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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From Cute to Sexy | Austin Boudoir Studio

Ahhh yes. I've heard it a hundred times before...the ol' "I've always felt CUTE...but never sexy."

What most people don't realize is that "sexy" doesn't have much to do with appearance. It's about the way you carry yourself. It's about confidence. It's that feeling you get when you know you're amazing.

And with me directing your poses, facial expressions, and encouraging you the entire time, you are guaranteed to feel SEXY through the whole process. Especially seeing your photos. 

It was an absolute pleasure to blow Miss K away and show her just how sexy she is!

"I have always considered myself 'cute', but I never would have described myself as sexy."

It felt so great to actually feel sexy!
— Miss K

"The whole experience from arrival, to hair and makeup to the actual shoot, it was a great day. Having my sister with me was the icing on the cake!"

" I felt very confident after the photo shoot. It was so much fun and definitely an experience I could do again."

To me, sexy is the confident energy a person produces. Sexy is the comfortable feeling of being who you are. Sexy is not just having beautiful lips, legs, and arms. It is beyond that. Sexy is soul.
— Karina Smirnoff

I'm so grateful for clients like Miss K that can come into the studio, trust me to do what I do best, and who finally get to see the SEXY in there. Because the more you experience, the more you can carry that SEXY with you every.single.day. 

ARE YOU READY TO SEE MORE THAN 'CUTE' WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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Name

A Photographic Love Story | Austin Maternity Boudoir

Hands down the best part of being a photographer is the relationships that I develop with my clients....and the one thing that I truly miss about shooting weddings is being a small part of a couple's journey over the years. Many times, I would photograph a couple's engagement photos, followed by their wedding photos, followed by their maternity photos, followed by their family photos. Sometimes in a completely different order too. The biggest compliment I can receive is being chosen again and again. 

Now, I know that I'm no longer shooting weddings, families, and children. But guess what I still shoot? Maternity beauty and boudoir. AND I WAS SOOOOOO OVER-THE-MOON GIDDY when Laura contacted me and asked me to shoot her maternity boudoir photos

 

 

THE PROPOSAL

Years ago, Jackie contacted me via e-mail and let me know she was coming into town from Houston with her girlfriend Laura, and wanted me to play paparazzi and capture her surprise proposa

I arrived to Castle Park and played tourist. At one point Laura pointed me out and I thought for sure I was busted, but later found out she was just telling Jackie how much she wanted a camera like mine. Phew! Needless to say, the proposal was outstanding, I had a BLAST photographing them, and it was truly special to be involved in this part of their relationship. 

This shoot was even featured on a popular inspiration blog for "Lesbians, Queers, and Everyone Else" called "On a Bicycle Built for Two.". Go check out the post HERE.

In 2013, I photographed Jackie's proposal to Laura at Castle Park.

In 2013, I photographed Jackie's proposal to Laura at Castle Park.

THE WEDDING

Eventually I got the call about the wedding! Jackie and Laura wanted me to capture their Austin wedding at VUKA. It was seriously amazing. I loved it to bits. Umm...HELLO....they served HOMESLICE PIZZA at their reception. Seriously badass. They are a stunning couple with killer personalities, and the camera...well.....MY CAMERA (back off other camera people, they're MINE) loves them!

In 2014, I photographed Jackie + Laura's Wedding at VUKA

In 2014, I photographed Jackie + Laura's Wedding at VUKA

 

THE BABBBYYYYY

And then...AND THEN I got *THE* email. "HEY KARA! SO to add to our little love story that you've captured every step of...We're PREGNANT!!"

WEEEEEEEEE!!!

Pregnancy beauty + boudoir is seriously just so stunning.  I wish it's something I would have done when pregnant with my boys. It's so easy to feel "BLAH" when you're pregnant...but these beauty sessions really help you to remember the miraculous parts of it all. Our bodies are just incredible to be able to grow little humans.  Eventually I got the email that Jackie would be joining us for a few shots which was even better!  Check out a small handful of a really stunning collection of maternity boudoir:

 

SERIOUSLY. Can we just talk for a second about what a freaking GODDESS Laura is!?!?! She is as a woman, alone....but as a pregnant woman!? Holy fox!  She makes pregnancy look DAMN GOOD! 

During a maternity shoot, I'm always sure to photograph my client sans belly...just a gorgeous beauty portrait. Because they don't *ALWAYS* want to think of themselves pregnant. Women aren't JUST a vessel for a baby! So while I take care to photograph the MOM in them, I always am sure to take care of the WOMAN in them, too. Which is what this photo below is meant to portray. RRAWRRR!!

It's genuinely one of the biggest honors to be a part of people's story like this. I hope to someday shoot Jackie + Laura's mommy + me beauty session after they have their little girl!  They are such beautiful people, inside and out, and I'm blessed to have crossed paths with them a few years ago. 

Thank you Jackie, Laura, + Baby R for coming back to see me and my lens once again!! <3

 

Just do it already! | Austin Boudoir Studio

If you have been a long time follower slash boudoir yearner but haven't taken the plunge yet, you are not alone. 
 

