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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More than just pictures : It's the Sparkle | Austin Boudoir Studio

Before you even see a single photo, it's the EXPERIENCE that you need and deserve as a woman. We juggle. We are professional jugglers. Whether you are a stay-at-home-mom, a work-from home-mom, a work-out-of-the-home-mom, or just a working woman....I can guarantee that you are juggling tons of shit. 

It's also a safe bet that often times, of all the things you juggle, taking care to make sure that YOU are taken care of isn't one of those priorities. There just simply isn't that much time, I get it. 

As many articles as we read about making ourselves a priority so that the loved ones in our lives reap the benefits, it's downright HARD to find an hour a day to work out, it's hard to schedule a monthly girl's night with a bunch of busy women, it's hard to take 5 minutes out of your morning to meditate, it's hard to not feel guilty booking a 3 hour boudoir photo shoot experience when you know you've got others to take care of. 

But I can promise you, it's worth it. ALL OF THOSE THINGS: worth it.  Do I struggle with doing them, too? HELL.YES. But when I do, my family notices. *I* notice. I'm more productive. I'm happier. I've got a pep in my step. 
 

So did Miss "M" who is an insanely busy new mom who unexpectedly got the opportunity for a quick photo shoot one day last week. When she went to work in the morning, she had no idea that she would be grabbing her husband's hoodie out of the backseat of her car for a 20 minute dark and moody shoot with me. 

Like so many other women that come into my studio, she was tired. DAMN TIRED. She was doing SO much on a daily basis, it made even MY head spin. That made her words about her experience all-the-sweeter. 

I can’t thank you enough for yesterday. It was just the pep I needed. Last night, while cooking dinner, my husband said I had a sparkle in my eye. I told him it was the wine...it’s still a secret!

I can’t wait to work with you again!
— Miss M

SO....YOU.  Yes, YOUUUU there with the overflowing to-do list and the yoga pants that will not be seeing a yoga studio today because you're just too damn busy.....EMAIL ME at hello@karamarieboudoir.com . Let's chat. If you can give me at least 2 hours of your life, I promise that I can change the way you see yourself. 

 

Self Portrait Project | Austin Boudoir Studio

Currently on year 4 of my boudoir self-portrait project, I can finally say with confidence that I have bettered myself as a photographer through this project. It started out as a means to an end...an effort to getting my husband an anniversary present at the last minute when I procrastinated just like I tell my clients not to do. 

It quickly became a challenge to do it more regularly AND to outdo myself every time. Sure, there were flops. Thousands of images that were instantly deleted. Dozens of times that images turned out way differently than I imagined...in a good way.....and dozens of times that images turned out way differently than I imagined in a "EEEEEWWW, OH MY GOD. NO!" kind of way.

Self-Portrait set up. Just a tripod, interval timer, and a badass location.

Self-Portrait set up. Just a tripod, interval timer, and a badass location.

Looking back on all of them over the years leaves me with the reassurance that I am, in fact, evolving as a photographer, as a more confident woman, and as a self portrait artist. I do believe in practicing what you preach, no matter what your passion or profession. 

Recently, a "colleague" of mine (I guess that's what I call other photographers, right?!), wrote an article on FStoppers featuring an old article of mine on the Business of Boudoir about what I think it's so important for boudoir photographers to practice what they preach. Sorry for that run-on sentence. 

I wanted to reiterate a few of those points, as I know that a lot of boudoir photographers are reading this blog. But I also want to demonstrate to my clients and potential clients reading along that I HAVE in fact put myself in your shoes so many times I can't count them. I know how it feels to see an AWFUL photo of yourself, and I know the kind of power an AMAZING photo of yourself holds. 

If you are a boudoir photographer-- more so than ANY other type of photographer because THIS is SO very emotional and personal to our clients-- you absolutely should know what it's like to be in their shoes.  They come to you nervous to the point of shaking, they trust you to empower them and not make them feel even more insecure. They trust that you are an expert. To be an expert....TRULY an expert...you need to never stop learning. Self portraiture is an amazing way to work on getting there.

