How does it feel to get your portrait taken

Getting your Portrait taken is nothing short of magic.


Last year I have done a self portrait, this year I wanted to experience a full portrait experience like the one I give my clients.
Hair and makeup and the whole day pampering me. Pose training and dress change and expressions exercises.


I knew it was not going to be easy, let yourself go in front of the camera is not something that comes naturally to me. Putting myself first is something I don’t do well.


For this reason, I decided to preach what I teach and get myself this experience.


I can let you know that I understand it better now. It’s hard to let go of the daily tensions, stay focused for 4 hours, let yourself led by the expert, and just enjoy.


It’s like the holidays you take after a long year of work, you find it hard to de-tense and disconnect in the first few days.


What I realized is that the sooner you let go of control, (and boy, as an expert myself, is hard to do) the sooner you can achieve the results you want.


So what did this photoshoot teach me?


Well, it was easy to see, I am tense. Does this apply to you too?


I don’t take time enough for myself to enjoy time off, selfless time off for me, with me.
Like a massage, a spa day, a dinner alone reading a book, checking in with myself more often, how do I feel right now. Am I balanced? Or am I tense? Am I calm and grounded or am I all over the place? Am I clear and sharp in my thoughts or is it hard for me to focus. These are clues that tell you how far you are in your tiredness and stress. Being balanced is a trained muscle and one that you can develop.


So it was good to slow down and take some me-time and then reflect on it.


I learned how hard it is for me to let go of control. Can you relate?


This is something unhealthy, I think and possibly the reason I work for myself. Perfection doesn’t exist but good results can be achieved multiple ways. Sometimes is good to let someone else take the lead and let yourself flow with them.


I am shy. Shy to be watched, shy to connect with someone’s eyes for my own purpose, shy to hold the gaze.


So after all these preconceptions of how things should go, are let loose, that’s when the magic begins and the photographer can do its job.


I realize how hard this is for you and I will be ever more kind and allowing you more space to open for my future photo shoots.


I am pleased with this portrait, this is me at the age of 35. Even though it was a journey to achieve it, I recommend this experience to everyone because it is a valuable lesson of self-discovery.


Empowered Women

Empowering women is what I do best. I did with CRAVE, featuring stylish women entrepreneurs in a book, and I continue empowering women in my portrait business. Seeing women thriving is what gives me a kick. Pushes me forward to do what I do and makes me happy to share my life with so many fabulous women.

She came into my studio the other day for a Personal Branding shoot for her new website. Karmen is building a brand “Flower and Spice Modern Apothecary“, a natural skincare cosmetic company.

… We had such a great time collaborating on a variety of elegant looks and overall feel. We wanted her portraits to match her brand… and I think we totally nailed it.

Karmen switched from a stressful corporate career in advertising to something completely different, embracing entrepreneurship and learning a new trade.

“It is never too late to do what makes you happy.”


Ready to Love

 So many people I photograph and friends tell me that they are single and can’t find a partner to share their lives in Amsterdam.

They start blaming the city, their busy lives, their careers.


I always ask them, are you ready for love?

Valentine is coming and I feel compelled to write about this. Soon, spring will be here, and with that the boom of nature: the flowers, the butterflies, the sun is back, and for me, this is the love season.

When everything around you blooms, the air is warm, the aroma of the flowers makes you dizzy, something happens inside. The many jackets you’re wearing during winter are falling off you now and you are feeling lighter. You feel freer: free to move, free to sing, to dance, to jump in the air.

Why am I talking about this? Because I want you to feel it, so much you could touch it. I want you to understand what nature goes through every spring to come to life and go with the flow and feel it.

Think about yourself, how did you feel inside this winter. Are the jackets become heavier to wear, the long winter days and nights are they unbearable and cold. Is it time to open up and let love in? Are you ready to bloom? How you might ask. Well…


Do you have your apartment ready?
If not, start the declutter, start to fresh up the air, get some plants, burn some incents.
In Feng Shui, they say if you want to attract a partner, you have to make space in your house for them. Get an extra pillow, make some space in your cupboards, set two equal nightstands. I believe this way you also make space in your mind and something starts to shift.


Do you have your wardrobe ready?
Have you thought what sort of colours/materials/cuts you want to wear this spring that are communicating love?  Start getting your clothes dry-cleaned, sorted, ready to embrace spring and a new you!


Do you have your heart ready?

This one is the toughest one. Are you ready and open to it? Are you allowing yourself to fall in love? Did you make this your priority? No more excuses. If this is what you really want, then you focus on it. Have a heart to heart conversation with yourself and decide: “This is the spring I’m going to fall in love! ”


Then show yourself to the world like you mean it, the bud in bloom that you are, ready to open up and embrace it!
If you need help getting your confidence up and present yourself to the world go to contacts and let’s schedule a chat about it!

