Don't be a Lady | Austin Boudoir Studio

With all the feminist "noise" lately (it's.about.TIME.), comes a surge of female voices who are no longer afraid to stand their ground, to be heard, and to flip the bird to societally pressured gender roles that don't really suit them. 

I've become fascinated with the female trailblazers who are shattering the "rules" and doing their damn thing. I'm fascinated by the legends who just.don't.give.a.fuh what anyone thinks. And it's who I want to be.  It's who I'm actively working to be.

Like any aspiring badass, I turn to Stevie Nicks for wisdom. And Stevie says:

"Don't be a lady. Be a legend."

This quote, and the woman who muttered it matter-of-factly in the way she does, reminds me so much of the client featured here. She also adores Stevie Nicks....and had quite a bit of a modern-day-Stevie thing going on! 

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So enjoy these photos of a legendary human who completely SMASHED THE HELL out of her first boudoir experience. 

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"It was such a comfortable environment. I was so nervous but Kara immediately made me feel right at home. Treat yourself, its worth it!" -Miss H

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I couldn't adore these images from 2 years ago more. It was a happy surprise to see the photo use permissions come through my email recently! Now you can enjoy her legendary badassness, too!

Go forth and be legends. 

 

One of the Boys | Austin Boudoir Studio

I can totally relate to the women who come to me saying that they're just "one of the boys" or "a  total tomboy, good luck making me girly."...because...uhm...hello! Not sure how well you know me through all of my ramblings by now, and while a homegirl loves herself some little black dresses and a dappling of makeup, I find myself completely out of my element when surrounded by "girly girls". When in a group situation, you can find me conversing with the guys. When my girlfriends need to have a 2 hour conversation about how their going to dress for an event, I find myself retreating from the conversation and thinking about other things...probably food. (Still love you, girrrllls!)

So when clients think they're throwing me a curve ball by telling me they aren't "girly"...they really aren't making my job any more difficult. Boudoir isn't about transforming you into the girliest of all girls. It's about showing off your personality, playing up what you want to play up, and having a great time. 

Miss C here was "just one of the boys", so we obviously had the best time evah! She opted for some sexy black numbers *be still my heart*, and a nude set which made her love her curves a little bit more without a stitch of clothing. 

"I've always been one of the boys and I still get surprised when someone tells me I'm beautiful. However, after my boudoir shoot, I felt absolutely gorgeous!"

"From beginning to end, Kara was absolutely top notch! Seriously, when it comes to boudoir photographers, Kara is the way to go. From getting scheduled, figuring out what style of shoot I wanted it to be, the studio and photo shoot, and picking out photos for my album, everything was perfect."

"Sure, doing my hair and makeup will make me feel pretty, but this shoot made me feel like a total BOMBSHELL."

"And can we talk about those curves?! They clearly need to be embraced more and I now know they also look good without anything on them ;-)"

"There isn't anything that I would change about this experience! And I'm so glad I went out of my comfort zone for the nude shots. I LOVE them! Oh my goodness, I'm floating on cloud nine." -Miss C

 

WOO! I love enthusiastic messages like this! Miss C's personality SCREAMS through in these images and it was so much fun to document her personality, her "boyish charm", and her killer curves that she now recognizes don't need any clothes at all to look fabulous!

*high five, dude.* 

xx

ZERO FUSS boudoir wardrobe. Literally. | Austin Boudoir Photographer

This post must be prefaced by saying: I LOVE GOOD LINGERIE.  I have a special all-black-everything place in my heart for a fine piece of "underthings". 

Yet, my favorite boudoir images of myself and clients are rarely the fruit of any sort of preparation at all. Not to mention there's a whole group of woman out there who can't even wrap their heads around the idea of themselves in a full garter set and heels...it just isn't them. Add to that the number of women who end up snagging a last-minute time slot that I announce due to a reschedule.....and they.have.zero.time.to.prepare.

