How to prepare for your photoshoot

This blog post is a long time coming and with spring being here and all the photoshoots scheduled already, I thought it’s the right time to write this and prepare everyone on how to prepare for your photoshoot.

Prepping for a photoshoot is an interesting experience.

A client of mine just said “It is such an exciting experience and I am really looking forward to it.” Another one: “The Glamour Experience has begun! Loved the intake with Cristina Stoian in Amsterdam for a professional photoshoot including a team looking after you all day. For business and fun!”

This makes me so happy and motivated to give you the best service I can.

Ok, so you’re about to have your portrait taken. Congratulations! I want you to think about it for a bit and start preparing it.

There are some aspects to consider, these are the little details that can impact your portrait and I want you to get them right.  It is time to plan. Decide on outfits, schedule beauty appointments, prepare a mood board. Chose what fits your lifestyle, current beauty regime and go from there.


IMG_0974Whiten Teeth ahead of time. White strips will go a long way and they’re easy to apply 2 weeks before your shoot.
Breakouts – don’t scratch and squeeze; if you have a pimple the week of he shoot, leave it there, it’s easier to cover up with makeup than covering a red wound.
Exfoliate twice a week before the shoot. Spend a moment in your morning routine to gently scrub your face, use a quality organic facial scrub to feel like you’re really taking care of yourself.
Tweeze eyebrows one week before.  Don’t overdo it!  This is crucial since eyebrows are defining your face and can change your expression. Do it 2-3 days before the shoot, to allow the redness to cool off.
Facial For a total pamper session, have a light facial to close the pores, a week before the shoot – leave time to heal ! A facial at home is a good alternative, masks on Sundays is what I do to relax.
Red Eyes – Visine is your friend. Not getting drunk the night before your shoot helps, too.
Lips – Use lip balm and scrub for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your lips look their best.
Moisturizer – Dry skin can take away from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly a week in advance of your shoot.



IMG_3832Haircut –  If you’re getting a hair cut for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, your hair falls into place best – 1-2 weeks after the cut.
Treatment – Give your hair a deep-moisturizing treatment. At your favourite salon while you’re having your haircut or at home.  Apply it together with the facial masque. Wrap your head with your towel after the shower, turban-style. Wear your bath robe and pretend you’re having a day at the spa and read a book. Take some time off for yourself.
Touch Up your Roots but don’t change the colour of your hair. You must be comfortable with your colour of your hair 3 months in advance. This is a big one, your photos will last forever.


Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 22Wax/Shave Take care of all hair removal prior to a shoot, but leave at least 2-3 days in between.
Exfoliate and moisturize your whole body. When you get out of the shower, dry off until lightly damp, and use moisturizer. Focus on your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, anywhere you’ll be exposed to the camera. This includes your legs if you’re shooting in shorts or a skirt.
Tan If you are using self-tanner or go to a salon, do this couple of days before the shoot. I prefer you not to, I love fair skin, but this is your personal choice.



_MG_2261Manicure: Get a manicure done 1-2 days before your shoot. Clean nail polish. Short nails are preferred. A natural, non-colored, or French manicure look is preferable, but if you color them, think about the outfits you’re shooting in, the colour should work well with all your choices. If you plan on posing barefoot, be sure your feet and toes are in good condition.

Clean your rings: This is something I never use to think before, it makes a difference to have clean jewellery. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your jewellery the night before or have them cleaned professionally.


cristina-stoian-106Prepare 5-6 outfits. Your portraits should be a reflection of you, just more polished. Choose the outfits you love. Think of those special pieces you might not wear often because they’re impractical for day-to-day use, or the go-to blouse you always wear when you’re going somewhere nice.
Little black Dress Bring at least one dark outfit or top or dress. black, navy, burgundy, dark green, etc. work best here.
Creamy Light Soft, sheer, not necesarerly white, can be cream, nude, light pink or peach.
Hip&Happening This outfit is your chance to show your personal style. If you tend toward more conservative tastes, choose a classy look. Instead of Funky, try Structured, Soft, Elegant, or Formal.
Sexy. This one is entirely your call. You could skip sexy, and that’s up to you. But if you’d like to, you can be an understated sexy in a backless formal dress, or a more overt sexy in a pretty pinup-style swimsuit. Beautiful lingerie is lovely and empowering.
Necklines. I love to be able to see your collar bone, so boat neck, scoop neck, square neck, deep V and off-the-shoulder are my favorite necklines. Whatever you choose, try to make it more interesting than the basic T-Shirt neckline. If you love turtlenecks, go for it! Feel free to bring whatever calls to you. Mixing up the necklines will add variety to your shots, so try not to bring all of one style.
Texture. Sumptuous textures lend a rich, tactile element to your photos.
Avoid Prints. Patterns and prints are distracting. We want people to look at you when they see your portrait, and even the most beautiful print will steal that attention.
Fit Your Form.  Fitted clothing that shows your shape work best for photographs. Skip that billowy, blouson top, or anything with dolman or batwing sleeves. While they might be flattering in person, they will not be slimming in camera. This applies to any body type. Choose outfits that will hug your curves, especially your waist, hips, arms, and chest.
Forget Shoes. Unless you have a special pair you’re dying to photograph, there’s really no need to worry about the shoes you’ll wear. Most images won’t show your feet at all, and if some do, bare feet will add an organic feel to your portraits.
Bras – Please bring according bras, nude underwear,  strapeless bras – depending on the outfit.

