The Day Before Chemo | Austin Boudoir Studio

This post just leaves me speechless, so I'm glad it's not verbal. Like many other women with the same diagnosis, Miss W reached out to me wanting to document her body before so many changes took place due to her recent breast cancer diagnosis. While I have been close to many people affected by cancer, I cannot even begin to wrap my head around going through it myself. Yet the women that I have had the pleasure of working with in any stage of their breast cancer journey have been nothing short of awe-inspiring and courageous as hell. 

We scheduled her shoot the day before her first chemo treatment, and hours before having 23 inches of hair cut off to ease the transition. I can't even imagine the emotional state that she was in. Just can't imagine. Yet we conquered the shoot, and created an absolutely breathtaking account of this woman as she was THAT day.  

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I will let her carry on from here, where my words would fail:

 

"This experience meant so much to me! At just 30 years old, I had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and really wanted to capture my body in its natural state so I could always remember it. Driving over to the studio the morning of the shoot was a little bittersweet because I knew it was the last time I would have the opportunity to capture my body as it was then. That afternoon I was scheduled to chop off all my hair and the following day I would be starting chemo with a mastectomy to follow."

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But as soon as I arrived any sadness I felt immediately disappeared because Kara and her team made me feel so welcome and excited.
Hair and makeup by Kendall of Mayhem.

Hair and makeup by Kendall of Mayhem.

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"The studio space was beautiful and seeing all Kara's previous work posted on the walls made me really glad I was getting to do this with her. While I was getting my hair and make-up done and feeling super glamorous, Kara selected her favorites from the outfits I brought which took so much pressure off me and ensured everything would photograph really well. Once we started shooting, Kara demonstrated every pose like a rockstar and guided me to do it right too. I am not someone who knows how to make sexy faces, but Kara pulled them out of me somehow! By the end of our shoot, I couldn't believe it had already been an hour and I wanted to keep going because I was having so much fun! I left feeling like a model and was certain that she had created some beautiful images. "

"Over the next two weeks, I counted down the days until the photo reveal! I was so excited and it gave me something to look forward to in the midst of feeling crummy from chemo. Once the day finally arrived, I was in stunned silence throughout the entire slideshow. I couldn't believe how beautiful the images were. Every pose she had put me in was incredibly flattering and hid any areas I felt self-conscious about."

I am so thrilled to have had this experience before undergoing all these huge body changes and I know I will cherish these pictures for a lifetime. And I also can’t wait to do it all over again in a year to celebrate my journey and get comfortable with my new body!”
— Miss W

Straight out of a magazine: Miss W | Austin Boudoir Studio

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen little peeks of this blonde bombshell and her killer boudoir shoot. She showed up with her friend, a bottle of champagne, and a kick ass attitude, and left with a really incredible set of images just for her own damn self. 

Miss W Said:

"It feels damn good to do something for yourself! I turned 31 on Monday and thought 'Hey, you are't getting any younger!' Every day I thank my lucky starts for all the greatness I have in my life.  I loved how comfortable and beautiful everyone made me feel throughout the whole process!"

If you’re a girl out there contemplating a boudoir shoot....DOOOO IT!!! Kara is AMAZING!
— Miss W

"I love not only feeling sexy and confident but also LOOKING fuckin sexy!"

When she first contacted me about a photo shoot, her email signature was followed by a quote. If you know me or follow me at all, you know that I'm a quote girl. SO...I knew we were a match made in boudoir photographer/client heaven before I even met her. It said:

I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.
— E.B. White

Hellllooooo, RED! Amiright!? Yasss. 

This set. This set with the classy red lingerie, chanel pearls, red bottoms, and fur coat just SCREAMED magazine ad to me! Miss W seriously rocked it! I'm thrilled with our finished product. 

Hell yes to rocking a boudoir shoot. Hell yes to doing so for YOU. Hell YESSSS to feeling even better about yourself after you're done. I love these kinds of stories. 

Thank you Miss W for your badassness ;)

Makeup credit: Kendall of Mayhem Beauty

WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL LIKE A GODDESS? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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The Kara Marie Boudoir Experience | Austin Boudoir Studio

I was long overdue for an official promo video and had been casually chatting back and forth about it with long time "Insta friends" Eugene + Heather Brown who are filmmakers in Nashville. When they said they were going to be in Texas in June, I knew I had to make something happen to get them to Austin and help me show the world exactly what it is that I do at my little Austin Boudoir studio. 

I came to them with all kinds of really typical promo video ideas but let them know that I trusted their creative vision completely. I knew it was important for everyone to see that my message is all about embracing womanhood through beautiful and powerful imagery, not about meaningless scantily clad snapshots. 

They enthusiastically pitched me their ideas (which I loved), and I suggested possibly throwing in a bit of the photo reveal process, which, to me, is just as important (if not more so) as the photo shoot itself. The final result is going to be hard to beat when it's time for a new video. I couldn't be more thrilled. 

Check it out!


A freaking gigantic thank you to my lovely client Krystal for allowing us to film her photo reveal (and for pushing it back a few days to accommodate our filming schedule)! Your enthusiasm and your awesomeness was the icing on the cake that was this mini film. 

Thank you to the absolutely STUNNING and SWEET Miss Lola who absolutely rocked the behind-the-scenes photo shoot filming and brought such awesome energy to the set. 

Thank you to my awesome hair and makeup artist, Kendall of Mayhem Beauty who is always behind the scenes yet her work is SO important to the finished product. 

Thank you to my family for being such good sports when the cameras invaded our house before dawn. 

Thank you to my studio manager, Kinsey, for keeping the crew all fed, happy, and helping to ensure things ran seamlessly. 

And obviously, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you Eugene + Heather for creating this work of promo video art for me and helping to share the message. I couldn't have dreamt up a better film (truly. Not possible.).