It was through self portraiture that my style evolved into what it is at the moment. I learned that I was very drawn to less posed, more "imperfect" type of images. Darker. Grittier. More emotion. Black and white and white and black. Had I only been shooting clients, I may have never discovered that as I loved to keep it bright and clean and cheery and safe.  If you are struggling with evolving your style, you may discover that self portraits help you hone in on what yours is.

And just like I go on and on about feeling AMAZING about yourself through boudoir photos to my clients...HEY. That applies to me too. I need a lift, a boost, a "hey girl, you've still got it!" every now and then. Especially now that I am holding back on actually photoshopping my own self portraits...it's a really amazing demonstration of how seeing the REAL you look great in a photo can be a massive confidence boost. 

As a professional boudoir photographer, why WOULDN'T I do this!? 

According to some other boudoir photographers, here's why they feel that self portraits aren't for them:

"I'm a hairy dude. Not a pretty woman."   Um. SO.FREAKING.WHAT?! Men deserve to feel awesome, too. Male boudoir photographers ALSO should know what it's like to be in front of the camera. It would be an outstanding learning exercise. 

"I'm overweight." Um. So.FREAKING.WHAT!? I can guarantee that you are telling your clients to embrace themselves with boudoir photos as they are RIGHT NOW. How can you say that and not put yourself in the same position, regardless of your current physical appearance? Let it be a confidence boost for you the way it would be for your clients. And yes, you WILL get all those "IMMEDIATE DELETE" images, but it will make you appreciate your craft and yourself as an artist all-the-more. And the more often you contribute to your project, the less "IMMEDIATE DELETE" images you will get.

"I don't have a pretty studio." And neither did I when I first started this project. And the majority of my favorite self portraits were not taken at my pretty studio anyhow, although that tends to be slightly more convenient because it's kid free. Learn to use what you've got, whatever that is. Another learning exercise. Put yourself in challenging lighting positions. Put yourself in tiny spaces. Work with zero wardrobe. Work with no professional makeup. Push yourself...that's the only way to get better.

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"I tried once, and I'm scarred for life."  All the more reason to try again.  I applaud you more for doing it a second time than a first. 

"Because it's narcissistic." Nah. It's field research. I personally feel that sharing (some of) them demonstrates to my clients and potential clients that boudoir photography is nothing to be ashamed of. That you should be proud of your images. HOWEVER, you obviously do not NEED to share them publicly if you truly don't feel comfortable with it. But that should not deter you from taking them at all! I certainly save a LOT of the images for just my husband and I, as do many of my clients. This isn't about drawing attention to yourself. It's about making a statement that BOUDOIR is for EVERYBODY and that you TRULY believe in the power of it. 

If you have never done a boudoir shoot before, whether you are a photographer or not, I encourage you to go out of your comfort zone a little bit. I'm willing to bet that you won't regret it. 

 

WANTING TO SHOOT? LET'S START THAT CONVERSATION NOW....

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Well-behaved women | Austin Boudoir Studio

 

"Well-behaved women seldom make history." -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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Stand up, speak out, fight for everything you believe is right. Make your stance known. Do not let any man OR woman tell you what you should or should not be doing. You do you. Make mistakes and learn from them. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about them. Be compassionate and love with all of your might.

I'm coming out swinging today.

It's about CONFIDENCE. | Austin Boudoir Studio

She was so enthusiastic about her upcoming shoot, yet so, SO nervous. I could feel her anxiety through email.  I got a really spot-on feel for her personality and style through the words that she wrote in her first few messages. Before even laying eyes on her, I knew exactly the approach we would take for this session. 

On the day of the shoot, Miss "W" came in with her tea and her all black everything.  A girl after my own heart. It's no secret that black is my favorite color. I see a red door and I want to paint it black (second favorite song reference!). I'm also a mega bodysuit fan. And a fan of tea and hashtags. And a fan of people who own their style.  We were going to get along swimmingly and I knew that when she said "I'm kind of visualizing all of these being in black and white."

