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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The Day Before Chemo | Austin Boudoir Studio

This post just leaves me speechless, so I'm glad it's not verbal. Like many other women with the same diagnosis, Miss W reached out to me wanting to document her body before so many changes took place due to her recent breast cancer diagnosis. While I have been close to many people affected by cancer, I cannot even begin to wrap my head around going through it myself. Yet the women that I have had the pleasure of working with in any stage of their breast cancer journey have been nothing short of awe-inspiring and courageous as hell. 

We scheduled her shoot the day before her first chemo treatment, and hours before having 23 inches of hair cut off to ease the transition. I can't even imagine the emotional state that she was in. Just can't imagine. Yet we conquered the shoot, and created an absolutely breathtaking account of this woman as she was THAT day.  

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I will let her carry on from here, where my words would fail:

 

"This experience meant so much to me! At just 30 years old, I had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and really wanted to capture my body in its natural state so I could always remember it. Driving over to the studio the morning of the shoot was a little bittersweet because I knew it was the last time I would have the opportunity to capture my body as it was then. That afternoon I was scheduled to chop off all my hair and the following day I would be starting chemo with a mastectomy to follow."

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But as soon as I arrived any sadness I felt immediately disappeared because Kara and her team made me feel so welcome and excited.
Hair and makeup by Kendall of Mayhem.

Hair and makeup by Kendall of Mayhem.

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"The studio space was beautiful and seeing all Kara's previous work posted on the walls made me really glad I was getting to do this with her. While I was getting my hair and make-up done and feeling super glamorous, Kara selected her favorites from the outfits I brought which took so much pressure off me and ensured everything would photograph really well. Once we started shooting, Kara demonstrated every pose like a rockstar and guided me to do it right too. I am not someone who knows how to make sexy faces, but Kara pulled them out of me somehow! By the end of our shoot, I couldn't believe it had already been an hour and I wanted to keep going because I was having so much fun! I left feeling like a model and was certain that she had created some beautiful images. "

"Over the next two weeks, I counted down the days until the photo reveal! I was so excited and it gave me something to look forward to in the midst of feeling crummy from chemo. Once the day finally arrived, I was in stunned silence throughout the entire slideshow. I couldn't believe how beautiful the images were. Every pose she had put me in was incredibly flattering and hid any areas I felt self-conscious about."

I am so thrilled to have had this experience before undergoing all these huge body changes and I know I will cherish these pictures for a lifetime. And I also can’t wait to do it all over again in a year to celebrate my journey and get comfortable with my new body!”
— Miss W