When Photographers Book Photographers | Teri’s Shoot Experience

It’s an honor everytime anyone entrusts me with their photo shoot experience, but when that someone happens to be a photographer as well, it’s an extra honor. Not only are we, as photographers, inundated with examples of beautiful photography on a daily basis (so we often have much higher standards than the typical non-photographer consumer), but we also know a plethora of other camera-wielders and tend to settles for a couple of nice “play shots” from friends here and there.

What is more rare, though, is the photographer who takes care of themselves, understands the value of a powerful photography experience and the accompanying photos, and then actually financially commits to an actual session...not a play or trade session...with a photographer whose work they identify with.

THIS badass Canadian ‘tog is one of the rare ones (in more ways than one). When Teri booked a shoot with me, I won’t lie, I was: #1: Bursting at the seams to finally meet her as we’ve been “social media” friends for a minute but our paths hadn’t crossed in “real life” yet...and #2: Bursting at the seams with butterflies as she’s talented AF, and you know....pressure and shit ;)

She is better with words than I am, so I’m going to let her take it from here:::

 

“ As a boudoir photographer and educator, I definitely know the impact that doing a photo session can have on one's self esteem and confidence. So, when I thought about who I would contact for my annual session, I reached out to Kara to see if she'd be able to squeeze me in during my travels to Texas! AND SHE DID! So, then there was no backing out because fate was on my side!

Interestingly enough, as someone who enjoys luxuries to herself, I'm not gonna lie, the thought of spending over $3000 on photos made me hesitate and then I thought "HOLY SHIT. THIS IS WHAT MY CLIENTS GO THROUGH" which made me take the plunge even more. I became curious over that hesitation and I realized it wasn't the COST I was concerned with (because Kara's value is 20X that)....it was the VALUE that I saw in myself, and did I think *I*was WORTH spending that much money to have photos taken. WHAT AN EYE OPENING EXPERIENCE AS SOMEONE THAT DOES THIS FOR A LIVING!!”

“I knew I couldn't just go to anyone for a boudoir session for a few reasons. Personally, I have had the "traditional" boudoir experience and it just wasn't me...I mean, it was FUN and the photos were gorgeous, but not really reflective of the ME I know. As an avid follower of Kara's I was drawn to her editorial style and ability to take women in their "undone-done" look and capture their essence (that sounds so Hallmark, but you know what I mean).

As a woman who tends to defy most societal standards when it comes to body image (no makeup, never "DO" my hair, forget to get eyebrows and other bits waxed, and hate wearing a bra...and pants.), I knew this was the type of session I needed to show myself that the ME I know is just as worthy of having photos taken. I didn't want glam makeup, I didn't want to wear traditional lingerie, and mostly, I didn't want to appear overly sensual and sexual and really just exist in my power.

My favorite images are the ones where I have a derpy face, you can see my crooked teeth, I'm laughing, and of course, my mass of unruly curls. “

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 “These photos are 100% representative of me.”

 

Note from Kara: The below screenshot was Teri’s response to seeing her images and I will save it in her file forever.  

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”As for the EXPERIENCE itself, Kara is the tits. But if you are on her site, you already know this. She's super chill, laid-back, professional, and on top of all the details. Her overall goal is to make sure you feel fucking amazing and leave with that feeling. Every time I look at my images, I feel amazing and I SEE me.”

 

Ahhhh. Doesn’t she just sound like the kind of woman you want to know? Because she is.  And I’m lucky to know her and honored to have been the photographer to capture her as I saw her...and as SHE sees herself. That is so important to me—to make sure that women feel like themselves WITHOUT a complete glamour makeover and elaborate wardrobe that they are uncomfortable in. 

 

Thank you, Teri, for your trust and your incredible testimony! What a great reminder that even photographers struggle with investing in ourselves through photography! So glad you did with me. 

If you’re located in our friendly neighboring country, Canada—or even if you aren’t, you should most definitely check out Teri’s website HERE.  

 

Xx

Liana in Milan | Destination Editorial Boudoir

SHOOTING IN MILAN WITH A LATVIAN BOMBSHELL.

Ohhhh it sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it!? I’m not going to pretend like it wasn’t.

While in Milan, I was booked for a shoot with a fantastic photographer, Liana from Latvia, who had followed my work for years and had to take advantage of me being way closer to her than a Latvia > United States trip would be. She booked a little getaway to Milan for herself and her husband, and we had an absolutely incredible shoot.

Listening to Liana tell me why she selected me to photograph her, gave me a reaffirming grasp for what my work says about the women featured in it. She told me that she didn’t want some distorted view of herself, or an overly glamorous one. She loved my black and white work, and that the women weren’t overly retouched. She loved the editorial/fashion style of my work and was so enthusiastic about the entire process. So we rocked out ALL those different facets and created magic together.

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We laughed a TON, flowed like crazy, took what felt like 3 million images, ran way over on time, and shot until the sun would no longer let us. Then we hit the hotel bar for a little libation and a chat between now-friends as I was in NO hurry whatsoever to navigate my navigationally-challenged self back to my house .

