The L word (lingerie) | Boudoir Wardrobe Ideas

Recently, I demonstrated to you that there are a TON of easy wardrobe options for the woman who isn't interested in lingerie, or who just doesn't have time to shop for her boudoir experience. If you missed that blog on zero fuss boudoir wardrobe, you can check it out HERE.

I promised that I would be releasing a blog and a little extra help for those who love the idea of lingerie-ing-it-up for their boudoir experience but quickly realized that I would NOT be the best person to write that blog!

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SO I brought in lingerie expert Ashley Kelsch to guest blog about what she does best. Ashley is the owner of one of my favorite local lingerie boutiques, Teddies for Bettys.

When my local clients visit one of her shops (downtown on 2nd street, or north Austin at the Domain), I know that they are going to show up to their session with well-fitting and beautiful pieces that flatter their bodies majestically. 

TAKE IT AWAY, ASHLEY!

 


Recently my girl and favorite boudoir photographer Kara Marie wrote a blog called “ZERO FUSS boudoir wardrobe. Literally.” It’s for the girl who maybe doesn’t have time to pull together a lingerie look for her boudoir session or the girl who just doesn’t feel her power in lingerie. You might be wondering what I have to say to that?! Here comes the truth train- I identify 100% with that woman. I know! Let me lift your jaws ;) I’m more of a minimalist as well as a last minute planner. Personally, I don’t necessarily identify my sexy side with a garter belt, but instead she is wrapped up in white crisp sheets with messy hair and a smokey eye.

Needless to say, Kara’s article and 15 Zero Fuss suggestions spoke to me. HOWEVER, I’m one of few AND ironically have a knack for helping women bring out their powerhouse self through lingerie styling. God works in mysterious ways… 

Kara and I share a similar clientele and I’ve have had the pleasure of spending time with many of her clients before they go for their own boudoir shoot. The task of lingerie shopping can seem daunting for some women, but in the end, despite any reservations they had before their boudoir shoot, they return with a photo album that would have Dita Von Teese handing out high fives. Actually, I feel like maybe Dita would hand out ass smacks with a paddle. Gentle ones, right? Yes. Dita Von Teese ass-smacking good photos. 

So how does it all go down? Where do we start and what do we suggest when you’re shopping for your boudoir session? I’m going to break it down for you in 5 easy steps. Who knows? Maybe by the end of this write up I will have convinced myself to explore the lingerie boudoir session and find my power through a garter belt!

 

FITTING

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The very first thing that you should do is have a professional bra fitting. There is nothing worse than unnecessary pinching, unflattering overhang, or a band riding up causing the girls to get low. Nine times out of ten this is caused by simply wearing the incorrect size. The last thing we want to do is get this common error caught on camera. So set yourself up for success from the get go by getting measured. Of course, I’m going to recommend one of our experts at both Teddies for Bettys' locations, but most any speciality store can happily help you determine your current bra size to guarantee you are ready to strike a put-together pose. 

 

FIND YOUR STYLE

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This step is SOOO important. What is YOUR style?  Exploring this question is key to finding out what makes you feel the most comfortable, aka your sexy-self. If you are not comfortable in an unlined lace demi you certainly do not want to try and strike a pose in front of the camera wearing one. Do you love lace? Push Ups? More or less coverage? Thongs vs bikini’s? Trying on different styles AND silhouettes will give you time to take yourself in and see your body dressed in something besides your normal everyday bra and panty.

Chances are you don’t wear bodysuits or a teddy very often. Being able to take the time to dress your body and see what works/doesn’t work will give you all the more confidence in front of the camera. If you’re anything like most women, you will be shocked at how sexy you feel in styles that you would have never considered before. This is where the fun starts happening- you start seeing yourself in a different light- which is the point of all of this, right? to reveal the inner you…

 

YOUR THEME

Now that we know what brings out your inner sexy self we can discuss your theme. Theme is, but not limited to the following questions; Are these pictures for you or someone special? Is their a special occasion involved? Are you looking to capture Sweet and girly? Classic? Vampy? Pin up? Conversely, if you tend to be more conservative in your everyday but there is a fierce and fiery seductress aching to come out, now would be the perfect time to play with embodying this role. Maybe you are looking to capture a few different sides of yourself. Something sweet, something sexy. Having a theme will help mainstream the process, give you some direction and a little peace of mind. There are so many ‘looks’ in boudoir photography and it’s easy to get caught up in wanting a little bit of everything, but that would make for a chaotic day. Once you know what your end goal is you can relax into the experience a little bit more.

