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.

austinboudoirstudio_boudoirportrait

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."

DREAMY AF | Miss S Part I | Austin Boudoir Studio

A good whopping chunk of my clientele just so happens to be other photographers. I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be selected by other photography professionals to document them. Not only does it give me the warm and fuzzies, but it also reiterates just how valuable boudoir photography is and how women who discover the value know how important it is to regularly invest in this type of experience. 

Miss S makes SO many valid points in her review below. I swear I slow clapped through 3/4 of it, and the other 1/4 was spent tearing up. I GET you girl. 

We started her session very dreamy and natural with her white lingerie and sheer white lacy top.....

And then, of course, we took some of that off....

Read about her experience:

"As a photographer myself I'm familiar with the in's & out's of a photo shoot but don't often get the chance to be on the other side of the camera. I went into this experience totally open minded and fully invested in the process. I turned off my "photographer brain" and just sat back and let Kara do her thing. This totally paid off because it was such a treat!"

"During the photo shoot I felt beautiful, sexy and confident. That's not to say that I wasn't nervous! I had several moments leading up to the shoot where I thought "OMG I'm not ready yet, I need a few more weeks to get these abs in check!"  Luckily I powered through and I'm so glad I didn't postpone it. The makeup artist was talented - she did exactly what I requested! Natural but sexy."

"Kara you are truly an artist and that's one thing I had at the forefront of my mind when I chose you! Going into the photo shoot, it wasn't just about me or creating a gift for my husband... I wanted to create art with you! It may sound corny but it really was a major factor as to why I chose you. As you directed me into poses I was thinking about how this would look awesome blown up in our bedroom. Having the end result in mind helped me commit to the moment. :)"

"At the reveal meeting I never once thought about those problem areas of my body. Speaking of the photo reveal... I am so glad that I decided to bring my husband with me to help pick the photos! It was great getting to see his reaction and notice which photos he gravitated towards. (We still laugh that he was obsessed with my hair so much! If I would have known that going into it I would have stressed less about my body! haha) Now that the shoot is over I feel a stronger appreciation for my body.

^^^^THIS^^^^

I may still be a work in progress but it’s never too soon to celebrate where I am at with this experience. Yes I still have some cellulite BUT it doesn’t take over my thoughts when I look in the mirror. I have showed so many of my girlfriends the photos - I am just so proud of the finished product! #Confidence
— Miss S

"It's been a few months since the photo shoot and my husband still mentions the photos at least once a week. I love that he LOVES the photos so much."

GAHHH! I adore everything about this!  The simplicity of the wardrobe + lack thereof, the timeless feel, and most importantly, every word that Miss S had to say about her experience. Thank you SO much, from one boudoir professional to another, for selecting me to document you in this massively valuable way. 

Stay tuned for the blog feature showing off Part II of Miss S's session which involved slightly less (ok, zero) wardrobe. Coming soon!!!

READY TO SEE PAST YOUR "FLAWS" AND FALL IN LOVE WITH IMAGES OF YOURSELF? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

Name *
Name

The Second Time Around | Miss C | Austin Boudoir Studio

The majority of my clients have either already come back for a second (or third or fourth) round of boudoir, or have plans to. It's one of those experiences that you can't have just once. Not with me. 

When Miss C came in to see me last year, she was nervous, a little uneasy about the whole process, and...I have a feeling...she was talked into it by her best friend who was also coming in for a session on the same day. Our end results were lovely, and it all worked out just fine. 

She knew she wanted to give it another go now that she knew it wasn't quite so scary, and she headed back into my studio a year later with a gritty and less-clothed vision for her finished product. We ran with it and created some of my favorite images yet. 

You can really FEEL these photos, and I adore that. Not to mention her completely badass ink (she even added a few fresh pieces between sessions) that added the perfect edge to the images.  

"Kara is just amazing. So fun to work with and just a chick you want to be friends with." -Miss C

austinboudoir_tattooedboudoir-13.jpg
Looking at these pictures makes me feel like a badass!
— Miss C

"This was round two boudoir for me with Kara and totally different than my first! Last year I was shy and unsure about even doing a boudoir and this year I came back with a vision and ready to take it all off!"

"It is so empowering to feel beautiful in your own skin and Kara is wonderful at capturing that. Doing this boudoir shoot let me see how far I've come in just a year. I've grown and I've changed and to get that in print is something I'll have forever."

YASSSS to Miss C! Major props for going at it again with less clothes and more confidence! It's amazing what we can accomplish with an hour and a badass attitude, isn't it? 

ARE YOU READY TO GIVE IT A GO? YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED! ALREADY DONE IT ONCE? EACH SESSION WILL BE BETTER THAN THE LAST! LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

Name *
Name

On feeling SEXY | Austin Boudoir Studio

I say it often:  at Kara Marie Boudoir studio, it's about more than sexy pictures. 

The photos are most definitely a perk. But, you see, it's about how the photos, the whole experience, makes you FEEL.  

