Monthly Archives: July 2009

Real Women

I love real women, and I enjoy helping them see how beautiful they are.  I’ve been so fortunate to work with some incredible girls and every boudoir shoot I’ve done has been fun and memorable.  However, there is something I need to address: I’ve received a ton of emails from girls all asking me the same question – here’s a recent example:

Hello Christa,

First let me say your work is amazing. It looks like you have had some gorgeous women to work with, so I’m sure that helps.

I wanted to know if you only work with professional models or are willing to shoot an average woman?? such as myself. I am looking for a wedding gift for my soon to be husband and this is something I’m sure he would like…

Thank you,


So to answer all y’all’s question: Yes yes yes!!.. every single one of my boudoir shoots are regular girls, not professional models.  With the single exception of Shelby, who’d like to model some day professionally, all of my shoots are with the girl next door.  Regular girls.  Like me.  Like you.

There was Karen, a writer. Lisa, a marketing professional.  Simone, a physical therapist.  And lots of regular girls in the coming weeks…

And most of the girls call me with the same concern… “um, I’m kinda shy – this isn’t really like me to do this – I don’t love my butt – I don’t know how to pose – I’m really nervous.” So, I thought it would be fun to give you a peek behind-the-scenes of a boudoir shoot with me.  So you can see just how silly and fun and REAL it is…

Here isJane, a schoolteacher, and me before her shoot.  I thought it would be hysterical to bring a wig for one or two shots, and I’m sporting it here.  My dorkiness is really shining through here in all it’s glory.  lol!  ps. to make it worse, my shirt is inside out.  Jeesh – can’t take me anywhere.


Make-up for photo shoots is a bit different than everyday make-up, so I highly encourage a professional make-up artist, and Jeff is the best.


Nadine, a stay at home mom, getting extensions…


Here’s Simone and me… getting crazy with the Reddi Whip.  This pic cracks me up for obvious reasons, but here’s a few that aren’t apparent: 1. It’s actually shaving cream we used, 2. Minutes earlier, I had fallen off a stool I was standing on, 3. that fall broke Simone’s toe (she’s fine now, thankfully), but we were having so much fun that she didn’t realize it until later that night.  ps. again, what is up with my shirt?? this is why I say “no prints” on a photo shoot!


Even my mom, a human resources professional, did a boudoir shoot with me.  For her birthday this year, we had a couple of her best girlfriends come after the shoot to celebrate (see pic at the beginning of this post).  By the way, I love when girls bring their best friend to the shoot – they are so supportive and helpful, will hold the fan, tell you that you look great, even lotion up your legs, make you laugh and we’ll have even more fun.  So please do bring your girlfriends, if you like!…  This is my mom’s raunchy friend Kim.


Lastly, if you’ve looked at some of my boudoir shoots you’ll see the girls are all amazing and beautiful, and here’s a few reasons why:

  1. Everyone looks their best when they are genuinely having a good time and enjoying themselves.  That is my highest priority on every shoot.
  2. Every woman is beautiful in her own way, and it’s my job to find that, bring it out, and then capture it.  Let me say that again – it bears repeating: every woman is beautiful in some way, and it is so fulfilling to make each shoot very personal and customized to each girl.  Whether she’s got an incredible smile, a feisty spirit, curvy hips, a certain look in her eyes, etc…
  3. Plus, make-up artist extraordinaire, Jeff, will work his magic.
  4. And Vanessa will get your ‘do all did.
  5. Lastly, I will do a little photoshoppin’ and we’ll call it a day.

We’re all just regular gals… real women.  Having fun.  Celebrating life.  Being ourselves.  Being sexy.  Being silly.  Wearing our shirt inside out.


See? – being in front of my camera isn’t intimidating right? :))



ps. for more tips on how to feel relaxed and sexy on a photo shoot,check out this post!

Summer, Summer, Summertime!


I love me some summertime. Long-lit days, warm nights, BBQ, bare feet, sundresses, bikini’s and watermelon martini’s!  Not necessarily in that order. And of course, photo shoots at the beach!  I’ve got several on the schedule… so you’ll be seeing lots of pictoral celebrations of summer and sand.

