Monthly Archives: December 2011

My Fav Pic of the Year, plus FAQs

Shot during Aperitivo hour at The Savoy hotel in Florence this summer by my lovely friend Claire Mallett using her old Rolliflex. Although I’m usually attracted to joyful pictures that are full of joie de vivre such as the one above, I keep coming back to the pic below as my favorite this year. It’s not often I sit for a portrait, and it’s just so nice to have someone say, “I want to take your picture.” It’s so much a part of what I love about what I do.

The shot below perfectly captures my life, my mood, and my thoughts at this point in my life, and just me being me. It was the end of summer, so I’m hot, I’m sweaty, and I’m showing how much I loved cheese and wine during my stay in Florence. This was my last day in town, and I sat here knowing that the sweet life of Italy was coming to a close, at that point having made the decision to move to NYC. I will always treasure this time in my life as so uniquely special and wonderful and important.

To all photographers: remember WHY you do what you do and the priceless value that you provide to others. We’re not providing images. We’re helping to create the way someone remembers their life – the catalyst to treasured memories of a life well-lived – as well as self-discovery, self-expression, an experience, and most of all: emotion. When I look at this picture, I feel the emotions of that bittersweet moment- torn between the sadness of leaving Italy and the absolute joy, excitement, wonder and curiosity for what lies ahead!

To answer last-minute Q’s I’ve received over the past few days, here are the Top FAQs.

1. I have something scheduled during the next few weeks. Do I have to be available at certain times, and will I miss anything?
You won’t miss a thing. I built this boudoir workshop for busy bees like me, and so the content is available 24/7 baby! Plus all the juicy content will be online and available to you for 8 weeks. Plenty of time for you to watch/listen/learn at your own convenience. How cool is that.

2. I have no experience. I’m a total beginner. Is this the right course for me?
Hell yeah! Talk about perfect timing. This course will short cut your learning curve and get you started with smart habits and powerful tips in a super fun way that will set you up for success with my very simple, totally easy, and budget-friendly approach. No experience necessary. We already have a bunch of beginners in attendance. Sign-up, and you will thank yourself!

3. I’m already a pro. Is this too basic for me?
Awesome! Well let me ask you: are your sales where you want them to be right now? are you creatively juiced and completely inspired? do you want to spend less time in post? do you have raving fan clients that spread the word about you like wild fire? are you having FUN with your business? if you can’t answer a whole-hearted HELL YES! to any of these q’s, then sign up baby! We’re going to bring your creativity and success to the next level!

4. Do I need any equipment?
No fancy lighting or camera equipment needed. You will need access to a computer and the internet obviously, but I highly recommend that you enjoy the entire course before thinking of purchasing any sort of new camera equipment. I’ll be demo’ing a bare bones simple approach as well as my favorite equipment, so you’ll get to see a bunch of gear in action and make a more informed decision about what you’d love to use (or not use).

5. I’m a male photographer and I see a lot of women comment on your webpage. Please be honest and tell me about the relative success/appropriateness of men vs. women in this industry.
Once you get to know me, you’ll laugh that you asked me to be honest because I’m 100% forthright. I understand your concern, and I’m here to tell you that although women have an innate advantage in having clients trust them off that bat, there is no other advantage and certainly no reason why you can’t be just as successful as your female counterpart. Plenty of men are signed up for the upcoming course, and I’ve received 100% glowing positive reviews from the men who took it previously. Here is what they had to say…

Just DO IT! Highly Recommended! Amateur or Pro, you’re bound to find out more about your own prowess as a photographer and businessperson!
Scott W. Robinson

Worth every penny, definitely recommend, what a treasure trove of information!
John P. Dunnigan

This was the best money and time that I have ever spent on pursuing a passion. Regardless of previous experience and genre, if you are interested in shooting portraits, this is the most comprehensive workshop A to Z that you will find.
Herb Irvin

This is a great chance to get very personal with a pro.
Ole Vangsgaard 

I am in love with my work again. Christa’s workshop is an intoxicating mix of awesome experience and practical advice that beautifully fleshes out all the areas that have held us back. Now we can fly!
Christopher Medak.

