Boudoir Makeup | Kara Marie Boudoir Studio

Every Kara Marie Boudoir experience includes professional makeup application with lashes...and for good reason. Nothing puts a damper on perfectly posed/lit/composed boudoir images like a bad makeup job. 

Does that mean when you do your own makeup, you're doing a bad job!? Nah. Well...maybe...but let's assume not, just for the sake of keeping it warm and fuzzy today. ;)

So why do we require professional makeup application for your boudoir shoot? 

Simply put, because I want the best possible outcome of your boudoir experience.  Every day makeup often doesn't translate on camera the way it looks in person.  Photo shoot makeup is slightly heavier, with a touch more contouring and highlighting to make your skin look amazing at every angle.  On top of THAT, my makeup artists (Kendall of Mayhem Beauty, and alllll the girls at Lola Beauty) know my natural light shoot style and how I prefer boudoir makeup to be and they.ROCK.IT.OUTTTT.   A professional makeup artist will take lighting, styling, your comfort level, and your face/feature shape into consideration when planning the perfect makeup look for you. 

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How should you prepare to have your makeup done for your boudoir experience?

1. Consider your wardrobe/boudoir aesthetic. 

If the boudoir style you're most drawn to is natural nudes, rolling around in the sheets, cozied up with a sweater.....it would probably be a makeup mismatch to go vampy or super glam.  On the flip side if you are bringing a lot of leather and fishnet, a blacked out smoky eye would be killer.

LIGHT + NATURAL MAKEUP

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"IN THE MIDDLE" MAKEUP

If you're bringing a variety of boudoir wardrobe styles, we generally go with what we call "middle of the road" boudoir makeup. I know, I need to think of a sexier phrase for that. The middle ground is beautifully + lightly contoured and highlighted face with eye makeup that make your eyes really pop and stand out as the main attraction, with a lightly colored gloss. 

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HEAVY + SMOKY MAKEUP

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2. Find photo examples.

Because this experience is so customized to each client's personal style and personality, we make sure to educate and communicate along the way to ensure we're all on the same page.  If a client comes in and says "I usually wear a lot of makeup"...that can be translated in about 20 different ways depending on who you ask.  See, technically *I* wear a lot of makeup....but I am almost always in the no-makeup-makeup look. So what looks minimal could be considered "heavy" to some. And what looks really heavy to some, may be way less than you're used to. 

For all these reasons, photo examples are key! Each KMB client is asked to create a boudoir mood board so we can get a very quick visual on exactly the style each client is drawn to. I encourage my clients to visit my Boudoir Makeup board and pin a couple of makeup looks that speak to their style and desired heaviness. Then, when reviewing their board, I make sure that their makeup look compliments the wardrobe style they select. 

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3. Prep yo face. 

Not only do we ask clients to come in with a clean, makeup-free, moisturized face on the day of their boudoir experience, but we actually lay the foundation for amazing skin in the months/weeks leading up to the session. I encourage clients to drink TONS of water to ensure their face and skin on their entire body is hydrated.  We also have an amazing partnership with the Piazza Center for Advanced Skincare who offers my clients a complimentary face treatment a week before your session (you'll get details on this when you book your session!). 

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So what's my favorite makeup look of the moment? 

I never want the timelessness of your boudoir photos to be compromised by any sort of fad makeup. For this reason, we don't go crazy on shaping/ombre brows, bold jewel tones on the eyes, or heavy contouring.  I keep the editing/processing of my images very classic and not overdone for the same reason. I don't want you to look at your photos from 2017 in 2050 and say "Wow. What was I thinking?!".  Keeping neutral colors and classic style makeup for your boudoir session will ensure you never think back to how dated your images are. 

All that said, my absolute FAVORITE boudoir makeup of the moment (but it's, like, a REALLY long moment, y'all.) is the no-makeup makeup look. Don't get me wrong, it takes Kendall or any of the other girls just as long to complete this look. It's still a full face of makeup. There's loads of steps that go into perfecting the skin from covering blemishes and under eye circles to subtle highlights in all the right places, and still applying a natural false lash to most clients, as lashes tend to get lost in photos. It looks amazing on EVERYONE and adds a REAL element to the finished product.  All of my personal favorite photos of me are the ones that I look like I wasn't trying too hard (or at all, really. Yet I totally was.).  The no-makeup-makeup look really translates well on just about everyone. 

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Another favorite is a bold lip with simple eyes, which works well for those who are used to wearing lipstick (for those that aren't, this probably isn't the best time to try it out) and whose boudoir style/wardrobe warrants it. 

