Taking it ALL off | Miss S | Austin Boudoir Studio

BY THE END OF THIS BLOG POST, I WILL ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE IT ALL OFF FOR YOUR BOUDOIR SESSION. 

Yep, down to just your birthday suit. There's something so damn freeing about not wearing even a stitch of clothing...yet that thought is often derailed by our intense fear of not looking the way we're "supposed" to, our crippling insecurities, or, maybe just the "weird" factor of being photographed by a stranger (Hi! I'm Kara Marie! Lovely to meet you. Now that THAT'S out of the way....

I GET IT.  I GET IT ALLLLL.

But if you're going to be nude in front of anyone's camera, mine is the one to choose. I've got the whole naked female form thing down to a perfectly lit and posed science. I'm also pretty easy to be comfortable in front of. *in my best Lamar Burton voice* "But you don't have to take MY word for it!", check out the RAVES page for more on clients being comfortable in such a "weird" setting. 

You'll giggle, then belly laugh. You'll wonder how these photos could possibly turn out with all your bits hanging out there. Then you'll see them, you'll gasp, and you'll fall deeper in love with yourself and the way you and your body are right now. And you'll probably wish you would have done your entire session in the buff. But it's fun to have the variety of wardrobe, too. ;)

Miss S reached out to me in order to help her celebrate herself in her 40th year of life. We started out clothed...then less clothed...then nude. She felt silly in the poses, she admits, but never imagined that she would love the photos, and so many of them, the way she did. Read on:

"When I turned 40, I promised myself that everyday would be better than the last. The power of intention led me to have the most amazing year of my life. As I round the corner towards 41, I wanted to do something extra special for myself. Enter Kara Marie Boudoir. I really enjoyed looking at images to give Kara an idea of the style that I like. "

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"Kara nailed my vision and I'm thrilled with the results. Every step of the journey was easy and enjoyable. Kara's website has a ton of great info and she was quick to diminish any anxiousness that I had about being naked or doing a weird pose."

"I'm a glass half-full kind of gal so luckily, I don't struggle in the self esteem department. I did not expect to fall madly in love with so many photos, though!"

"I feel great and am proud of the hard work I've put into my body. I'm excited to look back on these when I'm older."

It was time to strip down, be vulnerable, and trust me completely. She did. And the resulting images make my heart skip a beat. They aren't hyper sexualized, but reveal a woman who is proud of her sexuality. They aren't "traditional" boudoir, rather, they lean more towards fine art nudes.  They aren't heavily retouched, but they are strategically posed and lit to show off her natural curves. They don't bare it ALL, but they bare her soul and show her in her most natural form.

"What a fun present to myself. I'm so happy, thank you a thousand times over. Hopefully I get to see you next year, too!"

Nudes are intimidating, I admit it. But you can truly rest assured that you are in the very capable hands of a professional. I'm never going to have my camera all up in your business in an uncomfortable way. I won't expect you to do ANYTHING at all and will monitor your comfort level the entire time. I will photograph you in an artistic and classy way. You will laugh and have fun and be surprised that you are able to have such a good time while being naked in front of a "stranger".  You won't be showing me anything I haven't seen before. Your body won't offend me, and when you see your final result, your body won't offend YOU, either.

If clients are considering a nude set of images during their boudoir experience, I always encourage them to bring an extra outfit, just in case they aren't feeling it. Yet I've never once had a client who was CONSIDERING doing a nude set decide mid-shoot that they weren't comfortable with it. If anything, they decided sooner into the shoot than planned that they were ready to take it off. This experience isn't about being someone you aren't. It's about showing EXACTLY who you are...who is hiding under masks. I only want you to do what you are comfortable doing. It's just that I have this uncanny ability to make people comfortable with themselves. That is my super power. 

Infinite thanks to Miss S for trusting me with her boudoir experience, for loving the process, and for allowing her words and images to be shared with the KMB audience. 

WHETHER YOU'RE READY TO BARE IT ALL, OR ONLY A LITTLE....LET'S CHAT.

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She kicked cancer's ass | Cocktails + Curiosity Event Recap

Last week, I had the honor of being a part of the Cocktails + Curiosity event hosted by the Piazza Center for Plastic Surgery and benefitting the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas. Held for the third year in a row, this swanky-pants cocktail party at the Terrace Club in Dripping Springs really blew me away. 

