Customer Reviews: The Art of Boudoir Photography: How to Create Stunning Photographs of Women
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on March 30, 2013
Absolutely wonderful book of information for someone comfortable with posing and working with people but needing that extra insight on boudoir.

I actually found that this book had AMAZING tips on posing women in general - clothed or not clothed. Between ways to hold their bodies, position their hands, arms and what to look for in eye tracking and angles. I think this is a must just for posing and working with the female body. It's easy to peruse and you don't feel you have to read it cover to cover. Editing tips, helpful but not critical.

I have been EXTREMELy happy with this. I know that some seasoned photographers say that this book was not helpful, so maybe it isn't for someone who has done a ton of boudoir but I feel it can really make you think outside the box and review the shots you do make. I like the authors style as it incorporates MORE than a hotel room on the bed photography which is most of what I see... I like her information on outfit guides etc.

I feel like everyone can benefit from this book but I am not a seasoned photographer.

Overall, like I said, the biggest tips I got from this was how to pose women and look at the female body. Be that you do wedding, teens for senior photos. This isn't even meaning for SEXUALLY attractive photos, but just natural looking poses that highlight a women's best stance for her body.
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on December 11, 2012
Just completed reading the Kindle version of this book and in short it is a useful, scholarly book that provides the novice and pro photographer with the insights boudoir photography by a working portraitist presented with clarity, depth and wisdom. You get a glimpse into the character and experience of the writer, Ms Meola as she presents photo session insights, planning issues, the joy of interacting with her clients and tips on how to bring out the best in each boudoir subject - her depth of experience and her love of teaching this subject of photography is inherent in this book. Bottom line - I highly recommend this book to those who wish to do best by their clients.
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When it comes to photographing women, especially in a boudoir setting, the name of Christa Meola will often be at the top of the list. She's an exceptional photographer in her own right, and is well known for her workshops and seminars.

Christa's book The Art of Boudoir Photography: How to Create Stunning Photographs of Women, released in late 2012, lives up to its title, as good boudoir photography is truly an art. In her workshops, she instructs photographers how to work with style and sensitivity, and her numerous location and studio events are full of innovation and sensuality, energy and feeling.

Have been following her blog for quite some time, and when an online offer came through from her publisher, Peachpit/New Riders, I grabbed it in Kindle format. At about 270 pages, it's a good one, and handy to have for the reader or photographer on the go. The author delves into how to work with women, how to flatter every size and shape, and how to bring out the best in every woman. In short, here you'll find the fundamental posing, shooting and lighting techniques that each photographer can employ to capture truly stunning photographs.

Ms. Meola has no problem with communicating with photographers or with her female clients who have signed up for one of her photo sessions, and that shines through on the pages of this book. The photos within are sensual without being overly explicit, and she clearly has the ability to teach women to recognize their individual beauty, to break through into their individual comfort zones and to celebrate the joys of their own femininity. Her boudoir photo session clients are women of all backgrounds, sizes and shapes, and she knows how to flatter even the most "curvelicious" into kicking their individual comfort zones up to a new level.

For the photographer, this book is loaded with plenty of tips and techniques, along with simple and straightforward lighting diagrams. She lists the lenses and equipment she uses along with the photos in the book, and each chapter is quite professional and well-organized. There's also an excellent hyperlinked index in the rear of the Kindle edition, making topics easy to find without having to do a search. It's like having an online mentor, a personal coach there with you. This from the author says it quite well:

"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."
~ Christa Meola

There are plenty of books available on nude female photography, but Christa's book The Art of Boudoir Photography is worthy of a special place, regardless of which edition is more useful to you. Whether for a woman contemplating having some boudoir images taken, or for the aspiring photographer looking to break into the field, this book is highly recommended.

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on February 7, 2013
I read through the earlier negative reviews about this book, and really thought it was not a fair assessment of the book itself. I can speak only for the book in front of me, and I think that it's really well done.

