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!

Classic Black + White Boudoir | Austin Boudoir Studio

It’s no secret that BLACK + WHITE is my baby. Processing boudoir images in black and white makes my heart sing and feels like the way it’s meant to be. Doesn’t it?

Miss M, here, was such a lovely client to work with. Much like the others, she was nervous, but trusting, and super excited to see the finished product.

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"This experience was a B.L.A.S.T. I knew this was going to be fun but I didn't expect to love it as much as I did (clearly...I purchased round 2 within minutes!)." -Miss M

"A true professional and perfectionist in every way. Every piece was planned out from the prep to the shoot to the reveal; I cant tell you how impressive the details were. Cannot thank you enough for making this whole process so unbelievable and personalized!"

She was NOT kidding when she said she booked round 2 within minutes. During her photo reveal she said… “Would it be weird of me to get my next one scheduled right now???”. Obviously not. ;) Looking forward to working with her again as round 2 ALWAYS blows round 1 out of the water….and….like….how is that even going to be possible?! I have a feeling it’s going to blow both of our minds and I cannot wait!

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Thank you, Miss M for trusting me with the process, with your kind words during and after, and for booking round 2 with me (is it TIME yet!?!?! Omg. HURRY!).

xx

Photography: Kara Marie Boudoir

Hair and makeup: Mayhem Boutique Salon

ALL SMILES | CLIENT FEATURE MISS A | AUSTIN BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

The literal SECOND that Miss A walked into my studio, her energy was 100000% apparent to me. She sported the most incredible smile throughout our entire shoot. Anytime we attempted a "serious" shot, it only resulted in a subsequent shot that was exuberant with laughter.  She was DAMN excited for her session, damn excited about her badass finger waves that she got special for the occasion, and she had a great reason to be doing it all (for.her.DAMN.self!).

Just TRY to scroll through these images without a big smile on your face.  I dare you. What an incredibly beautiful soul. 

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It was AMAZING! Kara and her staff went above and beyond and I would most definitely do it again.
— Miss A
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It made me feel even more comfortable in the skin that I’m in. I LOVED it, keep doing what you’re gifted to do!
— Miss A
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Miss A!!! A MILLION "THANKS" for bringing your positive energy into my studio that day, and leaving me with these incredibly happy ages to remember you by!! You are a FORCE and I hope to see you again in the future!

 

HIGH ON LIFE | CLIENT FEATURE: MISS D | AUSTIN BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

H I G H  .   O N  .   L I F E . 

That's about the best way I could  describe the feeling after your boudoir experience at Kara Marie Boudoir. These women are high. on. life and THAT is what it's all about.  Can you remember the last time that you were?  I make it a point, now, to create as many experiences as possible in my own personal world that allow me feel those feels. But I certainly remember a time, not very long ago, and not very long before that...and before that....and before THAT (it's quite cyclical, isn't it?!)...in which I was struggling to find joy, struggling to love myself, and just struggling in general. 

Being a mom, or being a career woman, or being BOTH, or being NEITHER......just being a HUMAN is difficult. Treating YOURSELF properly is not something that comes naturally to most women. The women that come in to my studio are trying to remember who they are independently of their jobs, their marital status, their motherhood status. They are taking a really big and important step in reconnecting with themselves and learning to love all the things.  

This young woman was an absolutely incredible addition to the KMB family. She had survived a crazy car accident that broke her back. She glowed through her session, she glowed through her photo reveal, and every now and then I get a sweet e-mail from her just to let me know that she's STILL glowing about her experience. 

         THAT IS WHAT THE KARA MARIE BOUDOIR  EXPERIENCE                I S  .    A L L  .    A B O U T  . 

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"After following Kara on Instagram for a while, I really started to think that a boudoir experience could be positive for any female. After experiencing my boudoir session with Kara I was able to see what really set her apart from other photographers offering this service.

From the initial contact to the shoot itself, to the reveal, to walking me through ordering, she was not only professional and clearly talented but legitimately excited for me to experience the empowerment that comes from a boudoir session. Kara herself comes off as the kind of girl everybody wants as a best friend. I’m already dreaming about the next time I can work with her!

Not only has this changed the way that I see myself, but also how I look at other women. I wish everyone could feel as fabulous in their own skin in their everyday life as Kara made me feel."

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Even four months later I am still in awe of the whole experience! And every time I see a picture of ME on YOUR Instagram it’s the coolest thing ever! It really is the gift that keeps on giving :) I can’t put into words what you have done for my confidence and self love.
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I am so proud of her for recognizing, how important it is to invest in yourself...especially considering she is at such a "young" age for self-realization. Every moment of creating this experience for her was inspiring and refreshing and I truly hope to have her back in again. 

And with that I leave you with the KMB mantra:

D O .  I T .  F O R .  Y O U R .  D A M N .  S E L F .

Cool Cate | Destination Boudoir

One of the perks of being in the photography industry is frequent conferences, retreats, and workshops that allow me to see my favorite photographer friends from all over the world far more frequently than I would any other out-of-town friends.  Cate, here,  is one of those friends. We are incredibly similar, only she's way more "likable" than me (she disagrees...but that only further illustrates my point). 