After enough emails and comments about not knowing where to begin with boudoir wardrobe, I decided to take on the challenge of coming up with 15 boudoir looks out of my closet....not counting my lingerie drawers (because obviously not everyone is in the unique position of being a boudoir photographer who gets tempted by lingerie constantly while also having zero shopping willpower), without buying anything new.  In addition, I'll share self portraits and some client photos that have been the result of similar no-fuss preparation. 

1. The black blazer. 

Like just about everything else on this list, a black blazer is something that most women already have in their closet. I prefer more of a relaxed fit for boudoir photos...but can work with really any fit with proper clipping/pinning. For this set of self portraits, I opted for a black "boyfriend fit" blazer that I bought from Nordstrom Rack 3 years ago for $19.  You can put your blazer on over a bra + panty set, a pair of cute bottoms, or nothing at all. 

 

2. The White tank top

More inappropriately called a "beater" (UGHHH a cringe-worthy name. So let's just call it a white tank top.), wearing one of these with nothing under it, paired with a pair of white underwear is a completely classic, completely CHEAP look for some really steamy boudoir photos. This one was one of those fancy $3 Target tops that had a lace detail on the top of it to class it up ;) 

 

3. The oversized sweater.

Everyone has an open front sweater, yes? Grab it. Preferably in a neutral color. We can pair it with a cami like I did here, a bra + panty, or nothing at all. 

A couple more awesome examples from other clients:::

 

4.  The t-shirt

If you own nothing else on this list, #1- I don't believe you, but... #2- I KNOW you've got yourself a tshirt. It can be oversized, baby-sized, crop, off-shoulder...you name it, we can rock it. 

From a recent session with Miss J rocking out her boyfriend's Iron Lung band tee. LOVE.THIS.LOOK.

 

5. Nothing at all.

I've successfully captured some of my favorite boudoir images of all time using literally no wardrobe. Whether it's artistic nudes, implied nudes, or fine art...you don't need any more than your birthday suit for this one. 

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6. The sheets

Again with the "no wardrobe necessary", nothing says classic boudoir like a simple "in the sheets" session. 

 

7. The kimono

I have yet to wear a kimono for a shoot, but I've had so many clients rock it out. Kimonos look amazing over basic undergarments or simply as an accessory to a nude figure. 

 

8. The bodysuit.

There are few things I love more than a bodysuit. They are available everywhere (and all over the internet), they can be found relatively inexpensive, they are sexy, and they look amazing on all body types! I encourage my clients to bring one bodysuit to their session and I'm so glad when they listen!

 

9. The sleep shirt.

I AHHH-DOOORRRRRRE the morning-after look and feel of a sleep shirt in boudoir photos. There's something so raw and VOGUE about it, isn't there?  It can be draped so easily, buttoned/unbuttoned to any degree, and layered over whatever you'd like or nothing at all. 

 

10. The swimsuit.

Everyone's got a swimsuit...and I'm willing to bet everyone has a solid colored swim suit. You can use just the bottoms of a bikini, just a bikini top paired with underwear, or if you're a one-piece queen like me, rock your one piece as a bodysuit. I haven't had the chance to shoot in it yet, but a one piece black thong swimsuit paired with a loose cozy sweater draped off the shoulder is the perfect look for a cozy Sunday morning boudoir set. 

And check out Miss J rocking a bikini top with high waisted underwear!

...and the badass Miss C in a super awesome swimsuit that doubles as lingerie for sure!

 

11. The scarf.

Scarves are so versatile, inexpensive, and beautiful. Oftentimes they are a plethora of sheer luxurious looking fabric and are PERFECT for a boudoir shoot. 

My all-time favorite boudoir photo involves an ivory scarf from Target....

Followed by a black scarf from Target....

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....which I then just wrapped around me like a towel out of the shower.

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You can have fun with colors and textures and I've got at least 100 poses than can be accomplished using a scarf. We could do an entire boudoir set using nothing but! 

