Travel Notice | Boudoir Shoots in Europe? YES PLEASE.

Working such a crazy schedule at the Austin boudoir studio is most definitely a choice, but also tends to hinder my ability to travel as much as I'd like to. I've been a lot of cool places, but Italy + Greece are top on my list and I.cannot.believe.I.still.haven't.been.there.  I've been holding out until I had the proper amount of time to dedicate to exploration. But a month of time never seemed to fall into my lap on its own.

Five months ago, after salsa lessons and over a charcuterie board and cocktails at our favorite little Mediterranean restaurant (oh man....we sound so cool...or douchey. We aren't either.), I proposed to my husband.  Except it was probably the only kind of proposal he would actually accept.

"I'm so tired of waiting for things to slow down. I'm tired of being frustrated that we don't have infinite child care options for our travels. And I'm tired of waiting for the kids to be 'old enough' to join us. Let's spend next summer traveling Europe...all of us."

He raised his eyebrow in the way only Joey can, and then followed it up by raising his glass. "Let's do it."   We sealed the deal with a "Cheers" and a clink of our glasses, like we always do for important decisions. 

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It was through the planning that I found out that I actually have fans (is that what I call them? That sounds weird. Followers? Whatever. Let's just call them awesome people who follow along with my work) in Europe! REALLLY!?!?! Yay!  I also have lots of clients who have a dream of a grand destination boudoir shoot. Now that can happen in Greece, Italy, or France.

NOW ACCEPTING A LIMITED NUMBER OF EUROPEAN BOUDOIR BOOKINGS FOR JUNE-AUGUST 2018

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Make no mistake, this trip will be 75% vacation, exploration, and EATING. But I can absolutely never ever ever take more than a few days off without itching to work. Alas, I'll be working from Europe for the summer.  I will continue to write and shoot and post. I always get some of my favorite sets of photos is new places, and my brain cannot even contain itself right now with all the ideas.  I'm throwing my dates out there in the Universe and will take a VERY limited number of boudoir bookings while abroad. Current lineup is as follows:


JUNE  | ATHENS, GREECE  *not accepting bookings*

JUNE  |  SANTORINI, GREECE *not accepting bookings*

JULY | NAPLES, ITALY

JULY | ALMALFI COAST, ITALY

JULY  | ROME, ITALY

JULY  |  TUSCANY, ITALY

JULY  | FLORENCE, ITALY

JULY /AUGUST | MILAN, ITALY

AUGUST | PARIS, FRANCE


I'm looking forward to a summer of exploration (and LOTS of documenting it) in these amazing places. Anyone interested in a Europe booking, including photographers interested in mentorships, send a direct email to hello@KaraMarieBoudoir.com or fill out the form below to chat more!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go learn how to be minimalist because somehow we have to pack for an entire summer with 4 people in only carry-ons. Tips welcomed!

 

CIAO!

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One of the Boys | Austin Boudoir Studio

I can totally relate to the women who come to me saying that they're just "one of the boys" or "a  total tomboy, good luck making me girly."...because...uhm...hello! Not sure how well you know me through all of my ramblings by now, and while a homegirl loves herself some little black dresses and a dappling of makeup, I find myself completely out of my element when surrounded by "girly girls". When in a group situation, you can find me conversing with the guys. When my girlfriends need to have a 2 hour conversation about how their going to dress for an event, I find myself retreating from the conversation and thinking about other things...probably food. (Still love you, girrrllls!)

So when clients think they're throwing me a curve ball by telling me they aren't "girly"...they really aren't making my job any more difficult. Boudoir isn't about transforming you into the girliest of all girls. It's about showing off your personality, playing up what you want to play up, and having a great time. 

Miss C here was "just one of the boys", so we obviously had the best time evah! She opted for some sexy black numbers *be still my heart*, and a nude set which made her love her curves a little bit more without a stitch of clothing. 

"I've always been one of the boys and I still get surprised when someone tells me I'm beautiful. However, after my boudoir shoot, I felt absolutely gorgeous!"

"From beginning to end, Kara was absolutely top notch! Seriously, when it comes to boudoir photographers, Kara is the way to go. From getting scheduled, figuring out what style of shoot I wanted it to be, the studio and photo shoot, and picking out photos for my album, everything was perfect."

"Sure, doing my hair and makeup will make me feel pretty, but this shoot made me feel like a total BOMBSHELL."