Last month, I had the pleasure of working with Lora...a breast cancer ass-kicker-survivor who was introduced to me by the Piazza Center. We wanted to create wall-art that really captured her journey through photos.  If you missed the first blog on this, check it out HERE.

When creating the art for the event, it quickly became clear that one single image just wasn't going to cut it.

How could one image represent the roller coaster of emotion that someone experiences when fighting cancer?  I ultimately decided on the three images you see below.

The first, representing a newfound wisdom and confidence. The second, clearly representing the sadness and remembrance of all that occurred, and the final representing her joy and spitfire attitude that I'm guessing she's had all her life, but was fueled when she kicked cancer's ass.  

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And a few more from her shoot:

We were too wrapped up in the event to take "real" photos, but here's a few iPhone snapshots! (BAD, photographers, BAD!!!)

Lora in front of her display

Thank you SO much to the Piazza Center for including me in this event, to the Breast Cancer Resource Center of TX for all you do to help those affected by breast cancer, and mostly to Lora for trusting me with this photo experience and for being another inspiring badass to enter my life through my work.  

You don't *have* to take your clothes off | Austin Beauty Photographer

It's probably no secret that I'm a fan of nudity. I think every woman should be able to rip her clothes off, whip them around her head, and have her photos taken confidently. (Note: I have not yet achieved such confidence myself...but I'm one step closer with each personal boudoir shoot I do).

Boudoir is my baby. It's my niche, my specialty. It's what I do 92% of the time. Yes. I did the math.

The *OTHER* 8% of the time is spent doing BEAUTY portraiture. So. What's the difference? 

 

BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY

While boudoir photography almost always involves a certain level of undress or nudity, it is also a little more raw, candid, unposed LOOKING (although we do pose you throughout the entire shoot!). Boudoir is meant to embrace a woman's sexuality, independence, femininity, and badassness. Because of the posing and the wardrobe, these images tend to be more intimate in nature. We do retouch all boudoir images for our clients with standard retouching techniques and the finished product is generally a variety of about 50-60 images with a natural retouch that include "detail" shots such as legs, tush, breasts, back, shoulders, collar bone, lips, as well as full bodyscapes and imagery that includes the face. 

Example of Kara Marie's BOUDOIR Photography. More intimate in nature, boudoir images embrace a woman's sexuality, femininity, and badassness in a certain level of undress. 

Example of Kara Marie's BOUDOIR Photography. More intimate in nature, boudoir images embrace a woman's sexuality, femininity, and badassness in a certain level of undress. 

 

BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHY

Now, BEAUTY portraiture is a bit more polished...with a finished "fine art" look and feel. Beauty portraiture is a great option for a woman who wants a smaller collection of absolutely breathtaking portraits of herself that are wall-worthy. Our beauty portraits always containing the full face and have more "statement" wardrobe which can mean a ball gown, little black dress, lace bodysuit, fabric draping or even nudity. There are also more special effects such as fine art tectures and extensive retouching done on these images.  The finished product is generally a smaller collection (roughly 15-20) fully enhanced, wall (or Facebook profile pic)-ready images. 

Example of Beauty Portraiture by Kara Marie Boudoir. Beauty photos always contain the client's face, can be taken fully clothed, + are finished with a full retouch and a fine-art edit making it classic wall art.

Example of Beauty Portraiture by Kara Marie Boudoir. Beauty photos always contain the client's face, can be taken fully clothed, + are finished with a full retouch and a fine-art edit making it classic wall art.

Beauty portraiture also tends to appeal more to the masses.....it may be a little less intimidating for a woman who is hesitant to bare it all for my camera (although I maintain that, regardless of your wardrobe or lack thereof, I *WILL* make you feel comfortable. Promise.)

These are images that you can gift to mom or grandma and they will gush over without instructing you to cover up your bits. 

They don't necessarily need to be taken in our studio, as you can see. These can be taken outdoors, in your own home, on the street, in a car....you get my drift. 

So, if you do happen to be holding out on a boudoir session because you're just a little too intimidated by the idea, try a beauty shoot first! Even if you've already done a boudoir shoot or seven, a beauty shoot offers a whole different element of elegance and femininity. 

SO, you're sick of all the New Year's posts....

