The Glowing Miss K | Austin Studio Boudoir

WHEWWWW!!! This has been a CRAZY year! 2015 is wrapping up with a total bang. I'm so grateful that every year has been better than the last in this awesome little business. This "busy" season has been the busiest of them all. So when I got an email from this woman needing to get in RIGHT AWAY because her little baby bump was starting to develop, a little panic set in as I looked at my schedule. 

ALAS- we made it happen, and she was stunning. I love her natural, glowing boho look. And holy crap--does anyone else see the resemblance to Elizabeth Shue (circa "Adventures in Babysitting" days)!?! It was uncanny.

Miss "K" said: 

"I was a little hesitant to go through with this experience, but as a newlywed, I really wanted to do this for my husband. Quickly after I said "I DO," we got news that we were expecting so I ended up convincing myself to go through with this NOW. 

I wasn't feeling all that well the week of my shoot but as soon as I got to Kara's studio I felt better!! I was so comfortable and relaxed."

It was such a natural progression going from oversized cozy sweater to nothing but the sheets. So for those who are freaking out about boudoir wardrobe...this is a fantastic example of how to do it simple and still get amazing images! 

The photo reveal was my favorite!!! It is so crazy looking at these pictures and believing that it was me!! I can’t wait to do it again... post baby :)
— Miss K

We're currently planning her maternity beauty session, and I.Can't.WAAIIIIT. 

Meet Elyse | Austin Boss Chicks Portrait Project | Austin Boudoir Studio

Remember back in the day when I used to photograph weddings? It seems like a lifetime ago, buttttt it really wasn't.  Elyse used to be a venue coordinator for a popular local wedding venue and finally decided to take her life into her own hands. I always LOVE when amazing women leave their positions working for someone else to be their own boss. 

This wonder woman has an awesome sense of humor, a really amazing sense of style, and knows how to take care of clients like a boss. I'm super excited for her new venture into bossdom with her event design and furniture rental company. 

Meet Elyse:

Q: Your name: 

A: Elyse Shumsky-Alcorn

Q: What do you do? What’s your business? 

A: I am Owner and Creative Director (marketer, social media expert, furniture mover, cleaning lady, etc.) of Bellwether Design. We are a modern furniture Rental Company and also specialize in Event Design for weddings, corporate parties, and intimate gatherings.

Q: Business website: 

A: Our site should be finished in just a few weeks (warning: make sure to gain endless patience before having a website built)

Q: Business Facebook page: 

A: https://www.facebook.com/BellwetherDesign

Q: Why is being in charge of your own success so important to you?

A: I was tired of someone else having the ultimate authority over my decision-making, business acumen, and career path. Through all the actions and risks that come along with starting a business, I was able to trust myself and feel a newfound sense of freedom. Owning a business allows me to have the lifestyle and flexibility I want.

Q: Have you ever experienced gender discrimination? How has that affected you?

A: I’ve actually had the opposite. I’ve worked for a few female bosses that created obstacles rather than an environment of empowerment. Their actions could have been driven by a fear of being replaced by someone younger, new ideas or simply change. In any case, it ended up becoming an internal competition rather than a collaborative workplace. I now try my best to create an empathetic, cohort-based environment where I learn as much as I teach.

Q: What advice would you give to those women looking to take charge of their own success?

A: Take risks – your choices, your actions, and your sense of self will create the foundation of your success. Do whatever it takes to turn off the inner chatterbox, the little critic that is telling you “no” or “ what if”. Self-development is so important, whether that means contacting a professional, reading self help books or joining “Meetup” groups. Do whatever motivates you to fight through the fear and replace it with confidence. This should help you focus on opportunities not obstacles. If things don’t go as planned (expectations are a bitch!) remember there is always something to learn from any experience.

Q: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 

A: On a beach with my family while someone runs my business. I’d actually love to own my own event venue in the next few years. In my mind I’ve designed it down  to the window furnishings!

 


In case you missed in, in the month of August I will be featuring portraits and stories of local Austin boss chicks!! I've got a whole slew to share with you (so I hope I stay up on my blogging game for the rest of the month because I'm a little backlogged! Eek!)

Thank you Elyse for participating! 

Lola Lola Lola | Austin Boudoir Studio

There are certain people in this world whose energy and enthusiasm precedes them into a room. They are glowing from the inside out. Being around them makes you happy. This is Miss Lola for me. I've shot her several times now, and she was even featured in my new boudoir promo video

We had a "play" shoot this month with no real planning or direction at first. We ended up going for a really natural, laid back but simply beautiful look. And I love these images. 

This image right here. I freaking love it!  Donuts have a special place in my gut...errr...heart and they are something I don't really get to indulge in all that often. This particular Monday morning I was really feeling the need for some freaking donuts....so in addition to my usual shoot spread of veggies and hummus, I incorporated some pastries. And Lola enjoyed them too. 

Thank you miss Lola, as always, for a fun and effortless shoot!

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!

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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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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. 

The anonymous Miss "A" | Austin Boudoir Studio

A friend of a recent client, Miss "A" used her friend's amazing experience (and a peek at her images) as her gentle nudge into booking her boudoir session with me. She had never really heard that boudoir was a "thing", but it intrigued her and she knew it would make a killer anniversary gift for her husband. 

