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

Miss "Almost Cancelled on account of the blahs" | Destination Boudoir

It happens about once a month: I get a frantic e-mail from a client whose session is coming up and they just CAN'T go through with it.  They didn't lose the weight they wanted to lose, they can't stand the sight of themselves in the mirror so how could they POSSIBLY like photos of themselves right now? Plus, they don't have anything to wear and everything they try on is horrendous, and...oh shit....maybe there's even a monstrous pimple arising and their monthly horror movie of a flow is about to rear it's ugly head just in time for the worst time to be bloated with the blahs. 

Listen, I GET IT. BOYYYYY DO I GET IT. I have those days/weeks/months myself, and GET THAT CAMERA AWAY FROM ME, are you NUTS!? But here's the thing, it's not MY camera. I fully recognize that this is about to be the most horn-tooting statement ever, but I KNOW what my capabilities are. I know what I can do with a pose, with the light, with a sheet, with a hug and some encouragement, and with a tiiiiny pinch of post-shoot magic. I know that, for my shoot style, wardrobe doesn't matter. I know that I can camouflage whatever it is that's bothering you without making it look like we're obviously trying to hide something. 

I don't WANT you to feel that way, but I also don't think when you DO feel this way some days, that it's the troublesome-deep-seeded-self-loathing/depression/whathaveyous that media/society makes it out to be every time we feel that way. I think that we're women, and HORMONES ARE DICKS. I think, regardless of what the scales say, our bodies could look completely different at the end of the week than at the beginning. I think that we all have times where we feel kind of shitty about ourselves and that could be something as minor as feeling fat because we just binge watched Man vs. Food on Netflix and tried to recreate the 17-layer loaded french fries we just saw last night, or something as major as having a baby and going through the "WHOSE BODY IS THIS!?!?" stage for a few months or a decade. 

WE ALL GO THROUGH THIS.  And here's the thing, I will never ever force a client to have their session if they're feeling this way. But I will pep talk the shit out of them, and now, maybe just point them to this blog post. Because everyone FEELS that way occasionally, and even though I do my absolute best to educate on all the reasons why you should trust me on this and post review after review from women saying "I CANNOT BELIEVE I LOOKED SO GOOD. I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW COMFORTABLE I WAS.",  for all you know, every single woman on my blog/Instagram/website are in the best shape of their lives and have zero cellulite and obviously are not mothers, etc etc etc. 

UNTRUE. SOOOOOOO untrue. Everyone just looks amazing in their photos. Everyone just looks CONFIDENT in their photos. And CONFIDENCE, my loves,  is my dirty little secret gift that I give to each and every one of my clients.  I cannot be giving all my secrets away here, but I'll tell you that women leave my studio feeling like She-Ra and they did NOT come in that way. 

Now, on to Miss "Almost Cancelled in lieu of the blahs", here. It's true. She was not just saying "I don't think I can do this. She said "I need to cancel.". This girl was going THROUGH it. Not only did she say she was at her heaviest weight ever, but also had an absolute mess of personal stresses.  I felt for her, and even *I*, knowing my capabilities, thought: "Maybe it's just not a good time for her"....and then quickly squashed that thought and gave her my pep talk.  A photographer herself, I thought it might be even harder to gain her trust. But I gave her my best encouragement pep talk and told her she needed this especially right now. She did. And she came. And she ROCKED. And here is what she had to say:

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"My life lately has been less than fantastic, with numerous family issues, personal issues....basically ALL the issues! Because of all this stress and just general life-ness, I have completely and totally let myself go. I have gained so much weight that I now weigh more than I did when I was pregnant with either of my boys. It's bad....real bad.

But, when I saw that Kara was coming to Dallas I just instantly booked with her without thinking twice because I love her work so, so much and I desperately wanted just one beautiful photo of myself, even at what is undoubtedly the most unhealthy and fattest of my life. "

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"About two weeks before my session I had a meltdown, and told her that I just couldn’t do it, I was just too overwhelmed with life and circumstances and I was fat and ugly and had nothing to wear….and she gently told me that she completely understood how I was feeling, but that I NEEDED to do this.

And I did.

But y’all, I was a WRECK. I arrived with no lingerie, no shoes, nothing except a robe. Because none of my lingerie fit and I was feeling so awful about my body that I didn’t want to spend money on buying new stuff. So I told her to just shoot me with a sheet and to do her best."

"I was so nervous and shaking the entire shoot, and my inner monologue was basically 'Don’t look down, don’t look down' because if I even glanced at my body or what it was looking like I was going to freeze up and have to stop.

But I made it, and I had fun, and I didn’t die."

"And in my car on my way home after my session I cried. I don’t really know why, precisely, I was just so glad I went through with the session and just so proud of myself. And as anyone who has ever had a session with Kara before knows, I got WAY more than one gorgeous photo of myself!"

So not only did she get her ONE good photo (which is, TRULY, all she expected or wanted), but she told me she had to have them all, and she got that much-needed self-love boost. THAT is what it's all about. I was SO very happy that she'd showed up, she let me guide her, coach her, and even happier she had an amazing experience and got an incredibly badass set of photos to remind her, every time she needs it, that she is incredible. 

 

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.

 

Back to School means BOUDOIR TIME! | Austin Boudoir Studio

It's here, it's HERE!  For most Austin moms, it's the bittersweet day that their precious, miraculous little demons (ok, SOMETIMES angels) head back to school. I'm one of *those* moms.  Sure, I teared up as the school bus pulled away, but it was literally about 4 minutes before I felt relief and thought "I need ME day!"...and...y'all...I've been off work for the last WEEK. 

Motherhood is fulfilling as hell...it is. And I love my little boo thangs more than life itself. They complete me and I'm #hashtagblessed to have them in my world.  But dang....not only is it HARD work, but it's NEVER-ENDING work. It's not easy to feel like a WOMAN when you're used to feeling like a MOM all.the.time.  

Kid: "Hey, MOM??!  MOMMM??? MOMMYY!?!?!? MA!! Hellll-OOOO!?!? MOM!?!?!?"

Me: ....WWWHHHHAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT!?!?!

Kid: "Do you know where my ____ is?"

^^^THAT.  About 20 times a day. Then finding the ____  that has been sitting in the very first place they should have looked. Then forgetting what you were doing before you were interrupted. Then starting something new. Then racing to work. Then realizing that you were so busy packing the kids' lunches that you left yours on the kitchen counter even though you SWORE you weren't going to order delivery at work anymore. 

MOMS NEED "SHHHH" TIME. THEY NEED LOVE. THEY NEED TO FEEL LIKE WOMEN. THEY NEED TO FEEL DESIRED OUTSIDE OF FINDING LEFT SHOES AND LUNCH BOXES. THEY NEED REMINDED THAT THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Ok, dads, too. But I don't photograph dudes...sooo...back to the ladies ;) 

Enter the Kara Marie Boudoir experience.

It's true that the majority of my clients are moms themselves.  They often arrive feeling frazzled because they've just had a morning like the one I just described and they can't quite get in the "it's about ME now" headspace.

But guess what I'm real good at?!   Making.you.forget.while.making.you.remember.  

I help you forget your gigantic to-do list...even if it's only for a few hours. 

I help you remember that you are a WOMAN. A beautiful, strong, skilled, independent, badass, and SEXY woman. 

Miss R, here, was a classic case of 'complete ball of nerves because how could she possibly be sexy for this shoot because she's a mom and stuff....and life...and....gahhh so many nervous feelings'. But, HELLL-OOOO BOMBSHELL!   We lit that right on fire and dominated her boudoir experience together. 

I mean...DO.YOU.SEE.HER.EYES.THOUGH!?!  

She walked away from her experience realizing that bombshell was still in there, and recognizing that her husband isn't just blowing smoke when he tells her how beautiful she is. 

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She writes: 

"Thank you so much for the absolutely beautiful photos! As I sit at home in the most mom-ish pajamas possible, and house shoes too, I can't help but smile thinking about how glamorous you and your team made me feel for a day! I am SO glad that I was able to step out of my comfort zone and embrace this experience, and beyond thankful that I was able to have you lead the way. I am pretty sure I have repeated, "I can't believe that is me" at least a thousand times today. You are truly gifted with what you do, but photography skills aside, you helped show me that there is still something more to me than just plain mom, and for that I can't thank you enough!"

"I feel like I can see that the girl that existed before babies is still living in there somewhere, and that I need to stop being so hard on myself and try to see myself through other people's eyes!" -Miss R

Raising my "#1(ish) MOM" mug to you, Miss R. THANK YOU for hanging in there with me through your nervousness about the session and for trusting me with the process.  You are an amazing mom....and while that's an incredible title to hold, you're so much more than that, too! 