"And can we talk about those curves?! They clearly need to be embraced more and I now know they also look good without anything on them ;-)"

"There isn't anything that I would change about this experience! And I'm so glad I went out of my comfort zone for the nude shots. I LOVE them! Oh my goodness, I'm floating on cloud nine." -Miss C

 

WOO! I love enthusiastic messages like this! Miss C's personality SCREAMS through in these images and it was so much fun to document her personality, her "boyish charm", and her killer curves that she now recognizes don't need any clothes at all to look fabulous!

*high five, dude.* 

xx

Sorry, I'm washing my hair that day... | Boudoir Editorial

Just a fun little boudoir editorial that I rolled into my South Congress Hotel "staycation". Loving the visual of this. Straight out of the "Sorry, I'm washing my hair that day" magazine. ;)

Model: Savannah Kinney  IG: @scubasavvy

Location: South Congress Hotel, Monroe Suite (worth.every.penny.)

 

Unruffled | Austin Boudoir Studio

In 2017, I've been setting a weekly mantra for myself. Undoubtedly inspired by quotes (I'm a quote girl, you know it...I know it...and it's never gonna change!), each week I repeat the quote or mantra each day and look for ways the mantra presents itself in my world. 

This week's mantra is to "remain unruffled", inspired by a pretty spectacular quote by Thomas Jefferson that's been giving me life this week amidst lots of things that would normally "ruffle" me. 

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
— Thomas Jefferson

I won't go into a long-winded story here (I know, that's a first!!! More on Instagram)...but this set of images of Miss D seemed so calm, cool, collected, and UNRUFFLED AF. Something about her demeanor in these photos says "Whatevs. I'm just gonna keep doing my thing." and these photos are giving me life this week! ENJOY!

Client wearing La Perla from Teddies for Bettys

Client wearing La Perla from Teddies for Bettys

AHHHH! Yes. Unruffled AF. I adore these images and am so delighted that more and more clients are opting to do an artistic nude set. The resulting images are so classic, timeless, and FREAKING STUNNING. 

 

New Orleans Charm | Destination Boudoir Photographer

My studio is a dream...I absolutely adore it. The light is just perfection, the concrete floors are reflective and swoon worthy, and it's polluted with positive juju...you can feel it when you walk in. 

HOWEVA--- shooting in other places is so creatively refreshing for me. I keep a VERY full studio schedule, so I don't get out much (there has never been a truer statement in any sense of the phrase.), but when I get to travel for a destination boudoir shoot, a little extra magic happens. 

When I first heard from Miss M, it was 4 days before what ended up being our photo shoot date. She lived in a knockout historic apartment in New Orleans but was moving in less than 6 weeks and wanted to know if there was any way I would be able to travel to her for a boudoir shoot before she moved. Typically based on my nutty schedule, this wouldn't have been a possibility with such short notice. HOWEVER-- the boudoir gods(eh hem...goddesses) were looking down on us. I just happened to be scheduled to speak at a boudoir photographer's conference IN New Orleans THAT weekend. Talk about dumb luck!

I rearranged my schedule and changed my flight to arrive a day sooner, and VOILA-- boudoir miracle made.

With zero time to plan, Miss M was ready for her session in a few short days. 

Honestly, I'm inspired shooting ANYWHERE with good light. It could be a giant cardboard box. Butttt when I walked in to her apartment, I wasn't prepared for the gorgeousness that awaited me.

#1- This woman...sitting there...barely a lick of makeup on yet, was just GLOWING from the inside out. She had SUCH an amazing spirit about her, and I KNEW this was going to go spectacularly. Attitude is translated so loudly in every photograph I make, and she had the best one!

#2-HOLY CRAP her apartment. The light was pouring in from the most beautiful floor to ceiling windows that had the best window treatments. The whole place was obviously very expertly designed and furnished...and I knew that working with such an incredibly awesome client PLUS having such an incredibly amazing setting.... look.out.

I could have shot all day (and was quite sad that I couldn't, actually!)

Miss M on her boudoir experience:

"Having the opportunity to embrace my body in a sexy, tasteful and creative way was such an amazing and eye opening experience.

Not only did I push myself to do something I have always thought about and wanted to do but I absolutely love the images.

I wondered what I was going to look like after a shoot like this and I could not be happier with the end result :)"

"I think anytime you do something new or test your yourself in some way, it affects you.

The boudoir experience helped me see myself in a different light and having photos of myself and my body that I am proud of is invigorating.

