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!

Name *
Name

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!

Name *
Name

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!

Name *
Name

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!

The Fiercest of Fierce | Austin Boudoir Studio

More often than not, I feel as though the women who walk through the doors of my studio are my client soulmates. They "get" the purpose of this boudoir shoot. They GET why I do this, and they want to be a part of it.  This woman fit that description. She wanted to feel empowered, she needed to add a kick-ass chapter to her life. She wanted to be fierce and amazing. 

As she sat in the makeup chair and requested super heavy rockstar eye makeup while I worked through her statement lingerie, I was LOVING that she had a strong vision of what she wanted to see herself as. It was obvious to me that she was envisioning wall art that would remind her of how amazing she was, envisioning a coffee table book to show off to everyone who set foot in her house, a set of images that would say "Hey everyone! Come and see how good I look!" *Anchorman Reference*

Mission freaking accomplished.

Thank you Kara for such an amazing, empowering, kick ass experience! You did exactly what I was hoping for. Feeling empowered as a woman is sometimes difficult in this non-stop world. You helped bring back the strong, sexy, empowered woman that I had somehow, sort of, forgotten was there.

We all have a fire inside us. Sometimes life can suppress the flames and it seems like it has gone out. But NOOOO, as long as there is breath in us it is there. Sometimes the fire just needs a little stoking. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! You rock!
— MISS B

*Commence slow clap*

I am so proud of Miss B for bringing her A game (and those AMAZING outfits! HELLLLOOOO!) and trusting me to create some badassness for her. I have no doubt she will look back on these images any time she needs her fire "rekindled" and for the rest of her life!