Liana in Milan | Destination Editorial Boudoir

SHOOTING IN MILAN WITH A LATVIAN BOMBSHELL.

Ohhhh it sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it!? I’m not going to pretend like it wasn’t.

While in Milan, I was booked for a shoot with a fantastic photographer, Liana from Latvia, who had followed my work for years and had to take advantage of me being way closer to her than a Latvia > United States trip would be. She booked a little getaway to Milan for herself and her husband, and we had an absolutely incredible shoot.

Listening to Liana tell me why she selected me to photograph her, gave me a reaffirming grasp for what my work says about the women featured in it. She told me that she didn’t want some distorted view of herself, or an overly glamorous one. She loved my black and white work, and that the women weren’t overly retouched. She loved the editorial/fashion style of my work and was so enthusiastic about the entire process. So we rocked out ALL those different facets and created magic together.

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We laughed a TON, flowed like crazy, took what felt like 3 million images, ran way over on time, and shot until the sun would no longer let us. Then we hit the hotel bar for a little libation and a chat between now-friends as I was in NO hurry whatsoever to navigate my navigationally-challenged self back to my house .

"I knew it would be an amazing experience, but it actually far exceeded that. The easiness of feeling completely free in your bare skin- it is life changing! And then, when the images do come in and you get to see all your badassness - well, not many things in life can make you feel like that."

"The good old term “self love” has gotten materialized. Subtle and not so subtle changes in all levels of self awareness, which was not the goal, however turned out to be a major bonus. The best money ever spent (way above shoes and bags and other feminine treats 😁)!"

"It all came together in a best possible way." -Liana

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I ADORE my studio, I do. I love it love it love it. I know every nook and cranny, I can photograph a woman there in 3 zillion ways, and because I know all of those ways so well, I can do it in record time. But there’s something to be said about a shoot in a new place. New inspiration, new light, new shapes, new lines, new shadows. It’s all the reason why I will ALWAYS opt to schedule “work” any place I travel to, because I ALWAYS adore the outcome so much.

Thank you so very much, Liana, for choosing me, for traveling for me, for trusting me, for laughing with me and not at me when I made a fool of myself (how many times did I fall???), and for allowing me to share your images and your experience with the world.

Until next time!

Striving for Perfection is Pointless | Austin Boudoir Photographer

Based on her on-paper age (21), I'm fairly certain she was the youngest I've photographed in the boudoir capacity.  Her maturity level, though...wow. I feel like she's as wise as a 90 year old. Her initial emails to me nearly a year ago were so profound. She wanted this session NOT to have sexy photos, but to celebrate herself. To celebrate her life changes, her hard work, and the fact that she was a bad ass woman.  She was a creative type, a musician, a force to be reckoned with, and I dig that. 

 

I knew she was going to really value this experience. 

 

She set foot in my studio with the most unique wardrobe and accessories. It was clear she had a style and a mind all of her own. It was clear this shoot was ALL about her and not at all about any one else. THESE are my favorite types of sessions. 

 

When I heard her playlist, I knew we were sorta kinda soulmates. Girl's got a wicked good taste in music...wise beyond her years.

 

Please read her story...all of it. She's got a powerful message!

"I realized that I couldn’t run to Kara with my soul in pieces. It took plenty of time on my own to put myself back together before I was ready for validation of my progress. Kara simply sealed the deal, in a beautiful way. I built up this idea so high in my head that by doing this shoot I was finally closing a really dark chapter in my life. I had finally breached the surface of my depression. I lost almost all of my college weight, I started yoga, got a dog, and surrounded myself with art in many shapes and forms.

I grasped at anything I could get my hands on to make me feel at peace. I finally found my self-love and really became proud of who I was and where I’ve been and what I endured to get there.. But I forgot that I was a woman. When I looked in the mirror I saw a sweet and loving college girl, a musician, a friend, daughter, and sister. I loved all of those things about myself but I didn’t see myself as a WOMAN. I thought that a 21 year old couldn’t be sexy, she’s just a girl. I didn’t appreciate what I was working with.

Sexuality and confidence are seen as shameful in some settings. As young girls we fall into the black hole of societies' so-called “beauty standards” and inevitably feel inadequate. From a young age, we begin to compare ourselves to the photo-shopped models in magazines, wishing to be them and hating what we have. Instead we should take a second and realize what’s real. We are real. We are beautiful, and we don’t need society to decide that."

 

"As soon as I stepped foot into the studio Kara was so warm and welcoming. I immediately felt like we were best friends *hair flip*.  She treated me as a woman and not as a girl. I was not embarrassed to be expressing myself while dressed in lingerie. I felt strong and powerful. Kara has the personality of grace and confidence that pours onto anyone in her presence. The photoshoot was absolutely magical. It flew by so quickly, I was sad to leave. But I knew when I stepped foot out of that studio, I was changed forever."

 

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"Do not strive for perfection because it's pointless. To clarify, stop with the excuses. I worked my ass of at the gym months prior to my shoot and sure, I would’ve loved to have been about 10 lbs lighter. But who cares? Confidence isn’t about perfection, it’s about being content. Not that you “settle” but to be content with where you are, and you understand that the work of art that is YOU, is a constant process.

You continue to gain worth as you chisel away the negative space, day by day. Confidence is more about looking in the mirror and loving WHO you see, and not what you see. I was very intimidated before I booked and the anxiety built inside me leading up to my shoot. The clients’ photos I had seen on Kara’s website had me awestricken. All of the women were so beautiful and strong, and mature. They are wives, mothers, girlfriends, and WOMEN with life experience and wisdom. So where does that leave me? I felt like I could not compete at all, and maybe I had no business doing something like this. But these inspiring women didn’t just wake up like this *cue Beyonce* they too, had been 21 once, just like me. Young and free- not as naive as people believe we are at this age, but making mistakes and learning every day, creating who we are.

This is the foundation for the rest of my life, and this photoshoot with Kara signifies that. When I finally saw my photos, I was so blown away. I wanted to plaster them all over my entire house. I had never seen myself in that way before but I hope to always keep that light within me. I know who I am. I love who I am. I am proud of that woman I see in the mirror. I can finally breathe, I feel like I earned my wings. Don’t waste another second. Book a shoot with Kara and let it keep you up at night. Write it on your calendar, dream about it, obsess over it. It will be the best damn thing you’ve done this year."

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Whoah. 

Am I right!?

This girl understands more about herself and empowerment than many of us get to achieve in all of our years on this planet. She may be much younger than me, but I look up to her. And you should, too.

 

Makeup by Gertie Murray.

 

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