Infertility struggles, body disconnect, and a happy ending | Austin Boudoir Studio

While there are endless reasons for a boudoir session, I find the common ground amongst my clients is often that they have become disconnected with their love for themselves and/or their bodies for one reason or another. Whether that be weight gain, an illness, the loss of a family member, a tumultuous relationship, or even just struggling with the concept of aging. 

It's important to remember that a boudoir experience with Kara Marie Boudoir is NOT just about sexy photos. It's about reconnecting with yourself, embracing your womanhood, and getting reacquainted with your femininity.  Regardless of WHY we've become disconnected with those things, this experience will help. It will. You'll appreciate yourself and your body a little more, you'll come to realize that you ARE stunning, sexy, and badass just the way you are.  You'll reconnect with the woman inside...the woman aside from the day-to-day routines and motherhood and career and relationship. 

BOUDOIR IS ABOUT YOU. It's not about your partner or spouse. Your ex who made you feel unworthy. Your health issues. Your extra 20, 30, 40 pounds. It's about who you are INSIDE and it's about helping you to love who you are outside, too. 

THIS story just has me all kinds of weepy. Miss T came to me after struggling with infertility and growing to dislike her body. It's a heartbreaking story that I, unfortunately, hear all too often. Read her words below....as well as the happy ending :) 

"I decided that this was a session that I needed because for the past couple of years, my husband and I have struggled with fertility. Through many rounds of medications, surgeries and so many other tests, I just didn't feel much like myself anymore. I also grew to hate my body."

"At the beginning of this year, I started running to feel better and stronger. The early morning was the perfect quiet time to hit the pavement and work through my feelings, or not, and just push my body to things I had previously told myself I couldn't do."

"My perspective began to change and I slowly started to love a body that I still didn't fully recognize. This photo shoot pushed me over the edge and I finally saw my body as strong and able again."

"My overall morale has improved greatly since the beginning of this year. Not only am I happy in my skin and with myself, I now can accept when my husband says the same thing to me."

"Before, I struggled so much with guilt that we couldn't have a baby and he has always told me that my body was beautiful but I just couldn't believe it. I know that Gods timing is perfect, but I have to believe the shoot was part of His plan. The same week my beautiful book of photos was delivered, we found out that we are pregnant!"

WAHOOOOOOO! Pregnant!!!!!!! Yassss! I certainly don't want to falsely advertise that a boudoir experience will knock you up...but I can't tell you how many clients of mine report that they are expecting really shortly after their session!  This thrills me to bits. 

Congratulations to Mrs and Mr T on their news!

 

A shattered woman on the mend | Austin Boudoir Studio

If you've learned only one thing by following along with my work and reading my blog, I hope it's that my message is about SO MUCH MORE than sexy photos. So. Much. More.  There is a very specific reason that I choose to share words direct from my client's mouths along with their photos. Those words tell the story of each woman, and those stories bring us together.

The images aren't anywhere near as important as what the images represent for the women in them.

The story that I share today is the very REAL and raw testimony of a recent client who has been working on putting her shattered world back together after the stillbirth of her daughter. SO many of you, unfortunately, can relate to such a loss. Things like this often cause us to shut down emotionally, focus on the negative, and lose our relationship with ourselves....lose our sense of womanhood.  

It's up to us to attempt to find ways of healing and reconnecting with ourselves and our bodies after such mental trauma. It was an absolute honor to be a part of helping Miss M get a little bit of herself back. 

She shares:

"After the stillbirth of my daughter I was a woman shattered. With her stillbirth came a complete disconnect from my sense of "womanhood.

I was so angry with my body. I wanted to separate from my physical self, to ignore it. I'd lost my strong, sexy, confident self. I was embarrassed. Others couldn't see why I was 25 pounds overweight. I had no child to hold. And yet, honestly I was holding onto the weight because it reminded me of what was. I wasn't ready to let that go.

"I'm working to rebuild my relationship with my physical self one piece at a time. This photoshoot was a big piece. Kara has beautifully captured me as I am today. She's frozen my body in time.  This body, the one that grew my precious baby girl, will forever stand still in those beautiful images. I can begin to let go of what was and move into what will be."

I am finding ways to remind myself that I am a woman. Her death does not change that fact. And these photos are helping me rebuild a broken relationship piece-by-piece, image-by-image.
— Miss M

"For someone who has an innate anxiety around new places and people this could have been bad. Thank you for making me feel comfortable and at ease."

I'm so grateful to Miss M for choosing me to be a part of her journey to reconnect with herself and her womanhood...and infinitely grateful to her for sharing her story with all of us. I know it will be such an inspiration to so many women who have experienced a similar loss. My heart breaks for every single woman who tells me a story similar to this. Yet I am so proud that they are taking this huge step towards loving on themselves with a boudoir experience.  If you think that a boudoir experience may help you cope/recover/mend/breathe/smile again, I encourage you to reach out! 

I'm in a hugging kind of mood, so I'm sending virtual hugs to all of you, and an extra one to you, Miss M! 