 

12. The robe.

There's been times when clients have forgotten their wardrobe (photo shoot day nerves! ha!), and I've just had them start off in a robe because they were too nervous to go straight for nude. We can make just about any robe work as demonstrated here in the largest, bulkiest robe ever from the South Congress Hotel. 

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13. The granny panties.

Just hike 'em up and you're in business! White cotton panties are hard to beat when it comes to comfort AND photo worthiness (and Sunday lounging).

 

14. The holy jeans

Ok...you DEFINITELY have jeans, right?! I was on a mission to make this one work even though I'm a no-pants girl by trade. Unbutton, pull down, and voila. 

Even mom jeans work....as TOTALLY DEMONSTRATED BY THESE PHOTOS. These are Ralph Lauren POLO high-rise jeans that were literally given to me by my mother in-law who didn't like the fit on her. (which I left out when I texted the photos to my husband. Woops.)

15. The jacket

Wearing a coat or jacket of some sort is a popular option for boudoir....leather jackets and fur coats in particular! Here are some favorite examples from recent sessions:

There you have it, ladies....a tremendously long-winded blog post to demonstrate that you don't NEED a shopping trip or even lingerie for a boudoir experience with me. Stress less about what you'll wear and enjoy the experience knowing that I'm pro at working with what you've got!!!!

If you do decide that you want to use your boudoir experience as an excuse for a fun shopping trip, I've got you covered there, too! All clients receive a boudoir prep guide chock full of lingerie recommendations and prep advice. Bottom line, whatever "kind of woman" you are, my goal is to make sure THAT woman shines through, not who you think you should be for these photos. 

xx

EFFFFING AHHHHMMAZZIINNGGG, she says. | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm admittedly lightyears behind on blogging, which is a shame of epic proportions because I am sitting on so.many.insanely.stunning.images that I simply haven't had the time to feature. But the good news is....I got at least one set on the blog for you today! So...that's something! ;)

THIS bombshell. Y'all. 

A pixie cut, a bold lip, a figure to envy, AND tattoos!?! HOLD ME BACK. But really. Miss K absolutely rocked her session, however nervous she says she was (believe me, EVERYONE is. But I got you, girrrllll!). 

"EFFFFING AHHHHMMAAZZZIIINGGGG. Kara made the whole experience so easy and comfortable. I never imagined my pictures would come out, they way they did. I'm still speechless!"

"I've never liked pictures of myself and I find myself staring at these. I would do it again 100 times. Thank you so much for such a great experience! I can't wait for an excuse to come back. Love you, girl! You truly are something special."

AS IF these incredible images and her kind words weren't enough...

Miss K booked this session for herself AND to gift an album to her new husband whom she was marrying out of country last month.  Unless my client's partner is at the studio with them for their photo reveal, I don't always get to hear what their reactions were to seeing the photos for the first time. THIS TIME, I did and I'm over-the-moon grateful that Miss K's husband was so thoughtful to send me a message after receiving his wedding present. They gave me permission to share it...swoon.

"UMMMMM so I got my wedding gift!!! (Insert a bunch of heart-eyed emoji's here...like...a bunch.) You are so freaking talented! I can't thank you enough for your photo shoot with my wife! She is so beautiful and your ability to catch that in every shot was just amazing. I'm so in love with this gift. Continue to be a badass! Just felt like I needed to reach out because I CAN'T keep my eyes off my book!"

See? Told ya. SWOON.

 

A big THANK YOU to Miss K and her new MR for the sweet words and the permission to share them. 

Hair and makeup: Lorena of LoLa Beauty, Austin.

Unruffled | Austin Boudoir Studio

In 2017, I've been setting a weekly mantra for myself. Undoubtedly inspired by quotes (I'm a quote girl, you know it...I know it...and it's never gonna change!), each week I repeat the quote or mantra each day and look for ways the mantra presents itself in my world. 

This week's mantra is to "remain unruffled", inspired by a pretty spectacular quote by Thomas Jefferson that's been giving me life this week amidst lots of things that would normally "ruffle" me. 

