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!

 

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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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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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.).

It's about CONFIDENCE. | Austin Boudoir Studio

She was so enthusiastic about her upcoming shoot, yet so, SO nervous. I could feel her anxiety through email.  I got a really spot-on feel for her personality and style through the words that she wrote in her first few messages. Before even laying eyes on her, I knew exactly the approach we would take for this session. 

On the day of the shoot, Miss "W" came in with her tea and her all black everything.  A girl after my own heart. It's no secret that black is my favorite color. I see a red door and I want to paint it black (second favorite song reference!). I'm also a mega bodysuit fan. And a fan of tea and hashtags. And a fan of people who own their style.  We were going to get along swimmingly and I knew that when she said "I'm kind of visualizing all of these being in black and white."

I'm going to keep my own commentary to a minimum because her words are SO important. Read them. Seriously.

Attract what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, + mirror what you admire.

"Seriously. I don't think you EVEN know how much this whole experience means to me. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

"A little over a year ago, I started my own business. It's been an amazing whirlwind experience of #getitgirl ... venturing into the uncomfortable world of self doubt on numerous occasions. Confidence is a little thing that I had always been lacking. There was always someone just a little bit better. There was always someone a littler more creative. 'I've never done this before' ... 'how the hell am I going to get this done?!' ... 'Why did I even say yes?!' ... 'I can't do this.'

So for the past year I've been really focusing on working harder than anyone else I know, pushing myself further creatively than I ever have before, + experiencing every opportunity to the fullest capacity that my little brain [+ heart] could hold.

I'm a true believer in 'fake it 'til you make it'... + 'make it work.'  I say yes, + then figure it out afterwards.  Mirror what you admire, right?

But. Let me tell you, girl. I DREADED saying yes to my photoshoot. Dreaded. Ugh.

However I knew that it would completely blow my husband away.  Something that he would NEVER imagine I would do. So I HAD to do it."

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"So, tonight I gave him a car & driver magazine, with one of the images tucked inside.... at the dinner table. I told him that his birthday present was inside.

It was SO fun to completely catch him off guard while he was just nonchalantly flipping through the pages. He was totally confused, + didn't even realize that it was me he was looking at. His reaction was PRICELESS. The first words out of his mouth?? "Wow babe, I'm really proud of you."

Not "this is hot!" or "you're so sexy"... but ...  "I'm proud of you."

Of course, i started crying.

But it was EXACTLY the whole point of this entire thing.   CONFIDENCE."

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"Not to just have some photos to flip through when he feels like it. But to show him that I'm not just some "mom" who is overworked, exhausted, and usually highly caffeinated.  To show him that I'm willing to push myself of out my comfort zone.  To show him that I DO feel sexy, that I can still rock it, and that I'm not afraid to do something not just for him...but for myself. #confidenceiseverything

We had this whole long conversation about my "journey" to do this... [like seriously!? when does a husband ever said "tell me about your journey...."] so it was so so great for us to talk through everything I felt + experienced through the whole thing. SUCH GREAT MEMORIES."

"I'm sure that you hear all the time how transforming your photoshoots are... but seriously.  It's so much MORE than just feeling sexy. It's the confidence of GET IT GIRL, of not backing out, of HOLY SHIT I DID THAT.

So THANK YOU, Kara. thank you TREMENDOUSLY. You have totally changed my life.

I canNOT wait to do it all over again, soon!"

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I am so grateful to have been able to meet, photograph, and share this journey with this woman/mom/business owner. Yet another example of why I do what I do with such passion. 

Can you identify with her? I sure as shit can!  

I'M READY FOR IT TO BE YOUR TURN. ARE YOU? LET'S CHAT.

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