One night before:

Remove any watches, rings, or other jewelry that could leave an impression on your skin.
Relax Try not to schedule any activities this day, just relax and rest your nerves if you are anxious about the shoot. Sleep 8 hours.
Location Be sure that you know how to get to the studio or location where you are shooting.
Eat healthy Drink plenty of water. Avoid fatty, greasy, and salty foods prior to shooting. Please avoid alcohol or anything that will make you puffy or bloated. Also avoid anything that may stain your teeth.

The day of the shoot

Jog If you can, go for a light jog prior to the shoot to wake up your face.  This eliminates the tired look we see on most people first thing in the a.m.
Shower and apply antiperspirant
No Pony Do not wear a ponytail to the shoot, it leaves a kink in the hair
Eat light Don’t eat very much for 2-3 hours before the shoot, you may get bloated.  Sip water and eat light.
Relax Make sure you are relaxed.  I recommend doing yoga or meditation on the day of the shoot to get rid of jitters.
One coffee– Don’t have too much caffeine.
Arrive on time
Have fun !

What is a Portrait

A Portrait. What is a Portrait. I’ve been thinking about this one for a long time. It stayed in my head over the holidays. I did some digging to find out what some “heavy weight” people in the industry are saying about it. These are just a few of their thoughts that I found and I liked.


“A Portrait is a evocation of a person, gives the sense of that person, doesn’t necessarily need to look like the person but it would have to give some impression. ” Lesley Stevenson, Senior Paintings Conservator


“To me, a portrait is a creative collaboration between an artist and the sitter and it is unique in that sense as an art form, that’s what makes it really different from other art forms.” Sarah Saunders, Deputy Head of Education


“A Portrait can be many, many things, that depends on the one who takes the Portrait, who makes the picture and on the sitter, because the sitter chooses, most of the times, the person who makes a Portrait of him and he hopes that it represents him. That’s all.” Gert Sander, grandson of photographer August Sander.


“I would see a Portrait is a picture of the individual human being that places emphasis on the uniqueness, simple as that.” Sandy Moffat, Artist


“I think a Portrait is normally thought to be the sort of visual representation of someone, normally that’s in oil paint or might be a sculpture carving but I really like the idea of a Portrait being the sound of people’s voices.” James Holloway, Director Scottish National Portrait Gallery


“I think a Portrait is a representation of an individual, usually an individual, a human being, by another individual, and it’s a created object that acts as a kind of remembrance of that person.” Nicola Kalinsky, Deputy Director of Scottish National Portrait Gallery


“It’s like being enlove, it’s the same thing, you never know how it happens, but if it happens right, a good outcome will come out of it.”  Gert Sander, grandson of photographer August Sander.


“Portraits of rulers from the early Medieval period often did not depict the actual appearance of the living ruler, but the “imago” of a Roman emperor in whose succession he felt himself to be standing, by “tanslatio imperii”.
Contemporary portraits, however, are made within a cultural and artistic context with deep questions about the nature of identity, of representation, and of authenticity.
Today, technology is transforming both the medium and the subject matter of Portraiture, changing how we think about human identity: to portray the essence of a person, do we show the face? DNA? surveillance data? shopping transactions? ” Richard Brilliant, Professor of Art History and Archaeology, at Columbia University



Even funnier, when I have asked my friend, the artist Raluca Vescan, she told me: “If I think of a Portrait, the first image that comes to my mind is the Native American that was running away from the camera, scared that their soul would be stolen…”



I guess everyone has its own interpretation of it. What is yours ?


