The Best Year Ever | 2017 Recap

Every time I write one of these "It's the end of the year, holy shit" blogs, I am blown away by how much I crammed into one year, and stoked about having the "Best Ever Year of Kara Marie Boudoir".  2017 was another record breaking and fulfilling year of business and I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you who follows along regularly, trusts me with their boudoir experiences, and tolerates my annoying Instastories. 

It's this week every year that I spend looking back at the year's body of work, blog posts, and thousands and thousands of photos. I am so grateful for the abundance of business, blessings, and beauties that surrounded me in 2017. 

 

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS


TOP LIKED INSTAGRAM POSTS


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THE NUMBERS

+Photographed 384 Women

+Coached + Mentored 13 Boudoir Photographers

+Attended 3 photo conferences

+ Composed 10,695 emails (whaaaaaaa???)


TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

2017 Travels to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Miami (Lots of warm and tropical surroundings, apparently!)



ACCOLADES

It was a year of awards and I feel extremely honored and....well...baffled quite honestly! There's been several print magazine features, a few Huff Post articles, individual image awards, and the 2017 Boudoir Photographer of the Year from AIBP to cap it all off.  I have this problem where I downplay a lot of "accomplishments" as I am truly always aspiring to fulfill my potential which is still a long road in the future. But recapping on 2017 I can actually look back at the year and be proud of what I've built, even if there are 1000 things I would change, I know that I busted.my.ass.  I have a long way to go, but am proud of where I am. THANK YOU to all of the publications, mentions, reposts, and cheerleaders giving me encouragement along the way!!! <3  I plan to put myself out there even more in the photography industry in 2018 and really fine tune my craft as much as I possibly can. 


WHAT'S NEXT?!

I'm not much of a "resolutions" girl. I think it's just the word itself that's lost it's meaning because of all of the empty promises attached to it. I AM a goal-setter, and more importantly, a goal-ACHIEVER. So while you're not going to get a whole slew of big dreams that I will likely not fulfill, I'll go ahead and list out all of the plans that are already in motion for 2018, and I will continue to work my ass off towards them. 

In 2018, I will be...

+MAKING A HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT.  Like....in 2 days. I've been chickening out big time on this one that's been in the works for 3 years. I pulled it off in September and have yet to fill y'all in on my little secret. Stay tuned.

+TRAVELING A TON. There has been so much time spent wishing that I would have traveled more before having kids, or before my career became so demanding. About 6 months ago I made a promise with myself and my husband to make 2018 a year of experiencing things I've always wanted to see.  We'll be working out of Europe for the summer of 2018 ([Santorini|Mykonos|Athens]Greece, [Naples, Florence, Venice, Milan, Almalfi Coast, Rome] Italy, [Paris, Nice] France), and I also have several other photography related travels occurring (Los Angeles, New York, and Boulder CO. 

+Slowing down. I have this little problem that involves seeing a blank spot in my calendar jumping at the chance to fill it if someone asks. That resulted in a 2017 full of being FULL. Too full. Client experience is my TOP PRIORITY in my business. It's what this has all been built on. I still delivered on this in 2017, however it became a lot more difficult to do when I was sometimes taking as many as 15 appointments a week. That.is.NUTS. I am continuing to remind myself that this is a SMALL BUSINESS, and to keep it as top-notch as it's always been, I need to learn to stick to my pre-determined number of appointments a week, and politely decline on any additional. It's in the best interest of my clients, and in the best interest of my creativity and mental health (which is also in the best interest of my clients). 

THAT SAID, My 2018 is already over 75% booked (HOLY.CRAP.), and I will be increasing prices a pinch and saying "I'm so very sorry that I can't accommodate you" a little more. As much as those words pain me,it is worth it to keep the ultimate client experience 100% intact and even improving as time goes on! No burn out for me!

+Beefing up my boudoir photographer education offerings. As per the previous bullet point, I *do* need to slow things down a bit. That will mean taking on fewer boudoir mentorships. I believe in giving photographers a REALLY thorough and customized experience when it comes to their business coaching, so I will continue to limit these to a manageable level for me so that I can over-deliver to my "students". HOWEVER-- the great news is, I will be really beefing up on my educational guides for photographers and other small business owners!!! 