She came to me rather nervous and not knowing if she had what it took to be a sex pot in front of the camera. If you follow my blog at all, you know that I preach that EVERYONE has what it takes. It's up to the photographer to bring it out of them. 

I can’t think of anything that I would change! As my first experience with a boudoir shoot I can say everything was perfect.

The whole experience was so relaxed. From the make-up and hair time to the end of the shoot. Kara and her team are so easy to be around with and they truly make you feel as if you are one of their friends just hanging out at the studio.
— Miss "A"

If you're reading this, you probably DO know that boudoir is a "thing"...but what I hope you know by viewing my work specifically, is that it's meant to be a celebration of YOU. It ABSOLUTELY makes the best gift (like...ever.), but don't forget how much of a boost this gives. 

"It's not about seducing men. It's about embracing womanhood."

Are you ready to celebrate yourself? I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's long overdue. Let's chat, dahhling!

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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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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!!

Giving insecurities the finger | Austin Boudoir Photographer

I preach a LOT about self-esteem and self-love. I KNOW EXACTLY what it feels like to be a woman who has insecurities about their body/face/life choices/education/social class/what I ate for lunch. It is so easy for us to look at other women and see their perfect figure, gorgeous hair, perky boobs, etc and compliment them (even wish, with every ounce of our souls, that we had that too!). But we have a really difficult time paying ourselves the same compliments.  I spend my life making sure that women see all the amazing things about themselves, yet I have the hardest time doing the same for myself. This is especially difficult when, as women, we put down other women FOR their insecurities.  

Being a 120 pound, relatively fit woman myself (who hasn't worn a 2 piece swimsuit, like, EVER), I know in advance that I'm really not "allowed" to verbalize my tummy insecurities, because to other women, I'm "crazy" for feeling that way because I'm so "tiny". 

Women of all shapes and all sizes have their insecurities. It is so important for us, as women, to be understanding of other women's insecurities and not write them off as crazy just because you don't see it. Instead, let's lift each other up and spend so much time complimenting each other, that we elevate the mentality of ALL women to the point where their insecurities fade away. After all, how many times have you complained about your body only for your friends to tell you that YOU'RE crazy?! Stop competing. Start encouraging. 

I got off on a little tangent here, but it's because Miss "T"  did an absolutely eloquent job at pointing out that insecurities do not discriminate. Read on. 

Shy. Insecure with my body. Modest. Anxious. Professional. Mother.

My story is not unlike the story I’ve heard repeatedly by my female clients. Women in general have a difficult time with their bodies, no matter what shape it is. It is a struggle that does not discriminate. Women of all ages deal day to day with the feeling of inadequacy.

I have struggled my entire life with body image issues. I am extremely shy about my body. In fact, there have been only a few years of my life where I can remember having the courage to wear a bathing suit in front of other people…and I was still utterly uncomfortable. It is lonely, constant, painful, and internal. When I’ve ever voiced my fears and discomfort I’ve only been met with the response of “you’re crazy”.
— Miss "T"
Each day of my life I coach and encourage women to believe in themselves, be healthy, and accept and embrace who they are physically. I truly believe and preach that all women’s bodies are beautiful. So why do I not believe this about myself? Why is each day a fight with myself in the mirror…a fight to feel beautiful?

Kara had been encouraging me to do a shoot for years. My anxiety always held me back. I’ve always felt confident in her abilities as a photographer (she has been shooting my family for years). I now know that Kara is much more than that. Kara’s gift is the gift to show a woman her beauty from the eyes of another. Where my eyes see only flaws and imperfection, Kara’s lens reveals reality…a reality I had never seen before.
My shoot was incredible! As nervous as I was leading up to the day (including my 15 minutes in the parking lot telling myself I could do it), all anxiety melted away the minute I saw Kara’s smiling face. I’ve never felt more comfortable with my body. I didn’t once worry about how I looked. I trusted her. I left feeling invigorated!

The moment my images were revealed I was awestruck. I couldn’t believe it! The images were stunning…as was the subject…ME?

A feeling of pride has replaced the pain.

Beautiful. Confident. Sexy. Empowered. Proud. Woman.
— Miss "T"
Makeup by Lindsey Allen, Erie Pennsylvania

THAT is what it is about. 

Do I see Miss T's flaws? No. No I don't. I see an absolutely STUNNING, intelligent, talented, hardworking, birth-giving, perfectly curvaceous, KNOCK-OUT.  Do I think she's CRAZY for having insecurities?! Absolutely not. I get it. 

The number one first comment I get from my clients when they start viewing their images is... "IS THAT REALLY ME!?!". The number two and three comments are always expletives. In a good way. 

There's something about seeing yourself in amazing boudoir photos that really puts into perspective what you *ACTUALLY* look like to others. You're seeing yourself in a completely different way, and it's such a breath of fresh air compared to the nit-picking we generally do to ourselves when looking in a mirror. WHICH is why I get my boudoir photos done so frequently. ;) 

THANK you, Miss "T" for your utterly inspiring words and for pointing out the obvious that isn't always so obvious to us "crazy" ladies. OH, and whatever your butt workout is....I need that in my life, like yesterday. ;)

 

GIVE YOUR INSECURITIES THE FINGER! LET'S SHOOT! START THE CONVERSATION BELOW...

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