Tag Archive: photographer

Chic Brunette, No. 2

Picking up where we left off with Racy Blonde & Chic Brunette, No. 1

Mrs. C ditched the blonde wig and we rocked out the rest of her session together as brunettes. If you take a peek at the previous post mentioned above, you’ll see the same sets – the patterned couch, the bed, the balcony – but all with a different look, in terms of styling, pose, mood, and post. No matter what location I’m shooting in, I hustle my butt off to create variety and tell an interesting story.

That last shot is one of my favs- such a fun and sexy session!

Do you have any Q’s or tips on how to create variety? Share them in the comments! I enjoy hearing from you.

Thank you as always for stopping by and contributing!

Lots of love,


ps. want to see the inspiration for two of the above shots? Follow me on pinterest, check out my boards, and see if you can spot the shots.

How to Look Great Naked, No. 2

This week, I’ve got my sleeves rolled up and am diving even deeper into writing the new book

I am loving the challenge of pulling forth and putting down all I’ve discovered and learned about how to create stunning photographs of women. The book I’m writing goes beyond photography , to also include how to help women look and feel great by cultivating their sex appeal and coaching a bit of sensuality in their movements in addition to using your photography skills to capture it all.

As we discussed last week in How to Look Great Naked, cultivating sex appeal and looking great naked is not about crash dieting or Photoshop, but rather is about a woman’s attitude, confidence, playful personality, and feeling good in her own skin.

Honestly, that’s 98% of looking and feeling great naked.

So today’s post contains the other 2% to put you over the top with practical and immediately actionable tips to make you look great naked and boost your confidence for when you want to feel simply amazing in your birthday suit. 

How to Look Great Naked, No. 2!

1. Smile and Make Eye Contact
These are two of the most immediate, simple and powerful things you can do (at any given time really). There is nothing quite like the irresistible sex appeal of a confident woman smiling and making eye contact. Nothing else needed. But feel free to read on… 

2. Strap on Your High Heels
Want to add a bit more muscle definition to your legs and instantly feel sexier? Strap on a smoking hot pair of high heels! Obviously, heels make you appear taller (and therefore slimmer, if that’s your goal), but shoes with a slender heel that’s at least 2” high also make the calves appear muscular and much more defined. Nude shoes that match your skin tone are a fantastic choice to make your legs look even longer. However, avoid shoes with ankle straps, a square toe, and chunky shoes which all make legs look wider. Note: of course, this effect only applies when you’re standing. But if you ask me, high heels are the perfect accessory for looking great naked, in any position. 

3. Style Up A Great ‘Do
Everyone knows a good hair day makes a woman feel amazing, so don’t underestimate what a good ‘do can do. When prancing around naked, it’s the one thing you can wear styled, so invest time or money in making it great. Most men love hair that looks shiny, soft and touchable. No time for a polished style? Go for the sex appeal of bedhead. Run fingers through your roots with a scrubbing motion, use a spray wax, spritz all over hair, and then twirl random sections around your fingers. Naughtiness. (ps. I’m loving big hair. The bigger the hair, the sassier and slimmer my body appears.)

4. Get Glowing Skin
When you’re sporting nothing but your birthday suit, you want to make sure your skin feels and looks great. Moisturizing is key. I love Neutrogena Sesame Oil. Not only do I love how it makes my body glow and feel soft and silky, but I’m crazy about the seductive scent as well. A tip: put it on in the shower so it’s absorbed nicely and you don’t end up greasy. Use a moisturizing lotion on your face, and add a bit of  gel stain on your cheeks to get a gorgeous flushed look. Longer term, make sure you’re drinking your 8 glasses a day, exfoliating and moisturizing daily.

Beyond moisturizing, try a tinted moisturizer, self-tanner, or body make-up, which can all hide a multitude of sins, make your bod appear slimmer and give you a healthy glow. Restraint here is a good thing – just enough to give you a healthy glow and make you feel more confident.

5. Find Your Best Light
You can’t underestimate the power of light to flatter a figure. Two things to consider when choosing which light makes you look and feel great naked: the light’s quality and the direction of the source. The most flattering quality of light for your nudeness comes from soft glowing sources, such as a candle, the moon, and pink-tinted bulbs. The least flattering (and frankly, horrifying) light is fluorescent. Yikes.