 

PLAYING DRESS UP

We’ve made it to the fun part! After we’ve pulled lingerie based on your size, style and theme you get to start trying it on and bringing your look to life. Seeing yourself in the full ensemble is oh-so-important, ladies. This is where you stand on your toes (or we bring you some heels) and you start turning, twisting and looking. Whenever I watch this, I can’t help but notice how empowered a woman becomes. The layers start coming off and you start to take in your body, femininity, self and ADMIRE it. There is no question at this point who the boudoir session is for- it’s for you… (let the special someone think it’s for them, but we know girl. all yours.)

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ACCESSORIZE

What’s a garter belt without thigh-highs? Or a bare shoulder without a silk robe draping off? Though accessories are not imperative, you will want to take an inventory of your lingerie looks and decide if you’d like any extras; masks, jewelry, shoes, furs, etc. Maybe you have a sentimental piece from your someone special. You want to think this last step through even as small as it seems. I’m telling you, you will be mid pose and think, ‘noooo, I forgot my louboutin pumps! They would have matched back to this black lace bra and red lip like an olive in my martini!’ Let’s not have a shoulda-coulda-woulda.

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There you have it, babes! For customized boudoir shopping, be sure to hit up Ashley + her experts at Teddies for Bettys on 2nd Street in downtown Austin, or their new location at the Domain!  

As luck would have it, they're currently having a BACK TO SCHOOL SALE! Woot! 

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Now get your sassy booty in front of my camera!

Ciao. 

 

ZERO FUSS boudoir wardrobe. Literally. | Austin Boudoir Photographer

This post must be prefaced by saying: I LOVE GOOD LINGERIE.  I have a special all-black-everything place in my heart for a fine piece of "underthings". 

Yet, my favorite boudoir images of myself and clients are rarely the fruit of any sort of preparation at all. Not to mention there's a whole group of woman out there who can't even wrap their heads around the idea of themselves in a full garter set and heels...it just isn't them. Add to that the number of women who end up snagging a last-minute time slot that I announce due to a reschedule.....and they.have.zero.time.to.prepare.

After enough emails and comments about not knowing where to begin with boudoir wardrobe, I decided to take on the challenge of coming up with 15 boudoir looks out of my closet....not counting my lingerie drawers (because obviously not everyone is in the unique position of being a boudoir photographer who gets tempted by lingerie constantly while also having zero shopping willpower), without buying anything new.  In addition, I'll share self portraits and some client photos that have been the result of similar no-fuss preparation. 

1. The black blazer. 

Like just about everything else on this list, a black blazer is something that most women already have in their closet. I prefer more of a relaxed fit for boudoir photos...but can work with really any fit with proper clipping/pinning. For this set of self portraits, I opted for a black "boyfriend fit" blazer that I bought from Nordstrom Rack 3 years ago for $19.  You can put your blazer on over a bra + panty set, a pair of cute bottoms, or nothing at all. 

 

2. The White tank top

More inappropriately called a "beater" (UGHHH a cringe-worthy name. So let's just call it a white tank top.), wearing one of these with nothing under it, paired with a pair of white underwear is a completely classic, completely CHEAP look for some really steamy boudoir photos. This one was one of those fancy $3 Target tops that had a lace detail on the top of it to class it up ;) 

 

3. The oversized sweater.

Everyone has an open front sweater, yes? Grab it. Preferably in a neutral color. We can pair it with a cami like I did here, a bra + panty, or nothing at all. 

A couple more awesome examples from other clients:::

 

4.  The t-shirt

If you own nothing else on this list, #1- I don't believe you, but... #2- I KNOW you've got yourself a tshirt. It can be oversized, baby-sized, crop, off-shoulder...you name it, we can rock it. 

From a recent session with Miss J rocking out her boyfriend's Iron Lung band tee. LOVE.THIS.LOOK.

 

5. Nothing at all.

I've successfully captured some of my favorite boudoir images of all time using literally no wardrobe. Whether it's artistic nudes, implied nudes, or fine art...you don't need any more than your birthday suit for this one. 

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6. The sheets

Again with the "no wardrobe necessary", nothing says classic boudoir like a simple "in the sheets" session. 

 

7. The kimono

I have yet to wear a kimono for a shoot, but I've had so many clients rock it out. Kimonos look amazing over basic undergarments or simply as an accessory to a nude figure. 

 

8. The bodysuit.

There are few things I love more than a bodysuit. They are available everywhere (and all over the internet), they can be found relatively inexpensive, they are sexy, and they look amazing on all body types! I encourage my clients to bring one bodysuit to their session and I'm so glad when they listen!

 

9. The sleep shirt.

I AHHH-DOOORRRRRRE the morning-after look and feel of a sleep shirt in boudoir photos. There's something so raw and VOGUE about it, isn't there?  It can be draped so easily, buttoned/unbuttoned to any degree, and layered over whatever you'd like or nothing at all. 