For me, a Portrait has a deeper meaning. It shows you, the person that is being photographed, a side of you that is very personal, real, that is you. It shows you a face that you sometimes catch in the mirror, but you can rarely reproduce in a photo. It is a side of you, that for various reasons does not usually get to be seen on camera. It is also the side of you that you want your grand, grand-grandchildren to hold in their arms, one day and say: “Now, this is Grandma”.



I like to do that for you. To be your eyes. Show your inner self. No borders, no fears, just YOU. 

Show your inner self

Do you own a Portrait of Yourself ?

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Time to Reconnect With Your True Self

<<I get it now.>>


It only took me half a decade photographing women.


I’ve been taking photographs since I was 14, always saving money to buy and develop films while in high school. 


I thought I was attracted to it initially, because of the art of photography.


Then later I thought I have “the eye”, whatever that means, when people wanted to pay me for photos during my work for CRAVE – photographing the women entrepreneurs of Amsterdam. 


Now I know what it is I am attracted to and I know why people love being photographed by me. 


I can connect with people easily and I put them at ease; the big black ugly camera disappears after a while and it becomes a conversation. I sometimes spend 2 hours after the photo-shoot chatting away, like friends, when the camera is not even there.


I love that.


I love connecting.


I am very curious about other people’s inner space. What goes on in your inner world.


I’m eager to learn, to discover, to grow and that makes me listen


When I discovered that, everything changed for me – the dynamics of the photo-shoot, the flow, the poses and the process. 


I used to just “go” to your office or home to snap a picture.  I was not in control of light, or the styling or pose. 


Everything has changed now.


I realised what can make you nervous. And now my process can help you to … be you


Photo-shoots in the fashion world require extensive preparation and a team of 10 buzzing around the model. Sometimes it requires a pre photo-shoot to get to know the model. 


I know that would be nerve-wracking for regular people, like you and me. A big studio, with lights and lots of people buzzing around, while you’re naked or getting changed. But I still wanted those results.


I thought about doing everything opposite, while working with my clients. Who are not super models, but every-day, all ages, genuine women that I love to photograph.


So I took control of the process.

  • I start by consulting with my models before the photo-shoot, so you know what to bring (more about that in another newsletter).
  • I’ll provide inspirational photography to select from, this gives me an idea about your taste and together we design our photo-shoot mood board.
  • I hire makeup artists and hair stylists to pamper you so you’re relaxed and know you’ll look good.
  • I have created a flow for the poses and learned how to give you guidance and direction in them.
  • I learned that others have preferred a private space over a huge cold space, so what other more private and cosy environment can I offer, than my own home – My living room is transformed into your own personal glam studio for the photo-shoot. It all feels like playing! 
  • I’ve also learned that some people don’t know how to ‘work the lights’ and can get nervous in front of a big soft box. So I have simplified that too and now I’m shooting in natural light. 


It’s only me and you, in my home, in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere – Where you have the space to be yourself.


The hair, makeup and change of clothes are there to aid you in your process of being confident.


You’re going to feel good in front of the camera and this is what I strive to achieve.


I spent all of last year developing this process for you and this year was all about improving it further.


I am very happy with the results and I know I can only improve it further with the help of my models


Have a look what some of my first clients had to say about The Glamour Experience


Sarah-Jane Threipland

Sarah-Jane Threipland

Copywriter / Freelancer

Cristina is confident behind the camera, and somehow sees a side that usually stays hidden. We had a lot of fun getting my confident, slight glamour-kitten out of hiding and playing with her poses. The hair and make-up were definitely fun too!

Allison Hamilton-Rohe

Allison Hamilton-Rohe

Personal Stylist / Daily Outfit

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!

Cristina Rotariu

Cristina Rotariu

Curator / Amsterdam Fringe Festival

I’m usually a bit shy, especially in photos, so it was a surprise to me to see this sassy, fashionable person staring out of the shots Cristina took. I’d definitely recommend the experience – everyone should get the chance to shine in front of the camera, and she really works with you to make you feel comfortable.