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
— Thomas Jefferson

I won't go into a long-winded story here (I know, that's a first!!! More on Instagram)...but this set of images of Miss D seemed so calm, cool, collected, and UNRUFFLED AF. Something about her demeanor in these photos says "Whatevs. I'm just gonna keep doing my thing." and these photos are giving me life this week! ENJOY!

Client wearing La Perla from Teddies for Bettys

Client wearing La Perla from Teddies for Bettys

AHHHH! Yes. Unruffled AF. I adore these images and am so delighted that more and more clients are opting to do an artistic nude set. The resulting images are so classic, timeless, and FREAKING STUNNING. 

 

Au Natural with Hannah | Austin Yoga Boudoir

It all started when...

I was approached by a yoga studio that I frequented back in 2008 to photograph the instructors in yoga poses. I had been practicing yoga for a while (admittedly, off and on), and found it to be so beautiful for my soul...but as a professional photographer, I can't believe I hadn't thought about how beautiful it would be to PHOTOGRAPH. 

Yoga + Acro Yoga guru, Hannah Gypsyon  | IG: @gypsyon__

Yoga + Acro Yoga guru, Hannah Gypsyon  | IG: @gypsyon__

Flash forward to my relocation to Austin, TX nearly seven years ago. A city flooded with yogis, and now I had a beautiful studio that was stunningly organic-looking and naturally lit in a heavenly way. When I would have a client in my studio for a boudoir session, and then found out she was a yogi, we would incorporate a few yoga poses into their boudoir shoot. 

The more I did this, the more I fell madly in love. Word began to spread, and soon, I was booked regularly for nude yoga boudoir photos. I love when my passions collide with those of others. These sessions are some of the most stunningly raw that I've ever captured. 

If you don't follow Hannah Gypsyon on Instagram, you must go NOW!  A beautiful and naturally raw yogi and acro yogi, her feed is flooding with the most organic images of her in practice, as well as her boyfriend Pablo. I assure you, you'll see this feed and go researching acro yoga classes in your city and then make your partner take them with you. (That may or may not have been me when I first discovered her feed....). So inspiring and couple goals AF. 

Anyhow, I commented on one of her insanely amazing videos and she reached out to me for a nude yoga session and it was every bit as inspiring as she is. Talk about disciplined talent!! There's not a whole lot I need to say about this woman or this set of images, the photos most definitely will do a better job of that. But check. them. OUT. 

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To view more of my nude yoga work, there's a special tab on my website since it's become such a "thing" for Kara Marie Boudoir. Check out the yoga boudoir page HERE. 

Infinite thanks to Hannah for sharing her skillset, gift, and beauty with me and the rest of the world. I continue to be so so grateful for the amazing things my camera allows me to be a part of. 

Namaste. ;)

New Orleans Charm | Destination Boudoir Photographer

My studio is a dream...I absolutely adore it. The light is just perfection, the concrete floors are reflective and swoon worthy, and it's polluted with positive juju...you can feel it when you walk in. 

HOWEVA--- shooting in other places is so creatively refreshing for me. I keep a VERY full studio schedule, so I don't get out much (there has never been a truer statement in any sense of the phrase.), but when I get to travel for a destination boudoir shoot, a little extra magic happens. 

When I first heard from Miss M, it was 4 days before what ended up being our photo shoot date. She lived in a knockout historic apartment in New Orleans but was moving in less than 6 weeks and wanted to know if there was any way I would be able to travel to her for a boudoir shoot before she moved. Typically based on my nutty schedule, this wouldn't have been a possibility with such short notice. HOWEVER-- the boudoir gods(eh hem...goddesses) were looking down on us. I just happened to be scheduled to speak at a boudoir photographer's conference IN New Orleans THAT weekend. Talk about dumb luck!

I rearranged my schedule and changed my flight to arrive a day sooner, and VOILA-- boudoir miracle made.

With zero time to plan, Miss M was ready for her session in a few short days. 

Honestly, I'm inspired shooting ANYWHERE with good light. It could be a giant cardboard box. Butttt when I walked in to her apartment, I wasn't prepared for the gorgeousness that awaited me.

