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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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!

 

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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Boudoir : Bet you can't have just one | Austin Boudoir Shoot

When I first began discussing the possibility of going full-time, all-the-time boudoir photography with my close friends and husband, they all had the same questions: "Is there really enough of a market for that to do it full time?!" and, more commonly commented "But, I mean, that's just a once in a lifetime type of thing...you won't get repeat clients, right?".  

Wrong. 

Almost EVERY SINGLE one of my clients comes back for more. If they haven't come back yet, they say they can't wait to!

This is not a once in a lifetime type of experience. 

It's a "any damn time you need a boost" type of experience. 

Miss "F" proclaimed the same after her Austin Boudoir shoot.

 

Miss "F" said...

"It was AH~MAZING!!!! I felt completely comfortable from start to finish - it was like I was hanging out with a friend even though it was our first time meeting.

I couldn't have asked for a better experience & I'm beyond happy that it was with with Kara Marie Boudoir!" 

I’m already thinking about when I want to do it again!
— Miss "F"
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Just about every woman says the same as soon as she sees her images, and often times, even at the end of her shoot, BEFORE she even sees her images. 

YES, the photos will be badass. But it's so much more than that. It's about walking out of that studio with a sexy strut and your head held high knowing that you are absolutely incredible. Knowing that you just got a little piece of your old self back. Knowing that you STILL GOT IT.  

And I don't know about you ladies, but I could use that boost more than once in my lifetime ;)

Thank you so much to Miss "F" for trusting me with her boudoir experience. 

I absolutely cannot wait to have her back for round 2 (and 3 and 4, I'm sure!)

WANT TO SEE WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT??? LET'S CHAT ABOUT YOUR BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE, DAHHLING!

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I traveled. She cried. | Austin Boudoir Studio

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is that I can do my "job", my passion, anywhere I want. My camera, while at times after a long day of shooting it feels like it weighs 50lbs, is actually portable ;) I can put it in a small bag and take it with me in the car, on a plane, on a boat, wherever the hell I want. And while I love my studio, it's always so fun to shoot in different places with new light, new atmospheres, new people. 

Last month, I was hired by Moodboard Productions to travel out to Midland, Texas for a bit of a "pop-up" boudoir photo shoot. I worked with 4 incredible women to give them a boudoir experience, KMB style. 

One of them was Miss "A" here. She was a little southern belle ball of enthusiasm who said things like "I'm fixin' to leave" and I instantly loved her. She's a mom of 2 and seemed to have a hard time believing she was doing something "like this". Needless to say, she absolutely rocked it. 

This was one of the greatest experiences ever. I felt so comfortable and at ease... Did I mention I was half naked? I cried when I saw the pics...
— Miss A

Thank you to Miss Olivia Jordan of Moodboard Productions for coordinating a great day of boudoir shoots , and to Ashlee Rice of Let's Face it Makeup Studio for the standup makeup job. 

If you're ready (or even if you don't think you are) for your own boudoir experience, let's chat dahhling! 

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Tantalizing and Tattooed | Miss V | Austin Boudoir Studio

If I wasn't so damn indecisive and impulsive, I would be covered with the coolest of cool tattoos. See, my problem is that I change my mind really frequently. If I had gotten all of the tattoos that I thought were a great idea at one time, I would have a ring of multicolored dancing elephants around my ankle, Aerosmith Lyrics across my shoulders, and the Lucky Charms leprechaun on my back holding a sign that said "Magically Delicious" (I mean....REALLY, 18-year-old-self?! REALLY!?). 

I freaking love tattoos so much and am not-so-secretly brainstorming about a sleeve that I will likely not get because as soon as I make the appointment I'll think of a better idea, and this will go on and on until I die sleeveless. 

But I digress. THIS badass bombshell is absolutely covered in tattoos and I was SO excited because for some very sad reason, I don't get to photograph heavily inked women a whole lot. She just barely snagged one of my time slots at a boudoir marathon I did in my hometown, and I'm freaking elated that she did. 

Miss V was just amazing. And her playlist.....I'm actually going to share it with you at the end here. Because if you want to feel like a sexy, empowered boudoir vixen, just strut around in lingerie to this playlist. 

I'll shut up about tattoos and music now, view on, my viewers. View. On. 