SO many of my clients don't actually become my clients until they've followed me and my work for a few years, and then they read a particular blog or see a particular image that speaks to them and they finally have the nerve to send an email.

After that, it's all easy as pie. Mmmm. Pie. There's a pumpkin one in my fridge riiiiight now. Waiting for me. Calling me. I imagine the pie has a very seductive voice. "Karraaaaaaa! EAT ME! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO." Whoah. Sorry. Note to self: No hungry blogging. 

But really, I do make everything SO completely easy for my clients. From prepping/shopping for your session to making your final selections, I really do direct you on every little thing. So sending that email is the hardest part. Promise. 

Miss H, here, was one of those "long time followers" who finally bit the bullet! I'm so glad she did! We had SUCH a fun time at her shoot, and even more at her photo reveal when she brought her girlfriend in for a surprise date. I MIIIIGHT have pretended that I was an ordained minister and that I was about to marry them on the spot before finally revealing that they were there to see Miss H's boudoir photos. Might have. 

Makeup by Kendall of Mayhem Beauty

Makeup by Kendall of Mayhem Beauty

"I have always wanted to do one and missed out last year!  I made it a priority this year, does Christmas shopping get any easier?"

"Seeing the photos?  We set it up as a surprise date for my girlfriend - Kara of course was awesome as always - probably one of our best dates EVER!  Can you beat hot pictures and Lana on vinyl?  I don't think so!" -Miss H

Do it! You don’t have to have someone to do it for, except YOURSELF! Do it for you!
— Miss H

"Kara will walk you through it all, step by step.  You just show up, ready to be beautiful! #NoExcuses #BeYouTiful #YoureWelcome"

It's true. Step.by.step. 

Thank you so much to Miss H for rocking out her session and for being one of my favorite new Snapchat buddies. And thank you to Miss H's girlfriend for not passing out when I tricked her about what we were about to do. ;) 

LONG TIME FOLLOWER WAITING TO TAKE THE PLUNGE? THIS IS ME (AND MISS H) TELLING YOU, IT'S TIME! LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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Name

She didn't think she could love a photo of herself | Austin Boudoir Studio

I can't even tell you how many women approach me with the ol' "I am NOT photogenic" line. Which basically means they always hate photos of themselves. I always say "That's because you've never had your photo taken by me before!".  It may seem like a bold (and super cocky) statement to make, but what I mean is, you wouldn't believe the power of a good pose, great light, and a professional eye.  NOT TO MENTION the evil evil powers of a bad pose, horrible lighting, and an amateur eye. 

I've spent many years learning exactly how to pose women, how to light women, how to make women feel comfortable, and how to let a woman's inner light shine though in a photo. I'm happy to say that I'm STILL learning and always will be. 

THIS little gem of a woman. My goodness.  She completed her pre-shoot homework, which led me to believe that she wanted to keep this SUPER conservative and really just wanted a pretty picture or two of herself. 

She said her favorite feature was her hair, that she never likes photos of herself, and on our sexy scale 1-10, she wanted her photos to be at a level 3. A LEVEL THREE SEXY. I don't even know how to do that. Hahah. I teased her just a bit about that and we rocked the hell out of our photo session.

Meet Miss C. 

Makeup by Kendall Koehler of  Mayhem Beauty

Makeup by Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty

Here is what she had to say about her Kara Marie Boudoir experience

"I couldn't have asked for a better experience. From the moment I walked in the door I felt so comfortable. I've had a lot of big changes in my life and I felt like I was losing myself but after this experience I have never felt so empowered and good about myself. I still giggle when I think back to my shoot."

I never thought I would actually like pictures of myself but I am in LOVE with my photos!
— Miss C

Thank you, beautiful, for letting me prove to you  that you ARE, in fact, photogenic......and sexy. Like level 11 sexy. I'm overjoyed that I was able to provide her with a full collection of images she loved of herself...not just one as she'd hoped for. 

Let this be encouragement for other women who maybe don't ever like photos of themselves. For the women who deem themselves "not photogenic". For the women who don't think they can be more than a level 3 sexy. 

 

LET ME PROVE TO YOU THAT YOU *ARE* PHOTOGENIC. LET'S CHAT!

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Name

The bombshell in hiding | Austin Boudoir Studio

I hear it all the time...some variation of: "Is that ME!? Hot damn! I didn't know THAT girl was hiding in THIS girl all along!"  

My personal boudoir philosophy involves rocking your beauty right NOW. Yep, we do hair and makeup and even "zzshush" photos a tiny bit, but I pride myself on bringing out the inner bombshell without completely changing someone's authentic appearance. After all, where would be the pride in that if you LOVED the photos but they weren't truly of yourself...rather a model caked with makeup and photoshopped to death? At my studio, you'll STILL look like you. On your best day ;) 

This woman, here, may have been a wee bit nervous for her session. She may or may not have had a cocktail fit for an old Irish man in her coffee cup. But she DEFINITELY rocked it, showed her confident self, trusted me, and got some absolutely FABULOUS images to be forever proud of.