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What about blemishes?

I don't believe, even for one second, that your blemishes define you as a person. For that reason, I do retouch out mild acne, acne scars, redness, and bruising. Telling you that probably won't stop the barrage of pre-shoot text messages from clients "Of COURSE I have a monster zit the day before my shoot!"...but it should give you some peace of mind ;) I got you, boo. No pimples will make it to your photo reveal appointment. 

So, what if I don't like my makeup?

Regardless of how talented our makeup artists are, or how much we communicate about makeup prior to your session, you very well may look in the mirror and see something so different than what you're used to.....and you may not like it!  We have a VERY, VERY, VERRRRY open communication policy about this!! Though it's never ever happened, I would absolutely prefer to start a face over than to have you not like your finished product because of your makeup. But generally if a client isn't instantly over-the-moon with her makeup, only a tiny tweak is needed to get her there. And we're happy to oblige!

We tend to always err on the side of caution with makeup application because we know just how much personal preference plays into your satisfaction with your makeup job. We tell our clients that we can always add more, or change anything they'd like, but that it's important that they are honest with us when they look in the mirror.

99% of our clients gasp with disbelief and start tearing up because they cannot believe how amazing they look!  We are often fanning away tears because we don't want it all to be ruined before we pick up the camera. A few others will request that our makeup artist makes a minor adjustment like adding a little more liner, or changing the lip color. EASY PEASY!  We are oh-so-happy to make tweaks to ensure our clients are completely satisfied! The bottom line is, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION! Don't worry about hurting our feelings, we want you to love the look!

THE BOTTOM LIP...ERR...*LINE*. THE BOTTOM LINE.

We want you to look like YOU...just on your best day ever ;) I always tell my clients how picky I am, and if I'm letting a makeup artist work on your face, knowing how particular I am about my work, you KNOW she's damn good and I trust her. Your makeup isn't everything, but it plays a large role in your finished product, which is why I only want the best! 

So while you're pouring over Pinterest for wardrobe ideas and boudoir styles, don't forget to give makeup a moment in your planning process!

 

Special shout out to Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty + the whole team at LoLa Beauty for keeping my clients looking fabulous and fabulously THEMSELVES for their boudoir experience!

 

HEY YOU! You've got my attention. | Austin Boudoir Studio

As years pass, more and more women are coming to me for a boudoir experience....and I mean....coming to me from other places....as in flying to me. I can't even tell you how giddy it makes me when someone reaches out from New York, California, hell...CANADA...and says they want to come to Austin just do have a boudoir experience with me. It tells me that I'm doing something right.

I believe that right thing is making boudoir about more than just boobs and booties. It's about each woman's STORY. It's about the experience I provide. It's about the way these women FEEL when they are with me.  The women that make their way to my little Austin, TX studio are doing so for a purpose, and I take that purpose very seriously. 

There's a reason that all of the rave reviews on my page say similar things. "I felt so comfortable!" "I have never felt so sexy and I hadn't even seen one photo yet!" and "I am so so glad I did this for myself".....notice those raves have nothing to do with the photos. It's about something even more important than the photos themselves. 

When a woman is in my "care", she has my attention. I ask questions about her life, not because I'm making small talk...but because I genuinely want to know who she is, what she does, what lead her to me. I want to find out the real reason behind her boudoir experience with me....not just the one she mentioned in the e-mail when booking me.

You can ask my husband...no matter where I'm at or what I'm doing, if I see a "REVIEW" e-mail come in from a client, I stop everything to read their words about their experience....and I tear up every.damn.time. Even if it's something I've read over and over from different women. 

When I received Miss C's email, I did the same. I was at my son's soccer game and reading "I would have traveled pretty much anywhere for you"...as I shed a tear thinking about how special I felt making this amazing woman from California feel special herself.. I'm not "mushy gushy" about much, guys....but my work...my clients....I MUSH AND GUSH ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Read and view, y'all. Read. and. view. 

"The whole experience was great from the initial email up to this review. I appreciated the quick response to emails and the notes on what to expect and how to prepare (I musta read over them at least 10x)."

"Since I'm a long-time Instagram follower (aka stalker) of Kara Marie Boudoir, I know that Kara is a very busy woman, but during my time at the studio I never felt like her attention was else where. I felt very much like the center of attention and my time there was focused on my experience and making sure I was comfortable and having a good time. I left wishing the time was longer and looking forward to doing it again."

"My morale after an experience like this, and especially after viewing the pictures, is at an all time high. I'm learning more and more as I get older that the more often we are able to do things for ourselves, the better we feel from the inside out." 