This past Sunday was spent with a wonderfully fun family.  These guys were just my style: laid back and up for anything… including the little girl who got soaked by a wave and still went back into the water – so brave!


Summer fun is serious business… you must concentrate.


Wooooo-hoooooo! —


— Wait a minute.  I got some sand…


Lots of sun-soaked summer kisses…


By the time our shoot was over, I was wet, salty, sandy and sweaty… and ready for a martini and a nap!

Until the next time!…



Mademoiselle Arrianna

“Don’t drive up to San Francisco!” Carla yelled to us from her car.  She had just dropped off her 14 yr old daughter, Arianna, at my studio for a fashion-headshot-let’s-celebrate-being-fourteen photo shoot… and Carla could see how excited we were seated in my convertible with two big smiles on our faces headed for the beach.  Just two girls looking for some good clean fun and fabulous photographs.  What a phenomenally fun job I have…

We had the shoot all planned out, with three distinct looks and locations to capture all the sides of Arianna’s personality. She’s quite a complex and impressive young girl.  She’s well traveled, well educated, speaks three languages, and is remarkably mature yet still so wonderfully silly.   

We started out at the beach, just under two minutes from my studio.  Things began all innocent and sweet….


Then we moved on to a nearby park, to capture Arianna’s fun, energetic, playful side…


Lastly, we beat it back to my studio to capture the mature, beautiful, rebellious, contemplative Arianna… 


This shoot was sooooo much fun, and it’s too bad Carla showed up just in time to pick up Arianna before we got a chance to take off to San Francisco!



I Like New York in June

Been singing that Gershwin tune for weeks. I know it’s July, but I can’t get New York off my mind and wanted to share some pics I took while visiting back east.  After the fab Photo Party in CT and a beautiful visit to my old home in NJ… I was on to NY and so excited to unwind, dine, geek out, and girl up with my favorite gal pal Jayne Jewell.

It was a gorgeous sunny day when the weather and air are just right, and it feels so good every cell is vibrating with an indescribable great energy!

Here are some pics of our afternoon jaunt in Central Park.  I love the richness of character, nature, and activity happening in the park on a daily basis…


Some moments are quite serene…


…and make you want to do this…


…then you stumble upon this guy and it makes you feel energized and happy to be alive.


Characters abound where you’ll see everyone from a dapper gent to a… well, less dapper fellow.




Lastly, here’s a couple of pics of Jayne and me geeking out big time.  Jayne is a Master Life Coach with Tony Robbins, and she… well, she pretty much kicks a**!!   Jayne’s a phenomenal partner to paint the town red with and a naturally gifted photographer…


Here’s a shot she snuck of me creating the “serene” water shot above.  No wonder why my back hurts…


I miss New York, but I know I’ll be back there soon!…



You Can Go Home Again

Facebook is a wonderful thing… if not for good ol’ FB, the following shoot and total bizarre occurrence would never have happened… 

One day a couple of months ago, an old high school friend, Jennifer Romano Genovese, from my hometown of Jackson, NJ, and I hooked up via FB… Jen messaged me and said “I think I’m living in your old house.”   Whoa.  How cool is that?… Well, even better is going back to my hometown and doing a photo shoot for Jen’s kids in the very house I enjoyed being a kid in… 11 Robert Terrace.

Here’s the Genovese clan on the front lawn… Patrick 12, Megan 10, Lindsay 8, and Michael 6.  These kids are the most energetic, silly, sweet, and loving bunch.


Jen’s email starts off with MomOfTheMob@ and you can see why…



Jen is an incredible mom and loves the job… she said one of her favorite moments is when the kids are all at the table having breakfast in their pj’s. So of course we shot that!


Little toes, bruised legs, and poptart crumbs on the floor… childhood.


One of my favorites…


Now take a good look at this front lawn where the girls are having such a great time…


This is the same front lawn where I cart-wheeled often, once got chased by my Uncle brandishing a yard rake when I cursed, built snowmen with my brothers, buried the family dog, rolled down the hill, and lay in the grass looking up at the sky.

This is my little cousin, Sunshine, and me circa August, 1981 on the front lawn holding tissue flowers we got that day at Six Flag’s Great Adventure. 