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!

Name *
Name

She wouldn't even expose her shoulders.... | Austin Boudoir Photographer

I can honestly say that I have never witnessed such an extreme transformation as I saw with this particular client. When she booked me, not only had she not been photographed in this capacity, but she "was a throwback to another era with vintage morals, including formal and prim beliefs about showing oneself." (her words).   

Was I ready for the challenge of bringing someone out of their shell who literally didn't even bare her shoulders or toes in public? PSSSHHH YESSS I was! 

From the time she set her shoot date until the day of the shoot, she had transformed herself. She started buying lingerie and high heels. She started painting her nails black cherry.  She came alive. 

I've never had someone come bopping into my studio with THIS much enthusiasm and preparation before. While I want to blabber on and on about her and her transformation...she tells it SO much better than I ever would. 

You must read her story below...

"How did I get here and decide to do this?  How does one begin to explain exploring the depth of one’s soul and how many dimensions or extensions it can possibly have?  How can a person reach that depth with just a simple conversation? Me, as an object of art was just a mere thought unexplored for years until the door recently kicked itself open. Thus began my journey…Kara topped it off with an exclamation point!

I am a very proud, sophisticated, and complex lady – one could say a throwback to another era with vintage morals, including formal and prim beliefs about showing oneself. Multiple crises then put me under a rock completely for decades. I forgot who I was and I had no feelings! Society often magnifies the unworthiness. You have to look a certain way, be a certain person, or risk being criticized and ostracized. Not having positive reinforcement, other than in your own mind, weighs heavy on the soul. Being strong and smart, you learn not to care about beauty and the attention it brings, even though you may crave it. Trying to match an ideal is impossible and you simply give up."

"Why would I want to be photographed? - I would never do this in a million years and it might not even be appreciated! A simple, well timed question from a friend kicked off a torrent of thoughts… why I am holding on so tightly to old-fashioned thinking? Baring shoulders and even toes was a big deal in my mind and why was that?  An awakening occurred…but I want this, I shouldn’t want this, but I need this! I long for this! It’s for me! A little fire began burning…

Nervous and timid, slowly over the course of 6 weeks I came out of the shell I was living in to find my inner bold, glorious, radiant self. How? Embrace the inner you! Discover what beauty you adore most! Immerse yourself in food, music, literature, art, dance, drama, and find your muse! Remember that regular, normal women have been painted, sketched, and sculpted as art for centuries!"

"You have to fall in love with who you are right now first – flaws and all. Go seek advice and explore and try things you’ve never done before (or haven’t in a LONG time) and find that which you were always curious about. Have a good friend challenge and then push you beyond those ingrained thoughts that are keeping you bound up. You will be surprised at the effects and compliments you receive! Guaranteed you will find yourself smiling and radiantly glowing - others cannot help but notice the difference!

Some great takeaways I truly learned…

·       There is never a perfect body. Only a perfect mindset! 

·       Do it now, as later will never arrive!

·       Explore, follow directions, and over prepare!

·       Life is too short not to have fun!

·       And my favorite is attributed to Ms. Coco Chanel ~ “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself!”

Kara was the ultimate communicator and no question was too weird or too strange. Her ease and sense of womanhood is tremendous! She took the time with me to alleviate my concerns and build my confidence!  Kara created an object of beauty and desire from that fire. And my soul wanted to sing! 

"Every one of us means it when we say Kara is the best! A true wonder woman! I still cannot believe how fantastic my experience was and I'm livin' the high! She is hands down and quintessentially an absolute professional!

Her love for her job shines through every pore of her being and her keen eye for detail and what works for you is brilliant! Kara can peer into your soul and has the power to capture and turn you into a true work of art! AMAZING! This is the best investment in yourself that you could ever make! Kara takes care of you and puts you right at ease. You really do instantly feel as comfortable with her as you do your best friend! Do not fret or worry about your body as those are just mind games to be conquered. Kara definitely can let you shine through! ~Trust her and she’ll deliver you a dream… and blow your mind! You become magazine, model, photojournalist quality!!! OH WOW!"

I am so blown away by this woman and her transformation. I truly am so fulfilled by what I do all the time, but when I have stories like this, it just puts me in awe. 

Boudoir is so much more than sexy photos. It's self-discovery. It's self-love. Empowering. Brilliant. Artistic. It's YOU. It's for EVERY WOMAN. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. If you've never done it before, heed this woman's advice. You don't need a special occasion, you don't need the "perfect" body (whatever that means). Do it. 

Don't wait any longer. you deserve to feel beautiful and empowered. let's chat. 

Name *
Name


Boudoir as a LIFE CHANGER | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm about to share a doozy of a blog post with you. Miss "L" here, was yet another reminder of why I chose Boudoir Photography as my career path. Her shoot was easy, breezy, and effortless (more effortless for me than for her...she had to do a lot of back arching!). She was an absolute GODDESS in front of the lens. Even looked quite a bit like Scarlett Johansson.

She could be a model...