There's lots of books on the topic, and frankly I think that many of the others are too mechanical on how to approach boudoir. Boudoir has an element that goes way beyond how to set the camera, and that's how to take a person who's not a model and turn her into a star. Getting into the mindset of what that person might be feeling, what they want, and how to deliver what it is they want is what this book does. It goes way beyond the concept of setting this or that on the camera, and talks about working with the client, getting them prepped, coaching them through the shoot, and delivering quality. It's focused specifically on the shoot itself.

To clarify what the negative review said, no there is no section on how to run a photography business. And there isn't very much on post either. What is here, however, is well thought out and well articulated to build a relationship with your client and get into how the client feels.

It's a very nice book on the topic of Boudoir, and certainly a wonderful way for new boudoir photographers to get started.
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on December 17, 2012
I just received this today and it contains just about everything you would need to know to take great photos from lighting(both natural and strobe), angles, exposures, working with the models, modifiers, gear, extras, etc. and all easily explained. so glad i bought this. I have a shoot planned for tomorrow and just a few of the tips I've picked up so far should help me a great deal.
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on August 24, 2013
I decided to check out this book since this is an area of photography that I would like to eventually go into. I have a shoot coming up soon that I still felt would benefit from this book.

First, this book is not a guide on the running of such a business or any of the legal stuff.

The book starts off by explaining how to build a relationship with your client. It teaches some essential skills to communicate with your client and has some great (very important) pointers for male photographers in building a relaxing environment for the client.

As basic and common sense as some of it is, most of us photographers forget these tips and this book is designed to start you off on the right foot with the client.

The book has great tips on how to make the client relaxed and what to do to shake off the nervousness.

The next sections cover poses and how to create positive points of interest and how to hide areas of concern on the body. The tips here are very useful and are worth writing down.

The following sections cover lighting and equipment. The focus of the book is not equipment but rather connecting with your client. Without a connection you have nothing.
I think it is important to already have a good understanding of lighting and equipment before reading this book. It is really not a technical guide on the toys but rather a guide to what is important.

I would highly recommend this book even to a portrait photographer because the people skills it teaches are essential.

One thing that I did make note of is that most of the females in the sample photos, are of a smaller size.

Yes a few shots are of some females of a bigger size but the majority of the book is medium to skinny women. The books does give pointers to help shoot heavier females but don't expect any lightbulb or magic moments of clarity to solve these types of issues. You will still struggle in some situations depending on the subjects stature.

The book also covers a shoot from start to finish and has a small section on editing and retouching.

This book is a great investment and the information is vital to anyone that wants to explore this area of photography.

Buy the book and you will not be sorry.
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on October 25, 2014
Absolutely INCREDIBLE book. I would suggest this to any photographers who are interested in doing boudoir photography. The book is very detailed and gives you great ideas on how to approach a shoot. Christa Meola has put basically everything into this book that you will need to get started (with exception of how to operate the camera). The book also features gorgeous imagery...she has taken some wonderful pictures and given some really good jumping off points.
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on January 3, 2013
As an artist and photographer that specializes in working with women, this book has been so helpful in helping me define my own individual style. This book focuses on boudoir from an artistic perspective (not business). What I love most about the book, is that you will feel creatively inspired and technically empowered to define your own style through her teachings in this book. FIVE STARS!
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on February 22, 2013
Of the photography books I am going through, Christa Meola's "The art of boudoir photography" is one of the standouts.
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.
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on April 16, 2013
I came across this book on a whim. Once I got my hands on it, I couldn't put it down! There was so much fantastic information, especially as a male photographer. To get perspective on how a woman likes to shoot, how a woman likes to be photographed, and how to speak and comfort them to rid them of their insecurities was invaluable. It is something I honestly believe I never could have gained on my own.

I also really appreciated her explanation of why she choose the equipment she uses and how it benefits her. Some of the elements may or may not work for me, but hey at least I have the knowledge to experiment with them and or adapting them to fit my needs.

Christa is a fantastic photographer, and she has created a phenomenal tool in this book. Most certainly worth the investment of my time and money. Her words and her photographs have left me inspired!
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