Here’s a pic of my BFF, Sandy Marut, and me during one of our fine performances on the front lawn.  We were obsessed with performing dances, cheers, soccer tricks and whatever other act we could drag our moms to watch and applaud. (ps. This pic was shot with that Polaroid camera I mentioned in this post.) 


Jen called me up teary-eyed last night and said how much she loves the pics and how she loves living in that house.  I never thought I would be back at 11 Robert Terrace as an adult, especially not photographing another family living there, and especially not as part of a business trip as a professional photographer.  Thank you Jen… this was such a unique and meaningful shoot for me, and I couldn’t have been happier to be back home again…

…and just a hundred yards or so away from my elementary school where I first learned photography in a janitor-closet-turned-darkroom.  Ah, a story for another time




Portrait of a Designer

Kathi Berman is an extremely thoughtful and brilliant clothing designer, not to mention a total sweetheart. Her consideration of a woman’s lifestyle complements her design sensibility.  You may remember her stunning clothing from my fashion shoot for her brand Z.LARRIS – some of my favorite images this year, posted here and here.  Recently, Kathi and I hooked up again at my studio to shoot more pics for her new website, – but this time Kathi was in front of the camera 🙂



I love wearing Kathi’s clothes – they just feel soooooo good and can take you anywhere from day to night to the next morning.  To purchase the coolest cashmere dresses, coats, and more – check out her new site and contact Kathi directly.

I bet you never want to take them off!



The Casey Family, Photo Party! Pt. 2 of 3

I want to be adopted by the Casey family.  They were the host family at my recent Photo Party in Greenwich, CT.  I am blown away by how amazing this family is… both as a unit and individually.  I’m not one to gush, truly I’m not, but I’ve been known to throw around passion and enthusiasm with abandon when I genuinely love/admire/respect/etc someone.  So when I tell you that I *heart* the Casey Family – that’s an understatement.  To be surrounded by such kindness, humor, brilliance and cuteness is addictive.  And the Casey family – Jack, BJ, Charlotte, and twins James & Will – has all that and more, in spades.  Take a peek…  


Six year old Charlotte is a smart girl and loving big sister.  She promised not to pout during photos in exchange for a new webkinz – a fair trade.






Suddenly a pick up game broke out, and this serious slugger came to the plate…


She knows she’s good.


The twins each had his own pitching style…  




Team Photo and celebration! 


Now let’s huddle up and spin!!



What has eight legs and four heads?


So not only are these adorable 4 year olds riding bikes with no training wheels, they are also learning Chinese.  And they are just so cute – I can’t handle it! 




There is so much that I love about these two pics – don’t even get me started!


…aaaaand Good Night!    Are you as exhausted as I am after this shoot?!


So this is what happens when your family hosts a Photo Party with me.  My first edit of the Casey family’s photo shoot yielded 435 images that I loved! 

I’m just sayin.



Photo Party! Pt. 1 of 3

I’ve been traveling all over the country doing “Photo Parties” for about 4 or so years now, and they are always a huge success! in terms of families having fun, parents loving the photos, and me feeling like I ran a marathon.   A Photo Party isn’t really a party per se – there is no beer, as one father asked me – lol!!  I wish!  But it’s a day of photo shoots hosted by one family for a number of guest families (usually 12 to 20) at a pre-determined location (either the host’s home, a nearby park, beach, etc.).

This most recent party took place in Greenwich, CT, hosted by the lovely and hysterical Casey Family (their session will be on the blog in the next few days). And even though it poured rain that day, the families were still game for playing outside.  We had so much fun, captured beautiful images and I managed not to get my camera too wet!

Here are a few of my favorite moments…  when we cracked up… 


Ran through the drizzling rain…


Took our first steps…


Tickled each other…


Took time for close-ups…







(I love it when you see the silliness and maturity of a child just moments apart.)


We also adored and squeeeeezed one another…


Raised the roof and were amused by each other…




We ran in the rain…


And, lastly, my favorite shot… we cuddled on the covered porch with the rain pouring down just outside…


Ahhhh! so much fun, and this was my favorite photo party yet…  More pics to come as I blog myself silly this week catching up on posting all of the sessions over the past few weeks: beach shoots, my recent trip to New York City, photographing the new family living in my old childhood home in NJ, and much more!…

Thank you for visiting!