Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Workshop, Boudoir Demo

Shooting Boudoir is addicting and a total party! I did a 15-minute boudoir demo shoot with my gorgeous friend Ximena at The Workshop this past weekend.  Ximena is a regular gal, had never done anything like this before, and was totally nervous… which made her the perfect model!  And for most of my 18 workshop attendees, it was their first time shooting boudoir….  ah, I love a good challenge!  They each got time in my studio, shooting one of two models, and by the end of the workshop, I believe 18 little boudoir addicts were born!

I started the demo by sharing my philosophy on what’s beautiful and sexy to me: a woman enjoying herself, having fun, being free and open… and expressing all the wonderfully different facets of being feminine.  It’s not about what you look like, it’s not about what you’re wearing or not wearing… it’s about letting that feminine energy out!  Wooooohooooo….

I talked about creating movement and giving direction (above pic)…

…that laughter is sexy…


…extreeeeeme poses (and a little help from the liquify tool)….


…capturing the beautiful “in-between” moments…


…the importance of sexy little details…


…and your artistic choices in post…


…and making sure to be energetic, keep the laughter going, and the camera clicking!…


I’ll talk more in the coming weeks about shooting Boudoir and being sexy and feminine.  In celebration of Valentine’s Day coming up, I’m giving you my Top 5 Things to do on a Boudoir Shoot, as well as my Favorite Things to Bring to a Boudoir Shoot.

On Monday, I’ll be opening registration for The Boudoir Workshop in LA on April 3rd and 4th, and The Boudoir Workshop in Paris! in June, details on that coming soon…

Have a sexy weekend 🙂



The Workshop, a Heaping Bowl of Thanks

Wow, The Workshop was an amazing experience! It was a total blast and so much fun… but what really stood out to me was the incredible openness of all the attendee’s… their incredible energy, encouragement, experimental spirit, curiosity, and camaraderie – they truly made the weekend what it was, and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better group!

I loved seeing everyone support each other, encourage each other, and most of all… laughing our asses off together.  I know we all made some wonderful connections and friendships that will last, and it gave me such joy to see everyone hugging and hating to say goodbye last night.  It was an event I’ll never forget – it was my first Workshop for Pro’s, and you all made it meaningful for me in so many ways.

I will be posting pics from The Workshop this upcoming week, as well as pics from today’s Boudoir Workshop.

Then lots more to shoot and blog all week – valentine boudoir session, a newborn session, an afternoon tea party, a bachelor party scotch tasting (!!), and a wedding… Whew!… how much fun and variety is that?!

Thank you to all The Workshop attendee’s – you hold a deep and special place in my heart for making my first time a fulfilling experience that took my whole job and art to a deeper level…. Love you guys and looking forward to participating even further in your growth!



Man About Town, The German

Ok, I have a confession to make… this man, this gorgeous German, is the reason I have been such a neglectful blogger lately.  Gunnar and I met in December at the Tony Robbins event, Date with Destiny…. and well… it sure was!  He just flat out rocked my world…

Last week, we spent about 20 minutes in my studio taking some shots for his business, but I gotta say… I was taking shots for me!  I wanted to capture all the parts I love…  handsome, hot, and masculine… thoughtful, sexy, and fun.



Ok, I admit it – I asked him to take it all off…


…and I’ll end it on that note 🙂

I had a blast switching it up and photographing a man, my man in particular this time.  I hope to make “Man About Town” a regular feature on the blog to balance out all the boudoir shoots with some masculine energy!

Amen to that 🙂


Capturing Authentic Joy

How to take photos “as awe inspiring as your kid’s world-class cuteness!” The awesome new resource for moms and photographers has launched!.. Check out – the place to go for inspiration, easy lessons, geeking out with other momtogs, and bringing your snaps to a whole new level!

The Momtographers, Krista Njapa and Adrienne Gray, launched their beautiful site with an interview of me and the best advice I could offer momtogs on how to capture what The Momtogs call my specialty… “Authentic Joy!”  So without further ado, here it is:

“We couldn’t be prouder in our premier edition of  “Help A Momtographer Out!” to introduce you to Los Angeles Photographer, Christa Meola. In fact, left on it’s surface, describing Christa with just the term photographer is a little misleading. Treat yourself to a few minutes going through her portfolio, and you’ll understand what we mean. She’s an artist that truly captures the spirit of family with her unique voice – life, sung in the key of happy.  Every image radiates a joy and warmth, clearly infused with her sunny perspective.

So before we go trying to change her business cards to something like “Purveyor of Photographic Sunshine”, let’s ask her a few questions….”

Read more of the Interview here:  “How to Capture Authentic Joy, with Christa Meola”

Congratulations to TheMomtographers!… It’s a beautiful and fun site that will help thousands of moms everywhere capture the meaningful moments of everyday life 🙂



Secret Rendezvous

I had a very secret rendezvous recently… Mrs. C and I planned this surprise shoot as a Christmas gift for her husband, and I just heard from her today letting me know that he was beyond thrilled!  And even better, Mrs. C mentioned how good she felt during the shoot and how she loves the pictures and feels amazing! Now that is what’s deeply fulfilling to me… giving women the gift of feeling good about themselves.

It all started in The Biltmore Hotel lobby with la belle femme…


Did someone ring for Maid Service?