Blanca Vergara

Blanca Vergara

Inspirational speaker and Coach / Women Work Wonders

I love the fact that it was an experience. It was not just getting amazing photos. It was a whole journey, from looking for clothes, having the make up on, the hair done.... the conversations, the coffee... This sense of journey, of transformation, of experience is terrific. It's possibly more important than the photos themselves. The photo shoot made me feel beautiful, powerful, renewed, empowered. When I saw the photos for the first time I thought: "I love myself", it was like falling in love with myself again. It changed the way I see myself. Re-connecting with my Big Self, Big Blanca, powerful, sexy, unstoppable. Amazing! "

Amelia Lopez Huix

Amelia Lopez Huix

CEO & Founder / ​​​​​​​MOH.INTERNATIONAL

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, Amelia

Sunita Changoe

Sunita Changoe

Business owner / Tara Mediation / The Social Connector

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.

Suelle Harts

Suelle Harts

The Designer / Brasa Canela Exclusive Jewellery

A portrait is an eternal moment. A moment framed in time. It is art; - and A portrait is an eternal moment. A moment framed in time. It is art; - and the photographer - is a moment's painter. Someone who can feel the magic of the moment and catch it in a fraction of time. Cristina Stoian is an artist. A passionate photographer who has introduced me to the real beauty of a framed moment. The real art seen behind her lenses. Myself framed in time.

Olia Svarga

Olia Svarga

Student, Makeup artists / Olia Svarga Makeup Artist

During my experience with Cristina, I was a bit shy in the beginning and felt quite insecure, but she created a very relaxing and friendly atmosphere so that I could just be myself without any artificial postures and facial expressions. She admired my face, my behaviour and I totally relaxed and acted like a real model. Throughout our photo shoot I revealed my inner beauty and forgot about all the diffidence and fears about my appearance and I guess the main thing is that after our creative experiment I understood that the more you accept your appearance and remove all stereotypes imposed by society, media, especially fashion, the more harmonic you feel with your outer and inner spaces.

Snezana Zivcevska-Stalpers

Snezana Zivcevska-Stalpers

Technology and Innovation at IBM | UN Women / Technology and Innovation at IBM | UN Women

"Cristina stopped the time for a moment for me and made me feeling so proud of myself. By capturing my smile, my grace, and my beauty, she made a great heritage for me, my kids, their kids. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her.”

Raise your daughter’s self esteem

What would you say to your younger self, the insecure teen girl that is complexed by her looks and lets that affect her life experience. Would you have found a way to let her know how beautiful she is ? To stop worrying about her appearance ? How would you raise your daughter’s self esteem?
In a world dominated by media, fashion and stereotypes, our teens grow up with the wrong belief about themselves, that they are not beautiful.

When I first talked to this girl, all I could notice was how beautiful she is. Yet to my surprise, her opinion about herself was completely different.

What would you say to this cute, pretty girl that spent half of her life hating her appearance and considering her freckles to be her greatest disadvantage?

 Well, there was nothing I could have told her to change a life worth of negativity towards herself, and I decided I have to show her instead. I invited her to a photoshoot and she finally accepted.

This is Olia, 23 years old, daughter, girlfriend, best friend, linguistics student, passionate about languages, history, neurobiology, piano but also makeup, fashion and beauty in general.

“From childhood age I seemed to be a natural extrovert, who all the time shared ideas, emotions and feelings with her world around. However, under the outer happiness, there was always hiding an enormously sensitive person with crooked perception about her appearance. Years of underestimating myself passed until I realised, that my freckles are my gift, that feature that will always make me unique.
During my experience with Cristina, I was a bit shy in the beginning and felt quite insecure, but she created a very relaxing and friendly atmosphere so that I could just be myself without any artificial postures and facial expressions. She admired my face, my behaviour and I totally relaxed and acted like a real model. Throughout our photo shoot I revealed my inner beauty and forgot about all the diffidence and fears about my appearance and I guess the main thing is that after our creative experiment I understood that the more you accept your appearance and remove all stereotypes imposed by society, media, especially fashion, the more harmonic you feel with your outer and inner spaces.”

Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 31Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 26Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 29Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 24

Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 22Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 27Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 30Cristina-Stoian-Portrait-Photographer 25

The greatest gift your daughter can get

Show her how beautiful she is

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Why not exist in photos

I have been photographing women for over half a decade. I can now say that I have heard every excuse one can imagine for women not to step in front of the camera. Why not exist in photos.