The power of transformation

As the year renews, it is a good time to reflect back and see what still works with you, so you can keep it, and what does not, so you can throw it away. You can apply this for any item in your closet, kitchen, cosmetics, paperwork. Same goes for habits and rituals. Notice what has to stay, and notice what is better to go. Same for feelings or emotions. Don’t hold onto it if it does not serve you.

We are spiritual beings that evolve, change, with the passing of time. Make sure you like who you are becoming. Make sure you notice and accept your transformation, make sure it’s in alignment with your vision of your best self.


Since the beginning of the year, I am looking more into the meaning of things.


Naturally, I am observing what I am doing in my daily life and what I chose to create in my daily job. My job is to transform people. To show them the transformation. To bring them from their every day self to a potential very best self. Then to show it back to them. So how do I do that ?



1) It begins with makeup and the power of transformation once you put it on.

It is a very controversial topic, with or without makeup, and it seems the dispute comes apparently, from ancient times.

Make-up was considered to give you more attention, “transforming a person’s appearance, but changing their mood while inspiring feelings of power and confidence”. Ancient Egyptians believed lipstick has healing powers. (Read about the History of makeup here, I find it fascinating). Some believed it has powers over other people. There is a link between makeup and witchcraft and of course, there were also laws put in place to prevent it. Witchcraft, I wonder ? Then if you think about it, there all the beauty rituals, cosmetics and fragrances. Sounds a bit like spells.

I love everything about the power of transformation, and the art of beauty.


And how does makeup, make you have more confidence so you become empowered ?


Well, I think when you apply your makeup, it gives you a certain sense of yourself that you look better. And with that feeling, your inner self falls in-love with yourself a little bit more than before and then there’s your sparkle coming out with it. I feel it works from the outside – in. It has the power to transform your inside. Because your true beauty lies inside, and sometimes it needs a little kick to come out.


2) Then, after the makeup is done, I ask you to get dressed in your best clothes. Clothes that make you look good, that transform you from your casual self to your more glamorous self. This also contributes to your confidence and your perceived notion about yourself.



So looking into the meaning further, I research the word glamour. Its origins come from ‘enchantment, magic’,  ‘beauty’ or ‘charm’. Imagine my surprise when I read that. That made me smile and think: what we are doing in my studio is truly magical.

You look good, you feel good.

3)  There are some tips and tricks I give you for posing, I know what works best for your body type and face shape. There is science behind it, figure 8 shape is the most desirable body type. So every pose I put you in, enhances the figure 8 shape. Also, creating triangles in posing creates a pleasing image to the eye.  I go through this posing training and after a couple of shots, you become a pro. You go from “I hate this”, to “I love this, give me more”. I like it when clients start revealing themselves fully, giving in and switching to their confident selves.

Have a look below to some of the metamorphosis I’ve done throughout the years. Notice first of all their increase in confidence besides their change of physical aspect. Magic!




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The glamourous, powerful, passionate me

I’ve just received the most heartwarming review from my first Glamour Photoshoot Session I’ve done.. I’m most humbled and grateful. I guess it’s been a journey for both of us, Su !

“Ever since I celebrated 30 years of my life I was preparing for my 40th birthday. I wanted to celebrate this milestone with an awesome party and photo shoot beyond awesome.

But when my 40th birthday came none of this happened. December 11th, 2010 my amazing father unexpectedly passed away abroad and according to Hindu tradition his death was followed with one year of mourning. Then a few years followed with a drastic change of my body filled with IVF related hormones. So I didn’t feel ready yet to still have that photo shoot.

When Cristina Stoian approached me for a glamour photo shoot three years later I accepted this opportunity with both hands and a lot of excitement.

This excitement was the most some days just before the photo shoot one day before my 43th birthday. Why? Because I am a result driven person and highly impatient when it comes to the good stuff in life. I pampered myself a lot with respect to preparing for the photo shoot and had regular contact with Cristina about what to wear, well actually about my whole presentation.

I already knew Cristina from an entrepreneurial circle. I met Cristina as partly down to earth but also a young talented woman who could capture life in all its features. Feeling comfortable with a photographer is the most important thing about being photographed so the play between expression and impression can be of great value for both the photographer and the photographed individual.

Being ‘naked’ outside the premises of my home, is something I haven’t done in ages, as my mother always taught her children that you never have a second chance to have a first impression, I am used to leave the house as impeccable with respect to my appearance.

On the day of the photo shoot I left home without make up and comfy dressed as I knew there was a metamorphose about to start.

