Yay for Giveaways and blowing yourself up! | Austin Boudoir Studio

I WANT YOU TO BLOW YOURSELF UP.

When clients are preparing for their boudoir experience with me, they shy away from the idea that they could possibly want a large photo of themselves anywhere on their walls. I speculate that is because they've never seen an image of themselves that makes them feel all sorts of warm and fuzzies, certainly not one that was a piece of art worthy of the wall. 

As they sit in their photo reveal and watch a slideshow containing image after image of stunning beauty....and then realize that woman in the photos is THEM...the idea of putting THAT image up on their wall becomes a right of passage.

There's always that ONE image that makes them feel all the (good) feelings-- beautiful, sexy, strong, powerful, independent, courageous, and BADASS. THAT is the one. That is the image that shouldn't be confined to just an album that you occasionally thumb through. THAT is the image that should be on prominent display in your home so you can see it every single day. 

I'm no stranger to the camera. Between my 5-year-long self-portrait project and my annual birthday boudoir shoot, I've got a sea of images of myself. But then there's that ONE. The one that made ME feel all those feelings.  So I blew it up. I invested in a gorgeous fine art acrylic for my bedroom wall. When I wake up and roll over every morning, there she is. It's me...but it's the best me. It's the me that I aspire to be every day. It's the me that's "in there somewhere" underneath the to-do lists, daily stresses, and tired mom. It's the me that I have to remind myself that I truly am. And I get to see her every day, as if she's giving me a high-five as I walk past her to head into the bathroom and put myself together for the day. 

Me holding "THAT" image of me. A self-portrait that I had blown up to a fine art acrylic piece. 

Me holding "THAT" image of me. A self-portrait that I had blown up to a fine art acrylic piece. 

I can't quite explain how powerful of a feeling that is. But it's a feeling that I want every woman who works with me to experience. Albums are amazing, they really are. It's important to have your boudoir photos in print form to have something to flip through forever. But THAT image. That ONE image, you'll know the one...that is the image that belongs somewhere you will see it ALWAYS. 

A snapshot of my morning view. *self high-five*

A snapshot of my morning view. *self high-five*

ALL of this is to say that I am having an acrylic art giveaway.

I want to gift this daily warm-and-fuzzy feeling to one of my clients. Oh, and it's a $2,000 value. So it's sort of a big deal. 

In my efforts to make boudoir more "mainstream" amongst women wanting to do this for THEMSELVES, it is important for us to share the message with others about how it makes us feel. There's no shame or harm in gifting boudoir images to your partner. But let's face it, your partner is going to be in love with the images because they are in love with the subject. The harder sell is creating images of a woman that SHE LOVES OF HERSELF. And THAT is what I make it my mission to do. 

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Post a photo of yourself holding your Kara Marie Boudoir album on social media. This can be as creative or straight-forward as you fancy. 

2. Tag @Karamarieboudoir (on Instagram)Kara Marie Boudoir on Facebook, and/or @KaraMarie_T on Twitter

3. Caption the photo with your feelings on what the photos inside your album represent to you. This can be a few words, a few sentences, or a few paragraphs.

IF YOU'RE NOT YET A KARA MARIE BOUDOIR CLIENT BUT YOU WANT TO BE....

Post a photo of yourself feeling beautiful and caption it with why you want/need a boudoir experience for yourself.

Please feel free to tag your friends who truly need this experience for themselves, but don't spam ;) 

Winner will be selected and announced on Wednesday, June 15th. 

She had no idea how to be sexy.| Austin Boudoir Photographer

"I can't believe I'm actually going to do this."

"I don't even own any lingerie."

"I'm not sexy". 

These are the comments that flood my inbox on the regular from all different types of women of all different walks of life. 

Miss "N" told me that she had no idea how to be sexy.  But, by simply existing, she already was. And she didn't have to know *HOW* to give sexy looks or make her waist look as small as possible, or know what the most flattering light was. You see, that's my job. 

Simply show up. I'll even let you show up nervous as hell, if that's what's natural for you. Because it's also my job to make you feel comfortable. 

You can bring lingerie or nothing at all. 

You can have an idea in your mind of what you want to accomplish with this, or you can just leave all your trust and anxiety to me. 

It's natural to be nervous, I GET IT. But the point is....it's not your job to make yourself look the best you can look in your photos. It's mine. So you can just relax and follow the very detailed directions that I give you while we're shooting, and know that your images WILL be every bit as stunning as all of those you swoon over on my website. And we did just that for Miss "N". 

