The story you are telling yourself

While shopping for a Christmas tree, I remembered what my father always said when I was young.
As usual, like my parents did, I shop around for days, looking at trees around town, checking sizes and shapes and colours. Looking for the perfect tree. Then I find it. It is the most beautiful tree, double sided leaves, silver coloured, all round and rich in branches, symmetric. This is when my father would say: “we’re getting this one, this tree is for champions.”
It was a little bit on the expensive side, but I didn’t care, I wanted that one. Why? For the feeling it would give me.

“This tree is for champions.”

We are busy all year long, working hard and this is our reward, we deserve it. We get it home and decorate it the best we can and then enjoy it for the whole Christmas season.

So then I started to think. What else do I treat in my life like that?

What are the stories I’m telling myself on a day to day to day basis.
What are the shoes I’m wearing? What is the mattress I’m sleeping on? Is the bed for champions?

Can you identify what is the story you are telling yourself?
Because I realize, this is how we live our lives, based on this little story we tell each other and ourselves every day.

“Oh, I’m not going to buy that dress, it is too expensive for me.”

Do you recognise this ? It is the value you assign yourself.
It’s the value you think you are worth. I am not telling you to go on a shopping spree and spend unconsciously, I am telling you to start paying attention to what you are saying to yourself. And see if you are happy with that story.


Does that story serves you well? Is it a success story ?


Is it a story that gives you confidence and lifts you up?


Are you treasuring yourself everyday and treating yourself like you’re the champion?


If not, challenge your inner voice and see if there’s any other way to look at yourself. The moment you accept your story, what ever that story is, you know that this story is becoming you. This story you are telling yourself becomes your life.


Do you need a visual, a way to look at your self ?


We, at Cristina Stoian Portraits, celebrate your inner champion. We show you you. The holidays are a perfect time to capture joy. Come share the spirit in a photo session. Are you ready to book your shoot? Or maybe you still have questions. If so, press the button below, and we’ll go through them together.

Celebrate your inner champion

The you as you imagined

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That Chick in Amsterdam

That Chick in Amsterdam is a new community for international girls that just want to have fun, meet other girls that want to go out and hangout. It grew to 1500 people over night and it’s very active online. Me and my colleague photographer Teresa Hulst, hosted a photo shoot for this group. We wanted to meet-up with some of the cool chicks we have been chatting with online. It was super fun!

Teresa did the behind the scenes photography and styling and I did the portrait shooting. Check more of the behind the scenes photos on her website, Californiagirl.

Behind the scenes photography: Teresa Hulst


Portrait Photography: Cristina Stoian

Portrait Photography: Cristina Stoian

Portrait Photography: Cristina Stoian

Portrait Photography: Cristina Stoian

Portrait Photography: Cristina Stoian

Have a girls day out with a photo shoot and makeover.

Photoshoot Party

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Why not

I have been photographic women for over half a decade.

I can now say that I have heard every excuse you can imagine for women not to step in front of the camera.

I’m not good enough

I don’t look good on camera

I need to lose weight before you take photos of me

I HATE having my photo taken

I look old nowadays…

During the last years photographing women, I discovered some patterns women have in common before they decide to have their portrait taken. It is always the same and always baffles me. I do understand it, as I am a woman too, and I wished I can make a difference about it.  I will discuss it here, because I think women need to get over it.


1) I need to lose 25 kilos before I can have my portrait shot taken


I have been saying that since I was 25. Each year I felt I do not look good enough now. I am too chubby to appear in photos. I had an image in my head about how I was supposed to look based on how I looked at 14. so I always felt I need to lose weight…and guess what, it never happens. I never manage to lose 25 kilos. why ? because I draw myself nearly impossible targets to achieve and then fail and feel bad about it. If I look back at my photos now since when I was 25, I think to myself, I was insane back then. There’s no way I did not look beautiful. and still, inside of me, there was always this little voice that said.. “you don’t look good enough”… do you recognise that?