"I knew it would be an amazing experience, but it actually far exceeded that. The easiness of feeling completely free in your bare skin- it is life changing! And then, when the images do come in and you get to see all your badassness - well, not many things in life can make you feel like that."

"The good old term “self love” has gotten materialized. Subtle and not so subtle changes in all levels of self awareness, which was not the goal, however turned out to be a major bonus. The best money ever spent (way above shoes and bags and other feminine treats 😁)!"

"It all came together in a best possible way." -Liana

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I ADORE my studio, I do. I love it love it love it. I know every nook and cranny, I can photograph a woman there in 3 zillion ways, and because I know all of those ways so well, I can do it in record time. But there’s something to be said about a shoot in a new place. New inspiration, new light, new shapes, new lines, new shadows. It’s all the reason why I will ALWAYS opt to schedule “work” any place I travel to, because I ALWAYS adore the outcome so much.

Thank you so very much, Liana, for choosing me, for traveling for me, for trusting me, for laughing with me and not at me when I made a fool of myself (how many times did I fall???), and for allowing me to share your images and your experience with the world.

Until next time!

Better with Age | Austin Boudoir Studio

Almost 5 years ago, Miss "S" and I had a boudoir shoot in a dark hotel room after the sun had set. Therefore I had zero sunlight (and I'm a natural light photographer....so you see the issue...), and I didn't really have a firm grasp on how to make that challenging situation work for me with lighting and/or available artificial light.

I worked through it anyhow. 

We had an AMAZING shoot complete with mega-makeup, elaborate hair, an Etta James playlist, and a fur coat. It was a ton of fun, and the photos looked great. To me. At the time. 

THEN...

From my shoot with Miss S almost 5 years ago. She was obviously a total babe. But the lighting makes me cringe, the post-processing makes me cover my eyes and peek through my fingers like I'm watching a horror movie. The composition is weird, but I remember thinking at the time how cool it was to get the damn lamp reflection in the window. And my posing direction could use some help. Even the watermark and business name screamed "amateur."

From my shoot with Miss S almost 5 years ago. She was obviously a total babe. But the lighting makes me cringe, the post-processing makes me cover my eyes and peek through my fingers like I'm watching a horror movie. The composition is weird, but I remember thinking at the time how cool it was to get the damn lamp reflection in the window. And my posing direction could use some help. Even the watermark and business name screamed "amateur."

Flash forward several years.

When Miss S's husband bought a gift certificate for another boudoir shoot, I was feeling a little nostalgic and I took a peek at our old set. I covered my eyes at my cliche posing and horrendous lighting. Miss S, of course, looked BADASS. And I gave the shoot and the client everything I had. Still, I can't help but be slightly embarrassed by my skill level at the time. 

Yet, 4 years ago I was even MORE embarrassed by my work 4 years prior to THAT. 

But guess what? 

NOW...

Obviously, still a total babe....and I would argue (not that any would fight me) that she's EVEN BETTER WITH AGE, 2 children and almost 5 years later! SIZZLE SIZZLE. Seriously. Such a babe! Photography-wise, I've found my lighting jam. My compositions are still "weird" but in a more intentional and artistic way. My posing is more about the "non-pose pose"...and I don't generally like to toot my own horn, but HELLLL---OOOOO custom black-and-white processing!

Obviously, still a total babe....and I would argue (not that any would fight me) that she's EVEN BETTER WITH AGE, 2 children and almost 5 years later! SIZZLE SIZZLE. Seriously. Such a babe! Photography-wise, I've found my lighting jam. My compositions are still "weird" but in a more intentional and artistic way. My posing is more about the "non-pose pose"...and I don't generally like to toot my own horn, but HELLLL---OOOOO custom black-and-white processing!

 

If I wasn't a tiny bit ashamed by my lack of skill in the past, that would mean that I wasn't advancing. I wasn't evolving. I wasn't learning. So...as embarrassing as it may be to see some of my stuff from years ago surface, it's also a valley-girl-slap-in-the-face reminder of just how far I've come. 

And if this isn't a concrete enough example of why documenting yourself over the years is so important, then I don't know what is! I'm THRILLED TO BITS that Miss S had a good enough experience the first time around to come back for more! And I know she is too :) 

In the weeks leading up to her shoot, I heard a bit about her "mom bod" and things that she felt just weren't the same. I assured her that we would do juuuuuust fine. And we did. 

Amazing!! I felt so comfortable and I am in love with the end results!! I’m also feeling pretty happy with this ‘mom bod’!

Love you Kara Marie! What you do for self esteem is amazing!!
— Miss S
My shoot with Miss S earlier this month.  She's obviously still a total babe. But now, here she is, 2 children later looking her most stunning. Less makeup, less wardrobe fuss, and with a FAR more advanced photographer than the one from the shoot to the left. 

Thank you, Miss S, dahhling, for another incredible shoot! Thank you for trusting me to show you that having a "mom bod" is a good thing....and I certainly hope to see you again in 5 years or less!!!