Photographing other photographers is one of those things I used to shy away from...or if I did it, I was always incredibly nervous.  NOW, I adore it and almost seek it out. It's so fun to give photographers, especially boudoir photographers, the experience that they themselves give everyone else on a regular basis. 

I knew EXACTLY how I wanted to photograph Cate. I wanted it to be simple, natural, "undone", and, of course, black and white.  All she wanted was to be made to look "cool", because apparently that's my boudoir style. It wasn't until she pointed it out to me that I recognized....that's EXACTLY what I try to do with all of my clients. I just try to make them look COOL AF (cool to me is confident, badass, strong, and like someone you'd want to be around.).  I'm so happy to hear that Cate felt I delivered. 

"One day out of the clear blue, my darling friend Kara sent me a beautiful note that simply said 'you are stunning and likable and I just wanted to tell you that.' I received it on a particular day when I couldn’t feel less stunning or less likable. I cried actually, and thanked her.

Later, when she told me she’d be available to photograph me during our trip to Miami, I jumped at the chance. Kara is one of the small few I knew could capture me in a way I could not only be proud of — but that could change that fear inside me and make me see myself the way others do. I was 1000% confident Kara had that magic and I was not wrong. "

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"Kara gave me ideas of how she envisioned shooting me and it was if she read my mind. Her sense of style is innate and when I joked 'Make me look cool!' I knew she’d deliver".

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"I was amazed at Kara’s swift and flawless posing instruction. Even as a photographer myself, it was impressive how fluid and easy she made it for me as a subject. My resulting images fully reflect grace and effortless beauty in a way I want to envision myself as a woman."

"As a fellow photographer, I have the opportunity to be photographed more frequently than the average woman. My friends, like Kara are some of the best boudoir photographers in our industry, and I’m very particular about who I feel can photograph me the way I want to see myself. It’s not because I’m a model or a hot young thang — it’s the complete opposite of that. "

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"The fact is, as a photographer I’m often ashamed to say I hate being in front of the camera. I don’t like the attention on me, the focus, my own lack of awareness of what I might look like ....and so much more. 

This was not my first boudoir shoot, but it was a completely eye opening, confidence boosting experience."

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"I’m a 43 year old mom of 3 kids, (about to turn 44 soon) a wife, and a business owner. With each passing year comes an ambivalent feeling of being both proud of my years ... but also fearful. It feels vain and shallow to admit, but I do fear my youth and my beauty slipping away. That’s a very hard thing. I embrace my inner beauty always, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not terrified to lose my youth. It’s just one of those things so many of us struggle with as women."

I see boudoir photography as one of the ways we can celebrate and get an objective view of these fears and squash them whole.
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Check out Cate's reaction to her teaser photo that I texted here while sitting next to her and not-so-secretly recording. 

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"These images are SO me. She knew my style, my nature, and my assets. I saw these images and couldn’t believe I might *Actually* look this way? It is eye opening.

I’m not doctored, or morphed, or over styled, or 'too extra.' It’s just ME. A beautiful version of me I’m typically too busy/too fearful/too blind /too unwilling to see. But she saw it, and I’m eternally grateful.

I do a shoot each year for my birthday and share them. I’m proud that this is what I can show 44 looks like on ME. Love you, Kara."

Birds of a feather flock together ;)   My all time favorite photo of Cate + I that speaks volumes. I thought this should most definitely accompany her boudoir photos. 

Birds of a feather flock together ;)   My all time favorite photo of Cate + I that speaks volumes. I thought this should most definitely accompany her boudoir photos. 

Shooting with this knockout the way that I wanted her to see herself, and then being able to witness her reaction to her first preview in person was SO amazingly fun and fulfilling. I adore this woman and am absolutely delighted that I had the opportunity to show her almost-44-year-old-ass that she IS in fact COOL, sexy, gorgeous, beautiful, and badass. 

Thank you, Cate for your sweetheart testimony and for allowing me to share your stunning images with the KMB followers. You. Rock.

 

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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One of the Boys | Austin Boudoir Studio

I can totally relate to the women who come to me saying that they're just "one of the boys" or "a  total tomboy, good luck making me girly."...because...uhm...hello! Not sure how well you know me through all of my ramblings by now, and while a homegirl loves herself some little black dresses and a dappling of makeup, I find myself completely out of my element when surrounded by "girly girls". When in a group situation, you can find me conversing with the guys. When my girlfriends need to have a 2 hour conversation about how their going to dress for an event, I find myself retreating from the conversation and thinking about other things...probably food. (Still love you, girrrllls!)

So when clients think they're throwing me a curve ball by telling me they aren't "girly"...they really aren't making my job any more difficult. Boudoir isn't about transforming you into the girliest of all girls. It's about showing off your personality, playing up what you want to play up, and having a great time. 

Miss C here was "just one of the boys", so we obviously had the best time evah! She opted for some sexy black numbers *be still my heart*, and a nude set which made her love her curves a little bit more without a stitch of clothing. 