On location my hair and make-up was done by to talented women and meanwhile I did my best to fit into the energy of Cristina and her studio. Initially it was hard to pose, as I am a woman who prefers to be behind the camera instead of in the picture. And also my serious look. I laugh a lot in life, but to pose with a smile is something that feels unnatural. The photo shoot almost took a whole day. Afterwards there was a mixture of feelings, feeling like I had an eight hour work out of yoga and Pilates in one and feeling in-convincible again. Cristina managed to make me laugh and loosen up. Though the final results were not ready yet, Cristina made some sneak-a-peak-pictures with her I-phone during and after the photo shoot. When I received those pictures shortly after the photo shoot and placed them on social media, the reactions were overwhelming. Many people assumed this was the actually result of the photo shoot. Most people reacted with love and awesomeness, seeing me as I used to be a long time, powerful and passionate about life.

The very first time I saw the results of glamour shoot, I was silent. Not because I didn’t like it, but because of Cristina’s ability to capture the nature of my soul, my fragile and powerful part at once, my completeness. It was quite confronting, realizing what the heck had happened to that woman I saw in all her brilliance again and feeling grateful to have reconnected with that brilliance. My favourite photo I installed as a screensaver, just to remind me of the woman I am working and living for. There is always a distorted self-image as looking at our reflection in the mirror, is not the way we are perceived by the world. The response to the pictures online were also amazing, people I had not been in touch with for ages reconnected with me and saw my heritage of people they once knew and respected, like my father and my grandparents.

I would definitely recommend this experience to other women. It is not just a photo shoot, any woman is worth such experience to meet and have the essence of yourself captured for the rest of your life and beyond. Actually, I already have recommended this experience to other women.

As I was the first in her glamour photo shoot and I didn’t know what to expect, but with Cristina met beyond my expectations, she captured my heritage and created part of my legacy.
Part of the acquired collection I hold like a treasure is private and part of it has been reason to completely rebrand my personal me. Some of those pictures were actually exactly what was needed to complete my personal branding. What you see, is what you get, the glamourous powerful passionate me.

Thank you Cristina and wishing you so many more women to re-activate and re-connect.”

@Sunita Changoe
Business owner
Tara Mediation / Windmills & Wooden shoes

From Fear to Love

This year I decided to change the way I start my year, instead of having resolutions, I will take the challenge to love more, fear less.

You see, last year I have written my resolutions and eager to work on them, I went too fast, and spun out of my control. I had a bike accident that put me out for 3 months. Thinking back, it happened mainly because of my lack of patience, lack of love for myself, lack of strength to say we’ll get there, no need to kill yourself in the process.. I recovered, but the accident put a dent on me, made me more fearful. For example, I never went back on my bike, which is a shame, Amsterdam is so nice on the bike. Not only that, I started to look at life more careful, think about it more, be more timid, feel more frail.
Realizing that this happens, that fear kicked in and took control of my life, I started looking at other areas of my life to see where else is fear? Where do I fear the most.

Sure fear is good for survival, but can you identify which fear is good for you and which stops you in your path? Fear incapacitates you and makes you feel weak. This is the type of fear you need to get rid of, for it is not real.

Challenge: Can you identify at least 5 types of fear that you are feeling right now ?

I can share a few of mine.

Fear I will not succeed
Fear I will succeed
Fear I am going to end up alone
Fear I am rejected
Fear I am not good enough

Now, next exercise, how do we turn these around ?

This year, I decided I will focus on my health. While doing my yoga practice, I will consciously push my brain to think differently. Starting with my breath. I thought of a simple exercise which I can practice everywhere, and that is: inhale in love, exhale out fear. Inhale love, exhale fear. Every time I would remember it throughout the day, I will pause and say this to myself while breathing. Inhale love, exhale fear.

Now imagine a “you” without the fear. Where would you be ? What will you gain, and what are you willing to go through to gain that ? Fear is what keeps you here, and to move from here to where you want to be, you have to understand that the opposite of fear is not courage, is love.

This is the best part. Love trumps fear. I am not talking about the feeling of being in love. You don’t have to wait to have someone to love. You can start with love for yourself.

Thinking this way, how can you turn around the fears I mentioned above? Let’s see, I’ll go one by one.

Fear I will not succeed – turn it around – “I love myself, I acknowledge all successes along the way, I am already successful, this is what I have accomplished so far, this makes me confident I can do more, more love, less fear.”

Fear of success – this is a big one for not many people acknowledge this. How can you fear the thing you want the most. Well, because it comes with strings attached – maybe jealousy from friends, bigger pain to go through, harder failure threshold. Turn it to love and say “I love myself, I enjoy to create and pursue my creations, my ideas, I enjoy the process, I enjoy the time I put into getting successful, therefore I am already on my path to success.  I chose love, for love keeps us united.”

