Embracing female SEXuality (GASP- did she say that!?) | Austin Boudoir Studio

LOOK OUT, I'm in a ranting kind of mood, so this post will be a long one.

Female sexuality. AHHH.  Something so beautiful yet so openly shamed in our society.

You'll notice a common trend in my brand message: it's not about anyone else, it's about you. It's about making YOURSELF feel beautiful, strong, empowered, and....SEXY.

Yes. FEELING SEXY is important. Whether that means you're rocking out with your DDD's out, or you are modestly sporting a turtle neck. Whatever "feeling sexy" means for you should be embraced. Oh, and for the record, you CAN own your sexuality as a woman without being a "bad feminist" (ohhhh the things I read on the internet. Eye roll). 

A common request from my clients is that we create a set of images for them that remind them that they are, in fact, sexual beings, and it is my absolute honor to do such for them. 

This post was all prompted by me searching for a powerful quote or passage about embracing female sexuality to caption one of these images. The Instagram post below, as I'm far too busy to not just copy/paste.

 

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BE.PROUD.TO.BE.A.SEXUAL.BEING. 


Y'all know I'm a quote girl. But I don't pair just *any* quote with any image flippantly. I look at it and think about what word(s) comes to mind about that photo and then I research poems, quotes, passages that reflect what the image means to me. 

To me, this photo in particular represents a woman embracing her sexuality, which shouldn't be frowned upon or judged, but often is. When I began to research "embracing female sexuality", instead of a slew of badass quotes that are typically generated, I came across a plethora of passages from women defending their right to say "no", from women afraid to be vocal about rape, from women screaming that just because she enjoys sex, it doesn't make her a whore.  What does it tell you about our society that a "female sexuality" internet search warrants a slew of women having to defend themselves like that!?

Time for the narrative to change. SEX is not a bad word. SEX is not only for men to enjoy. SEX is not something to be ashamed of. And SEX is not something that is done TO us. Embrace that sexuality, women. It's a beautiful thing. 

I was thrilled to be able to document this client's embracing of herself as a sexual and sexy being. She was uninhibited, a ton of fun, and most importantly she trusted me to create these images in an artistic and empowering way (and THEN let me share them with you. So...double brownie points!....Mmmm. Brownies. Cut me some slack, I'm dieting.)

If you're expecting an uber awkward photoshoot with me trying to coach your sexual prowess out of you and break through your barriers......that's just not the case at Kara Marie Boudoir.  "Oh my GOD! I can't believe these images turned out so HOT!!! It did NOT feel like anything sexual at all during the shoot!!!" <--- What I hear ALL.THE.DAMN.TIME. 

Every boudoir photographer has a different method for getting their finished product. To each their own. But for me, I'm all about the hacks and the tricks. How can I make a client look like she's having a steamy and intimate personal moment, when, behind the scenes we're really talking about Girl Scout cookies and I'm occasionally asking her to breathe out of her mouth heavily in between giggles and bad jokes (from me. Always with the bad jokes)?  

I've spent years fine tuning my methods to make ALL WOMEN feel comfortable, not just those who are already comfortable with their bodies/sexuality/appearance/etc etc etc. And, I'm quite good at it...if I do say so myself. 

Maybe you've been ashamed to embrace your sexayyy. Maybe you've been following along for quite some time and don't think the women in my photos could possibly be you. Maybe since becoming a mom you forgot that your body was good for anything but creating a human life and then feeding it. All the more reason to reach out and come see me.  I.LOVE.HELPING.WOMEN.REALIZE.HOW.AMAZING.THEY.ARE. (Think that will fit on my business card?)

Chat soon?

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Insecurities be gone | Miss G | Austin Boudoir Studio

Insecurities are pesky little bitches, aren't they?! One of the best compliments I can get from my clients is that all of those little nagging bitchy insecurities that they have every single time they look in the mirror.......they don't see them when they look at their photos. They see themselves the way their partner does, the way I do! They see a strong, amazing, gorgeous woman!

Check out Miss G thang (I just made that up on the fly. I know, I know...it's a gift.) and read about her experience!