 

"This was my first boudoir shoot and, if I'm completely honest, the first time I wore real lingerie in all my 30 years. Needless to say I was nervous and had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to be sexy. "

Hair + makeup credit:  Kendall of Mayhem Beauty

Hair + makeup credit: Kendall of Mayhem Beauty

But Kara made me feel comfortable and she made me feel beautiful! My experience was amazing from the minute I walked in to the very last interaction. Kara is incredibly talented. She knows exactly what to say, how to pose you and what lighting will bring out the goddess in you. I highly recommend Kara and her studio!
— Miss N
Amazingly my boudoir experience changed the way I see my body. I feel more confident and I feel sexy! I’m ready to walk around in my lingerie if it weren’t for pesky indecent exposure charges, hahaha ;)
— Miss N

Miss "N", thank you SO much for trusting me with your first (and hopefully not last!) boudoir experience. I'm seriously over-the-moon with our finished product and so excited that you can see what I saw forever and ever each time you look at your incredible boudoir album. You are STUNNINGGGGGGG and I adore you and your photos!!

 

THINK THAT YOU CAN'T LOOK AS SEXY AS THE WOMEN ON MY WEBSITE? THEY DIDN'T EITHER. LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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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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She wouldn't even expose her shoulders.... | Austin Boudoir Photographer

I can honestly say that I have never witnessed such an extreme transformation as I saw with this particular client. When she booked me, not only had she not been photographed in this capacity, but she "was a throwback to another era with vintage morals, including formal and prim beliefs about showing oneself." (her words).   

Was I ready for the challenge of bringing someone out of their shell who literally didn't even bare her shoulders or toes in public? PSSSHHH YESSS I was! 

From the time she set her shoot date until the day of the shoot, she had transformed herself. She started buying lingerie and high heels. She started painting her nails black cherry.  She came alive. 

I've never had someone come bopping into my studio with THIS much enthusiasm and preparation before. While I want to blabber on and on about her and her transformation...she tells it SO much better than I ever would. 

You must read her story below...

"How did I get here and decide to do this?  How does one begin to explain exploring the depth of one’s soul and how many dimensions or extensions it can possibly have?  How can a person reach that depth with just a simple conversation? Me, as an object of art was just a mere thought unexplored for years until the door recently kicked itself open. Thus began my journey…Kara topped it off with an exclamation point!

I am a very proud, sophisticated, and complex lady – one could say a throwback to another era with vintage morals, including formal and prim beliefs about showing oneself. Multiple crises then put me under a rock completely for decades. I forgot who I was and I had no feelings! Society often magnifies the unworthiness. You have to look a certain way, be a certain person, or risk being criticized and ostracized. Not having positive reinforcement, other than in your own mind, weighs heavy on the soul. Being strong and smart, you learn not to care about beauty and the attention it brings, even though you may crave it. Trying to match an ideal is impossible and you simply give up."

"Why would I want to be photographed? - I would never do this in a million years and it might not even be appreciated! A simple, well timed question from a friend kicked off a torrent of thoughts… why I am holding on so tightly to old-fashioned thinking? Baring shoulders and even toes was a big deal in my mind and why was that?  An awakening occurred…but I want this, I shouldn’t want this, but I need this! I long for this! It’s for me! A little fire began burning…

Nervous and timid, slowly over the course of 6 weeks I came out of the shell I was living in to find my inner bold, glorious, radiant self. How? Embrace the inner you! Discover what beauty you adore most! Immerse yourself in food, music, literature, art, dance, drama, and find your muse! Remember that regular, normal women have been painted, sketched, and sculpted as art for centuries!"

"You have to fall in love with who you are right now first – flaws and all. Go seek advice and explore and try things you’ve never done before (or haven’t in a LONG time) and find that which you were always curious about. Have a good friend challenge and then push you beyond those ingrained thoughts that are keeping you bound up. You will be surprised at the effects and compliments you receive! Guaranteed you will find yourself smiling and radiantly glowing - others cannot help but notice the difference!

Some great takeaways I truly learned…

·       There is never a perfect body. Only a perfect mindset! 

·       Do it now, as later will never arrive!

·       Explore, follow directions, and over prepare!

·       Life is too short not to have fun!

·       And my favorite is attributed to Ms. Coco Chanel ~ “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself!”