My solution: I started taking selfies of myself when I turned 28. I’ve created myself a Path account and I’ve only shared it with myself. I have taken photos of me every single week… for 2 years. In each photo, I was trying to show myself in a “beautiful light”. So I learned about posing and lighting. I noticed how my mood changed my photos always, so if I was pleased that day, the photos would look radiant… This helped me improve the image I had about myself… and then.. even to lose weight. When I did not think as much about the weight, but as how can I look more beautiful in my next photo, I did miraculously lose 8 kilos. Because 8-10 was really more realistic…


2) What can I do with a portrait


Why do I need a portrait, you must wonder yourself as I did for many years. I was taking photos of other people and never occurred to me that I should get one too. And when I did, I realised why. It is such an incredible gift to yourself. To see yourself the way you are. To be able to show the world who you are. To be able to hold yourself in a printed photo and really admire yourself. It is something so powerful, beyond words. It is something that makes you want to appreciate yourself more and be kind to yourself. It is an experience that touches your soul in powerful ways and changes you. Once you know why you want it, you will surely know what to do with it. Tips here.


3) I am not ready for this


Imagine yourself travelling to a foreign country by yourself. How does it feel? Do you like the fact that there is no person to drag you from your path and you can see whatever you like to see and go wherever you like to go? Does it feel like freedom to be able to choose what to do next?

In my photoshoots, I strive to give you the same feeling. We are designing this shoot together, but really you are the one in charge of this journey. It is a journey for you to discover yourself.  I am providing the tools you need for you to shine through. The real you will shine through. The one that you used to be and now you forgot, the goddess you sometimes felt but now not anymore.


4)  I’m too old to have my portrait taken


Nearly all women that come to me ask me: can you make me look more young in the photos? Is there some special light you can use so my wrinkles do not get seen?

Yes! your inner special light! Age has nothing to do with your inner light. When your inner light shines, wrinkles have nothing on you. You are more than your body, your skin or your wrinkles. You are now more powerful, witty, deserving. I feel in awe of you and you should be too. Let’s show the world exactly how beautiful you are! 


5)  I am not pretty enough


I’m not beautiful enough, I’m not pretty, I’m not good looking. I hear this over and over again…. and yet.. you are! I see the light shining in your eyes when I talk about your passion, I see your face lighting up when I talk about your family. I see you sparkling when I ask you about your loved one. So why not shine when I talk about you? Why not allow me to show you how beautiful you really are, who I really see when I look at you. If I could only show you how you are in front of my camera, you will change the way you look at yourself… and it’s an experience you won’t forget!

…and you. miss… reading this. feeling safe behind your computer. what stops you from having your portrait taken? Let me know in the comments below.

How do you see yourself ?

How do you see yourself ?

Allison from DailyOutfit has been a long time supporter of me and my business endeavours. She was first a strong believer in me, while I was working at my 123dressme project, and then, when I decided to move on and start this new genre in photography, Glamour Portraits, she became my biggest ambassador and one of my first clients. I feel I am so lucky to have such beautiful humans like her by my side, their support is invaluable. When I grow up, I will return the favour to the universe and support and mentor younger girls, because I really do think these people are godsend. This is what Allison had to say after our session together, it was interesting to me to see how she sees herself and how I see her, depicted in portraits.

“When I said yes, I thought I was doing Cristina a favor.  If she was going in a new direction with her photography, I was going to support her!  I certainly didn’t think I needed this for myself.

What surprised me was how much the session did for me, for my confidence, and for the way I see myself.   Not only were the images she created beautiful, they allowed me to see a whole other side of myself that I thought I knew, but had never really claimed.

Cristina told me it was an experience.  She designed it as an opportunity for any woman to get in touch with her glamorous side.  But, really, I didn’t think that was an issue for me.  I’m a stylist!

I was wrong.

The experience was transformational.

First of all, who knew modeling is so difficult?

It takes concentration, physical stamina and total focus. It’s like yoga, except you also want to look good!

Luckily, Cristina coached me through the whole thing.  I relaxed with her and got into the swing of it.  She’s amazing:  kind and encouraging.

It was unlike any other photo shoot I’ve experienced.

Of course, models and actresses do this all the time — and they don’t get that kind of support.  It’s their job.  It was fascinating to experience the poses and facial expressions they wield for myself.

More importantly, I have a whole other level of respect for it.  We all struggle with expectations of perfection and beauty.  Much of this struggle comes from amazing images like these.

What most of us don’t understand is the preparation and work that goes into creating high fashion images.  Once I experienced it for myself, I immediately understood on a visceral level how these images are created.

And yet, for the first time, these images allowed me to see my body as beautiful.  And seeing is believing.

For example, take a look at this photo to the left.  I look slender and curvy at the same time.  My waist and bust look perfect.  The funny thing is, I know this is the pose.  But, I also know it is actually me.

Not that I’m going to walk around like this; no one could.  But, if this is actually me, what happens to all that struggle with all those expectations?