By the end of the 1st quarter, there will be a really beefy library of educational offerings on my website for purchase for photographers! I'm in the final stages of fine-tuning now, it's been a TON of really really hard work, and I'm really excited to release all of it soon to continue to help photographers and other small business owners market their companies, grow in their craft, and deliver impeccable customer service. 

+EDUCATING THE $%&@! OUT OF MYSELF. I always say that my biggest insecurity....well...it's not anything having to do with my appearance. The thing I wish I could change the most about myself is my intelligence.  LUCKILY----that's something I can change.

There is endless information out there, endless education, and endless possibilities for expanding my knowledge on just about any topic under the sun. I have ALWAYS been an advocate of continued education and will continue to study photography for as long as I'm shooting. It's so important to recognize that YOU DO NOT KNOW IT ALL. You don't. Even in the things you're an "expert" in. I recognize that (x100000), and am taking a very proactive approach to my education. I am already enrolled in several classes that will enhance my technical craft, and have about 60 books on my "to read" list to work on becoming a more self-aware, enlightened, happy individual. Like the last 3 years, this next year will be a year of learning new things. 

 

+GIVING MORE TO MY CLIENTS. I'm always looking for new ways to make my clients feel extra special. From helping them with their bags into the studio, to customizing a welcome sign for each of them, to following up with them years down the road to congratulate them on new life events....client relationships are really important to me. That's not just something I saySo, in 2018 I'll be fine tuning the client experience even more to give them alllll the warm and fuzzies. 

 

And now that all THAT'S out there, y'all can hold me accountable! 

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, TRULY...GENUINELY...THANK YOU. Thank you for reading through this long and winding blog post, thank you for reading all/ANY of my blog posts. Thank you for every sweet comment, every word of encouragement, every Instagram "like". Thank you for trusting me with your boudoir experience. Thank you for being friendly and my friends. Thank you for all of your continued support over the last decade of making my passion a career. I love you all and cannot wait for another BEST.YEAR.EVER. 

 

 

 

 

 

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. &nbsp;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.&nbsp;

*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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Embracing your sexy | Austin Boudoir Studio | Boudoir Portraiture

Another story I hear often from my clients is that they often feel cute or maybe even "pretty", but hardly ever sexy. That's one of our curses as females. We don't see our potential. We put ourselves in "cute" boxes and when someone suggests that we are sexy, we laugh it off. No way. Me? Nope. 

One of my biggest strengths is showing women how sexy they are. I want them to embrace themselves as powerful and, GASP, sexual beings. It's much easier for us to grasp the concept that we are hard workers, decent moms, devoted wives. But the sexy thing is harder for us to recognize. 

But I promise, if you come in to my Austin boudoir studio for a boudoir experience, I'll show you. The shoot won't feel like you're trying too hard to be someone else. In fact, you may even think "There's NO WAY this photo is sexy!" or "There's NO WAY I'm doing this right."  The magic of it is that I'm about to show each client her sexy AF self and they don't even expect it.

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I think so many people book boudoir experiences with me thinking "Well, I'm not going to look as amazing as the other women on her website, but if I can walk away with one good picture of myself I'll be happy." And those are the clients that are absolutely awestruck by the images in front of them at their photo reveal. 

Miss M had a specific aesthetic in mind that, to me, resembled magazine cover portraits. She had a very regal and poised look about her, and we worked together beautifully to create an elegant set of portraiture and boudoir images. Read about her experience below:

"Kara creates a space that makes it easy to feel like a total badass wearing nothing but your own skin. I walked out of the shoot feeling confident, driven and fearless. The whole experience was absolutely fabulous and it has been so empowering knowing that I did it for myself."

"In a lot of other pictures I have of myself, I can be described as looking "sweet" or "pretty." This experience is exhilaratingly different. When I look at my boudoir pictures, I'm empowered to see myself in a new light that reflects so much more of who I am and what I want to be."

"I see so much more that a sweet pretty girl. I see the story of a woman who is beautiful, brave, strong and interesting, a woman who has enough confidence to unapologetically love and accept herself as she is."

P.S. you're amazing | Austin Boudoir Studio

Yesterday I had the ultimate in lazy Sundays. My son's soccer tournament was cancelled...which is a good thing because I just so happened to have a raging hangover from an embarrassingly little amount of alcohol the night before (HELLLL-OOOO adulthood.), and it was cold and rainy. I worked from my laptop in bed all.day.long. and watched movie after movie. 