Kara was the ultimate communicator and no question was too weird or too strange. Her ease and sense of womanhood is tremendous! She took the time with me to alleviate my concerns and build my confidence!  Kara created an object of beauty and desire from that fire. And my soul wanted to sing! 

"Every one of us means it when we say Kara is the best! A true wonder woman! I still cannot believe how fantastic my experience was and I'm livin' the high! She is hands down and quintessentially an absolute professional!

Her love for her job shines through every pore of her being and her keen eye for detail and what works for you is brilliant! Kara can peer into your soul and has the power to capture and turn you into a true work of art! AMAZING! This is the best investment in yourself that you could ever make! Kara takes care of you and puts you right at ease. You really do instantly feel as comfortable with her as you do your best friend! Do not fret or worry about your body as those are just mind games to be conquered. Kara definitely can let you shine through! ~Trust her and she’ll deliver you a dream… and blow your mind! You become magazine, model, photojournalist quality!!! OH WOW!"

I am so blown away by this woman and her transformation. I truly am so fulfilled by what I do all the time, but when I have stories like this, it just puts me in awe. 

Boudoir is so much more than sexy photos. It's self-discovery. It's self-love. Empowering. Brilliant. Artistic. It's YOU. It's for EVERY WOMAN. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. If you've never done it before, heed this woman's advice. You don't need a special occasion, you don't need the "perfect" body (whatever that means). Do it. 

Don't wait any longer. you deserve to feel beautiful and empowered. let's chat. 

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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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Beauty + Brains + Badassness | Austin Boudoir Photographer

She's a bird owner, a car enthusiast, and a scientist (so basically, a total badass). On top of that, she's got the most beautiful blue eyes! Miss "B", here, is has been in front of my lens a few times before...but I would have to say that THIS was my favorite shoot.  She is just such a natural in front of the camera. Even when she's giggling because she feels awkward, it comes across as "supermodel".

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Here is what Miss "B" had to say: 

"In early February, I had a tonsillectomy.  As an adult, it means a longer recovery and no real food for TWO WEEKS. I lost a lot of weight, and right about the time I was almost to my two week mark, I suffered a very rare and life threatening arterial hemorrhage that required emergency surgery and, you guessed it, another two week ban on food!

 

After four weeks of soupy mashed potatoes and apple sauce, I had lost a total of 15 pounds (and a large quantity of blood from the hemorrhage). For the next few months, I got to constantly hear from everyone how sick, tired and pale I looked! Not only was I physically feeling crummy, I was feeling down about how awful these complications apparently made me look. I was having trouble getting back to my old self after this, and it turns out a boudoir shoot with the Click Chick herself was exactly what I needed!

 

Kara is an amazing woman who really helped me feel great about myself again. I firmly believe that it’s not just the boudoir experience itself, but having a wonderful photographer that really gives it the impact. I felt so comfortable and spent the majority of my shoot laughing! It was also helpful that Kara has a great eye AND modeling experience so she will show you exactly how to pose- there is no need to think you shouldn’t shoot because you’re not sure what to do or how to do it.  

 

I am so happy that I did this for myself and I would strongly recommend any woman who needs a pick me up or just a fun way to pamper herself to consider a boudoir shoot with Kara! I am a three time customer for a reason!"

Beauty + Brains + Badassness. Told you. ;) 

If you haven't exactly been feeling at the top of your game lately, I can help! Let's chat, dahhling! 

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Miss "Z" conquers her body image | Austin TX Boudoir

You may have read what Miss "Z" had to say about her boudoir session on my review page...but you should most definitely see the images from her session. 

Boudoir is about more than just sexy images. It’s about self-confidence, it’s about feeling empowered and on top of the world, it’s about accepting yourself EXACTLY as you are and realizing–hey…I’m HOT!

When I first heard from this amazing woman, she said she was particularly nervous as she’s a self-proclaimed “curvy girl” and “not your typical 20-year-old-model-thin-girl”. Upon meeting her, I saw nothing but a beautiful bod, killer eyes, and some AMAZING curves. Like….amazing jealousy-envoking curves. We had SO much fun during her session and got some absolutely incredible images!

