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!

 

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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It's not about the photos...though, that's a perk! | Austin Boudoir Studio

Miss "K" had a plethora of one-liners that made me smile. First, when she arrived at her shoot and told me she had her nails painted for the first time in forever and actually felt like a GIRL. Then when she showed up for her photo reveal and said "I brought 3 different credit cards!". Then again when I read through her review.

You may notice that I almost always include a little bit of a story from my clients in their blog posts. Do you know WHY I do that!?!?! Because you all need to know that EVERY WOMAN that I photograph faces the nerves, the insecurities, the "devil on their shoulder" about whether or not they could POSSIBLY look sexy.  And also, I desperately want each and every woman that is considering this process with ME to realize that this is so much more than the photos. THIS is an EXPERIENCE. 

If she were never to even see a photo from the shoot, she had already experienced a self-esteem boost, she already experienced being pampered, she experienced being encouraged, she experienced being the star of the show. 

"I never take time for myself... As a full time working mother of two kids, manager of a women's cycling team, competitive athlete, wife, I am constantly sacrificing and putting others' needs first. When I stumbled across Kara's Instagram one night, I was instantly intrigued. The images were breathtaking. These women not only looked gorgeous, but FIERCE. "

Miss K's hair and makeup by  Lorena of Lola Beauty, Austin TX. 

Miss K's hair and makeup by Lorena of Lola Beauty, Austin TX. 

"After a few months of thinking, "Man I wish I could do that!" I decided why the hell not!?! I booked the appointment, put my deposit down and then totally freaked out. I'm pretty athletic, more comfortable make up free with a tank top and ball cap. I really wondered how it would be, totally exposing myself to someone else, and how it would feel to have the critical camera eye pointed at my bare ass. I almost postponed my appointment because I have *gasp* SHORT HAIR and wondered if I'd be able to look sexy, instead of my usual 'sporty'. "

"I prepped for the shoot by getting my first mani/pedi in (LITERALLY) years and packing my Xanax! I shouldn't have worried one bit. Seriously, the moment Kara came down and greeted me warmly with a hug I was instantly put at ease. "

"While getting my hair and makeup done, the atmosphere was relaxed and completely comfortable. My make up and hair was unbelievable. I looked in the mirror and felt transformed, but still ME. Just a badass version of me. Kara was the penultimate professional and is incredibly talented at putting nervous half naked women completely at ease. At the end of the shoot I felt so incredibly empowered."

I didn’t even need to look at a picture, I FELT amazing.
— Miss K

"The photo reveal completely blew my mind. I just sat there, kind of in shock. "This was me???" Kara is incredibly talented and was able to make me look like the women I had admired on her Instagram. I looked FIERCE. Kara never pressured, only guided me in my selections. This was by far, one of the best experiences of my life. From the very first time I reached out to Kara until the photo reveal, every single step in the process has been positive. It's not just having pretty pictures taken of yourself. It's something I feel every single woman should do for herself at least once in their life. And like I've told my friends, don't get a Groupon photo shoot. You are worth the very best. I can't wait to do this again."

I can’t remember the last time I really felt beautiful. Even without seeing a single image, I walked out of that photo shoot feeling incredibly empowered. And when I saw the photos, my mouth dropped. I had no idea I could be sexy. No clue. And there it was, in living color, me looking like a vixen. And it wasn’t contrived, or filtered. My tan lines (sorry!!!) and scars were still there. This was ME. And I looked amazing.

It was so awesome to HEAR the very thing that I preach constantly from a client herself....that it wasn't about the photos. Before she even saw one, it was worth it to her. But, of course, the photos are the icing. The sweetest, most indulgent (yet obviously fat-free, sugar-free, calorie-free, gluten-free and dairy-free) icing you could ever fathom ;) So it's totally fair to do it for BOTH the experience AND the photos. 

Are you finally ready for your own boudoir experience? I promise to put you at ease. Even in your underwear. It's what I do. 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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It's All Happening | NYC Boudoir Session

"ALMOST FAMOUS" is my favorite movie. It's a combination of my love of music, the obsession with the lives of rock stars (from a distance!), and my biggest girl crush ever on Kate Hudson. Often when I quote this movie, I'm the only one in the room who gets it. I'll get to the point soon enough.

Compared to other photography niches, boudoir (while ever-growing), is one of the smaller groups of camera slingers. What I love about that is the tight-knit community of boudoir photographers that I have been able to network with over the last several years. Because, believe it or not, not EVERYONE understands the mind of someone who shoots half naked people for a living.

Agnes Fohn of Yellow Brick Collective in NYC is a photographer whose style is so, so different than mine, and SO utterly incredible. Her images are dripping with artistry and her personality is downright awesome. That must be why we get along so famously (we're both equally modest too! hahahaha). And she loves "ALMOST FAMOUS" as much as I do. And comments things like "It's all happening" often. So basically we're soulmates. When we established that I was going to be in NYC on a day that she had availability, we knew that we needed to make a shoot happen. 

What you're about to see is the result of 2 boudoir photographers getting together very early one fahhh-reeeeeezing (to me) NYC morning for a little bit of scantily clad fun.

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Do you see that smirk!?!?! GAH! Love love love!  She is just the stunningest. 

And... just a little peak into what this crazy talented lady shot of me:

Shot by Agnes Fohn of Yellow Brick Collective, NYC.

Shot by Agnes Fohn of Yellow Brick Collective, NYC.

 

THANK YOU THANK YOU AGNES for your talent in front and behind the camera, thank you to Natalia Carrasco for totally perfecting Agnes' makeup for the shoot (and, apparently, doing a quick bang trim, too!). 

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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