  • 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 all 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 wish 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 happened. I never manage to lose 25 kilos. Why ? Because I draw myself nearly impossible targets to achieve this and then fail and feel miserable about it. If I look back at my photos of me at 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” when I turned 28. I’ve started a photo journal of myself for myself. I have been 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 more radiant.. This helped me improve the image I had about myself… and then.. even helped me 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 it never occurred to me that I should get a portrait done too. And then 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 it 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 that you can see whatever you like to see and go wherever you like to go ? Do you feel free to be able to chose 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 trough. The one that you used to be and now you forgot, the goddess you sometimes felt but now not anymore. Discover where you want to go next and let me help you get there.


4.  I’m too old to have my portrait taken
Nearly all women that come to my photoshoots ask me: can you make me look more younger in the photos? Is there some special light that you can use so my wrinkles appear less?

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 how shiny you really 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 beauty in you how you maybe don’t ever see it. When I talk about your passion, I see your face light up; when I talk about your family, I see you sparkling; when I ask you about your loved ones…you shine so bright . So why not shine when I ask you about you? Why not allow me to show you how beautiful you really are, how I see you 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!



6. It’s too expensive


Paying for a professional photographer is too expensive and I can do it myself with my camera. Why would I pay hundreds of euros to a photographer when I can do it myself.

While that is true, why haven’t you done it till now? I am a portrait photographer and still, arranging everything for a professional portrait, getting my hair and makeup done professionally, creating a mood board for the photoshoot, getting clear what I want to show in a portrait to myself and my family and the world, finding the right outfits for it, get rid of the fear of being in front of the camera, stepping outside the character I show to the world and stepping into myself, the real me, the one I’m afraid to show, clicking the camera away 1000 times till you get the right angle, the right light, the right pose, the right mood or the right connection – I know what it takes. Why haven’t I’ve done all these by myself so far ? Because doing it by yourself is hard.

Knowing this, ask yourself, what is the price you would pay to have a portrait of yourself from when you were in your 20s ? what is the price you would pay to have a beautiful portrait with you and your mother. What would you pay to show your children a portrait of yourself in 20 years from now.


Exist in photographs for your children, for yourself for the people that love you.



“This is not only about you. It’s about the person that one day looks back on a photograph in 20 years time and says, look at these photographs, look what we own, this is more priceless than anything my family could ever buy. This is more priceless than anything I could own. That is what I’m making for you. I’m creating timeless, incredible images that people will cherish for the rest of their lives. One day your children will look for photographs of you, what would they have…  you need to have beautiful photographs, you are good enough to exist in photos.  My job as a portrait photographer is to take the most beautiful photograph you have seen of yourself so that you can cherish this for the rest of your life and your children can love it and enjoy it and it would be more meaningful than anything your family would own… and yes it might cost you a few hundred euros, but trust me, the value of what I am creating for you today is far greater than anything you can ever buy.”


…and you….miss… reading this. feeling safe behind your computer. what stops you from having your portrait taken? Why not exist in photos.  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


One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colors that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see.

Gabourey Sidibe

Mother and Daughter Day

The mother and daughter relationship is the biggest there is, the biggest bond. It has a powerful connection that goes beyond words and physics.
Scientists say: “Each of us takes in at a cellular level how our mother feels about being female, what she believes about her body, how she takes care of her health, and what she believes is possible in life.” (Dr. Christiane Northrup).


Spending time with your daughter, creating memories together, will impact the rest of your daughter’s life. “I’m a big believer in mother-daughter time,” Anglicare WA’s Jennie Hannan says. “I think we underestimate how important it is for mums and daughters to do things together in those early years. Doing that builds a foundation that will help you get through adolescence.”  (Karen Fingerman)


If there’s something I miss the most while moving to another country to live, is spending quality time with my mother. Even thinking about it now, makes me feel peaceful and full of joy. I can remember her smell and I can feel the way she plays with my hair, the stories she tells me and how mesmerised I am, looking at her. My mum is the most beautiful woman there is, for me.


This is why, this year, launching on Mother’s Day, I have designed a session called the Mother and Daughter Day, which allows you to spend time with your loved one, getting pampered in my studio and creating a memory that lasts a lifetime.  You both come in and get your hair and makeup done, while you chat over coffee and snacks. Then, the photoshoot session starts and you get to be yourself and cuddle, kiss, hug in front of the camera. Mother hugs are the best ! At the end, you will both look so gorgeous, that you will want to go out, dining at your favourite restaurant. The photos of yourself will be printed and presented to you on a wall, like an exposition of yourselves. You get to pick the ones you love, these will stay in your family for 100 years.


Celebrate your relationships. Create memories that will last. Exist in photos for people who love you.
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