I probably wasn't mentally prepared to watch P.S. I love you in my current state, but I did. For some reason it resonated with me so much more yesterday than it did the first time I saw it nearly 10 years ago...before kids. There was a message hidden in there that I didn't pick up on the first time. 

For those of you aren't familiar, it's about a recently widowed woman Holly (played by Hillary Swank) whose late husband (Gerard Butler) left letters with her friends and family to be delivered to her intermittently after his passing to help her cope and move forward.  He challenged her even after he was gone. As you can imagine, it's emotional AF. 

In a really pivotal scene for me, Holly's mother (Kathy Bates)  says "Ohh how your father used to make me laugh..." and Holly responded by saying "I don't remember you laughing...". Mother, looking absolutely crushed says "Well that makes me sad. Because I did."   How many of us have lost so much of our young spirit because...well...life?! I know I have. I know that I don't laugh as much as I did before kids. I know that I'm far, FAR more serious now. And I know that I'm not alone.  We need reminded. 

Without giving away too much of the movie (if you haven't seen it, wait for a lazy Sunday, grab 6 boxes of tissues and a tub of ice cream and be prepared to cry it all out), it was one sentence in the final letter Holly received that drove the point home and had me ugly crying. You see, Holly, like so many of us women, lost a bit of her young free spirit. She got very serious over the years. The young woman who met the love of her life in a really adorable and quirky way on a winding road in Ireland while lost was actually the LEAST lost when she had no idea where she was. 

In his final letter to her, her late husband said "You see, I don't worry about you remembering me. It's that girl on the road you keep forgetting."  *ugly sobbing accelerates*

We.need.reminded.

If you hung in with me for that, you should get the correlation. That is my goal during your boudoir experience...to remind you. This experience isn't about the mom version of you, the wife version of you, the boss or employee version of you, the flat out EXHAUSTED version of you. It's about you...the WOMAN. 

Today we are hearing from Miss Z. A hardworking mom who, like most of us, needed a boost, and got it when she needed it the most. She was an absolute honor to work with, and when I received an email from her immediately after her session before even seeing the photos speaking of how great she felt, I knew my mission was accomplished. 

"Kara, you have a gift and it is so inspiring to see you use it to lift women up in a positive way. You make people forget about their body image and embrace beauty."

I hadn’t even seen my pictures and I didn’t care, it was so easy and fun and just what I needed.

"This has helped me regain some self-confidence and self-respect. I know it sounds silly but as women we don't see ourselves in the most positive light. Especially coming out of a situation where I was doubting the person I was."

"Thank you for being my silver lining in a time when I needed a boost the most! As I am writing this I have tears in my eyes because I don't think you and your team realize what you did for me. My pictures are stunning, I'm so incredibly happy with the results."

Rave reviews never get old. It reiterates to me (because, yes, I need self esteem boosts just like the rest of you!), that I am doing what I've always intended to do: Make women not only FEEL amazing, but make them realize that they ARE amazing. All the time. Boudoir photography can be categorized so many different ways...but for me it's about boosting confidence long-term. It's about self-appreciation. It's about self-acceptance. It's about being reminded of who you are as a WOMAN, not just a mom/wife/paycheck generator/exhausted human being.

Thank you, Miss Z, for sharing your experience and allowing me to remind you of your badassness. ;) 

DO YOU NEED REMINDED? I CAN HELP. LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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Wrapped in Nothing | Miss S Part II | Austin Boudoir Studio

I have really grown to be madly in love with tasteful nude imagery. There is nothing more raw, more natural, and...in my opinion...more rewarding for the client, than to have such timeless photos of yourself and nothing but yourself. 

Generally my clients come in, knowing that nude images are an option, and at the beginning of the session when we're reviewing her wardrobe, she gets shy and flushed and suggests maybe if she's comfortable towards the end she'd maybe sorta kinda like to possibly do some photos without any wardrobe.

It's always so amazing to watch the transformation between the shy girl thinking she could possibly do this with enough champagne, to the badass confident woman halfway through the shoot that says "You know what!? Screw this lingerie!"  Enter the classy nudes.

I know why clients are a little intimidated by the boudoir experience process. The women in my photos look SO confident, so sexy, like they really owned the shit out of their photo shoot. Practically pros, right!?