My #1 absolute favorite photo set-up: a hotel bed, white sheets, big window, and nothing but nakedness…


I love this shot… it reminds me of being a girl, being in love, and being in Paris.  Mrs. C is wearing the La Perla lingerie that her husband gave her on their honeymoon about 8 years earlier, and I asked her to think back to the first time she had it on…


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ll be shooting lots and lots of beautiful women coming up…

But you don’t need a holiday to give your man or yourself the amazing gift of feeling good and feeling sexy 🙂  It just takes a simple decision to be that way.

Wishing you lots of moments overflowing with feeling good!



ps. You can see more of Mrs. C in the post “Private Dancer.”



Happy New Year! 20 Ways to Reignite your Passion for Photography

I love a Brand-Spanking New Year! Every year, I get grateful for what was and get excited for what is to come!  I do a Tony Robbins exercise called The Power of Momentum, and I can’t recommend his books, seminars, and coaching highly enough – to rediscover your core self, to push past your comfort zone and to live life to it’s fullest!  I’ve taken my favorite bits from the Tony Robbins technology, mixed in some ideas from the fun photography resource Photojojo, and added my heart and soul to come up with this list:

20 Ways to Reignite your Passion for Photography

Get Excited
1. What did you love about photography in 2009?
What were the magical and extraordinary moments?  What did you accomplish?  What are some of the things you would want to duplicate in 2010?
2.  What was challenging about photography in 2009?
What did you learn by going through these experiences, and why were they incredibly valuable?  What would you need to do/be/have/change in order to overcome these challenges?
3. Separate the wheat from the chaff
. Let’s get all your best A+ photos together all in one place.  Only select the best of the best – the ones that make you feel good, the ones that remind you of a wonderful time, the ones that you’re technically proud of.  Put these all in one folder called “2009 5-Star Photos” so you know where to go when you need them 🙂

Show Off
You’ve got a ton of amazing photos now in that 5-Star folder. Get them off your computer and show them off properly!
4. Put more photos up
. Surround yourself with inspiration!  Frame and hang your favorite images, photos from your favorite photographers, pics of your family and friends. Build yourself an inspiration board or a gallery wall.
5. Make a book
. I love books! and making books online is now crazy easy because of DIY publishers like Blurb, Lulu, and MyPublisher. Make a book of your favorite subject, for yourself and to share as gifts.
6. Enter some contests
. It’s great to know your mom loves your pics, and now let’s step it up and share it with your fellow pro’s!  Check Photocompete to see what contests are running at any given time.

Shake it Up
7. Use a new technique
. Experiment with something you’ve never done and always wanted to try, whether it’s pinhole photography or shooting lomography. Or try some new effects like cross-processing or tilt-shift.
8. Shake up your process
. Shoot in new locations, shoot different subject matter, shoot from a different angle, shoot faster (or slower), shoot with the heart more (or from the head), or from the hip (without peeking at the viewfinder).
9. Get new GEAR
! Yay! Nothing like a new toy! Rent that fancy new lens you’ve had your eye on, or borrow a friend’s camera and try it out. If you’ve been shooting only in digital, play with film for a while (and vice versa).

Spread The Love
Use your talent to do some good 🙂
10. Volunteer your talents
. I think a great photo of a child being joyous is the best gift to build their self-esteem.  Photograph kids and families that are less fortunate.  Volunteer to document an event for a local charity.  Donate to Operation Smile.  Go on a mission – photos significantly help fundraising efforts for charities such as Hearts with Hope.
11. Teach somebody what you know
. Pass on your knowledge, experience and skill. Go speak at a local school, teach a friend’s kid how to use a camera, or help out a total newbie.
12. Donate your old gear
. If you’re not using it anymore, give your old camera to somebody who needs it, like kids, conservationists or your favorite charity.

Challenge Yourself
If you want to get better at photography, you have to keep practicing and pushing yourself. Just like everything else in life.
13. Go on assignment
. Assign yourself photography tasks to complete and make them fun! Such as: take an afternoon and shoot the meaningful details in your home, hire a model and do some fine art nudes, shoot a series of self-portraits, start with a title like “Dirty” and do a photo-essay, take your favorite piece of music and create 10 shots that tell the story of that song, go on a photo-safari and see where it takes you!  
14. Do something difficult
. Practice photographing subjects that don’t come easily to you, like still life’s, street scenes, or people you don’t know.  It gets easier 🙂
15. Read your manual
.  If you’re an emotional shooter like me (and not technically oriented) – review and perfect a small section of your camera manual every week until you know your gear inside and out.

Begin! a Project
The shiny new year just begs for beginnings. Start something up, be it year-long, month-long, or just for a day.
16. Start a blog or Flickr page
.  There’s so much joy in sharing with others.  It’s wonderful to create or join a community to share your love of photography and how you see the world… Your photography is a gift – don’t keep it to yourself 🙂 Check out WordPress and Flickr.
17. Begin your business!
You know you want to.  And you can do it.  Believe in yourself and just begin.  It’s time to start charging for your work – do some research, talk to as many pro’s as you can, set up a price list and have fun with it!  Don’t wait for the planets to be aligned – start now – you will always continue to change and evolve so don’t wait to be “ready.”
18. Set up an Etsy Shop.
It’s so fulfilling to set up shop and sell your work, and it’s simple and easy with Etsy.  Sell simple prints or something unique, like Polaroid-transfers, encaustic paintings, or storyboards.
19. Create a new tradition
. Do something new this year, like taking the same portrait once a year, or shooting a photo-a-day, or having your picture taken for once 🙂
20. Bring your camera everywhere you go. Even if it’s just a toy camera, make sure you’ve got it at all times. You never know when the perfect shot will present itself.

Happy New Year, everybody! Wishing you a life lived with Passion!