#1- This woman...sitting there...barely a lick of makeup on yet, was just GLOWING from the inside out. She had SUCH an amazing spirit about her, and I KNEW this was going to go spectacularly. Attitude is translated so loudly in every photograph I make, and she had the best one!

#2-HOLY CRAP her apartment. The light was pouring in from the most beautiful floor to ceiling windows that had the best window treatments. The whole place was obviously very expertly designed and furnished...and I knew that working with such an incredibly awesome client PLUS having such an incredibly amazing setting.... look.out.

I could have shot all day (and was quite sad that I couldn't, actually!)

Miss M on her boudoir experience:

"Having the opportunity to embrace my body in a sexy, tasteful and creative way was such an amazing and eye opening experience.

Not only did I push myself to do something I have always thought about and wanted to do but I absolutely love the images.

I wondered what I was going to look like after a shoot like this and I could not be happier with the end result :)"

"I think anytime you do something new or test your yourself in some way, it affects you.

The boudoir experience helped me see myself in a different light and having photos of myself and my body that I am proud of is invigorating.

It shows and reminds me of how my fiancee sees me daily. I wouldn't change a thing about the experience." -Miss M

Miss M dabbles in art (read: She's pretty insanely amazing! There were a couple of her paintings in her home and they were breathtaking!) and mentioned that she is so intrigued by the female form, and, in particular, the curve of the back. I wanted to make sure I created a lot of images that featured her figure, and that long beautiful curve of the spine. 

I was truly inspired by every nook of the apartment. The light coming into the study was magnificent and I knew I wanted to create something unique there.

The living room was masculine and fascinating. There wasn't any natural light in there, which always presents a challenge....for a natural light photographer ;) But it was the kind of living room that just NEEDED to be photographed, especially with Miss M gracing it. So I pushed my camera to it's limits and I'm so freaking glad I did. 

^^^ That one there. THAT ONE is my favorite shot from the entire set. It represents what I aspire to create for each client. The black and white tones, the composition, and her figure framed perfectly within it. THIS. ONTHEFREAKINGWALL. BIG. 

These final images just make my heart explode. They turned out exactly how I envisioned them, maybe even slightly better. I love the artistry, the fine art feel of her figure in the window. It's all just so...AHHH. 

I truly cannot say enough about this experience.  What my blog audience/social media following doesn't always realize is that EACH interaction with EACH and every client is an experience for me, too. Hearing everyone's stories and the reasons they are doing their session....hearing how their session has affected them. It's ALL so personal. It's personal for each client and it's personal for me. 

Ironically, I attribute much of my business' success to my whole "It's not business, it's personal" mantra. Because these aren't just photos. These are experiences. These are people. And I'll bet you can relate to them more than you think. 

Thank you to Miss M for the warm NOLA welcome, for letting your positive energy boom throughout your entire session and photo reveal, and for letting me share your words and images! 

READY TO STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE IN 2017? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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Embracing your sexy | Austin Boudoir Studio | Boudoir Portraiture

Another story I hear often from my clients is that they often feel cute or maybe even "pretty", but hardly ever sexy. That's one of our curses as females. We don't see our potential. We put ourselves in "cute" boxes and when someone suggests that we are sexy, we laugh it off. No way. Me? Nope. 

One of my biggest strengths is showing women how sexy they are. I want them to embrace themselves as powerful and, GASP, sexual beings. It's much easier for us to grasp the concept that we are hard workers, decent moms, devoted wives. But the sexy thing is harder for us to recognize. 

But I promise, if you come in to my Austin boudoir studio for a boudoir experience, I'll show you. The shoot won't feel like you're trying too hard to be someone else. In fact, you may even think "There's NO WAY this photo is sexy!" or "There's NO WAY I'm doing this right."  The magic of it is that I'm about to show each client her sexy AF self and they don't even expect it.