I'm going to keep my own commentary to a minimum because her words are SO important. Read them. Seriously.

Attract what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, + mirror what you admire.

"Seriously. I don't think you EVEN know how much this whole experience means to me. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

"A little over a year ago, I started my own business. It's been an amazing whirlwind experience of #getitgirl ... venturing into the uncomfortable world of self doubt on numerous occasions. Confidence is a little thing that I had always been lacking. There was always someone just a little bit better. There was always someone a littler more creative. 'I've never done this before' ... 'how the hell am I going to get this done?!' ... 'Why did I even say yes?!' ... 'I can't do this.'

So for the past year I've been really focusing on working harder than anyone else I know, pushing myself further creatively than I ever have before, + experiencing every opportunity to the fullest capacity that my little brain [+ heart] could hold.

I'm a true believer in 'fake it 'til you make it'... + 'make it work.'  I say yes, + then figure it out afterwards.  Mirror what you admire, right?

But. Let me tell you, girl. I DREADED saying yes to my photoshoot. Dreaded. Ugh.

However I knew that it would completely blow my husband away.  Something that he would NEVER imagine I would do. So I HAD to do it."

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"So, tonight I gave him a car & driver magazine, with one of the images tucked inside.... at the dinner table. I told him that his birthday present was inside.

It was SO fun to completely catch him off guard while he was just nonchalantly flipping through the pages. He was totally confused, + didn't even realize that it was me he was looking at. His reaction was PRICELESS. The first words out of his mouth?? "Wow babe, I'm really proud of you."

Not "this is hot!" or "you're so sexy"... but ...  "I'm proud of you."

Of course, i started crying.

But it was EXACTLY the whole point of this entire thing.   CONFIDENCE."

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"Not to just have some photos to flip through when he feels like it. But to show him that I'm not just some "mom" who is overworked, exhausted, and usually highly caffeinated.  To show him that I'm willing to push myself of out my comfort zone.  To show him that I DO feel sexy, that I can still rock it, and that I'm not afraid to do something not just for him...but for myself. #confidenceiseverything

We had this whole long conversation about my "journey" to do this... [like seriously!? when does a husband ever said "tell me about your journey...."] so it was so so great for us to talk through everything I felt + experienced through the whole thing. SUCH GREAT MEMORIES."

"I'm sure that you hear all the time how transforming your photoshoots are... but seriously.  It's so much MORE than just feeling sexy. It's the confidence of GET IT GIRL, of not backing out, of HOLY SHIT I DID THAT.

So THANK YOU, Kara. thank you TREMENDOUSLY. You have totally changed my life.

I canNOT wait to do it all over again, soon!"

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I am so grateful to have been able to meet, photograph, and share this journey with this woman/mom/business owner. Yet another example of why I do what I do with such passion. 

Can you identify with her? I sure as shit can!  

I'M READY FOR IT TO BE YOUR TURN. ARE YOU? LET'S CHAT.

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Moody Muse | Austin Boudoir Photographer

This shoot holds a special place in my heart and I'm really excited to finally share it with you! 

Miss A, here is a photographer who lives across the country and she flew in to Austin for a little weekend away with her hubs, and to have her own boudoir experience with me!  She said she liked dark and moody, which was PERFECT because it just so happened to be a gloomy day in Austin (totally rare!).

We channelled that energy into our shoot and had a fabulous time. 

I know that when people come to a boudoir blog, their inclination is to scroll past all the text to get to the pictures. I'm a visual person, I get it.  BUT, each woman's story is SO important. The WHY is SO important. You need to know that these aren't just "I woke up like this" women who have nothing better to do than to look pretty and do photo shoots. These are women who bust their asses at life. They have their own insecurities just like you. They wear many hats and don't take enough time for themselves. 

So please take a moment to read Miss A's powerful words!!

"Buxom Shanghai.
That's my color.

I learned this incredibly helpful tidbit as I sat perched atop a barstool at Kara's photography studio in Austin, Texas just five minutes before baring it all for my very own boudoir photo shoot.