I adore this first set that she took in a comfy over-sized sweater that her boyfriend got for her…

One of the top 3 reasons why I don’t shoot boudoir in a studio is that I LOVE the variety of location and light I get by providing my clients with in-home sessions. In Miss “Z”‘s guest bedroom, there was a soft orange glow that looked incredible in the final product…

My advice to anyone who wants to do a shoot with you but would like to lose 10 or 20 pounds first…don’t wait, JUST DO IT!
— Miss "Z"

What an incredible woman! She totally rocked this shoot and owned her curves! Read more of what she had to say to me after she saw her images!: 

“My advice to anyone who wants to do a shoot with you but would like to lose 10 or 20 pounds first…don't wait, JUST DO IT!  If you lose weight, you can do another one!  Or you might just end up loving your body the way it is!  Kara: you really are a genius with posing, lighting, retouching, and just making your subject feel totally comfortable.  If I could change something about how much of my body I showed, I would wear LESS, not MORE…”  

YEAH! Now THAT’s what I like to hear!!! 

Mega-thanks again to the talented Lauren Davis of Hint of Shimmer for providing Miss “Z”‘s glam makeup!

Are you ready to rock your body just the way it is?! Let's shoot, dahhling!

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Miss "K" in black and white | Austin TX Boudoir Photographer

So here it is. It's the post that I've had saved as a draft for a month. My own personal boudoir shoot.  The only reason that I was even the slightest bit hesitant to post these images was not because I was worried about who might see them, or because I was worried about my husband having an issue with it (seeing as how he has them up as his laptop, iPad, and iPhone backgrounds for all of his friends and clients to see, which is an honor.), or that my bod was going to be plastered all over the internet forever and ever.  I just didn't want everyone to think that I was a narcissist posting my own images on my own blog.  BUT, I'm over it.  I'm proud of them. And, after all...I DID shoot them myself. Yeah. I did. {disclaimer: not a recommended route to take for your own photos.}

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I think sharing each woman's story, if I'm permitted to, is just as important as the photos. Sure, most of my clients, when first approaching me about boudoir, say "I want to do a shoot for my _______{boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, etc} for __________ {their birthday, our anniversary, Valentine's Day, etc}. Then I dig a little deeper and discover the real reason why they want to do a shoot. And it's about them.....not the lucky gift recipient.  That's my story too. I wanted to celebrate myself...which is something that I am not used to doing. I do a lot of preaching about embracing your body. I do a lot of preaching about being beautiful on the inside. It wasn't until after I had my 2nd son, Max, that I was able to really grasp that concept. Without being too long-winded::: Yes, I've always been "thin". I have NOT always taken good care of myself.   Instead of taking any sort of action, I just continued to eat crappy "food" and be insanely inconsistent with my workout regime while blaming all sorts of external factors for my lifestyle choices ("I'm just too BUSY to eat well"). After having Max, I was forced into extreme clean eating (he was allergic to dairy, soy, gluten, and beef...and I was nursing him). Once I started feeling the awesome benefits of healthy eating, I felt really, really awesome. I had energy all of a sudden. Energy that I then used for physical activity which then snowballed the benefits. Pairing this newfound eating lifestyle with my fantastic personal trainer and a little extra effort on my own at the gym or a yoga class, I had discovered that I am finally happy in my own skin. I'm comfortable with myself for the very first time ever.  I'm not perfect. And I'm perfectly happy with that. THIS was a reason for a celebratory photo shoot. Oh...and my husband and I's 14 year anniversary back in December. The gift giving was just a bonus, though.  

Now, the process.  This was a bit different from my usual boudoir shoots. Making sure my composition, exposure, and shooting angle was just right was only half the challenge. Now I also had to worry about posing myself...and looking good while doing it.  I shot my boudoir photos over 3 different days in between motherhood and running my business, with a tripod and the interval timing feature on my camera in my old apartment that had VERY little natural light, a complete lack of decor, and a maintenance man who coincidentally was always working on the landscaping directly outside of my largest window.  Talk about a challenge.  

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Don't be too impressed, though....about 98% of the shots looked like this:

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But I ended up with about 14 images that I was proud enough of to present to my husband. 

SO--I don't want to hear "That's easy for YOU to say...you're on THAT side of the camera!!!" coming from anyone. I've been on both. And now MY boudoir photos are posted all over the internet for everyone to see. And I'm not ashamed of that one bit.  This body has birthed two beautiful boys.  This butt has been busted in building two businesses. These eyes have been strained to the max while editing thousands and thousands of images. These legs have held me up when I've been completely and utterly exhausted. These hands have held the gear that has made my life possible. I am happy. The happiest ever.  Cue Katy Perry's "ROAR"......


For more information on Austin TX boudoir photography, visit the Click Chick Boudoir website.  For availability or to book, email Chick@ClickChickImages.com