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I think so many people book boudoir experiences with me thinking "Well, I'm not going to look as amazing as the other women on her website, but if I can walk away with one good picture of myself I'll be happy." And those are the clients that are absolutely awestruck by the images in front of them at their photo reveal. 

Miss M had a specific aesthetic in mind that, to me, resembled magazine cover portraits. She had a very regal and poised look about her, and we worked together beautifully to create an elegant set of portraiture and boudoir images. Read about her experience below:

"Kara creates a space that makes it easy to feel like a total badass wearing nothing but your own skin. I walked out of the shoot feeling confident, driven and fearless. The whole experience was absolutely fabulous and it has been so empowering knowing that I did it for myself."

"In a lot of other pictures I have of myself, I can be described as looking "sweet" or "pretty." This experience is exhilaratingly different. When I look at my boudoir pictures, I'm empowered to see myself in a new light that reflects so much more of who I am and what I want to be."

"I see so much more that a sweet pretty girl. I see the story of a woman who is beautiful, brave, strong and interesting, a woman who has enough confidence to unapologetically love and accept herself as she is."

DREAMY AF | Miss S Part I | Austin Boudoir Studio

A good whopping chunk of my clientele just so happens to be other photographers. I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be selected by other photography professionals to document them. Not only does it give me the warm and fuzzies, but it also reiterates just how valuable boudoir photography is and how women who discover the value know how important it is to regularly invest in this type of experience. 

Miss S makes SO many valid points in her review below. I swear I slow clapped through 3/4 of it, and the other 1/4 was spent tearing up. I GET you girl. 

We started her session very dreamy and natural with her white lingerie and sheer white lacy top.....

And then, of course, we took some of that off....

Read about her experience:

"As a photographer myself I'm familiar with the in's & out's of a photo shoot but don't often get the chance to be on the other side of the camera. I went into this experience totally open minded and fully invested in the process. I turned off my "photographer brain" and just sat back and let Kara do her thing. This totally paid off because it was such a treat!"

"During the photo shoot I felt beautiful, sexy and confident. That's not to say that I wasn't nervous! I had several moments leading up to the shoot where I thought "OMG I'm not ready yet, I need a few more weeks to get these abs in check!"  Luckily I powered through and I'm so glad I didn't postpone it. The makeup artist was talented - she did exactly what I requested! Natural but sexy."

"Kara you are truly an artist and that's one thing I had at the forefront of my mind when I chose you! Going into the photo shoot, it wasn't just about me or creating a gift for my husband... I wanted to create art with you! It may sound corny but it really was a major factor as to why I chose you. As you directed me into poses I was thinking about how this would look awesome blown up in our bedroom. Having the end result in mind helped me commit to the moment. :)"

"At the reveal meeting I never once thought about those problem areas of my body. Speaking of the photo reveal... I am so glad that I decided to bring my husband with me to help pick the photos! It was great getting to see his reaction and notice which photos he gravitated towards. (We still laugh that he was obsessed with my hair so much! If I would have known that going into it I would have stressed less about my body! haha) Now that the shoot is over I feel a stronger appreciation for my body.

^^^^THIS^^^^

I may still be a work in progress but it’s never too soon to celebrate where I am at with this experience. Yes I still have some cellulite BUT it doesn’t take over my thoughts when I look in the mirror. I have showed so many of my girlfriends the photos - I am just so proud of the finished product! #Confidence
— Miss S

"It's been a few months since the photo shoot and my husband still mentions the photos at least once a week. I love that he LOVES the photos so much."

GAHHH! I adore everything about this!  The simplicity of the wardrobe + lack thereof, the timeless feel, and most importantly, every word that Miss S had to say about her experience. Thank you SO much, from one boudoir professional to another, for selecting me to document you in this massively valuable way. 

Stay tuned for the blog feature showing off Part II of Miss S's session which involved slightly less (ok, zero) wardrobe. Coming soon!!!

READY TO SEE PAST YOUR "FLAWS" AND FALL IN LOVE WITH IMAGES OF YOURSELF? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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