...but she's not.  She's the mom of the most precious little girl, a business owner, and has really impeccable taste in shoes and lingerie (as you'll soon see.)

What's more than that, though, is that she was SO much fun to be with and her words about her experience brought me to tears. Again. Yeah yeah, I cry a lot lately. But man, it really resonated. I know I preach how important this is to women, but I'm always surprised by how different their backgrounds/stories, yet how similar their response to their images was and how it's changed them. 

I'm going to stop blabbering because this client's words says more than enough...oh...and then there's the photos! 

"Three years ago, I was sitting on my couch watching my almost one year old walk around and make a mess of everything. I was thinking about how easy this little human changed my life and my body. Then, I got a text from my best friend that said, “we should do boudoir shoots!” I laughed. Yeah, definitely not going to do that.

I was not back to my pre pregnancy weight and wasn't about to run around in almost nothing taking pictures. I told my husband about it and he said that I should because I deserve to feel sexy and confident. The problem was, I did not feel sexy or confident and wasn't sure pictures would help that.

Fast forward 3 years, I stumbled upon Click Chick’s website. I was immediately lost in the images. These women were gorgeous and elegant and classy. I could never be those things, right? The next week, a friend of mine posted some of her images to Facebook and I instantly noticed they were taken by Kara. SHUT UP.

As fast as my little fingers could work, I began emailing with Kara! Did she just call me "Dahhling"? Yes. Well all right, this may not be so bad. I decided that night I had to book my session, claiming it was going to be an anniversary gift for my husband. If not now, when? That's what I kept telling myself.

I booked my shoot several months in advance so I would have time to pick the perfect wardrobe and work up the nerve to be in front of a camera. The day finally arrived. I was nervous, anxious, and a little worried about whether I would be able to do this or not. Would the pictures turn out okay? Would she like me?

As I walked up the stairs, I seriously thought about turning around and leaving. That would have been the biggest mistake of my life. I opened the studio door and there was the cutest, sweetest little blonde with the biggest smile coming right at me. As soon as she put her arms around me for a welcome hug, I immediately started to relax. I cannot even explain how relaxed and comfortable I felt from the beginning, even before hair and makeup.

I sat down for hair and makeup and had the best conversation with the most amazing makeup artist I have ever known. After that, it was time to start. Kara told me exactly what she wanted me to do. She made the shoot extremely easy, (well, maybe not easy because some of those poses HURT! haha) comfortable, relaxed. She also has a way of making you feel like you’re a supermodel. Not even kidding.  I walked out of my shoot feeling like I just won Miss Universe.

When I got home, my husband said, “ you look different!” I said it was the makeup. He said, “nope. That's not it.” That night I got a sneak peak. I died. I thought to myself, that's not me. It can’t be. Oh, but it was! 

I (not so) patiently waited for my reveal. I arrived 30 minutes early. As I sat in my car, I kind of started to hyperventilate. I was approximately 154258% more nervous to see my pictures than I was to actually take them. Such a strange feeling. I opened that studio door one more time and there was that adorable little blonde firecracker again. I like her.

So we sat down, she woke up her computer and BOOM, there I was. My heart started racing, I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to have every single image printed. I wanted wall paper made out of these images. I did it. This was me. As Kara scrolled through, I lost my words. I couldn't speak. I was speechless. (obviously, that never happens).

These pictures showed me that I was more than just a wife and mother. They showed me that I am a woman with so much more to offer. What started out as a gift for my husband, ended up changing my life. Confidence is the number one word out of my mouth when anyone asks about my images. Confidence.  

“ You've always had the power my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”-Glenda, the good witch.  THANK YOU IMMENSELY, Kara for being my good witch. I cannot wait to do it all over again!!!!!!

I am so grateful that Miss "L" found her way into my studio... and even more grateful that this experience was exactly what it was supposed to be for her, and then some! 

Hair and makeup by Kendall of  Mayhem Beauty , Blue bra and panty set is  Heidi Klum Intimates from UNDERWEAR Austin , Black garter belt set is  Agent Provocateur .

Hair and makeup by Kendall of Mayhem Beauty, Blue bra and panty set is Heidi Klum Intimates from UNDERWEAR Austin, Black garter belt set is Agent Provocateur.

I've said it a million times before and I will say it over and over again: This is NOT about sexy photos. It's about showing yourself that you are AMAZING. You can be confident, powerful, gorgeous, feminine, and a badass all at once.

Let me show you.

IF YOU'VE BEEN PUTTING IT OFF, STOP IT. JUST STOP IT.  LET'S CHAT ABOUT YOUR BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE! I'M READY TO SHOW YOU WHAT YOU'VE GOT!

Name *
Name


Well-behaved women | Austin Boudoir Studio

 

"Well-behaved women seldom make history." -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

image.jpg

Stand up, speak out, fight for everything you believe is right. Make your stance known. Do not let any man OR woman tell you what you should or should not be doing. You do you. Make mistakes and learn from them. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about them. Be compassionate and love with all of your might.

I'm coming out swinging today.