During your photo session, other than holding pretty uncomfortable poses for several minutes at a time, you'll be thinking "This can't possibly look sexy." and "Oh none of these are going to turn out.". It doesn't FEEL like a sexy experience while you're doing it. FUN...hell yes. But sexy?! Not really.  I'm not speaking in a seductive voice while using sexy verbiage in a dimly lit room with candle light and Marvin Gaye playing (although, I do believe "Let's Get it On" is on one of my playlists...we usually just laugh when it comes on.). 

NOT AT ALL.  The room is bright AF, generally some upbeat music playing, and it's pretty much an hour long chit chat with me about every day life with the occasional "Ok, now arch your back a tiny bit more and give me a good exhale out your mouth.....PERFECT!!! You're doing awesome!!!"

It's generally only 5 minutes into the shoot before women start to realize "hey, this is WAY easier than I thought it was going to be!"

So, trust me, the idea of taking off all of your everything in front of a stranger's camera IS scary to think about. But I assure you, it's business as usual for me and you can't scare me with "all this" (what women usually say while motioning to their bodies in reference to being nude), and, in fact, challenge accepted and you will LOVE your nude images, likely more than your clothed ones. I will pose you to perfection, I will use strategic lighting, I will coach you through every minute of it, and you will be SO GLAD YOU DID THIS!

Round of applause to this badass woman for taking it all off and being oh-so-proud to be documented wrapped in nothing. She actually didn't need any champagne and knew from the beginning she wanted to do nude artistry. And the final product reflected her confidence in that decision!

GET IT, GIRRRRRRLLLLL!!!!!

WHETHER YOU WANT TO TAKE IT ALL OFF OR KEEP IT ALL ON, IF YOU'RE READY TO FEEL AMAZING IN YOUR OWN SKIN, LET'S CHAT!

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The Glowing Miss B | Maternity Boudoir

If a camera was pointed in my direction at any point in the third trimester of either of my pregnancies, you wouldn't want to be the one holding the camera.  Ooooohhhh no. I remember how terrible I felt, how terrible I *thought* I looked based on how I felt, and how I cringed or flipped the bird anytime a phone or camera was pointed in my direction. 

Yet to this day I regret not documenting my pregnancies more thoroughly.  Looking back on the few photos I *do* have, it was actually a beautiful thing. I was growing my little muffins who mean more to me than anything. And I will never experience pregnancy again. There's no do overs. You can't recreate those photos. So, I urge you mammas....TAKE THE PHOTOS. Hire a photographer you love and document the crap out of your growing bump. Whether it be maternity boudoir, a beauty session, or a family portrait session.

Then there's Miss B. She knew that she would cherish these photos forever, and I'm SO BLEEPING STOKED that she chose me to document them. The session couldn't have gone more effortless, she couldn't have been any more stunning, and the final product most definitely could not be beat. I ADORE THESE PHOTOS AND THE WOMAN IN THEM! You GO, Miss B. 

"It was perfect. Pure and simple." ~Miss B

"Kara made things so easy and natural for me. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. It helped boost my confidence at the end of my pregnancy just when I needed it most. I can't thank her enough."

Seriously!? Seriously. S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G.

I urge you, mammas, get in front of the camera. If you find the right photographer (*clears throat*), you will not regret it. But if you hide from the camera like I did, you probably will. 

THANK YOU, Miss B for choosing me and for allowing me to share your images! 

Another thank you to Lauren of Lola Beauty for killin' it on hair and makeup, as per usual! 

 

Loving Photos of Yourself | Miss A | Austin Boudoir Studio

There probably won't be enough client stories and reviews that will make you believe that even YOU will love images of yourself.  But let's try for just one more, shall we?

You see, I *get* it. I'm a woman... well...a GIRL if you want to consider my reaction to photos of myself. I nitpick. I'm not proud of it, but I do. I am getting MUCH better about that...yet I seem to have a really long road ahead to getting to the point that I love myself from every angle, posed and unposed, candid or not. In the meantime, there's professional photographers like yours truly. 

I wish I kept track of the number of women who came in to me saying they were SO nervous about this experience because they aren't photogenic, they hate photos of themselves, they aren't as thin as the women on my website, etc etc.  Guess who calls bullshit? MEEEEEE!  It's not my client's job to take amazing photos of them. It's mine. And I will. And you will leave your photo reveal saying "I cannot believe I LOVE photos of MYSELF." It's a really awesome feeling....and this client here got to experience it!  