"I've always been one of the boys and I still get surprised when someone tells me I'm beautiful. However, after my boudoir shoot, I felt absolutely gorgeous!"

"From beginning to end, Kara was absolutely top notch! Seriously, when it comes to boudoir photographers, Kara is the way to go. From getting scheduled, figuring out what style of shoot I wanted it to be, the studio and photo shoot, and picking out photos for my album, everything was perfect."

"Sure, doing my hair and makeup will make me feel pretty, but this shoot made me feel like a total BOMBSHELL."

"And can we talk about those curves?! They clearly need to be embraced more and I now know they also look good without anything on them ;-)"

"There isn't anything that I would change about this experience! And I'm so glad I went out of my comfort zone for the nude shots. I LOVE them! Oh my goodness, I'm floating on cloud nine." -Miss C

 

WOO! I love enthusiastic messages like this! Miss C's personality SCREAMS through in these images and it was so much fun to document her personality, her "boyish charm", and her killer curves that she now recognizes don't need any clothes at all to look fabulous!

*high five, dude.* 

xx

Remembering You're More than "Mom" | Miss C | Austin Boudoir Studio

Motherhood is a beautiful, rewarding, selfless blessing and responsibility. It's SO selfless, in fact, that so many moms admit to having a hard time remembering who they were before having children.  If they try *super* hard, they can recall the days back when....

"I used to be more fun. I used to be more spontaneous. I used to be in better shape. I used to have ME time all the time. I used to stress less. I used to have a ton of friends....and I used to actually HANG OUT with them."  -Me. And just about every mom I know.

It's true that the majority of my clients are moms....most of them longing to remember the woman that they were before they were "Mom. MOMMY!!! MOMMAAA!?! Mom?? MOMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!!!".  And it's not just the duties of motherhood. It's LIFE. The responsibilities of adulting have a way of changing you and making you forget the most important relationship of all--the one with yourself. 

My clients come to me for many reasons, but re-connecting with their womanhood is top. 

Today's featured client is one of those truly blessed, truly exhausted moms who has overcome a ton of heartache, personal loss, and lost a large part of herself in the process.  It was clear to me from our first communications that this woman needed this. She needed to reconnect with herself, not as a mom, not as a wife, not as anything else...but as a woman

There is not much more that I can say to preface this post, because Miss C has written the most beautiful testimony of her experience and I hope that you take the time to read through it. Those who have lost a child, or were never able to conceive at all and had feelings of failure as a woman should especially read on. She is one STRONG woman, and I'm so delighted I had the opportunity to work with her.

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"GIRL you are a genius!!!! I truly don't know where to start. From the first email exchange to the photo reveal it has been the most amazing experience and has forever changed me.

As an angel mommy to 2 boys who have passed, I have felt like a complete failure as a woman. I have never seen myself as sexy ever, and have had some horrible relationships that have torn me down in so many ways. For the last 12 years, I have been 'Mom' and have put myself on the back burner. This [boudoir experience] was my way to help heal myself and start being ME in a way I've never been. As a soon-to-be 33 year old, and mom of 7, I decided I had to just jump in and go for it."

"I have never felt so comfortable around someone else in my entire life, not even my husband. The process was so easy the day-of. My nerves that were all over the place when I arrived, were easing away by the time my hair and makeup were done. I left the shoot on cloud nine feeling a confidence I had never felt before." 

To me, at that moment, the experience was worth it no matter what the pictures turned out looking like.
— Miss C

"The photo reveal left me speechless and just in pure awe that I was looking at MYSELF in these stunning photos! I called my husband on the way home with this amazing empowering feeling, like I hope my daughters always feel about themselves! I told him how shocked I was and how I think he will be pleasantly surprised at the photos. He laughed a little and said 'Nope I won't be surprised, I have eyes and see that in you all the time. I know they are going to be amazing and beautiful.' "

"My self-doubting ways are going away and I am finally confident in who I am and focusing on the positives. I am happier, spunkier and for the first time feel like I am good enough. My album arrived today I am again left in awe of this amazing experience!"

"I am already looking forward to doing this again it is truly addicting!!!! You are a true professional who feels like someone you have always known. Without you, it would not have been the same experience. Thank you for lifting my spirits and finally showing me what my husband sees." -Miss C.

ALL. THE. EFFING. FEELS. 

I cried reading this e-mail when it came in, and cried again composing the blog today. I am so honored to have been able to work with Miss C to help her reconnect with her womanhood, gain confidence, discover her SEXY (I mean, did you see these photos!?!? HOT DAMN!), and do it all so comfortably. I work really hard to make this a comfortable experience for all of my clients, so hearing it in the majority of my client raves makes me so incredibly happy. 

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Miss C for your candid review, for your trust, and for choosing me. I cannot wait to have you back and put another notch in your boudoir belt! You are strong, beautiful, and BADASS. 

 

IF YOU NEED A LITTLE BIT 'A HELP REKINDLING THE ROMANCE WITH YOUR 'OLD' SELF....LET'S CHAT!

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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