I can just put those to rest.  Done and sorted!  What a gift.

portrait Cristina Stoian

“Working the camera” is not just a phrase; it’s a skill set. Some of my sisters have teased me (lovingly or not so lovingly, depending on their mood) that I “always” look good in photos. It’s not actually true.But, I did learn early on how to simply look at the camera and smile. It brings your ratio of good shots to bad shots WAY up.

Take the image to the right. I don’t always look this good, but it is totally me. It’s my smile, the photo looks natural — and it is!

This shot has become my new head shot.

It’s on my website banner and in my marketing. It expresses who I am and who I want to be:  for my clients, my friends and myself.  Fun, compassionate AND stylish.

But, it’s not the shot that inspired me the most from this shoot OR the one that taught me the most about myself OR about high fashion.

There are so many elements to women and to beautiful femininity. I am proud to bring it out in my portraits. I work to bring out different sides of people for different purposes, or for different types of women – it really depends on my model. Women are so powerful, dramatic and natural, it all deserves to be seen. I want everyone to be able to see the beautiful, natural, confident woman in us all.

Because taking a high-fashion shot is totally different. It’s actually not about the smile at all.Why do so many famous women look younger than the rest of us?  It’s not just the Botox and air-brushing. In these shots, I’m not making any wrinkles!

IMG_4073Look closely –

the forehead, the mouth, the eyes — and you’ll see my face is totally relaxed.

I look about 20.  But really?  I’m 43 and I’ve had two children!

My daughter said, “Mommy, are these photos of you when you were much younger?”

I laughed and responded, “No, sweetie, this is how I can look right now.  I just have to be very relaxed.”

After I went through the shoot, I felt I had learned so much about myself and fashion, I didn’t even feel the need to see the photos!  The experience itself had had an amazing result.

But, I’m not gonna lie — the reveal was incredible.  I couldn’t believe the images Cristina had created.

Here is, as Oprah says, my best self — beautiful, strong, fabulous, sexy, stylish and confident

This is who I am — in my imagination.

But there I am — in a photograph.

I am so happy I said yes to this shoot.  Turns out?  It was a favor to myself.

Sometimes, it takes courage to step into your own power.

Thanks to Cristina, all I need to do is look at this image to know I already have!”





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It’s Magic

There’s a magic that happens in the studio after the hair and makeup is done and we start shooting. It’s hard to explain it, it’s a connection between me and my model, it’s a click that happens in our eyes, I feel it in my belly and it’s so strong that it gives me energy for the whole shoot. It’s a magic moment that happens around outfit number two, when the client relaxes and starts trusting me completely. I see it over and over again. It’s beautiful and so addictive !

Cristina Stoian Portraits

Cristina Stoian Portraits



“I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother. I AM A WOMAN.

And here I AM, at my 40’s, feeling more FEMALE than ever.
Among many other things, my body has swum for many years, my body has given birth 4 times, and has feed all my children. Yes my body has created 4 children. My mind has not only designed systems, founded my own company, but has dreamt of my life and WHO I wanted to be, as a woman, as a wife and as a MOTHER.

This picture comes as a result of an extraordinary work made by Cristina Stoian Photographer , many other pictures were taken, and I have chosen this one cause it shows me the incredible power of being female. This picture shows me WHO I always dreamt to be, THE WOMAN WHO HAS CREATED HERSELF AND HER WORLD.
Cristina Stoian, the experience you have given to me has gone far beyond any expectation I had. I am profoundly touched. Your work has given me a precious gift, that of seeing me and enjoying who I am, and I have learnt something really beautiful with you, I have learnt to not forget the reason why I wake up every morning, to give the best of me to my daughters, my husband and to all mothers.

Thank you,
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Hi Beautiful

How many times are you looking for that “wonderful you” picture? A picture that you like and that you think it is really who you are.

The beautiful YOU – personal glamour photo shoots, blended with hair styling and make up is my new venture. I’ll launch this early year to celebrate women and their true beauty. So yes, YOU too!

After a half decade of photographing women, I realise that we all have something in common. I’ve heard it so many times during my photoshoots: ‘oh, I never look good in my photos’, ‘oh, I don’t like how I look’, ‘I’m not photogenic’ that made me want to prove it wrong. :) I want to dedicate the year of 2015 to the beautiful women around me. They all deserve to be seen, they all deserve to shine, they all deserve to be celebrated.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman