Tattoos and Scars | Austin Boudoir Studio

Way back, when I first started offering boudoir photography, I would hear from clients who were about to get married and wanted some sexy photos of themselves in their wedding night lingerie and veil to gift to their husband on their wedding day.  My boudoir photography has evolved right along with modern women, and now, women are coming to me for far more powerful reasons. 

I can't quite describe the feeling of assisting women in such impactful soul-searching and self-celebration...except that of extreme honor. Which is why I don't just simply share my photos without also sharing each woman's story. That wouldn't do the experience justice. As far as photographers go, there are a million out there who are better than me...but it's not about the photos. It's what I help them discover through the process. It's what I help them celebrate. It's what I help them remember. It's what I help them realize for the first time. 

This client in particular, Miss K, had a very transformative 2016 and knew that she wanted to celebrate what she's accomplished.  She had a preventative bilateral mastectomy, and on top of that, lost 40 lbs and counting after finally taking herself off the back burner and embracing self care.  She came out of 2016 on fire and booked a boudoir experience with me to celebrate...and I couldn't be more honored. 

"Kara, I don't have words to tell you how much I love these...except that you're a fucking boudoir genius."

"My body has undergone some huge changes over the last year. In April 2016 I had a bilateral mastectomy with diep flap reconstruction as a preventative measure since I have a nasty family history of breast cancer and the genetic predisposition as well. I have also lost about 40 pounds this year. I wanted to celebrate my body and my strength.

This past year I have spent a lot of time thinking about self-care and self-preservation. I know taking care of myself is what my mental and physical health require, but like most people I know, it gets pushed to the side in order to finish whatever has to be done. "

"I don't remember how I found Kara Marie on Instagram, but her aesthetic is so similar to mine. The love for black clothing (I'm not sure if I own anything besides black, gray, and white anymore), the stunning photographs, the studio, the natural light. I knew I wanted to do a boudoir session only with Kara. "

"I jumped at the chance to book when and spend a night away once I made up my mind. My time in the studio was amazing. It was self-care that keeps on giving. Having my make-up and hair done for me (with some bonus product tips from Kendall!) was a treat."

"The shoot was empowering. Months later,  I still feel the same empowerment when I think about that morning and look at the pictures and video. I suppose I justified booking the shoot as a gift for my husband, but it was just as much a gift for me. I love the way Kara captured me. Even in the midst of laundry and dishes and keeping life moving, the reminder that I am strong and sexy is in these images. "

"After my mastectomy I decided instead of doing 3D nipple tattooing, I wanted flames. The artist I worked with designed the tattoos and they were one of my final steps in healing from my surgery. It was emotional to know I had fully healed from my surgery and was able to take this last step. My tattoos and scars tell my body's story."

"On my right forearm I have the phrase, 'take my hand through the flames' in my husband's handwriting. It's a line from the song "Sucker for Pain" from the Suicide Squad album and became our mantra during his last deployment."

In Miss K's case, she already had the tools. She knew and embraced her strength as a badass woman...she just needed me to document it.  In so many other women's cases, they need to discover that strength first, which I am always so incredibly proud to do. 

Wherever your peg falls on the "I am woman, hear me roar" board, it would be my absolute pleasure to document that exact stage in your journey, and hopefully help you progress to the next. It is *not* about the photos. It's about the uninhibited, strong, powerful, raw, beautiful woman in them. 

Infinite thanks to Miss K for sharing her words and photos with myself + the Kara Marie Boudoir readers. It was an absolute pleasure. 

WHETHER YOU'RE READY TO CELEBRATE YOUR BADASS WOMANHOOD OR DISCOVER IT FOR THE FIRST TIME...LET'S CHAT!

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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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Miss M shows us her pump AND her sexy | Austin Boudoir Studio

Occasionally, and I mean *VERY* occasionally, I'll receive an email from a prospective client asking for something a little different than I've ever done before.  Maybe even something a little (gasp) challenging.  And no, I'm not referring to the email that starts out with "I'm wondering if you're comfortable with photographing my girlfriend and I making love?"...because I get those just about every day. Annoying. 

In one session, this client wanted to accomplish my usual artistic boudoir in lingerie, some fully clothed portraits that she could potentially gift to her parents, and some art nudes...including a feature of her nude and embracing her sexy...while wearing her insulin pump. All three were such a different direction than each other, but I felt confident that the challenge would inspire me. After all, I *am* a creative brain (read: scatterbrained), right?!

We sorta kinda nailed it. Miss M was open to my creative interpretations and did an amazing job trusting me and letting me do my thing while also adding her own energy to the session. I LOVE the confidence that is exuded in each of these images. Enjoy.  

 

I received the most beautiful e-mail from Miss M shortly after I sent her "sneak peek" photo and I felt that it was likely highly relevant to so many women, so I thought I'd share it in it's entirety...

*The Boticelli comment she is referencing: I kept telling her what a beautifully classic figure she had. She reminded me of a subject in one of Boticelli's paintings.  She kind of laughed the compliment off at first, but I elaborated and explained again why her figure, just as it was, was beautiful. My compliments to my clients are NEVER meaningless fluff. I specifically look for the absolute best features of my clients (not just physical ones) and I TELL THEM. This a boudoir shoot with me is NOT just about the finished images. It's about how my clients feel about themselves along the way. And I pride myself on that. 

*The Boticelli comment she is referencing: I kept telling her what a beautifully classic figure she had. She reminded me of a subject in one of Boticelli's paintings.  She kind of laughed the compliment off at first, but I elaborated and explained again why her figure, just as it was, was beautiful. My compliments to my clients are NEVER meaningless fluff. I specifically look for the absolute best features of my clients (not just physical ones) and I TELL THEM. This a boudoir shoot with me is NOT just about the finished images. It's about how my clients feel about themselves along the way. And I pride myself on that. 

Shifting out of parent-friendly portraits and into boudoir...

"This experience definitely made me more aware and appreciative of the features I have and allowed me to embrace them. I'm focusing more on those positive things and letting go of the self-criticism. I'm now able to focus and enjoy the beauty of others in a positive way without it causing me to feel bad about myself."

"I had not felt attractive or feminine, let alone beautiful, in a long time. This has been an awesome experience that has helped to open my eyes to see myself in a new perspective."

"The "Show Me Your Pump" campaign that began in 2014 was a great starting point to help users feel more comfortable with exposing their pumps and to decrease the stigma and any feelings of embarrassment some people may have. I feel it is important to not only be unashamed of having one but to show that one does not define you.

Your character is more than a medical device and it shouldn't be the only thing someone focuses on. People should see YOU regardless of whether you have a pump or use a wheelchair or have a prosthetic." - Miss M

Admittedly, the only knowledge that I had prior to photographing Miss M, here, about the "Show me your pump" campaign was a news story that crossed my feed a few years ago when the campaign was started. It was featuring Miss Idaho who wore her insulin pump out on stage with her bikini during the pageant. When interviewed about it, this is what she had to say:

"My message to everyone, diabetic or not, is that we all have something that doesn't "measure up" to the beauty standards set by the media--and that is okay! It does not make you any less beautiful. We also all have obstacles, challenges, and trials. Diabetes turned my life upside down when I was first diagnosed. Don't let your challenge hold you back or slow you down." -Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014

"The type of photos I requested were envisioned and produced by Kara in exactly this way. Those images are so powerful that the last thing anyone would think was that the pump was a flaw. Rather, the images throttle it into the forefront as an accessory to sensuality. I would encourage any insulin pump wearer that feels any reservation about revealing their pump to view these images in order to gain a more positive perspective" -Miss M

"My photo session and the photos that I received have made me look and feel confident, sexy, beautiful, powerful, feminine, voluptuous and soulful. I am a force to be reckoned with!"- Miss M

Thank you SO much, Miss M for sharing your thoughtful words with all of the KMB readers, and for being an inspiration to so many who may be feeling insecure about their figures (95% of women!) or their medical devices.

xoxox 

NEEDING SOME HELP BELIEVING THAT YOU ARE SEXY? I'M JUST THE GIRL FOR THE JOB.  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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The Glowing Miss K | Austin Studio Boudoir

WHEWWWW!!! This has been a CRAZY year! 2015 is wrapping up with a total bang. I'm so grateful that every year has been better than the last in this awesome little business. This "busy" season has been the busiest of them all. So when I got an email from this woman needing to get in RIGHT AWAY because her little baby bump was starting to develop, a little panic set in as I looked at my schedule. 

ALAS- we made it happen, and she was stunning. I love her natural, glowing boho look. And holy crap--does anyone else see the resemblance to Elizabeth Shue (circa "Adventures in Babysitting" days)!?! It was uncanny.

Miss "K" said: 

"I was a little hesitant to go through with this experience, but as a newlywed, I really wanted to do this for my husband. Quickly after I said "I DO," we got news that we were expecting so I ended up convincing myself to go through with this NOW. 

I wasn't feeling all that well the week of my shoot but as soon as I got to Kara's studio I felt better!! I was so comfortable and relaxed."

It was such a natural progression going from oversized cozy sweater to nothing but the sheets. So for those who are freaking out about boudoir wardrobe...this is a fantastic example of how to do it simple and still get amazing images! 

The photo reveal was my favorite!!! It is so crazy looking at these pictures and believing that it was me!! I can’t wait to do it again... post baby :)
— Miss K

We're currently planning her maternity beauty session, and I.Can't.WAAIIIIT.