I needed Kara's eyes. I have incredibly jacked up self image and can be so very hard on myself. I don't practice what I preach to my own photography clients nearly enough. Don't be like me. It's silly.

Kara's make up artist, Kendall, had no hesitations while doing my make up and I had already vowed to trust her and Kara completely. So when she chose Buxom Shanghai for my lips... She knew what she was doing.

For Kara, she uses her passion for portraits, her strong intuition and completely on point male-like perspective to allow women to shine like the crazy diamonds they are."

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"It might seem like playing dress up. It might look completely vain.
But these women make space for change and growth and acceptance. And it's downright kickass.

People like us might seem out of touch. Like we don't have real jobs because what we do is so incredibly fun. But make no mistake- the purpose is important, the work can be tedious and the results are undeniable. Passionate people always find a way to inspire others. It's why we exist.

For me, doing a boudoir session is a simple visual reminder to put down the self-doubt and stop playing small. The world doesn't benefit from my petty insecurities.

So, for those dreaming of a boudoir photoshoot ... Put down the boxing gloves and quit beating yourself up about the 10 lbs or the stretch marks or the "but I'm not....." fill in the blanks.

Ask yourself this - what's the worst thing that can happen? And what is the best? If a boost of lasting confidence sounds good to you - then book it right now.

Do not get me wrong - my husband is head over heels for these images; he adores them and me and that's wonderful. But as my Kara's blog headline says - "It's not about seducing men - it's about embracing womanhood" and that, my sisters is something worth celebrating."

THANK YOU, Miss A for trusting me with your boudoir experience, for allowing me to share your photos, and more importantly, for allowing me to share your words. 

If you're ready to celebrate yourself, let's chat, darling! 

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The elegant Miss "S" | Austin Boudoir Studio

Ooooh--eeeeeee! I just freaking adore this set of images!!  Upon showing them to her boyfriend, he said that Miss "S" looked "SO ELEGANT" and I thought that was the perfect word to describe them. 

Boom! 

Extreme jealousy has taken over me because of this woman's insanely long and thick and beautiful hair, and her GORGEOUS skin!  And those OUTFITS?! Uhhh...killer!!! 

All of the rockin' pieces Miss "S" is wearing in this shoot are from UNDERWEAR of Austin, with the exception of that SKIRT (cue the angel choir...) from Sunroom. 

THANK YOU to Miss "S" for allowing me to share her stunning images with you!

READY FOR YOUR TURN IN FRONT OF THE LENS? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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Boudoir Party Booking Special! | Austin Boudoir Photographer

March is my favorite month! It's the month of my wedding anniversary, my youngest son's birthday, my favorite holiday (St. Patty's!! Holla!), AND my busiest month for boudoir parties! There is something that is SO insanely fun about getting together with a bunch of girlfriends, getting all dolled up, drinking some champagne, and being a total rockstar for a few hours while you have some amazing photos taken of yourself! Boudoir parties have become SO HUGE over the last couple of years. It's a fantastic opportunity to take the plunge into a boudoir shoot if you've always been too nervous because now you've got all of your friends right there with you with THEIR butts hanging out, too ;)  To commemorate the awesomeness that is MARCH, I'm offering a booking special! 

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This is a fabulous idea for bachelorette parties, bridal showers, birthday bashes, mom's night out (in), or "just because" because clearly, you deserve it!

So here's how it works:

1. You gather your friends...typically the most successful parties have about 5 girls but you can have as many as 7 or as few as 3.  We work together to schedule a date for your booty bash. 

2. My makeup artist and I come to you on the day of your party complete with a sexy swag bag full of goodies for you and your friends to use during your shoot. 

3. Each girl gets a professional makeup application and a private mini photo shoot!

4. Receive an extra sexy rate for booking as a party! {Be sure to use the above coupon, too, for extra savings!!!}

These are SO much fun, y'all. Seriously. 

So the booking special above is valid as long as you book before the end of this month...your party simply needs to be scheduled by October 30th so you have plenty of time to coordinate your best girls' schedules! 

SO, are you ready for this, or what?!  Let's chat, girl!

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