Ways to create flattering quality of light:

  • Install dimmers. So you can adjust the lights to a level that’s most flattering to your skin and that suits your comfort level.
  • Try candlelight or firelight. The warm glow makes skin look amazing and casts beautiful shadows, not to mention the inherent romantic appeal. Light as many candles to make the room as dim or bright as would please you. 
  • Swap out regular light bulbs for pink-tinted bulbs. Pink-tinted light is the most becoming to skin and casts the most flattering shadows.
  • Place colored plastic gels (pink or orange) over a lamp. You can purchase gels at photography and art stores, or you can use a sheer fabric.
  • Get naked by moonlight. This soft light is another flattering choice with romantic appeal.
  • Go au naturale in early morning light. This scenario is a bit brighter for those who are bolder, but still a soft and flattering even light source.

Ways to position light that flatters:

  • Avoid overhead light. In terms of placement, a light source from behind you, to the side of you, or in front of you are vastly more flattering than the distorting hideousness of overhead light of any kind. Avoid that at all costs.
  • Side light – enhances curves and throws teasing shadows onto other areas. Illuminates less of your body, so it’s great if you’re a bit body conscious and want to have parts of your body “disappear” into darkness. Place lamp to the side of you.
  • Back light – is the least illuminating, throwing your bod into silhouette. Place lamp behind you. 

6. Practice Great Posture
Good posture can take you a long way and is another instant fix to looking great naked. Poor posture sends the wrong message. Excellent posture not only makes you look taller and leaner, it makes you feel and appear more confident. So when we talked about faking confidence until you have it (Tip #2 from last week’s post), this is a great way to do it – through great posture.

Ways to achieve great posture that flatters:

  • Great posture is easy to achieve, but difficult to sustain without constant reminders. Unfortunately most of us go through the day with poor unappealing posture. So practice the following tips while standing in front of the mirror and see how incredibly dramatic the difference is!
  • Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and down, elongate your neck, tilt your head and chin slightly out and down, pull your stomach in and up and let your back settle into a natural but a bit of an extended arch that pushes out (and plays up) both the butt and chest.
  • Sit on a diagonal, with a slight twist at the waist instead of facing someone head-on. This will naturally cinch in your waist.
  • Place your hands where you want attention to go. If you like your hips, décolletage, or face, put your hands there.
  • When standing, turn a bit sideways, shift your weight to the back leg, and put the other leg out in front of the other, knee slightly bent, and toe pointed, lifting your heel.
  • If you don’t love your arms, position them so that they are away from your body. For example, placing a hand on your hip immediately thins out your arm.

7. Pay Attention to Details

  • Give your hands and feet loving attention. A mani/pedi is a must for good grooming.
  • Style up your nether regions – whatever style (or lack thereof) suits you. 
  • Feel free to accessorize a tiny bit which may make you feel a little less naked, such as a gorgeous statement piece of jewelry on your wrist or around your neck. 
  • A slightly chill room or glass of ice water will do wonders to keep you, um, standing at attention.
  • Lastly, choose make-up to suit your style: minimalism keeps your look au naturale, or you can go bold with smokey smoldering eyes or simply just red hot lips. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below… What’s your single best tip for feeling great in your own skin?

Lots of love and nakedness,


ps. If ya missed it, here are more great tips on How to Look and Feel GREAT Naked!

pps. If you’d like to get your copy of my book The Art of Boudoir, it’s now available for pre-order!

Featured Interview on LensProToGo

*One note before we launch into the interview — The deadline to submit your video and join me for free in creativeLIVE’S Seattle studio for my sassy Boudoir Workshop is TOMORROW Wed. Jan 18th! So jump in, record your vid, and I can’t wait to meet you!

Now on to the interview!

I was recently interviewed by the incredibly knowledgeable and generous staff at LensProtoGo.com and their readers. They asked smart questions that are on lots of newbie boudie photogs’ minds. So I think you’ll relate, and I hope you enjoy!…

LensProToGo: For those who don’t know you, can you explain what type of photography you do?
Christa: Sure! I specialize in photographing women. I love to make women feel confident and beautiful, and I incorporate fine art nudes, fashion and portraiture into my private commissions.

How did you start doing boudoir photography?
A few years ago, a friend of a friend was getting married, and she wanted to shock her fiance with sexy photographs of herself as his wedding gift. She is a self-described plain jane and told me she lives in sweat pants and no make-up and this is something he would NEVER expect from her. She said she knew I was a portrait photographer and that she felt really comfortable with me, so asked if I would do it. Of course I said heck yes! I love saying yes to new creative opportunities and challenges.

I, personally, don’t feel boudoir photography is something any photographer can just ‘do’. In one sentence describe yourself and why you you belong in boudoir photography.  
First, I feel that any photographer who feels drawn to photographing women, appreciates the value of it, and has a compelling reason why they want to do it, can do so. Now, to describe myself in one sentence is difficult for me 🙂 so, I’ll just say that one of my talents is creating intimacy quickly.

