- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (December 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321862708
- ISBN-13: 978-0321862709
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Art of Boudoir Photography: How to Create Stunning Photographs of Women 1st Edition
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About the Author
Christa Meola has enjoyed life behind the camera since she was six years old. Her childhood passion has developed into a career. She opened a photography studio in Los Angeles, began teaching fellow professional photographers, and traveled internationally for commissioned portraits. While her sensibility has matured to reflect the soul of a woman, her child-like sense of adventure and exuberant spirit remains. A born and raised Jersey girl, Christa currently lives and works in New York City. She offers online workshops during the year as well as private photo shoots and Boudoir Parties. You can find out more about Christa and these great opportunities on her blog at ChristaMeola.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Going beyond boudoir photo shoots, Meola writes about posing women in general. This involves where to put their hands, how to hold their bodies, positioning their arms, and tracking their eyes. What are the best angles for posing? This book covers them in an accessible yet scholarly fashion.
Learn how to flatter every female shape and size. Help women to understand and achieve their own beauty and sensuality, by creating artistic images that are always empowering, and never explicit. Women will enjoy their femininity while simultaneously breaking out of their own personal comfort zones. Help them to be the change they wish to be in their own worlds. Create a relationship with your clients.
Tips and techniques abound for photographers. Watch for the simple yet straightforward lighting diagrams and the detailed lists of equipment, including lenses. Learn about modifiers and exposures, and all sorts of gear. The back index is thoughtfully loaded with hyperlinked information (in the Kindle version) to direct you to where you can find whatever you need inside the book.
The book covers it all, and it covers it with style, grace, humor, and a care for the art that is truly inspirational. The pictures are beautiful and each one has at least one lesson to teach - from posing, to lenses and lighting, to the importance of communicating a concept with the model and taking the model's needs and desires into the project. It's a book that teaches as much about the technicalities of photography as it does about the humanity.
It is truly a book about art and craft. The book treats the subject of the human body with the humaneness, respect, and seriousness it deserves while keeping the writing humorous and approachable. Every client is a person, and each person has different needs and goals, and Christa makes that abundantly clear in the way she works with client. She repeatedly makes sure that the project is the focus of each shoot, but never crosses the line into being preachy about how a photographer should be. She gives ample room for each person reading her book to develop their own style.
There are few books that have given me as much guidance and inspiration. I would recommend Stunning Digital Photography by Tony and Chelsea Northrup as a companion book to this. Between the two, every bit of photography is covered in great detail.
This is a book is sold and marketed as being about photographing nude or semi-nude women, but every bit of material is applicable to any photography project. Every time I open the book up, I discover a little tip I missed before. The book is packed with tons of information and will be a learning tool for years and years. But, in essence, this book is really about connecting with people, finding a common artistic goal, and using light to make art.
(Edit: One of the best parts of this book is that Christa puts her camera settings beneath every picture in the book: aperture, F/stop, shutter speed, and focal length. I haven't found another photography book that does this. It may be the most helpful thing in any photography book, and I wish more photographers would do this. It's so important.)
The author covers most aspects of the business of boudoir (and only boudoir) photography. If some suggestions or practices are universally applicable (professionalism, lighting), most of the book is very specific to this niche of hers.
She starts by discussing the specificities of working with women, which she appropriately classifies in professional models, girls next door and the in-between category of muses (i.e. women who know how to move gracefully without necessarily being used to the camera) and point out how this niche is better manned by women photographers - unfortunately true.
Follow three chapters about the mood: movement and poses to coach the model into, as well as storytelling in a single frame.
After a few quick pages over equipment (without surprise), she wraps up the shoot proper with one chapter listing a few lighting recipes and one about the way to coach the shoot ("yes, that's good... gorgeous, raise the hand a little, good..." you get the drift).
Then comes a chapter about post production (very basics of Lightroom and Photoshop), and Christa Meola closes the book with the description of a complete session from start to finish.
I enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover. The tips are useful; the shots are technically very good, very tastefull; the poses Christa describes are obviously great and they are well described in a way that makes them useful.
All in all a great set of poses, lighting tips etc. if.
If you hire a professional make-up artist for the day,
If you have a helping hand on the shoot,
If your models are on the average naturally gorgeous,
If you have access to beautiful Manhattan flats or Firenze gardens.
Christa Meola's book features few pictures of quite curvy young ladies whose inner beauty is indeed revealed by Christa's lenses (see the back cover). However this is more the exception than the rule. Not to detract from the obvious mastery displayed by the author; however taking great pictures is easier when you have professional make-up, styling, hair-dressing, and frequently models.
If you want more practical tips on how to flatter the less oh-so-obviously beautiful from the start, I would advise you have a look at Tammy Warnock's "Boudoir Photography". As much Christa Meola's could nearly be a coffee table book (not if you have kids around - nudity abounds), as much Tammy Warnock focusses on how to suggest while hiding, how to adjust the clothes and pose the hands to hide trouble spots etc. with a very practical collection of suggestions.
Finally, one small gripe: the one aspect of the boudoir photography business that is not explicitly dissected in its own chapter is marketing - however the astute reader would have noticed the obvious examples peppered throughout the book: every ten pages there is a mention of the author's website, her (expensive) online workshop or her blog. Marketing: not much theory, too much practice.
All in all a complete book that pretty much covers the subject and features beautiful, tasteful photographs. Well worth the price, especially if you get requests for boudoir sessions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It gives you detailed information that it is easy to recreate.
I would certainly recommend it