"I wanted a boudoir shoot before my wedding, but I just didn't get around to it. What I came to realized is that the fates had something better in store for me because not long after I got married, I found Kara Marie Boudoir and began stalking her blog and social media, dreaming of the day I would get to have my own shoot, not just a boudoir, but A KMB shoot."

" I would see outfits and imagine what they would look like in Kara's photos - not super creeper like, just seeing her talent and knowing she would make everything AH-mazing."

"As my husband and I started to talk about having kids, I knew I wanted to get the opportunity to have a "pre-mom" body experience and so I ask (begged, pleaded) and we went all in with the full package - hair/makeup/shoot/book."

"It was really the best way to go - I felt like a million bucks after Kendall got done with my hair and make up and Kara was so wonderful to work with as we laughed and posed and had a ball."

" I felt like a Victoria Secret model! I KNEW the shoot went well and couldn't wait for the reveal. When reveal day came I had over 100 photos to have to choose from - and I was worried about even getting the 10 to fill the book! Choosing which ones to get was the hardest part because they were all so good."

I’m pretty self conscious and critical of myself (what girl isn’t) but I didn’t even see the flaws - and that was the most amazing part of the whole experience, I saw myself for how my husband sees me, and damn if I’m not a serious hottie!

" Everyone is always critical of this or that on their body. Everyone always thinks, I need to be a certain weight/shape/size/personality/whatever to do something like a boudior shoot and let me just say - no, you don't, you just need to be YOU and make the call to Kara"

"The whole experience makes you feel like a million bucks, which makes the cost a pretty good ROI if you need to justify it. Getting your make up and hair done, getting to listen to music, and letting your inner goddess/diva out is an exhilarating experience. Almost addicting, which is why I understand people going back for multiple shoots with her."

  It isn't about being vain either, it is truly letting you be a little selfish and saying, 

Why yes, I am a bad ass, sexy woman. What are you going to do about it!?

Hell yes. This rave made my heart sing! We all want to feel this way. And I assure you, an amazing boudoir experience with me will do the trick. Come see for yourself!!

READY TO FEEL LIKE A BADASS SEXY WOMAN!? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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She forgot to hate herself.... | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm one of those weird "everything happens for a reason" people...you know, the kind who believes if you put good shit into the universe, you'll get good shit in return. I fully believe that my new assistant, Elaine, is one of those good shits. 

I am highly picky when it comes to letting people in to be a part of my business. I've spent nearly a decade building my brand and preaching my purpose. Someone coming to work for me can't just be "like, really, really good with people." or "a huge fan who has always been interested in photography!". On top of needing to have very specific character traits, work ethic, and qualifications, I had to KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that this person was a perfect fit. 

 For that reason, I poured through hundreds of applications and interviewed over a dozen candidates for the new assistant position. Then, finally, I met this uber passionate, intelligent, friendly, qualified, and freaking adorable super-ball of  energy. She actually wanted to interview ME for her research paper on how boudoir photography could be a complementary therapy for sexual assault survivors. Instead, she got a job. 

Elaine "before" her boudoir transformation......still absolutely gorgeous.&nbsp;

Elaine "before" her boudoir transformation......still absolutely gorgeous. 

In her short time working for me, I've breathed so many sighs of relief. I've been blown away by how amazing her young mind works, how quickly and efficiently she completes tasks, how INSANELY fast she learned my retouching style, and how much more at ease I've been about trusting someone else with some of my work load. 

On top of being the perfect fit for Kara Marie Boudoir, she also is a bit of a "super fan", and had her own photo shoot booked prior to speaking with me about a job opportunity. Because of her chosen research path, the shoot was approved by UT and considered "ethnographic research". So on her SECOND day of work, she had her scheduled boudoir experience. 

I have so much to say about her, her experience, and her photos....but she does a FAR more eloquent job, herself...so I will allow her to elaborate. I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee, glass of wine or whiskey, and really read this woman's testimony. She is wise beyond her years.

Makeup by Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty

Makeup by Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty

Elaine said:

"During the spring semester, I had a family emergency and ended up missing roughly a month of a school. The experience, the drop in my GPA, plus my weight gain completely devastated me. When I went home for the summer, I was considering transferring universities or just taking some time off altogether. I stayed by myself a lot, splitting my time between moody poetry and mindless pinterest-ing.