It shows and reminds me of how my fiancee sees me daily. I wouldn't change a thing about the experience." -Miss M

Miss M dabbles in art (read: She's pretty insanely amazing! There were a couple of her paintings in her home and they were breathtaking!) and mentioned that she is so intrigued by the female form, and, in particular, the curve of the back. I wanted to make sure I created a lot of images that featured her figure, and that long beautiful curve of the spine. 

I was truly inspired by every nook of the apartment. The light coming into the study was magnificent and I knew I wanted to create something unique there.

The living room was masculine and fascinating. There wasn't any natural light in there, which always presents a challenge....for a natural light photographer ;) But it was the kind of living room that just NEEDED to be photographed, especially with Miss M gracing it. So I pushed my camera to it's limits and I'm so freaking glad I did. 

^^^ That one there. THAT ONE is my favorite shot from the entire set. It represents what I aspire to create for each client. The black and white tones, the composition, and her figure framed perfectly within it. THIS. ONTHEFREAKINGWALL. BIG. 

These final images just make my heart explode. They turned out exactly how I envisioned them, maybe even slightly better. I love the artistry, the fine art feel of her figure in the window. It's all just so...AHHH. 

I truly cannot say enough about this experience.  What my blog audience/social media following doesn't always realize is that EACH interaction with EACH and every client is an experience for me, too. Hearing everyone's stories and the reasons they are doing their session....hearing how their session has affected them. It's ALL so personal. It's personal for each client and it's personal for me. 

Ironically, I attribute much of my business' success to my whole "It's not business, it's personal" mantra. Because these aren't just photos. These are experiences. These are people. And I'll bet you can relate to them more than you think. 

Thank you to Miss M for the warm NOLA welcome, for letting your positive energy boom throughout your entire session and photo reveal, and for letting me share your words and images! 

READY TO STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE IN 2017? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

Name *
Name

A shattered woman on the mend | Austin Boudoir Studio

If you've learned only one thing by following along with my work and reading my blog, I hope it's that my message is about SO MUCH MORE than sexy photos. So. Much. More.  There is a very specific reason that I choose to share words direct from my client's mouths along with their photos. Those words tell the story of each woman, and those stories bring us together.

The images aren't anywhere near as important as what the images represent for the women in them.

The story that I share today is the very REAL and raw testimony of a recent client who has been working on putting her shattered world back together after the stillbirth of her daughter. SO many of you, unfortunately, can relate to such a loss. Things like this often cause us to shut down emotionally, focus on the negative, and lose our relationship with ourselves....lose our sense of womanhood.  

It's up to us to attempt to find ways of healing and reconnecting with ourselves and our bodies after such mental trauma. It was an absolute honor to be a part of helping Miss M get a little bit of herself back. 

She shares:

"After the stillbirth of my daughter I was a woman shattered. With her stillbirth came a complete disconnect from my sense of "womanhood.

I was so angry with my body. I wanted to separate from my physical self, to ignore it. I'd lost my strong, sexy, confident self. I was embarrassed. Others couldn't see why I was 25 pounds overweight. I had no child to hold. And yet, honestly I was holding onto the weight because it reminded me of what was. I wasn't ready to let that go.

"I'm working to rebuild my relationship with my physical self one piece at a time. This photoshoot was a big piece. Kara has beautifully captured me as I am today. She's frozen my body in time.  This body, the one that grew my precious baby girl, will forever stand still in those beautiful images. I can begin to let go of what was and move into what will be."

I am finding ways to remind myself that I am a woman. Her death does not change that fact. And these photos are helping me rebuild a broken relationship piece-by-piece, image-by-image.
— Miss M

"For someone who has an innate anxiety around new places and people this could have been bad. Thank you for making me feel comfortable and at ease."

I'm so grateful to Miss M for choosing me to be a part of her journey to reconnect with herself and her womanhood...and infinitely grateful to her for sharing her story with all of us. I know it will be such an inspiration to so many women who have experienced a similar loss. My heart breaks for every single woman who tells me a story similar to this. Yet I am so proud that they are taking this huge step towards loving on themselves with a boudoir experience.  If you think that a boudoir experience may help you cope/recover/mend/breathe/smile again, I encourage you to reach out! 

I'm in a hugging kind of mood, so I'm sending virtual hugs to all of you, and an extra one to you, Miss M! 

Do it for 80-year-old-you | Austin Boudoir Studio

She wanted a set of pretty images to give to her husband-to-be on their wedding day in December. She ended up with the most stunning collection of the most stunning images to present to him...but more importantly...to look back on herself for the rest of time. 