Fear I am going to end up alone. – we are social creatures. Sometimes we take decisions in our lives that have nothing to do with what we want, but based on the fear of ending up alone: a failed relationship, a toxic friendship, a business partnership gone bad. So how to turn this to love ? “I love myself, and I know I am connected to everyone. I trust more will be provided at the right time for me, I trust the universe will send me enough love and I stay open to it. I am ok by myself and I honor myself.”
If you think this way, more people will be attracted to you, the right kind of people for you.

Fear I am rejected – on our daily basis, this is one of the easiest fear to identify. In anything you do, you will get a moment of fear before you put anything out there for the world to see. Am I going to be accepted by my peers? Will I not be judged by saying this, doing this, acting this way. This one is one of the most crippling of the fears and it has to go. Make it your daily ritual to go out of your comfort zone today, do one thing that puts you in front of people. “I love myself therefore I love what I create, it is part of me and no matter what people will say about it, I still love it for it is mine. I am sufficient in myself. I trust sufficient people will like it. ”
The ones that won’t, it is their journey, their path, their ideas. not mine. Stop the self judgement, comparison and envy. Take small action steps daily towards your dreams.

Fear I am not good enough. Commit yourself to change some things you don’t like about yourself. You don’t like your weight? Change it. You don’t like your strength? Change it! “For I love myself and I want to be the best version of myself I can”. “I love myself therefore I practice everyday to be stronger, healthier, lighter, more joyful.”
Do you need a calendar for this? Plan it it. “I am good enough today and I am working on getting better everyday. “

It is not an easy journey, it requires inner work, and daily practice, commitment, resilience. But it pays. It pays big time.

Why does it matter ? Because the world needs more love, less fear. The world needs your gifts, your happiness, your joy. The world needs you to live promoting service and collaboration. The world needs more love.

This is my New Year’s challenge. More love, less fear. Are you in ?

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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.

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The you as you imagined

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The woman I work for

One of my first clients and models in front of my camera for this new style of photography I embarked on, was Sunita Changoe.


“A versatile woman, who know exactly what she wants. A woman with a modus operandi. Making friends with patience has always been a challenge for her, like she always says: ‘If I knew where patience would be on sale, I’d let you know once I have purchased my own supply.’ Her mission is very clear: teaching everyone in a certain way to get back to the original state of power enabling one to embrace life with a fresh and clear vision. Therefore her vision is a world in which each individual takes and receives space to express his or her soul and thereby contributing value to the whole: life and thereafter.

The woman I work for is inspiring in the way she wishes everybody the best as an individual and as an entrepreneur. Being very social, she already connects the person she just met for the very first time with other people who could make this new acquaintance’s life more valuable.

The woman I work for is continually developing herself. She studies, follows courses so all the facets of her diamond, like she calls her life, are always illuminating and radiant.

People working with or for her know that her openness also has another side. She is very private. ‘In life one is entitled to have space for every aspect of yourself, so also for your family and relatives.’ She calls it her personal retreat. ‘There is no need to travel far, to get to yourself.’ She is spiritual, but knows that her body needs to be grounded: ‘’Released from your body and connected to all.’

Working with her sometimes is considered a serious challenge. Like she has the greatest expression of herself as a goal, she demands the same from the people she works with.

She is very allergic to the word ‘try’, Like Obi Wan Kenobi says: ‘There is no try’ and like her father taught her ‘Either you do it well or don’t do it at all.’ This places her in the category of woman with a ‘no-nonsense’ – mentality. She doesn’t see problems, but challenges to go inwards and shed a light on the valuable treasures one holds for him-/herself and the world.

As soon as I open my laptop I see the woman I work for. The picture was taken by the international photographer Cristina Stoian. She was able to capture her vulnerability, her power, her heritage and her essence at once and created with that her own legacy.

The woman that I work for with all my attention, love and passion, that woman … is me. ”

Cristina Stoian Photographer


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My Team

Even thought we are small, we are a team of passionate professionals that are en love with what we do. I  work together with them to make you feel your best beautiful and help you relax in front of the camera.


My team consists of: Make-up Artists, Hair Stylists, Photo Retouchers, Assistants, Stylists, Videographers, Designers:

Lorena Ciubotaru

Alina Stefan

Cristina Stoian

Tammy Parrish

Kristina Nesterova

Daniel Smeets

Steven Dow

Kristina Kutena

Anna Oats






Your natural self

I wanted to capture what it feels to go back into your natural way of being. Lorena was an actress and a dancer before she became a mother. She renounced her career to move to Holland and build a family. Her own power stepping into her natural self, who she really is as a person was astounding to see. She became the dancer again. The actress never left, it was always latent into her personality and eventually it was screaming to come out.

Portrait Photography: Cristina Stoian
Photography Assistant: Taylor Zopie
Hair & Makeup: Lorena Ciubotaru
Filmed and Edited: Taylor Zopie