"It's difficult to put into words the feelings of self-confidence, self-worth, and inner strength that result from doing this. It's a remarkable feeling and I wish I could convince all of the women in my life to do this for themselves."

"Thanks again so much for the whole experience.  You are a true artist and you work stays with a woman forever.  I would have traveled pretty much anywhere for you. I didn't want to pose by any window, it had to be THAT window; I didn't want to lay down and arch my back on any floor, it had to be YOUR floor.  Anything else would have been settling, and quite frankly I've done enough settling in my day."

Goodness. I'm so so grateful for Miss C and clients like her who value the experience that I work so hard to create. More than that, I'm so grateful for what I takeaway from each and every boudoir experience. Every woman that I have the opportunity to work with affects my life in big ways. 

It doesn't have to be me...but if you find a boudoir photographer whose body of work and boudoir philosophy speaks to you....GO TO THEM. It.is.WORTH.IT.  Don't settle for someone based just on proximity to you. You will value it so much more if you invest in your own boudoir experience with THE photographer you want to work with...wherever they are. 

 

THANK YOU, MISS C!!!! I adore you.   xoxox

Sorry, I'm washing my hair that day... | Boudoir Editorial

Just a fun little boudoir editorial that I rolled into my South Congress Hotel "staycation". Loving the visual of this. Straight out of the "Sorry, I'm washing my hair that day" magazine. ;)

Model: Savannah Kinney  IG: @scubasavvy

Location: South Congress Hotel, Monroe Suite (worth.every.penny.)

 

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.

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. ;)

Miss M shows us her pump AND her sexy | Austin Boudoir Studio

Occasionally, and I mean *VERY* occasionally, I'll receive an email from a prospective client asking for something a little different than I've ever done before.  Maybe even something a little (gasp) challenging.  And no, I'm not referring to the email that starts out with "I'm wondering if you're comfortable with photographing my girlfriend and I making love?"...because I get those just about every day. Annoying. 

In one session, this client wanted to accomplish my usual artistic boudoir in lingerie, some fully clothed portraits that she could potentially gift to her parents, and some art nudes...including a feature of her nude and embracing her sexy...while wearing her insulin pump. All three were such a different direction than each other, but I felt confident that the challenge would inspire me. After all, I *am* a creative brain (read: scatterbrained), right?!

We sorta kinda nailed it. Miss M was open to my creative interpretations and did an amazing job trusting me and letting me do my thing while also adding her own energy to the session. I LOVE the confidence that is exuded in each of these images. Enjoy.  

 

I received the most beautiful e-mail from Miss M shortly after I sent her "sneak peek" photo and I felt that it was likely highly relevant to so many women, so I thought I'd share it in it's entirety...

*The Boticelli comment she is referencing: I kept telling her what a beautifully classic figure she had. She reminded me of a subject in one of Boticelli's paintings.  She kind of laughed the compliment off at first, but I elaborated and explained again why her figure, just as it was, was beautiful. My compliments to my clients are NEVER meaningless fluff. I specifically look for the absolute best features of my clients (not just physical ones) and I TELL THEM. This a boudoir shoot with me is NOT just about the finished images. It's about how my clients feel about themselves along the way. And I pride myself on that. 

*The Boticelli comment she is referencing: I kept telling her what a beautifully classic figure she had. She reminded me of a subject in one of Boticelli's paintings.  She kind of laughed the compliment off at first, but I elaborated and explained again why her figure, just as it was, was beautiful. My compliments to my clients are NEVER meaningless fluff. I specifically look for the absolute best features of my clients (not just physical ones) and I TELL THEM. This a boudoir shoot with me is NOT just about the finished images. It's about how my clients feel about themselves along the way. And I pride myself on that. 

Shifting out of parent-friendly portraits and into boudoir...

"This experience definitely made me more aware and appreciative of the features I have and allowed me to embrace them. I'm focusing more on those positive things and letting go of the self-criticism. I'm now able to focus and enjoy the beauty of others in a positive way without it causing me to feel bad about myself."

"I had not felt attractive or feminine, let alone beautiful, in a long time. This has been an awesome experience that has helped to open my eyes to see myself in a new perspective."

"The "Show Me Your Pump" campaign that began in 2014 was a great starting point to help users feel more comfortable with exposing their pumps and to decrease the stigma and any feelings of embarrassment some people may have. I feel it is important to not only be unashamed of having one but to show that one does not define you.