 

10. The swimsuit.

Everyone's got a swimsuit...and I'm willing to bet everyone has a solid colored swim suit. You can use just the bottoms of a bikini, just a bikini top paired with underwear, or if you're a one-piece queen like me, rock your one piece as a bodysuit. I haven't had the chance to shoot in it yet, but a one piece black thong swimsuit paired with a loose cozy sweater draped off the shoulder is the perfect look for a cozy Sunday morning boudoir set. 

And check out Miss J rocking a bikini top with high waisted underwear!

...and the badass Miss C in a super awesome swimsuit that doubles as lingerie for sure!

 

11. The scarf.

Scarves are so versatile, inexpensive, and beautiful. Oftentimes they are a plethora of sheer luxurious looking fabric and are PERFECT for a boudoir shoot. 

My all-time favorite boudoir photo involves an ivory scarf from Target....

Followed by a black scarf from Target....

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....which I then just wrapped around me like a towel out of the shower.

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You can have fun with colors and textures and I've got at least 100 poses than can be accomplished using a scarf. We could do an entire boudoir set using nothing but! 

 

12. The robe.

There's been times when clients have forgotten their wardrobe (photo shoot day nerves! ha!), and I've just had them start off in a robe because they were too nervous to go straight for nude. We can make just about any robe work as demonstrated here in the largest, bulkiest robe ever from the South Congress Hotel. 

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13. The granny panties.

Just hike 'em up and you're in business! White cotton panties are hard to beat when it comes to comfort AND photo worthiness (and Sunday lounging).

 

14. The holy jeans

Ok...you DEFINITELY have jeans, right?! I was on a mission to make this one work even though I'm a no-pants girl by trade. Unbutton, pull down, and voila. 

Even mom jeans work....as TOTALLY DEMONSTRATED BY THESE PHOTOS. These are Ralph Lauren POLO high-rise jeans that were literally given to me by my mother in-law who didn't like the fit on her. (which I left out when I texted the photos to my husband. Woops.)

15. The jacket

Wearing a coat or jacket of some sort is a popular option for boudoir....leather jackets and fur coats in particular! Here are some favorite examples from recent sessions:

There you have it, ladies....a tremendously long-winded blog post to demonstrate that you don't NEED a shopping trip or even lingerie for a boudoir experience with me. Stress less about what you'll wear and enjoy the experience knowing that I'm pro at working with what you've got!!!!

If you do decide that you want to use your boudoir experience as an excuse for a fun shopping trip, I've got you covered there, too! All clients receive a boudoir prep guide chock full of lingerie recommendations and prep advice. Bottom line, whatever "kind of woman" you are, my goal is to make sure THAT woman shines through, not who you think you should be for these photos. 

xx

Effortlessly Elegant | Miss F | Austin Boudoir Studio

How's everyone feeling after the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Refreshed and replenished or completely burned out? 

I took a few days off, and I have to admit....I AM SO READY TO BE BACK AT WORK!!! Especially knowing that THIS gem is today's blog feature!

Miss "F" was so effortlessly elegant. Her boudoir wardrobe knocked it out of the park. Her eyes were mesmerizing. And we had such a great time creating this amazing gift for her and her love!

Hair and Makeup by Kendall Koehler of  Mayhem Beauty

Hair and Makeup by Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty

Here's what Miss "F" had to say about her boudoir experience:

"Kara, you showed me in a way I rarely, or maybe never, see myself. When I came to my shoot, I was feeling really bedraggled, tired, and stressed about life. But this shoot made me feel so wonderfully good about myself!"

I walked out with one heck of a sexy attitude and a ‘bring it on world— I can take whatever you throw at me and not just handle it, but have FUN with it’ mentality!
— Miss F

"I feel more beautiful and vivacious than ever. And the pics are too die for!"

And I have to agree--the pics ARE to die for!

And then....AND THEN....we changed into this ridiculously amazing outfit. The magenta bra paired with this STUNNING ethically sourced rabbit fur coat and tousled hair. AHHHH! Love love love!

Can I get a resounding "DAYYUUMMM", here!?  I love the confidence not only exuded in these images by this outstanding woman, but the confidence she herself says she acquired just by doing the shoot! It's no exaggeration when I preach that boudoir is a major confidence boost!

THANK YOU to Miss "F" for sharing her badass images with us, as well as her rave review! I've said it a million times and I'll say it again: I absolutely ADORE our Kara Marie Boudoir clients!

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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Products I LOVE | Urban Undercover Underwearables | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm about to get all "QVC presenter" on you. But it's totally warranted. When I find a product I love, I let everyone know about it. 

So. Girls. 