When you FEEL sexy...damn. There's just no feeling like the confidence boost you get when you know you look damn good. And for many of us, that feeling doesn't present itself very often. Certainly not as often as it used to. 

There's often confusion about the purpose of boudoir photography. I think that's because there are so many different interpretations of it. Some boudoir photographers present their work to the public as the ultimate gift for your spouse.  Some boudoir photographers present their work to the public as "naughty photos". 

Boudoir photography is something very different for me and for my clients. It's not about doing something "naughty" and it's usually not about doing something for anyone else. It's about getting that feeling back. It's about FEELING SEXY AND STRONG. It's about knowing that she's still "in there somewhere". It's about confidence. And it's about loving yourself...or at least learning to.

Can you do all that with your clothes on? Yes. Obviously you can. So why strip down? 

Let me ask you...isn't that when you feel the most vulnerable? Isn't that when you feel the most uncertain of yourself? For most women, it is. I know that feeling of "OH GOD. OH MY GOD. WHAT is THAT!?" as I spot a new bulge or dimple on my naked body in the mirror.  I know how devastating it is to see that photo that someone tagged you in on Facebook...the one you didn't even realize they were taking and you look like........ ***UN-TAG! UN-TAG!!! RED ALERT!***

austinboudoirstudio_kk-1.jpg

It's a lot harder for us to love our stripped-down selves. But I know that if I can show you how incredible you are, how beautiful you are, how SEXY you are, WITHOUT your clothes...that you can rock some new found self-esteem whether you're wearing anything or not. 

SEXY is not something that you should only feel for your partner. SEXY is something you should feel for yourself. It's infinitely powerful. There's no telling what you can do with that kind of confidence on your side.

Please read on for words from Kendall on her third (or fourth?!) boudoir experience with me. 

"I can't even begin to explain how I feel when I leave a shoot with Kara...Every time I see my images, it brings tears to my eyes. I can't believe it's me."

I’ve never felt sexier. I never felt more womanly.

"I am harder on myself than anyone else. It's hard to see yourself through someone else's eyes. Seeing myself through Kara's lens has helped me to be a little less hard on myself. Allow myself more time to enjoy life...and not obsess about the small things. "

"Kara you are truly so talented and you give a gift to women that truly has no price tag. I can't ever thank you enough for sharing that with me!"

I get the emails every.single.day.  Emails from women who have been following along for years, wishing they could be like the women that I post on my blog/website/social media. The assure me that they are nowhere near as sexy or confident or photogenic as my usual clients. I assure them, without even seeing them, that they are. 

These aren't models. They are women just like you. They've got crazy lives and children and baggage and emotions and insecurities.

They don't come in to me and throw their clothes off and say "OK! I'm ready to be naked! I know I'm hot, so let's DO THIS!!!".  They come in nervous and sweating through their makeup application.  They come in with outfits they "can't believe" they're going to wear in daylight. They come in doubting their beauty. They come in thinking that they are going to be the first woman I'm not able to get a single good photo of. 

I prove them wrong. Every time. 

Let me show you.

 

Name *
Name

Better with Age | Austin Boudoir Studio

Almost 5 years ago, Miss "S" and I had a boudoir shoot in a dark hotel room after the sun had set. Therefore I had zero sunlight (and I'm a natural light photographer....so you see the issue...), and I didn't really have a firm grasp on how to make that challenging situation work for me with lighting and/or available artificial light.

I worked through it anyhow. 

We had an AMAZING shoot complete with mega-makeup, elaborate hair, an Etta James playlist, and a fur coat. It was a ton of fun, and the photos looked great. To me. At the time. 

THEN...

From my shoot with Miss S almost 5 years ago. She was obviously a total babe. But the lighting makes me cringe, the post-processing makes me cover my eyes and peek through my fingers like I'm watching a horror movie. The composition is weird, but I remember thinking at the time how cool it was to get the damn lamp reflection in the window. And my posing direction could use some help. Even the watermark and business name screamed "amateur."

From my shoot with Miss S almost 5 years ago. She was obviously a total babe. But the lighting makes me cringe, the post-processing makes me cover my eyes and peek through my fingers like I'm watching a horror movie. The composition is weird, but I remember thinking at the time how cool it was to get the damn lamp reflection in the window. And my posing direction could use some help. Even the watermark and business name screamed "amateur."

Flash forward several years.

When Miss S's husband bought a gift certificate for another boudoir shoot, I was feeling a little nostalgic and I took a peek at our old set. I covered my eyes at my cliche posing and horrendous lighting. Miss S, of course, looked BADASS. And I gave the shoot and the client everything I had. Still, I can't help but be slightly embarrassed by my skill level at the time. 

Yet, 4 years ago I was even MORE embarrassed by my work 4 years prior to THAT. 

But guess what? 

NOW...

Obviously, still a total babe....and I would argue (not that any would fight me) that she's EVEN BETTER WITH AGE, 2 children and almost 5 years later! SIZZLE SIZZLE. Seriously. Such a babe! Photography-wise, I've found my lighting jam. My compositions are still "weird" but in a more intentional and artistic way. My posing is more about the "non-pose pose"...and I don't generally like to toot my own horn, but HELLLL---OOOOO custom black-and-white processing!

