Tag Archive: jazz

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) christameola.com.

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



Sunday Jazz on a Monday

This street musician is one cool character… some of my most popular pictures this year were posted in March called Sunday Jazz on a Tuesday, courtesy of this sweet jazz fellow, and I’ve always wondered about him since… I wanted to hear him play again, know more about him, and tell him that people have contacted me to purchase his portraits.

So in between two family shoots and a wedding yesterday, I ran over with my camera to the Farmer’s Market in the Palisades to try my luck… Would that jazz player be there?

After a first walk around I didn’t see him, and then just as I was about to leave… he turns the corner with his sax case!  I ran up to him like a gushing teenaged fan, rambling about how happy I am to see him, how everyone loves his pictures, asking what’s his name, etc… and this poor shy guy just smiles modestly and answers quietly, Oh thank youIt’s BillyThat’s nice… And he keeps walking.  Woops, lol, I think I frightened him.  But that didn’t stop him from setting up and belting out the smoothest notes and the sweetest songs… real “tearjerkers” sighed the lady next to me.  And I just let the lovely fall day and this man’s beautiful music stop me in my busy day and mellow me the heck out 🙂

Back by popular demand and without further ado, here’s Billy…


Oooooooh… the sweet and the slow notes.


“Pavement Portrait: Street Musician”


And of course, such character begs for a close-up…


Sunday Jazz on a Tuesday



Easy like Sunday Morning… it was such a great day in southern California on Sunday, one where the air just has you feeling grateful for every little simple thing. I had an early shoot with the Wachler family, and it just shouldn’t be right to laugh that much on the job… well I guess I shouldn’t laugh at the kids.

We had such a great time, and then I walked over to theFarmer’s Market on Swathmore, where this beautiful man was playing some sweet jazz. And what a face! He didn’t seem to mind me all up in his business taking shots, and when he finished playing, he just gave me this big humble adorable smile (below). I was on such a high, I left the market with two bunches of my favorite flowers, ten containers of healthy home-made soup, and one huge smile on my face. Until I got home, and then I thought What am I doing with all this soup?!


Is this not a GREAT FACE??