"When I first found Kara’s work, (back then it was still Click Chick Photography!) I was enthralled by the energy and romance that pervaded her photos. I scrolled through endless galleries of engagements, families, weddings, and then, one day, I discovered her BOUDOIR galleries."
 

"I was floored. These women were BREATHTAKING. They all exuded such confidence, such seductive and powerful femininity. I clicked through picture after picture, just imagining what it must be like to be that brave, that strong. I decided then, years ago, that someday, I wanted to BE one of those women." 
 

"I have never enjoyed having my picture taken, because, frankly, I hate the way I look in most photos. I never knew much about doing my hair and makeup (shoutout to all of my girls who have helped me with that over the years!), and I just never felt as comfortable and confident in my own skin as I wanted." 

"Flash forward several years, and I have found my powerful, inner (and outer) woman. I can look back over the years and see how each decision I have made has shaped my personality and my generally “rose-tinted” outlook that I have on life. Every setback, every negative life event, every heartbreaking loss in my life gave me a choice: I could either dissolve into a sobbing mess (which, believe me, sometimes I still do!) and make excuses as to why I should feel sorry for myself, OR, I could put on my big girl panties, roll up my sleeves, and take back my own happiness. Every day I wake up with the full intention of kicking ass and taking names, and I refuse to let anyone tell me that I can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t; because I am a woman, and that makes me powerful."
 

"Okay, taking a step off of my soapbox for a minute… Flash forward to the moment I walked into my shoot with Kara: it was like reuniting with a long lost friend. She was so energetic and bubbly that my enthusiasm was immediately boosted to another level. The shoot was a blur, and after a few snaps, I could feel myself start to relax and really get into what I was doing." 

I wanted the powerful, sexy, feminine woman that I felt like on the inside, to be shown on the outside and in my photos.

Favorite alert! Favorite alert!

When I received the link to my online gallery, I was speechless. This couldn’t be ME. No way. And yet, there I was, sultry, self-assured, and shining.

"I’m obsessed with my pictures, and I can’t thank Kara enough for helping me capture my inner feelings on film. 

EVERY woman reading this right now NEEDS to have a shoot like this. It’s life-changing. It’s empowering…and fun… and just so many amazing things! Don’t worry about a thing, just let Kara work her magic and your inner goddess will come out in her photos!"
 

"This is what I wish for all women: Take risks, always strive for growth, and don’t EVER let anyone dim your shine. Be your own strength, your own best friend, and your own biggest fan."

"My current favorite mantra" :
“The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.” –Mohadesa Najumi

 

"Thanks for everything, Kara! You’ll be hearing from me again in the future ;) "

Xoxo

Miss V

The Kara Marie Boudoir Experience | Austin Boudoir Studio

I was long overdue for an official promo video and had been casually chatting back and forth about it with long time "Insta friends" Eugene + Heather Brown who are filmmakers in Nashville. When they said they were going to be in Texas in June, I knew I had to make something happen to get them to Austin and help me show the world exactly what it is that I do at my little Austin Boudoir studio. 

I came to them with all kinds of really typical promo video ideas but let them know that I trusted their creative vision completely. I knew it was important for everyone to see that my message is all about embracing womanhood through beautiful and powerful imagery, not about meaningless scantily clad snapshots. 

They enthusiastically pitched me their ideas (which I loved), and I suggested possibly throwing in a bit of the photo reveal process, which, to me, is just as important (if not more so) as the photo shoot itself. The final result is going to be hard to beat when it's time for a new video. I couldn't be more thrilled. 

Check it out!


A freaking gigantic thank you to my lovely client Krystal for allowing us to film her photo reveal (and for pushing it back a few days to accommodate our filming schedule)! Your enthusiasm and your awesomeness was the icing on the cake that was this mini film. 

Thank you to the absolutely STUNNING and SWEET Miss Lola who absolutely rocked the behind-the-scenes photo shoot filming and brought such awesome energy to the set. 

Thank you to my awesome hair and makeup artist, Kendall of Mayhem Beauty who is always behind the scenes yet her work is SO important to the finished product. 

Thank you to my family for being such good sports when the cameras invaded our house before dawn. 

Thank you to my studio manager, Kinsey, for keeping the crew all fed, happy, and helping to ensure things ran seamlessly. 

And obviously, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you Eugene + Heather for creating this work of promo video art for me and helping to share the message. I couldn't have dreamt up a better film (truly. Not possible.).