agency, and let’s just say she had stayed up all night beforehand and was not exactly happy, poor thing. Lesson 1 – always bring props! I am always on the hunt for sexy props or wardrobe for shoots.  I found this amazing hat on Magazine Street in NOLA a few days before the shoot and I fell in love! Had to have it. Lesson 2 – work your butt off to use what’s honestly going on with your model and incorporate that into the story. Normally, I do very joyful pictures – but I’m not going to force that, so I let her be where she was and just gave her a prop and setting that reflected that.  That’s my hat, the model’s coat, and another photographer’s boots… and set up at a nearby cafe. Lesson 3 – Everything’s sexier with bokeh in the background! Shoot at a very wide open aperture, zoom in tight, blur out lights in the background (look for chandeliers, Christmas lights, candles etc.) and compose it so it’s visually interesting.

Use these simple “tricks” and ta-dah you’ve got some shots that are beautiful and compelling. And honest.


and work your angles to enhance attitude…


Lesson 4 – seek out and intentionally incorporate any details available in your environment to help tell a story. Sometimes it’s something obvious, and sometimes all you need is sunshine and a smile. And believe me, we had to work hard for that smile 🙂


Here, the lines of the balcony lattice work off her curves and the bustier bodice… which makes this shot kind of cheeky 😉 hee hee


Lesson 5 – We also focused on how to create movement in your pictures – sometimes all you need is a fan or the simple act of joyful running – both are super sexy.  I made her keep repeating this run towards the camera until she finally just laughed despite herself.  Ah, repetition of an action is probably the trick we use most often 🙂


This one might be my favorite. The story here is all about the city!… the energy/color/mood of New Orleans, and with this light it could be early morning or late evening sunset – you just can’t tell the difference – and THAT my friends, is sooooo New Orleans.


Thanks to everyone who joined me at PartnerCon on my shoot and at my talk… it was such a thrill to finally meet all of you and geek out together 🙂

Two announcements:

“Exposed: Redefining Boudoir” my NEW Boudoir book is now available!!
You can now purchase the book online right here.
You can also take a SNEAK PEEK inside the book.

There are two seats available for my Last Boudoir Workshop in LA. Email me to book your spot christa (at)

Stay tuned for the Top 10 Boudoir FAQ’s. I bet your Q is on that list!…



Vintage Inspired

Madison is back for more boudoir! Do you all remember this gorgeous woman from last year – well it seems I created a boudoir shoot addict!  She wanted to create a very vintage-inspired shoot, channeling Vogue circa 1940’s and Rita Hayworth.

All photographs created at Christa Meola Pictures Studio, Los Angeles, CA copyright 2010 by Christa Meola



Madison is a breast cancer survivor, and one thing I love and want to celebrate about her is her hair, which has grown back in all it’s glory and then some 🙂  So we took a quick break from the Vintage action, so I could grab some more natural photographs of one of my favorite women who has become a very dear friend.


Can’t you just feel it?  I love Madison here.


Madison is a creative gal, and she created this set up completely on her own… I was just along for the ride and to push the shutter.  I adore the little scar evident on her chest, and chose to leave it unretouched.  It feels sacred, proud, and beautiful.


To see more of Madison, take a peek at the shoots that started it all… Room Service and More Madison Madness.  Hair & Make-up for this shoot by Shannon Jankula.

Next up on the blog: my birthday boudoir shoot – yikes!  I am in front of the camera this time 🙂

Stay tuned!



Uptown and Downtown

This girl works both ends of that spectrum… one of the last shoots done at my studio, Kaylyn was a blast to photograph since she indulges my love of variety.  We started elegant and fashion-loving in the studio, then stepped outside for some gritty cinematic action, and ended up at the beach for some good clean commercial fun.

All photographs created at Christa Meola Pictures Studio, Los Angeles, CA copyright 2010 by Christa Meola
Hair & Make-up: Cyndi Ochoa









For Photographers: The film noir photos are all available light at dusk with just the outdoor lights of my building casting some seriously cool light/shadow against the brick and enhanced in Lightroom with the Graduated Filter tool (one of my favorite lighting tricks!)… I talk about how to do it in my new book Exposed, The Art of Photographing Women.  Official announcement and details coming soon 🙂  Plus, more fine art nudes from the Weston + Meola Wildcat Nude Workshop.

Stay tuned yo.




Lauren, In the Studio

What a little pixie! Working with Lauren in my studio at the latest Boudoir Workshop was such a pleasure. I couldn’t imagine a better muse!  Everyone adored photographing her and captured stunning images.  Lauren, you’re an awesome mix of super cute, downright sexy, and bendy 🙂  Thank you and I’m looking forward to our next shoot!






Location: Christa Meola Pictures Studio, Los Angeles, CA
Make-up: Gia Lane

I have crazy exciting NEWS to announce this week – stay tuned!

Christa 😉



Running out the door to San Diego! to teach Boudoir & Lighting at PictageU over the next few days.  So here is part 2 of Sienna’s Wet shoot…  to tide you over.


She’s just so cute!


Ooooo, so Sophia Loren, right?


Plenty more boudoir on the blog coming up… and one of these days I’ll post some of the lifestyle and travel portraiture I’ve been shooting as well 🙂

xo, Christa


Wet, a little teaser

Just a quick little peek pic from Friday’s wet hot shoot in the studio 🙂 More coming soon…!  Super busy and excited preparing for next week’s seminar on Boudoir Photography and Lighting, hosted by Pictage, and jam-packed with live shoots, practical information, inspiration and more from 6 fabulous instructors including little ole me 🙂  Hope to see you there!  Register here before it’s sold out.



Vert et Blanc

An encore performance by Evie! This time, in green feathers and not much else. Her sparkling lingerie pieces are one-of-a-kind and handmade by Evie herself… and sadly, she’s retired from this craft – believe me, I begged 🙂  That’s okay – I just found my next rainy day project!

Please enjoy the last installment of Evie…


If you missed Evie’s Red Hot pics from yesterday, check them out!

Up next on the blog… a 60+ year old’s boudoir session and a break in the boudoir action for a Man About Town and some silly family portraits 🙂




“When in doubt, wear red.” Bill Blass had it right… you’ll never go wrong in red.  I had the pleasure of photographing burlesque model and independent film actress Evie this past weekend at Out Of Frame studios in Hollywood.  I fell in love with the all-white canvas, and I thought it made the perfect backdrop to highlight Evie’s vibrant pops of red.  Evie reminded me of a vintage Vogue cover come to life in alabaster skin and when she walked out in this get up, I almost fainted from excitement to photograph her and feeling the pain of that tight corset!  After making sure she could breathe, I started snapping away while I asked Evie to just strut around, dance, and do her strip tease thang…



Stay tuned for more of Evie in tomorrow’s post “Vert et Blanc” which includes feathers, heels, and some diamond studded g-strings 🙂  FUN!