Highly recommend. Christa’s energy & care for her students comes through. Really brilliant tips. I’ve taken a bunch of courses that explore various methods but her’s fit very well with the way I want to work.
John Cornicello 

***UPDATE: The Workshop is SOLD OUT***


Enter your email here for free photography tips and to get dibs on seats for the next Online Workshop.


Hotel Tryst + Podcast Interview

This band-groupie bad-girl Marilyn Monroe inspired shoot was so much fun. And even more so because it was with my good friend Claire, who loves dive bars, rockstars and black & white photographs. So here ya go love 🙂

Good news: I’ve got even more great tips in store for you! Recently, the brilliant husband/wife team Phil & Mindy Thornton interviewed me for their hugely popular podcast Shoot to Kill. We covered a lot of FAQ’s and some even deeper questions and issues:

How I got started in photography and in business.
My Top 5 Tips for getting started and the equipment I’d recommend.
3 easy steps to getting that first client.
Special advice for male photographers wanting to get into boudoir.
How I avoid cheesy stereotypes of boudoir and create fine art images. 
The 4 places I draw inspiration from.
Easy tips and tricks for making clients feel comfortable.
What’s my sales process from A to Z.
Best tips for boosting sales. 

So check out my podcast episode and enjoy – it’s very entertaining – and fair warning: it contains EXPLICIT language and nudity – yeah I know it’s audio only, but use your imagination 🙂

Cheers to that and hotel trysts!


Super Star + Soccer Mom

One of the coolest gifts I got this year? My awesome super-star Studio Manager, Ursula. She takes the best care of your needs and mine. She’s always there with a smile and a “yes M’am!” Gotta love her, and I do. When I found out she had signed up for a discount site’s boudoir session before I had hired her, I admit it – I freaked the heck out. Whaaaat on earth would you do that for? Lol! Well you all know we were going to fix that 🙂 Isn’t she gorgeous, sexy and too adorable? And can you believe she’s a Soccer Mom too?

…and then she gives you a look like this.

Yup, that’s her own pole she brought with her.

…and that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

Just a quick reminder that the ONLINE BOUDOIR WORKSHOP is nearly sold out! We’re kicking it off soon, so REGISTER NOW to catapult your business into high gear for 2012!

“Christa’s workshop is not-to-be-missed! It’s for those who want to be the BEST!”
Melissa Hart Dobs, Marvel, TX

Get all the JUICY INFO, read the REVIEWS, watch the SEXY TRAILER and SIGN-UP NOW!

Christmas in NYC!

Hope everyone is enjoying a very merry holiday and getting ready for a beautiful Christmas! Since moving to NY earlier this year, I’m so excited for my first NYC holiday! I have been getting my Christmas geek on early and doing all the awesome cheesy stuff that makes this season my favorite time of year! Whether bundled up outside to enjoy ice-skating, Rockefeller Center, the department store windows down 5th ave, and brisk walks in the park, or snuggled up with a cozy blanket, decadent hot chocolate, and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, we’re in full nerd mode here and loving every minute of it. I bought my first Christmas tree and decorated it with little lights and 4 lovely ornaments (hey, I’m a minimalist – it works 🙂 Gifts have been lovingly been wrapped and given. Here are just a few sights I’ve been enjoying around the city to share with you…

Somehow, Bergdorff Goodman makes EXCESS look elegant…

Kinda creepy if you ask me, but what’s with the bird theme…?