Obviously, still a total babe....and I would argue (not that any would fight me) that she's EVEN BETTER WITH AGE, 2 children and almost 5 years later! SIZZLE SIZZLE. Seriously. Such a babe! Photography-wise, I've found my lighting jam. My compositions are still "weird" but in a more intentional and artistic way. My posing is more about the "non-pose pose"...and I don't generally like to toot my own horn, but HELLLL---OOOOO custom black-and-white processing!

 

If I wasn't a tiny bit ashamed by my lack of skill in the past, that would mean that I wasn't advancing. I wasn't evolving. I wasn't learning. So...as embarrassing as it may be to see some of my stuff from years ago surface, it's also a valley-girl-slap-in-the-face reminder of just how far I've come. 

And if this isn't a concrete enough example of why documenting yourself over the years is so important, then I don't know what is! I'm THRILLED TO BITS that Miss S had a good enough experience the first time around to come back for more! And I know she is too :) 

In the weeks leading up to her shoot, I heard a bit about her "mom bod" and things that she felt just weren't the same. I assured her that we would do juuuuuust fine. And we did. 

Amazing!! I felt so comfortable and I am in love with the end results!! I’m also feeling pretty happy with this ‘mom bod’!

Love you Kara Marie! What you do for self esteem is amazing!!
— Miss S
My shoot with Miss S earlier this month.  She's obviously still a total babe. But now, here she is, 2 children later looking her most stunning. Less makeup, less wardrobe fuss, and with a FAR more advanced photographer than the one from the shoot to the left. 

Thank you, Miss S, dahhling, for another incredible shoot! Thank you for trusting me to show you that having a "mom bod" is a good thing....and I certainly hope to see you again in 5 years or less!!! 

Boudoir for a Boost! | Austin Studio Boudoir

Miss "B" stepped into my studio with an awesomely positive energy, a killer wardrobe, and a purpose. Like many women who come to me for a boudoir shoot, she wanted a boost. She'd experienced a rough time when her father passed away, and is finally starting to feel back to her old self.

As the final phase of "recovery", she decided on a boudoir shoot to boost her morale and to feel sexy again. 

AND there's no way she could not feel sexy after this shoot and these photos! VA VA VOOM!

austinboudoir_1
Hair and makeup by Kendall of  Mayhem Beauty

Hair and makeup by Kendall of Mayhem Beauty

I love starting out with something cozy....annnnd then moving into something a little less cozy! 

Here's Miss "B"'s story:

"About a month after I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and writing endeavors, my dad died and I experienced a bad case of adult acne. The two combined made me me feel depressed and where I didn't want to leave my house on some days. (Not to mention, I hid from cameras.) After a couple years of medications and skin consultations, I finally feel like me and have my skin under control."

austinboudoir_5
austinboudoir_6
I decided to book a shoot for the last phase to feel more comfortable in my own skin, to improve confidence, to feel glamorous and sexy...the list could go on and on. This was a great experience! Not only did Kara make me feel comfortable throughout the shoot, she also kept me laughing!
— Miss B

I cannot tell you how much I love these two black and white images for a side-by-side acrylic wall art set! GAH! Be still my heart!

austinboudoir_7
austinboudoir_8
austinboudoir_9

"This experience definitely boosted my overall confidence and added a little 'va-va-voom' to my step!" - Miss B

austinboudoir_10

Annnnnd a hair flip for the finish! 

So many thanks to Miss "B" for trusting me with this experience! I commend her for doing something for herself so she could have the warm and fuzzies about who she is right now (which is an absolutely incredible woman!). 

WE ALL NEED A BOOST EVERY NOW AND THEN. BOUDOIR IS ONE HELL OF A BOOST. LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

Name *
Name


From Timid to Tantalizing : Miss M | Austin Boudoir Photographer

When I am going through a set of images after a client's shoot, I find it SO much fun to look at the very first image of the day and the very last image of the day. The transformation is ASTOUNDING. The look of uncertainty in a woman's eyes when I first start shooting rapidly disappears as she becomes comfortable with me, my camera, and my dumb sense of humor. And then by the END of the session, she is a confident and empowered boudoir goddess.

This woman was no exception. She entered my studio a bit timid, extremely sweet, and relatively nervous. Only about a dozen "clicks" in and she was starting to shed her nervousness. And HOLY.CRAP.WAS.SHE.STUNNING.  I'm seeing a bit of Rachel McAdams here, aren't you?!

I was really nervous at first but Kara was great! She really helps you get over your nerves and really just enjoy yourself! She directed you on everything so you never doubted yourself! Just a great overall experience. And the pictures came out amazing!! I love them and I cannot wait to show my husband!
— Miss M

 

BRAVO, Miss "M". Thank you for trusting me with your boudoir experience and for your kind words afterwards!!