"17 days past due"

Every day, over the last 2 weeks, I've watched that number increase next to the to-do list item: "Write and schedule New Year's blog post". Of course the app I use makes anything past due red. It's a really condescending shade of red, too. 

I started the post several times, but kept deleting everything I wrote. Then I would just stare at my computer screen blankly for 3-4 minutes before finally closing my laptop and deciding I was too hungry to think. 

There's a lot of pressure on us to make and share our resolutions. And when I say pressure I mean: Well, everyone ELSE is doing it....so.....

We boldly proclaim that THIS year, we're finally going to get our shit together. We are finally going to lose that 10 pounds, eat cleaner, be more organized, travel more, spend less, wear pants more often (Imma tell you right now...not gonna happen for me), be better parents, etc etc etc. It's pretty exhausting thinking of all the ways we can be "better" people. 

So why not trash the resolution list, huh? Screw it. Goals are definitely good! But not in the form of bashing yourself over all the things you aren't. 

Instead, look back on 2015 and realize all the cool stuff you did. Realize how blessed you are. Realize that even if 2016 doesn't get ANY better than this, you've still got a pretty rad life. 

 

IN 2015 I TRAVELED TO/SHOT IN...

Las Vegas, Erie, San Francisco, Monterrey, Midland, Galveston, Key West, Tulum, NYC.

 

IN 2015, THIS DARLING BUSINESS OF MINE...

...Had an 8 page feature in Philosophie Magazine

...Upgraded from "Click Chick Boudoir" to "Kara Marie Boudoir"

...Brought on a new and awesome studio assistant, Elaine

...Had it's BEST.YEAR.EVER

...Surpassed all quarterly goals

...Gave over 300 women a badass boudoir experience

...Was featured by over 40 international brands

...Donated over $10,000 in beauty/boudoir photo shoot experience credits to charity organizations

...And kicked my 2014 business' ass

It was an absolutely killer year, and of course, had it's downfalls too. I just choose not to dwell on them. Overall, I give 2015 a 9.9999 out of 10 (because there's always room for improvement.)

And because PHOTOS are my preferred method of communication, here is a whole crap ton of images that got the most love on Instagram in 2015 and sum up the year perfectly!

 

And in 2016, instead of willing yourself skinnier, funnier, happier, richer, or a completely different person....how about you just try to not be an asshole? Let's not create a list of 10341 things that make us inadequate and then feel supremely defeated looking at that list.  Just narrow that right down to 1 goal: Don't be an asshole. Boom. 

The rest, you can make up along the way. 

Thank you all SO much for every single comment, follow, like, share, and shoot. I love y'all to pieces!

Cheers to 2016, dahhlings!

MAKE 2016 THE YEAR YOU FINALLY DO A BOUDOIR SHOOT! LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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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.

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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Mommy Daughter Pajama Party | Austin Beauty Photographer

This season has been flooded with Mommy/Daughter beauty shoot bookings which makes me so so so happy. The only thing that could possibly make me happier is if someone did a pajama party mommy daughter shoot.  Thanks to Yanci, I am the HAPPIEST.   This gorgeous mother/daughter duo is no stranger to my camera...I've lost count of the number of times they've booked me (which ALSO makes me so so so happy! Love my loyal ladies!!!)...but this may have been the most fun session we've had!

Yanci knew that I've been crushing hard on black and whites lately, and she requested that we do a full shoot without a stitch of color. Be still my heart. 

And Rush.  OHHHHHH my darling, Rush. This girl was built to be in front of a camera...as you'll see... ;) 

Are they not the cutest of cute!?   I wish I possessed one tenth of the girly nature that little Rush does! I'm telling you, y'all...I didn't have to coerce her to do anything. She knew exactly what to do with that makeup!  She knew what she was and was not allowed to use, she knew to cap everything before putting it back in the bag, she knew to blot her lips after lipgloss.  She's TWO, y'all.  I want one. 

WANT A MOTHER/DAUGHTER BEAUTY SHOOT OF YOUR VERY OWN!? OF COURSE YOU DO. LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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Miss Monday on Monday | Austin Boudoir Studio

Just thought that Monday would be a fitting day to share a few images from Miss Monday's mini beauty shoot!  

If you are looking to get a beauty or boudoir shoot in before Christmas, NOW is the time! My schedule is rapidly filling up--don't miss your chance to feel as beautiful as you should!

Let's get you in front of my lens, shall we?

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