Rockefeller Center and Gucci…

Oooooh something pretty in the window at Tiffany & Co…

My mom arrives in town today to continue the festivities, and I know she has the Rockettes planned for our near future 🙂

And just a quick Christmas heads-up, in case you’re thinking of last minute gift ideas for a loved one or to gift yourself…

We are running out of seats for the ONLINE BOUDOIR WORKSHOP, which starts soon on Jan 2nd! I am so happy with all the wonderful people we’ve got signed-up from all over the world! We are well-represented: Newbies and pro’s, women and men, Canon and Nikon 🙂

And here is some of the AWESOME FREE STUFF we’re giving away to select attendees during the workshop!

A copy of my book “EXPOSED: Redefining Boudoir” signed by me 🙂

A set of The Money Shots™ THE Shots that Sell!

A private one-one-one Coaching Call with me.

Your choice of RadLab, TRA1, TRA2 or Lightroom Presets from Totally Rad Actions.

$100 Gift Card from LensProToGo!

10×10 15-Spread Sequoia Album from Pictage.

20×30 NEW Acrylic Wall Art from Pictage.

20×20 NEW Bamboo Wall Art from Pictage.

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and hope to have your beautiful presence in my world very soon!

Lots of love and Christmas cheer,


ps. Here’s where you can sign-up to reserve a seat to the Online Boudoir Workshop and to get more info 🙂


Black + White

I love experimenting with light, shadow and lines. Nothing like deep black and white hot shapes…
This first one is my favorite – Damn girl! Just damn.

Playing with levels of exposure is fun because it radically changes the mood of a shot.

Experimenting keeps you playful and creative. Plus, it’s how you grow and develop a style. It’s got me falling in love with black and white all over again!

Lots more gorgeous photography experiments on the blog soon…

Happy almost Christmas!

xo Christa



***UPDATE: The Workshop is SOLD OUT.***

Enter your email here for free photography tips and to get dibs on seats for the next Online Workshop.

“Worth every penny. This is the workshop for those who want to stand out in the photography community.”
Allie Lindsey, Temecula, CA

Get all the JUICY INFO, read the REVIEWS, watch the SEXY TRAILER and SIGN-UP NOW!

Tuscan Showgirl!

I love silly. Silly is good. In fact, sexy and silly is my favorite killer combo. Ran across this shot from summertime in Italy and wanted to give you a little silliness on a winter Friday. This spontaneous little moment is courtesy of my hilarious good friend, Mrs. J, who I adore.

There will be lots of fun, hilarious moments and so much more as a part of the Online Boudoir Workshop! Participants will join me behind the scenes during video demo’s and watch me shoot models, clients, a curvy gal, and nudes…. how much fun is that! So sign up and grab a ringside seat to the action!

May you all have a little bit of sexy silly fun in your near future!


IMPORTANT NOTE: You have less than 24 hours to sign-up for the special rate! Price goes up at midnight tonight EST – so Register Now!


The Subtle Art of Courtesans, plus WPPI MasterClass!

So thrilled to have been invited to speak & teach at WPPI 2o12! My  MasterClass this year is a topic that I believe is essential and often overlooked in the boudoir industry. Sometimes we get so focused on building a business, that we forget the ART! What makes a photograph so sensual that you want to swim in it? Juicy topic right?! It’s a subtle difference and so well worth exploring! Seating is limited. You can register online for my class when registering for WPPI. If you’re already registered for the conference, you must sign-up for my class by calling 1.877.779.3127.  So please join me as we dive deep into:

The Subtle Line in Boudoir Photographs
WPPI MasterClass, Vegas – Feb 22nd 2:3opm

I will share the secrets to creating gorgeous images that are smoking hot, stand out and sell big! Learn the subtleties of what makes a photograph HOT or NOT as I compare my favorite shots with those that just missed the mark from my portfolio and others’. I will also reveal the Top 10 Mistakes Boudoir Photographers make and my complete bag of tricks on how to avoid them.

Inspired by art, subtlety and swanky lounges,


ps. The response to the new Online Boudoir Workshop is overwhelming! Seats have been selling like hotcakes. We are three quarters full, and you have only a couple days left to book your seat and save $100! Sale ends Fri, 12/16 at midnight, so Register Now.