"I originally booked this session as a gift to my husband for our one year wedding anniversary, as it turned out, and I've learned it often does… this was such a gift to ME! I loved my experience all the way from booking my session to hair and make up to the shoot to the reveal…"

Every single moment was empowering and authentic. Every moment was ME, I just didn’t know THAT me was in there!
— Miss C

She was gorgeous and funny as hell. I love a girl with a solid sense of humor and a great smile. Thank you, Miss "C" for sharing your story and your photos! 

Just DO it | Miss J | Austin Boudoir Studio

When my clients reach out to me for the first time, it's generally with SO much enthusiasm. More often than not, they say that they've been wanting to book a shoot with me for a very long time and then finally put on their big girl panties and emailed...and they are "so so soo sooooooo excited!". That makes me happy. 

I want women to come into this experience with more excitement than nervousness. A little bit of nervous is to be expected, I get it. Taking your clothes off in front of anybody is probably uncomfortable enough, but to do it in front of...a...CAMERA!?  Again...I REALLY, REALLY get it! 

For the women who are out there THINKING about a boudoir shoot but too afraid to pull the trigger because they "want to lose 10 more pounds" or whatever the reason may be...I want you to know that there is truly no time like the present. Remove "someday" from your vocabulary. You will NOT regret doing a shoot, but you WILL regret NOT doing a shoot. 

Miss "J" here was talking about booking me for quite a long while. She's a photographer who followed me avidly on Instagram and was a frequent "liker", and used words like "someday". When she finally sent THE email, I was elated for her. That's a big first step, but once you take it, your nerves will be calmed and I will baby step you through EVERYTHING.  You will do great. Just like Miss "J" did. ;)

"Kara and her team welcomed me with open arms. I felt so relaxed, except for some of the poses she had me in! Ha! ;) But really, I recommend all women do this! Just shut up and DO IT. We all need some "me" time now and then."

I wasn’t in the best shape physically that I would’ve liked to have been, but then after seeing my photos... HELL TO THE YEAH!! :) I looked awesome (hair flip). Yay! I cannot wait to show the hubster!!
— Miss J

"Kara, thank you so much for doing what you do and making me feel so comfortable. Kendall, her make-up artist, was also great and felt like an old friend!"

"You are all so talented and lucky to be able to do this, make women feel beautiful! The whole process was easy breezy. I will definitely book with Kara again! (Fist pump) :) "

Thank you so much to Miss "J" for getting out of her zone a bit for me. TOTALLY.WORTH.IT. 

REMOVE "SOMEDAY" FROM YOUR VOCABULARY. LET'S GET THE CONVERSATION STARTED. YOU WON'T REGRET DOING A SHOOT. YOU'LL REGRET NOT DOING IT. PINKY SWEAR.

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Winner Winner, (insert food of choice) dinner | Austin Boudoir studio

Following me on Instagram has it's perks, y'all!  A while back, I did a mega huge giveaway with a slew of prizes from local Austin businesses. That giveaway included a boudoir experience with me.....the WORKS, actually! Miss "M" here was given over $2,500 worth of goods and services and her shoot couldn't have gone more spectacular! 

She was a ball of positivity and enthusiasm and it was an absolute honor to get to photograph her!

austinboudoirstudio_missm-3.jpg
I had the most amazing experience with Kara...she made me feel so beautiful, so sexy, and so confident, things that I have struggled with. It was so much FUN!

I felt so honored to have gotten to experience this and see how special it is and think all woman should do it to celebrate their bodies.

Kara made the experience unforgettable, she was so accepting, non judgmental, open and encouraging. I couldn’t believe that she gifted this experience to me! And with that which just goes to show how genuine she is, she didn’t treat me any different than a paying client.

It is an experience I will never forget (and always remember with my sexy photos!) and hope to do soon and often!

THANK YOU KARA! Thank you for your generosity and thank you for making me feel so special and so confident in my own beautiful body! You have a true talent and gift and I am so happy you are using it to touch and impact people’s lives.
— Miss "M"

Isn't she just amazing? I'm so super in love with these photos and this lovely lady. 

Thank YOU, Miss "M"!

PSSSSSTTTT: And if you're not following me on Instagram, go do it now! You never know when there's going to be another giveaway....but more importantly, I'm way cooler on Instagram than I am on any other social media platform (and in real life). ;)

Hair and makeup by Kendall of Mayhem Beauty.

ARE YOU A WOMAN? IN AUSTIN? HAVE WE SHOT YET? WHY NOT? LET'S CHAT.

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Name

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! 

Daily Dose of Female Empowerment | Austin Boudoir Studio

It's no secret that I'm a "quote girl". This one made me do a slow clap. Pair it with this absolutely badass image of a badass woman and I think I've just made harmonious image/quote magic.

Spoil me with loyalty. I can finance myself.

 

You don't have to be your own boss, necessarily. Well, you sort of do...just not in the literal sense. What I'm saying is....DON'T RELY ON ANYONE ELSE to get what you want. GO GET IT.