Miss A speaks on her Kara Marie Boudoir experience:

"The experience was surreal. I didn't know how to prepare for it other than the typical "let me lose weight and tone up before I strip down in front of a camera!"

"The week of my shoot was funky - I was in an emotional headspace and feeling pretty down. Needless to say, on the day of my shoot, I did not feel like being sexy. Luckily, Kara made me feel 100% comfortable right off the bat. She explained what to expect during the shoot and how to make a sexy pouty face. And just like that, the shoot was over and I could eat fried chicken again."

"The day of the photo reveal could not come soon enough. I was feeling happy and normal again and SO ready to see the pictures. This was far more exciting than the shoot itself. I couldn't believe how much I loved the pictures."

Most people don’t LOVE pictures of themselves, but damn ... I L.O.V.E. these pictures.
— Miss A
Makeup by Kendall of Mayhem&nbsp;

Makeup by Kendall of Mayhem 

"I cannot wait to have the prints in my hands and the art on my walls. If you want to feel great about yourself in a way you haven't felt before, you must have a shoot with Kara."

" I'm a bit shocked to see myself in a such a pretty, sexy, and natural way."

" I usually try to take "selfies" so I have control over the picture and can decide if I like the outcome. I wasn't sure if I would like pictures of myself taken by someone else. Honestly, I was most terrified of seeing professional pictures and still picking myself apart in each image. This is where 'trust the professional' really comes into play. Kara knows what she's doing and DAMN it felt good seeing myself like that."

" I feel excited and happy with the pictures, I want to show everyone! And I want to tell everyone that you will look like that in your own photoshoot, too."

You will look hot, sexy, beautiful, and like yourself. And by the way, I am not staring at them picking myself apart.

"I wanted to add that I did this shoot for myself - these pictures are not for a significant other or fiance. These are for me to show myself how beautiful I am and to preserve when I'm 80 and no longer have my younger body. I highly recommend everyone do this, even if there is no special recipient in mind - YOU can be the special recipient of these beautiful images."

And if you're wishing and hoping that she printed some of these for her wall, you'll be pleased to know she went BIG....ANNNND went home!!! <3 

YASSSSS!!!!!! Just another example of a woman in shock at how much she loved photos of herself. She walked away with boosted confidence, self love, a mega thick boudoir album, and the most badass wall art pieces for over her bed that anyone could ask for! 

I know it's not always easy to place your trust in a stranger when it comes to seeing yourself in this manner. But, I assure you, you are in VERY CAPABLE hands. I photograph each and every client as I would want to be photographed. From the moment you book your shoot experience with me, you are in my hands, you are under my wing, and you are part of the Kara Marie Boudoir family. Consider me Mother Goose...I'll take amazing care of you.  

Thank you to Miss A for the amazing blog feature! You.are.ahmazinnnnggg!

Ready to trust me?? Good. Let's chat. 

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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! 

The Best Birthday Present for Yourself | Austin Boudoir Studio

Gone are the days that you need an excuse to have a boudoir experience. When I first dipped my toe into the pool that was boudoir photography, nearly every client was doing the shoot as a wedding present to their new spouse. 

Over the last several years, I've loved watching the mindset shift in my clientele who is now doing it for their DAMN selves! Yeah!

Miss Y here is one of them! I met her at an event several months back and I was thrilled when she booked herself a session for her 35th birthday. 

She said: "Every time I've stalked the website or Instagram I was 100% sure you only posted pictures women who looked like models...when I got my pictures back I couldn't believe it!!! I looked like those women...like a model!"

^^^^^ THIS. ^^^^^ So so many of my clients say this to me when they first reach out. They are concerned that they aren't as pretty or as fit or as confident as the women on my website. They are convinced that I could not possibly get as good of an outcome from them. I prove them wrong each and every time, and I kind of gloat a little bit about it, too ;) 

"I had been feeling very self-conscious and simply not good about myself for a while, this experience changed my whole opinion!!! Taking theses pictures for my 35th birthday was the best possible present I could have given myself! "

" My whole outlook had changed! Actually it had changed the moment you started taking my picture! Thank you for making me feel so amazing!!!"

I’ve walked with my head higher since I stepped out of the studio after the shoot...I’ve NEVER felt better!!!
— Miss Y

A VERRRRRRRRYYY Happy Birthday to Miss Y!!! She looks like a model, doesn't she? Yeah, I know. ;) 

Who else would like me to prove them wrong? Let's chat.

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