And it was through one of those night on Pinterest that I came across a boudoir board. From there I ended up on a Texas boudoir board and soon I found myself googling Austin boudoir photographers at four in the morning. And then I found Kara’s page."


"I wept reading the blog, seeing the stories and pictures of these women who were loving themselves again, or were at least on the path too. Reading Kara’s site from front to back and back again, it was obvious that boudoir was a tool of empowerment for these ladies.

Even though her work only reflected a small population of women, it had to be possible that Kara’s style of boudoir could help a large volume of women- and I started thinking maybe even women with a history of trauma or violence, where self-love isn’t as easy. So I poured over databases looking for academic articles on boudoir photography and it’s ability to empower sexual assault survivors or trauma patients or any group of women in general. And there was hardly any work out there."


"That’s how I knew I had to go back to school in the fall.
If I could pour all of my energy into this research project, (at arguably one of the best research universities in the world,) then I would have the motivation to stay in school and stop spending energy trying to figure out how to make myself feel better, but instead, work towards helping other women feel in control and empowered. So I rushed a lot of paperwork, sent way too many frantic emails, and miraculously got my project approved.

I immediately signed up for a shoot with Kara once I had a general plan for my research. The shoot was considered 'ethnographic research’ and was meant to give me a better perspective on the boudoir experience. And it did. But more importantly- and yes, this is cliche but I am going to write it anyways- it gave me a better perspective of myself."

I had always considered myself as someone with a “nice personality,” but moreover, someone overwhelmingly podgy and homely with a good dash of anxiety thrown in just to keep things interesting.
And I was certain Kara was going to make fun of me for being some silly undergrad coming in taking silly photos for some silly research.

If you know Kara and her blog well enough, you know that didn’t happen.

I completely forgot to hate myself when I was with Kara. I thought the shoot would be 95% me straining my body as Kara barked disappointed orders. I couldn’t be more wrong.
— Elaine


"Literally, as long as you can take deep breaths and breathe, you can do the shoot. Let me repeat: your basic human functions are all that you need to shoot with Kara. She makes it so easy to just show up and be genuinely happy. That’s because, honestly, Kara is a genuine person and that kind of naked authenticity makes a huge impact (particularly when you’re practically naked).


"Now I read stories about women crying after their shoot or after their reveal, but for me, it wasn’t until last week. There I was again, at four in the morning, but this time I was turning in the first part of my research. And I couldn’t help but think back to the spring when I didn’t want to be in school anymore. Now I have a project that I’m not only passionate about, but has passionately changed me: I stopped sighing every time I looked in the mirror.

I am a thousand percent dedicated and happy to be at my university again and I’m now slightly obsessed with academic databases. And yeah, I’m not going to lie, I may or may not have been the background on my laptop for a few hours because I looked amazing. And I felt, well, overwhelmed. But this time, not by my flaws or insecurities or anxieties- but by my value. No one could give it to me or take it away . It was something that was intrinsically and inherently mine."

 

"Having an amazing shoot with Kara and making it through this semester didn’t give me my value, just reminded me of what was always there. And so, I poured all my energy into this research project and got more back then I could ever ask. I trusted Kara just the slightest bit and she showered me in an abundance of warmth and genuineness.

So I guess the lesson here is that there is a huge return on investment with boudoir and if you’re not booking your shoot right now, it’s gotta be because you’re already scheduled. If you’re unsure then just wait- at about four in the morning it’ll hit you and you’ll know that I was right."

 

 

I couldn't have said it better myself. No....really. I couldn't have. This young mind is brilliant beyond words and I am honored to have her as a part of this little business of mine. I applaud her for her extensive research and for really understanding what empowerment through boudoir is all about. 

Do a boudoir shoot. Don't do it just because you need a gift idea (yes, yes, it would be an unable-to-be-topped gift idea), but do it because you need to stop hating on yourself. Do it to stop sighing at yourself in the mirror. Do it to embrace your beauty, your body, and your soul. DO. IT. 

READY TO START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT YOUR OWN BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE? I'M MORE THAN READY TO SHOW YOU HOW AMAZING YOU ARE. LET'S CHAT.

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