Your character is more than a medical device and it shouldn't be the only thing someone focuses on. People should see YOU regardless of whether you have a pump or use a wheelchair or have a prosthetic." - Miss M

Admittedly, the only knowledge that I had prior to photographing Miss M, here, about the "Show me your pump" campaign was a news story that crossed my feed a few years ago when the campaign was started. It was featuring Miss Idaho who wore her insulin pump out on stage with her bikini during the pageant. When interviewed about it, this is what she had to say:

"My message to everyone, diabetic or not, is that we all have something that doesn't "measure up" to the beauty standards set by the media--and that is okay! It does not make you any less beautiful. We also all have obstacles, challenges, and trials. Diabetes turned my life upside down when I was first diagnosed. Don't let your challenge hold you back or slow you down." -Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014

"The type of photos I requested were envisioned and produced by Kara in exactly this way. Those images are so powerful that the last thing anyone would think was that the pump was a flaw. Rather, the images throttle it into the forefront as an accessory to sensuality. I would encourage any insulin pump wearer that feels any reservation about revealing their pump to view these images in order to gain a more positive perspective" -Miss M

"My photo session and the photos that I received have made me look and feel confident, sexy, beautiful, powerful, feminine, voluptuous and soulful. I am a force to be reckoned with!"- Miss M

Thank you SO much, Miss M for sharing your thoughtful words with all of the KMB readers, and for being an inspiration to so many who may be feeling insecure about their figures (95% of women!) or their medical devices.

xoxox 

NEEDING SOME HELP BELIEVING THAT YOU ARE SEXY? I'M JUST THE GIRL FOR THE JOB.  LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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It's not business...it's personal | Austin Boudoir Studio

I tried to ride out the flood of New Year blog posts and really contemplate on mine (that, and give all my readers a chance to not be annoyed by so many New Year posts.) I'm not a New Year resolution girl.  It's now 2017, and I'm still the same girl that's making a giant pan of 5 cheese macaroni and cheese for lunch on January 2nd. 

I set my goals year round, I truly do. I set monthly goals for my business (which I'm really good at achieving), I set quarterly personal goals (THOSE sometimes...err...often fall behind...but I'm working on that), and I keep the most extensive and organized to-do list I've ever seen for every day tasks (though often forgetting to add things like "take a shower" and "work out").

One ongoing to-do list item I always keep at the top of my list is a reminder for me and it says "It's not business...it's personal."  If you've been following me for a long time, you may remember that my old photography website had that phrase written at the bottom of every single page. 

Obviously, this *IS* in fact a business, and I do operate it as such on most levels. But the one facet of my business that isn't business is ME. It's my relationships with my clients. It's my passion for my work. It's my love affair with the stories that each client tells me.  It's how seriously I take each and every customer's review of my services. It's my dedication to making sure that every person has the warm and fuzzies about their experience. It's my desire to continue to do something for a living that I'm SO passionate about without majorly sacrificing my time with my family. 

KEEPING.IT.PERSONAL is the reason I don't have a (probably much needed) large staff of additional photographers, virtual assistants to answer my emails for me, a sales person doing my photo reveals, and someone else running my social media accounts.  It's the reason that sometimes I rock a messy top knot that contains far more dry shampoo than hair.  I have had to actively try to keep it small. And to be honest, it's outgrowing me. It's become bigger than I can handle on my own with just myself and an assistant.  But like any business, I need to continuously adapt, and I will strive to do so while keeping.it.personal. 

While I most definitely have help, *I* am the only person that is fully invested in this business of mine. It's a part of me.  And in such an intimate line of work, I find it to be utterly important that you all get to know me. I want you to feel like you know me before you meet me. I want you to feel completely at ease, like you are working with an old friend.  I want to be the one to sit with you as you see your images for the first time and get all watery eyed. I want to be the one that gets more excited than you are to see your images blown up huge and hung on your wall.

Ok, ok, so maybe that makes me a wee bit selfish. But I genuinely feel the personal touch adds so much to the experience for my clients.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with not having a hands-on approach in many businesses. In fact, my apparel line Blonde Black and White is one that I dedicate about an hour a week to, I outsource just about every aspect. And my husband coincidentally just publicly announced yesterday that his fitness studio Heat Bootcamp is now officially a franchise.  There's most definitely a time and a place for expansion, but for Kara Marie Boudoir, that is not in the foreseeable future. 

Sometimes people will stop me in restaurants/grocery stores/coffee shops and say "HEY! I follow you on Instagram! I love your work!". I think "Who? ME!? You recognized ME!?!?!" *commence crawling into a hole in embarrassment and trying to remember what the last embarrassing thing I posted was...*  But then I realize that's a pretty awesome thing. I definitely put myself out there a little bit (lot bit) more than most other photographers. And I'm ok with that...in fact that's very intentional for all the reasons I've already listed. 