I think *that* is one of the most overlooked outcomes of having a boudoir photo shoot done: The importance of having these KILLER images of YOU to look back on when you're 70, 80, 90 years old. To be able to look back and say "DAMN. THAT IS ME!". Even better, which is what I've been working on myself, is to have photos of yourself at different periods of time over the years.

You can watch yourself age, get wiser, get stronger, and get MORE confident through boudoir photos. 

Miss S brought poise, elegance, confidence, and beauty with her to her shoot last month. I have no doubt that her super gorgeous album is going to get a TON of view time for the rest of time. 

Miss "S" Said:

"First of all I can't thank you enough for this experience. You were amazing throughout the entire process, from emails to the actual shoot, plus your positivity is contagious! "

As all the reviews say, you do make the entire experience so comfortable and easy, everything about the process exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds.
— Miss S

"You truly are an artist and you captured exactly what I had imagined in my wildest dreams. Thank you for being so amazing at what you do, I can't wait to do another shoot with you!"

So I urge you, YES. Do it for your spouse. YES. Do it for yourself. And HELLLLLL YESSSSS do it for 80-year-old you!  If you don't, you'll wish you had. If you do, you'll high five yourself while you're sitting on your porch swing crocheting a scarf, people-watching and flipping through your album (and probably snagging anyone who passes your house to come look at what a badass you are). How's THAT for a mental picture!? ;)

xo

Doodles, Brainstorms, and Travels | Austin Boudoir Studio

As a child, teenager, and grown adult, when I get off the phone with someone, I find my limbs COVERED in pen doodles. I can't write a card to someone without decorating the envelope. When I was in school, I would get scolded for "not paying attention", i.e.: doodling during class.  

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Finally, in my freshman year of college, I had a professor that encouraged people in class to do whatever they needed to help them learn more efficiently. Whether that be listening to music with one earphone in, closing their eyes, or in my case- doodling. Interestingly enough, students didn't abuse this. They respected him for understanding that everyone learns differently. And everyone in the class had high marks.

I'm not an awesome pen-to-paper artist, but it soothes me, helps me concentrate, and generally helps me come up with all of my ideas worth taking action on.  When I have a lot to think about, I doodle. (Also, if you find yourself doing the same, I encourage you to check out the art of Zentangle. You're welcome.)

Lately, I've been putting a ton of thought into the reasons that I am doing what I'm doing. I'm photographing women in the boudoir capacity because I thoroughly enjoy impacting these women, giving them confidence and increased self-esteem, as well as self-discovery. Also I'm good at it. And I love it. And it fulfills me. And it's fun. And not a day goes by that I question what I'm doing with my life.  I know what my mission is and I know that I'm ON IT. 

I'm working for myself because of the flexibility to be me. The flexibility to be with my children when I want to be. The flexibility to take a freaking month off if I want to. The flexibility to travel whenever.  But wait........I've been falling flat.  It's funny how it's SO natural to fall into routines, isn't it? I have a very set studio schedule. And while every day is completely different because I'm working with a complete stranger of-a-woman-turned friend, my schedule is pretty regular.

For the last several years I've been making an effort to travel more. But the effort hasn't been the kind of effort that I typically put forth when I want to do something. Because it's a challenge. It's not easy to plan trips around school schedules and soccer seasons. It's not easy to secure childcare (if necessary) on a whim. It's not easy to take a chunk of savings and spend it on a trip. BUT I NEED TO DO IT.  

In 2015, I've traveled quite a bit. It's been awesome. I do tend to find myself going to all of the same places, though. And there are SO many places on my list to visit. And yolo. I get requests so often for destination boudoir shoots. Women in all different cities wanting me to come to them. Sometimes I'm able to pull this off, and sometimes it's just too complicated. 

When I have shot in other cities, it has been an absolute BLAST, a raging success, and a learning experience. 

So for 2016, I shall travel more. The ultimate goal is 2 different countries and 3 U.S. cities that are new to me. 

I shall succeed in this venture. 

THAT SAID, if you live....well...WHEREVER...and want me to come to YOU to photograph you and other women in your city, hit me up! I'd love to add some cool places to the list. Help me brainstorm and plan. xoxoxo

WHERE SHOULD I GO IN 2016 FOR DESTINATION BOUDOIR SHOOTS!?! HIT ME UP IN THE COMMENTS! Tell me WHERE I should go, and WHY. And tell me all about the food scene there...because I tend to base my travels around food. ;)