I find you can make any woman feel sexy and great about themselves without focusing on their ‘shape’. What do you like the photos to show in the end?
My goal is to capture the distinct spirit and personality of each woman, including all the glorious qualities she loves about herself (such as playfulness, bold, elegant, etc) and what she loves about her body (such as her fabulous smile, curvy hips, or the small of her back). I also like to incorporate the qualities which the woman aspires towards. That’s the ultimate success of a shoot – getting to redefine yourself as you wish with your photographer’s help.

Who do you find to be your most common client?
My most common client is also my Ideal Client, who I’ve intentionally focused on attracting. Soccer Mom’s, 40+, who’ve just had a recent transition – either breast cancer survivor, huge weight loss, about to get pregnant again, 10th anniversary, divorce, new partner, etc. Those are my ladies that I love to serve and I find the most fulfilling. Make this client feel confident and look beautiful from doing a shoot with you, and there’s no finer reward.

How do you get your clients to feel ‘comfortable’ with not only you but the shoot in general?
Comfort is over-rated. The more nervous you are the better is what I tell them. Going out of your comfort zone is thrilling and part of this experience. It feels freaking amazing once you’ve push past your fear – that’s when you feel the true reward. So I like when my client is nervous, which most are, and I tell them why. Also, I do a lot of prep work and planning before the shoot. I get specific and ask exactly what degree of nudity/modesty we’ll be capturing. I ask what they love about their bodies. I let them know what to expect. I keep in touch the weeks leading up to their shoot with a few points of personal contact via phone or text. I make sure to have about 1.5 hours of make-up and hair styling time before the shoot, so she has this transition time to get pampered and relax. It also gives me the opportunity to start shooting while she’s in the make-up chair so she’s already comfortable with being half-naked in the room with me shooting. Then, before she’s even completely done in Hair/Mk-up, I pull her out of the chair for a “make-up or light test” and we’re shooting without her realizing the session has begun. That’s important – you don’t want your client to feel like there’s a drum roll going on while you’re dusting off your camera and she’s taking her robe off to “begin” the session. I keep her moving before she knows what’s happening or has time to get self-concious. Lastly, keep your demeanor professional yet playful on the shoot. Demo every action or pose yourself first that you’d like her to do, so she doesn’t feel silly compared to how silly you just looked doing it 🙂 Be respectful of boundaries and always give Constant Never-ending Positive Feedback: everything works “GREAT!”

Sometimes boudoir can be ‘taboo’ for people. How do you deal with those critiques?
I’m not sure what’s actually “taboo” about it, and thankfully only people open to it approach me.

What has been your biggest challenge in this field of photography?
Redefining the term “boudoir” which, in America, has an unfortunate and outdated connotation.

What has been your greatest success in the field? Personal or business.
Every client who is moved to tears by my pictures. Every client who walks taller because of my pictures.

What type of gear do you use while shooting?
The old Canon 5D, 85 1.2, 50 1.2, 24-70 2.8, and for studio: one strobe with soft box and grey seamless background paper.

Is there a piece of gear that you ‘couldn’t live without’?
Nope. I think an essential and thrilling aspect of creation is working within limitations, so give me anything to shoot with and I’m happy.

You are teaching workshops now…online and live. What is the most important thing you want to get across to the participants during a workshop?
It’s easier than they think and to stay focused on developing their own unique personal vision.

What has inspired you the most during your journey as a photographer?
Oooh, that’s another difficult question to pin down to one answer. There are thousands of things that have inspired me along this journey. Mostly, I think it was my love of fine art (drawing, painting and sculpture) that I was exposed to at a very young age.

Any funny happenings or good stories from a shoot?
Every shoot is a good story.

Do you suggest renting gear and why if so?
Heck yeah! Gear is expensive, and why lay out money that is likely better spent elsewhere to get your business off the ground? I rented those prime lenses for a very long time before I bought them just for that reason, as well as to make sure I really loved them and used them a lot during a shoot. Also, renting allows you to experiment, which I’m a huge fan of in order to continue to grow, be creative and find what’s right for you.

What is your go to lighting set up for Boudoir?
My absolute favorite lighting set up is natural light. I work my butt off to make the available natural light work, and 90% of the time it does. I love genuine, natural, unmanipulated circumstances, so working with natural light plays into that. Sometimes, I have to bump up my ISO to 1600+, or use a reflector, and/or do a bit of dodging/burning in post, and I’m totally okay with that. My style is natural, and a big part of that is making available light work for me.