Creating Emotion in your Photographs

Capturing emotion in my photographs has become my trademark, and I love sharing simple tips on how you can do this too! Creating emotion in your photographs is all about capturing authenticity, movement, sensuality and mood, not a pose that’s static where the subject is disconnected from the moment. Here are a few techniques to get you started…

For real women who have never professionally modeled before, it’s easier for her to be real and look natural when you offer her an action to perform instead of asking for a “pose.” An action such as “toss your hair, shake your booty, kick up your leg,” etc. looks more emotive then when someone’s just standing there wondering what to do. Make sure to coach her to push the action to the extreme. Coach her to “Kick that leg higher! and shake that booty faster!!”

Unplanned outtakes are awesome. That’s the good stuff! When your client falls over or cracks up, make sure to capture it! Those are often the most beautiful, honest, emotional, moments. You can even try telling her that you’re doing a light test, so she drops her guard.

I like to avoid eyes looking directly at camera. This is my personal taste. I don’t select a lot of images with eyes looking directly into the camera – it takes me out of the voyeuristic feel. I personally feel more emotion from the moment when she’s looking down at her body, at the light source, or has her eyes closed. In fact, coaching “eyes closed and a slight smile” always works!

The more you laugh and crack yourself up, the more she laughs. Use her nervous energy to work for you. Tease your subject in a good way. Ask for fake laughter and it usually ends up in real laughter. Nobody can fake laugh without feeling like a total ass, so it always provokes real laughter from both of us. Just make sure you press the shutter while you’re doubling over 🙂

If your client is not present and totally nervous, a great way to have her regroup and reconnect with herself is to ask her to “close your eyes, relax, breathe, run your hands along your body and make yourself feel good.” This action alone provokes TONS of different emotions and lots of great shots. Or conversely, get her moving a TON! Coach a ton of actions to exhaust her. Have her jump up and down on the bed and do hair flips like mad. Give her some props to play with and take the focus off of her so she’ll start having fun. If nothing is working, shoot a lot of body shots and details, and move on to the next tip…

The fan is a MUST-HAVE on set. This is the most fool-proof way to add emotion when all else fails! Turn a fan on, blow it towards your client and watch the emotion pour out of her — or just look like it is 🙂 Trust me on this and just try it. The fan creates motion and sensuality, even when sometimes it’s not there.

Lastly and most importantly: choose the shot that makes you FEEL SOMETHING even if it is not the best choice technically. Be ruthless and edit out all the shots that don’t elicit any emotion. You’ll know the ones to keep when you feel it.

Now go out there and create a bit of FUN and a ton of EMOTION!

x. Christa


The Nightclub Act, plus Contest Winner!

Had some fun in a nightclub recently in LA… very Old Hollywood, circa 1920. Did a spontaneous quickie shoot with one of my favorite models while the maintenance crew was cleaning up. I couldn’t pass up this swanky backdrop! Since I had no lights with me, these are all shot with available light, using the 50 1.2 and 85 1.2. at 1600 ISO the entire time and varied shutter speeds depending if I wanted motion or not.

This is my favorite. Love the motion in her face and the lines created by the drapery.

Have I mentioned how much I love light & shadow?

We had well over 300 entries for a FREE SEAT to the ONLINE BOUDOIR WORKSHOP contest…

…and Winner #1 is: Mary Woe

Mary, congratulations! & welcome to the party! We’ll email you the info on how to collect your free seat.

The contest is still running, and I will pull another FREE SEAT & WINNER #2 on Friday December 16th, midnight EST. So enter now and as often as you wish.

Good luck!


ps. We are more than halfway sold out for the new ONLINE BOUDOIR WORKSHOP, and the cost of seats will go up to Regular Price of $595 on Friday December 16th, midnight EST, so Register Now to nab your seat and save $100! And if you win the free seat, we’ll refund your money 🙂