So, in 2017, I want to officially pledge my commitment to KEEPING.IT.PERSONAL. 

Thank you all SO, SO much for the most incredible year KMB has seen. Thank you for keeping me booked. Thank you for referring your friends. Thank you for every single "like" and Instagram comment. Thank you for understanding my mission to helping women feel a way they haven't felt in a long time (or ever). Thank you for your grace when I go a month without blogging because I'm swamped with edits. Thank you to each and every woman who has trusted me with their boudoir experience. I don't take the privilege lightly. 

I ADORE YOU. 

XOX

KARA MARIE

 

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."

P.S. you're amazing | Austin Boudoir Studio

Yesterday I had the ultimate in lazy Sundays. My son's soccer tournament was cancelled...which is a good thing because I just so happened to have a raging hangover from an embarrassingly little amount of alcohol the night before (HELLLL-OOOO adulthood.), and it was cold and rainy. I worked from my laptop in bed all.day.long. and watched movie after movie. 

I probably wasn't mentally prepared to watch P.S. I love you in my current state, but I did. For some reason it resonated with me so much more yesterday than it did the first time I saw it nearly 10 years ago...before kids. There was a message hidden in there that I didn't pick up on the first time. 

For those of you aren't familiar, it's about a recently widowed woman Holly (played by Hillary Swank) whose late husband (Gerard Butler) left letters with her friends and family to be delivered to her intermittently after his passing to help her cope and move forward.  He challenged her even after he was gone. As you can imagine, it's emotional AF. 

In a really pivotal scene for me, Holly's mother (Kathy Bates)  says "Ohh how your father used to make me laugh..." and Holly responded by saying "I don't remember you laughing...". Mother, looking absolutely crushed says "Well that makes me sad. Because I did."   How many of us have lost so much of our young spirit because...well...life?! I know I have. I know that I don't laugh as much as I did before kids. I know that I'm far, FAR more serious now. And I know that I'm not alone.  We need reminded. 

Without giving away too much of the movie (if you haven't seen it, wait for a lazy Sunday, grab 6 boxes of tissues and a tub of ice cream and be prepared to cry it all out), it was one sentence in the final letter Holly received that drove the point home and had me ugly crying. You see, Holly, like so many of us women, lost a bit of her young free spirit. She got very serious over the years. The young woman who met the love of her life in a really adorable and quirky way on a winding road in Ireland while lost was actually the LEAST lost when she had no idea where she was. 

In his final letter to her, her late husband said "You see, I don't worry about you remembering me. It's that girl on the road you keep forgetting."  *ugly sobbing accelerates*

We.need.reminded.

If you hung in with me for that, you should get the correlation. That is my goal during your boudoir experience...to remind you. This experience isn't about the mom version of you, the wife version of you, the boss or employee version of you, the flat out EXHAUSTED version of you. It's about you...the WOMAN. 

Today we are hearing from Miss Z. A hardworking mom who, like most of us, needed a boost, and got it when she needed it the most. She was an absolute honor to work with, and when I received an email from her immediately after her session before even seeing the photos speaking of how great she felt, I knew my mission was accomplished. 

"Kara, you have a gift and it is so inspiring to see you use it to lift women up in a positive way. You make people forget about their body image and embrace beauty."

I hadn’t even seen my pictures and I didn’t care, it was so easy and fun and just what I needed.

"This has helped me regain some self-confidence and self-respect. I know it sounds silly but as women we don't see ourselves in the most positive light. Especially coming out of a situation where I was doubting the person I was."

"Thank you for being my silver lining in a time when I needed a boost the most! As I am writing this I have tears in my eyes because I don't think you and your team realize what you did for me. My pictures are stunning, I'm so incredibly happy with the results."

Rave reviews never get old. It reiterates to me (because, yes, I need self esteem boosts just like the rest of you!), that I am doing what I've always intended to do: Make women not only FEEL amazing, but make them realize that they ARE amazing. All the time. Boudoir photography can be categorized so many different ways...but for me it's about boosting confidence long-term. It's about self-appreciation. It's about self-acceptance. It's about being reminded of who you are as a WOMAN, not just a mom/wife/paycheck generator/exhausted human being.

Thank you, Miss Z, for sharing your experience and allowing me to remind you of your badassness. ;) 

DO YOU NEED REMINDED? I CAN HELP. LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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