Here's the thing about me and my underwear.....it.absolutely.must.be.comfortable.  Like SEEEEERIOUSLY comfortable. I would rather not wear ANY underwear (HAYYY now!) than wear underwear that's uncomfortable. Duh. 

And you wanna know another thing about me? Don't answer that. It's my blog, so you're going to learn another thing, damnit!

I am a HUGE sucker for cute packaging.  I will ALWAYS buy the bottle of wine that has the best looking label. I will buy those itsy bitsy tiny cans of Coca-Cola, even though I don't drink soda, because the can is cute.  When I'm torn between what movie to watch, I go with the one with the best cover image. 

So put my love for comfort and cute packaging together, and you've got URBAN UNDERCOVER, my new favorite underwear

The owner of this fabulous company happens to be a Kara Marie Boudoir fan (HOLLLAAA, girrrl!) and was cool enough to send me all of the styles of bottoms (thong, boy short, and hipster), as well as the black bralete to show me her goods.  As soon as I pulled them out of the box, I was doing an annoying sorority girl squeal at how freaking cute these things are. 

 

These underwear have a built-in pouch so that they fold up all adorably and are discreet.  Which is awesome if you're like me and you are determined that every TSA security search person is a pervy panty stealer. (Ok so I'm a little paranoid.)

Urban Undercover

Urban Undercover

And girls. The quality is outstanding!!! And they're cute. If they can make my barely-there butt look like a shape other than "wall", I'm totally sold.

Be sure to visit the Urban Undercover website to check out their array of bottoms, as well as their balete, chemise, and other accessories. This stuff is SO great....good for a photo shoot or to just be comfy any day of the week. HAPPY SHOPPING, Y'ALL!!! 

xo

 

Boudoir Wardrobe : Don't stress about it | Austin Boudoir Studio

At some point during email correspondence, inevitably a woman booking a boudoir shoot with me will express how she's concerned about what to wear for her boudoir shoot. 

As a boudoir photographer who has shot a TON of women of ALL different body types I can let you in on a little secret: It doesn't freaking matter. 

YES, ill-fitting lingerie can totally ruin a photo and crush a woman's soul. That much is true. So if you're going to be wearing lingerie, make sure it fits you properly. I've got some great sources in my boudoir prep guide for clients that will help you with that. 

But boudoir photos do not require lingerie. 

A couple of years ago, I started a boudoir selfie project in efforts to pick up new skills, put myself in client's shoes, and to learn to love myself and embrace my body as it is. While I've got a few images of me in pretty lingerie, the majority of my FAVORITE images involve a completely NOT- put-together look. 

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For example, the above image that I captured yesterday...

I arrived at my studio in workout clothes, a messy bun, and no makeup. I had 10 extra minutes and my computer alert popped up reminding me that I am tragically behind on my boudoir selfie project. I took off my pants (as per usual), tore out my bun, grabbed a lace top that my makeup artist left here, and carefully executed 8 shots in 5 minutes. 

We can work with literally NOTHING ladies! Don't.Stress.

Prepping for your boudoir shoot is a lot of the fun, too! But if you're finding yourself getting anxious about what to wear, I'd encourage you to show up with nothing. And I'm serious. 

We'll work the sheets, the furniture, a t-shirt, WHATEVER. This process is not supposed to be stressful, it's supposed to be fun. So let's rock it out with what you've GOT! 

Are you ready NOW!? Let's chat!

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You'd think she was a super model... | Austin Boudoir Studio

This girl was sent to me by another photographer whose boudoir images I shot last year. I was told that this girl was simply gorgeous and that we would create some amazing images together. Gorgeous was an understatement. As you will see....

...told ya. 

Miss B TOTALLY nailed her shoot. She brought some pretty fantastic lingerie (that I'm fairly certain was designed specifically for HER...because...put that get-up on me...and...eeeeek!) and a supermodel's composure. 

I had such a wonderful time shooting! Not only is Kara so sweet and fun, she made me feel extremely comfortable in front of the camera!!
— Miss B

For her final wardrobe selection, Miss B. brought some super cute socks and a Beavis and Butthead t-shirt!  She took her man's favorite goofball animated show and now has turned it into something adorable and sexy! I love the idea of changing it up a little from lingerie--even if it's just for one quick look at the end of the session!  It's personal and will really show your someone special that you put thought into their gift!! 

I effing love it. All of it!  

Thank you thank you to Miss B. for a crazy amazing session and allowing me to share her images from her Austin Boudoir shoot with y'all...and thank you thank you to the photographer who played client matchmaker! 

Shot on: Nikon D750, natural light, 50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art Lens + 85mm f/1.8 lens. 

Lingerie from Victoria's Secret. Hair styled by Kendall of Mayhem Beauty

Are you ready for your turn!? Let's chat, dahhling!

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