When you first started shooting boudoir, how did you break the ice…how did YOU get comfortable with your clients? You can’t expect Clients to be comfortable if you’re stumbling over your own words!
Such a great question and you’re absolutely right! Your clients will not feel comfortable with you and what you are asking them to do, unless you are comfortable with yourself, your sensuality, and why you’re photographing women in the first place. If you’re not able to talk freely with your clients about showing “nipple” or other grey areas of nudity, then you may want to consider another profession. You can’t have any hang-up’s about sexuality, nudity, or self-expression and do an awesome job as a boudoir photographer.

What do you feel are the necessary items to have in my “props” collection?
Ooooh, I love this question! I love props and highly recommend that you bring some items to set with you to ensure a fun, smooth and profitable shoot. First, black panties. You’d be surprised how many times a client is bummed because she forgot her black panties. They go with everything and are a safe universally appealing wardrobe option. I buy one size fits all “hanky-panky” brand thongs. They are given as a gift to the client if she wears them 🙂 Second, really high heels in size 7 or 8. Again, sometimes you’d be surprised what women forget to bring and are bummed to be without. Sizes 7 or 8 fit most. Other wardrobe staples that work on everyone are: Men’s white button down shirt, silk robe, fishnet thigh highs, a bunch of different gloves, hats, and jewelry. As far as fun props go: I LOVE masks and have a variety of those. Everyone loves the masks and it’s so much fun to see how different people act with the masks on. I also have nipple tassels, temporary tattoos, and a bunch of other fun stuff like that. I also have little note cards that have different sayings on them like “I’m not wearing any underwear,” and “Shut up and take off your clothes.” Props are awesome to loosen up a nervous client because the focus will shift from being on themselves to “hiding behind” a prop. It’s also a super simple and quick way to add variety to your shoot, which boosts sales. I’m always on the lookout for awesome props, and I think it’s great when a certain item becomes your signature, as I think the masks and signs have become for me.

If you could suggest one thing to up and coming photographers, what would it be?
Know why you do what you do, not just what and how. Read Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why.” Always look inward first for the answer to any question or issue that comes up. I think nowadays, since there is so much information available to us, it sometimes creates a habit of looking to others for answers to questions that are best answered internally. Go with your heart, and you’ll never go wrong. Play. Experiment. Keep it simple. Shoot for emotion not technical perfection. That will come in time. Ask yourself what’s your point of view on what you see and work on capturing that. It’s called Vision, and it’s the most important thing for you to have or strive towards.

Stepping Out


I wouldn’t call myself camera shy, but I have to confess to not having many pictures taken of myself.  As a photographer, I’m more comfortable observing a subject than being observed.  So for my birthday recently, I decided to walk the walk, be a woman not a photographer, break out of my comfort zone and go for it.  It was a beautiful hot Monday, my 25th (that’s right) birthday, and my last day in my photography studio in LA before moving out and ending my lease. With my sights set for moving to Italy in December, I could think of no better time for my own boudoir birthday-suit photography session to celebrate!

The photographer… Michael Chylinski, a long-time dear friend and professional drummer, who usually shoots landscapes and basketball hoops!  Hahaaa, he was more nervous for our shoot than I was!  Despite not being used to shooting with strobes, he was game to shoot for me while I gave him a tiny bit of coaching 🙂

Here are a few of my favorite Rated-PG pics.  This logo tank was a gift from a friend at the Grand Opening of my studio – seemed appropriate….


Kinda shy at first…


…but it didn’t take long til things heated up 🙂


Seriously, it was literally hot as hell in my studio, and yes that’s sweat on my face – I decided not to retouch it.


A behind-the-scenes shot reflected through the mirror in my studio – this cracks me up!  I’m not in a flattering pose by any means, but I love the moment Michael captured of me getting undressed, plus I love that you can see my tiny studio set-up: one main light and small fan – it’s simple and it works.  All pictures from this shoot were with this set-up.


In honor of my new book coming out, “Exposed: Redefining Boudoir”


And this is my absolute favorite.  I’m having fun, Mike’s cracking up, we see my studio for the last time and it’s just a great moment I’ll always want to remember. Plus, I love Mike’s socks – hahaaa!  Thanks Michael, for capturing my life authentically here. I won’t give you a hard time for taking your shirt off since it was sweltering that day.  I had a total blast and I’m forever grateful for this shoot and your friendship.


Thanks also to my wonderful talented friend and make-up artist Shannon Jankula, who is such a pro at making women look and feel beautiful.

Quick announcement: PartnerCon just opened registration today for my shooting workshop in New Orleans on Thursday, Nov. 11th.  Limited to only 15 participants… so hurry here to register.  Also, they sold out the first 500 seats to PartnerCon (where I am one of the line-up of awesome speakers), but they just added more seats… so you can still register for that here.

Thanks all for visiting and don’t forget to leave a comment!

Lots of love and nudity,

Christa xoxo