Now if you'll excuse me, ladies, I've got to get back to my emails....because....holy crap do the flood gates OPEN at back to school time!  So I guess we should all know that we aren't alone ;) 

NEED TO MAKE IT ABOUT **YOU** FOR ONCE!?! I CAN HELP.       LET'S CHAT...

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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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Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me...? | Austin Boudoir Studio

I am certainly not known to be the smoothest talker. I'm much better at premeditating my dialogue or otherwise inserting my foot-in-mouth when put on the spot to come up with something to say. It's really quite unfortunate because generally I do have the very best of intentions....but sometimes the dumbest thing imaginable comes out of my mouth...

...like when I'm trying to maintain a professional but comfortable client/photographer relationship during a shoot, and I ask my client to get into a pose, and I immediately say "Is it getting HOT in here!? Or is it just me!?". And I swear.to.God.I.meant.the.temperature.  But, coming from a photographer who is photographing a woman scantily clad, you could see why that may seem a bit creepy. Ok...maybe more than a bit. 

Luckily, my clients are awesome. When I say something that stupid, I make fun of myself incessantly and hope for at least a genuine laughing shot. 

I think that happened at least twice during my shoot with this client. Her images make me happy. Check them out!

"This was one of the best experiences I've ever had! Kara was such an amazing, bubbly, and badass photographer! She made me feel so beautiful in my own skin. Also, her makeup and hair artist was INCREDIBLE!"
"I never felt an ounce of body shaming or negativity. I loved that she would just talk and we had causal convos the entire shoot! She made me laugh a bunch and the images she captured were AMAZING! I would recommend her to anyone that was looking at doing a boudoir shoot!"
I feel so strong, beautiful, and comfortable in my skin. It really brought my confidence up overall.

Thank you to Miss "M" for bringing her A++++ game to her boudoir session. And to my makeup artist, Kendall of Mayhem Beauty for doing yet another stand-up job. 

IF YOU'VE BEEN TOYING AROUND WITH THE IDEA OF HAVING A BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE, LET'S CHAT MORE! 

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Miss L and her Badass Curves | Austin Boudoir Studio

I may have squealed loud enough for my neighbors to hear when I got word that Miss L was allowing me to share her words and photos with y'all. Her shoot was seriously incredible.  And...y'all....I would kill for her curves! Seriously. Hair, lips, boobs, waist, legs, booty...the whole damn package. 

She's been following my work on Instagram for a few years now, and it was so fun to bring her in, doll her up, and let her shine in front of my lens. I could have photographed her all day. 

Here's what Miss "L" had to say!:

"It's hard to be a woman sometimes. Heck, it's hard to be a human these days! I'm finally in a place of my life where I'm able to fully embrace my career, my womanhood, my romance, and more - woohoo!

It took a long time to realize life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful and I knew I wanted to capture this time with something special... something sassy... something sexy! I've followed Kara's work for a few years and just love her vision. Every image tells a little story and I knew I had to work with her someday. As soon as I gained the courage to sign up for a boudoir photo session, it was a fantastic experience through the entire process!

Kara captured my look and mood in every photo. She gives great direction and her compliments help you relax. I would definitely do it again and recommend her to EVERY girl I know. No matter your body type or age, she'll make you feel like a beautiful woman. Thanks, Kara - keep rockin' it!!!"

Is she not just a blonde goddess!? Ahh! Love these images. Ok, carry on.

Thank you to Miss L for sharing her gorgeousness with us! And also, as always, to my lovely makeup artist Kendall! 

WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU WAITING FOR!? LET'S SHOOT! 

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One badass bombshell! | Austin Boudoir Studio

The hardest and least favorite part of my job is DEFINITELY keeping secrets! It's such a challenge....especially when I'm sitting on such awesome images!!

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THIS badass bombshell came to me a few months ago in hopes of creating an awesome anniversary present for her husband.  We had the most amazing time during her shoot and got some of my all-time favorite images.  And her husband "LOOOOVVVVVEEESSSSS" the images ;) 

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Right before we started this set of images, this client said "How do you pick who gets to be on your blog?" To which I responded "Ummm....ANYONE who I photograph can be on my blog if they want to be!!" So she said "Can I please be on your blog!?!?!"  Hell yes you can, my dear. Hell yesssss.

PHEW! It feels good to get that off my chest. ;)


I love how she rocked out plaid, leather, lace, and ended with a super soft and feminine set! It was SUCH a versatile shoot and it was such a pleasure to photograph her!!! 


Ready for your turn? Let's chat, dahhling!

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