Liana in Milan | Destination Editorial Boudoir

SHOOTING IN MILAN WITH A LATVIAN BOMBSHELL.

Ohhhh it sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it!? I’m not going to pretend like it wasn’t.

While in Milan, I was booked for a shoot with a fantastic photographer, Liana from Latvia, who had followed my work for years and had to take advantage of me being way closer to her than a Latvia > United States trip would be. She booked a little getaway to Milan for herself and her husband, and we had an absolutely incredible shoot.

Listening to Liana tell me why she selected me to photograph her, gave me a reaffirming grasp for what my work says about the women featured in it. She told me that she didn’t want some distorted view of herself, or an overly glamorous one. She loved my black and white work, and that the women weren’t overly retouched. She loved the editorial/fashion style of my work and was so enthusiastic about the entire process. So we rocked out ALL those different facets and created magic together.

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We laughed a TON, flowed like crazy, took what felt like 3 million images, ran way over on time, and shot until the sun would no longer let us. Then we hit the hotel bar for a little libation and a chat between now-friends as I was in NO hurry whatsoever to navigate my navigationally-challenged self back to my house .

"I knew it would be an amazing experience, but it actually far exceeded that. The easiness of feeling completely free in your bare skin- it is life changing! And then, when the images do come in and you get to see all your badassness - well, not many things in life can make you feel like that."

"The good old term “self love” has gotten materialized. Subtle and not so subtle changes in all levels of self awareness, which was not the goal, however turned out to be a major bonus. The best money ever spent (way above shoes and bags and other feminine treats 😁)!"

"It all came together in a best possible way." -Liana

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I ADORE my studio, I do. I love it love it love it. I know every nook and cranny, I can photograph a woman there in 3 zillion ways, and because I know all of those ways so well, I can do it in record time. But there’s something to be said about a shoot in a new place. New inspiration, new light, new shapes, new lines, new shadows. It’s all the reason why I will ALWAYS opt to schedule “work” any place I travel to, because I ALWAYS adore the outcome so much.

Thank you so very much, Liana, for choosing me, for traveling for me, for trusting me, for laughing with me and not at me when I made a fool of myself (how many times did I fall???), and for allowing me to share your images and your experience with the world.

Until next time!

HIGH ON LIFE | CLIENT FEATURE: MISS D | AUSTIN BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

H I G H  .   O N  .   L I F E . 

That's about the best way I could  describe the feeling after your boudoir experience at Kara Marie Boudoir. These women are high. on. life and THAT is what it's all about.  Can you remember the last time that you were?  I make it a point, now, to create as many experiences as possible in my own personal world that allow me feel those feels. But I certainly remember a time, not very long ago, and not very long before that...and before that....and before THAT (it's quite cyclical, isn't it?!)...in which I was struggling to find joy, struggling to love myself, and just struggling in general. 

Being a mom, or being a career woman, or being BOTH, or being NEITHER......just being a HUMAN is difficult. Treating YOURSELF properly is not something that comes naturally to most women. The women that come in to my studio are trying to remember who they are independently of their jobs, their marital status, their motherhood status. They are taking a really big and important step in reconnecting with themselves and learning to love all the things.  

This young woman was an absolutely incredible addition to the KMB family. She had survived a crazy car accident that broke her back. She glowed through her session, she glowed through her photo reveal, and every now and then I get a sweet e-mail from her just to let me know that she's STILL glowing about her experience. 

         THAT IS WHAT THE KARA MARIE BOUDOIR  EXPERIENCE                I S  .    A L L  .    A B O U T  . 

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"After following Kara on Instagram for a while, I really started to think that a boudoir experience could be positive for any female. After experiencing my boudoir session with Kara I was able to see what really set her apart from other photographers offering this service.

From the initial contact to the shoot itself, to the reveal, to walking me through ordering, she was not only professional and clearly talented but legitimately excited for me to experience the empowerment that comes from a boudoir session. Kara herself comes off as the kind of girl everybody wants as a best friend. I’m already dreaming about the next time I can work with her!

Not only has this changed the way that I see myself, but also how I look at other women. I wish everyone could feel as fabulous in their own skin in their everyday life as Kara made me feel."

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Even four months later I am still in awe of the whole experience! And every time I see a picture of ME on YOUR Instagram it’s the coolest thing ever! It really is the gift that keeps on giving :) I can’t put into words what you have done for my confidence and self love.
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I am so proud of her for recognizing, how important it is to invest in yourself...especially considering she is at such a "young" age for self-realization. Every moment of creating this experience for her was inspiring and refreshing and I truly hope to have her back in again. 

And with that I leave you with the KMB mantra:

D O .  I T .  F O R .  Y O U R .  D A M N .  S E L F .

Snowstorm Can't Stop Her | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm stepping back into the blogging game finally (I know, it's been a minute), and lucky for me (and you), I've got QUITE the stockpile of incredible women with incredible stories and images. So let's get this show back on the road!

Miss Y. This girl was so much damn fun to work with.  

A photographer herself, Miss Y understood the value of a boudoir experience and she braved a snowstorm to fly to me from across the country, and we shot on a day that Austin was SHUT THE EFF DOWN because of a little bit of ice and cold. (We're wimps. I'll be the first to admit it as a girl who was born and raised in the #1 snowiest city in the country many years). 

We both brought our A games and came up with a collection of photos that was so representative of her and her badassery, while glamming it up a little with some leather and boots, letting her show off some story-telling scars of hers, and just overall killing.it.

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"Having a boudoir experience with Kara Marie was my dream. I had been following her for over 2 years before the stars aligned. I wanted to do this to celebrate myself. "

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"I traveled all of the way from North Carolina to Austin during a snow storm. It was worth it. She is absolutely on point in everything that she does. Seriously does this woman sleep? I am obsessed with my images. I am ready to do it again." 

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"I have always been a loud person. It is within that loud personality that I hid my insecurities. That is until now. I feel liberated. Words could never begin to explain how looking at an image of yourself and falling in love with that image of yourself changes the core of you. I thought I had confidence before, NOPE. Now am this new woman who exudes confidence in all facets of her life."

"This shoot changed me. I am happy with myself. I am content with my scars. I feel powerful."

And THAT is what it's all about! Hearing from my clients that this experience helped to improve their self-image is  job satisfaction to the nth degree. Thank you thank you Miss Y for your candidness, for your badassery, and for flying all the way to Austin from North Carolina in a snow storm ;) 

Cool Cate | Destination Boudoir

One of the perks of being in the photography industry is frequent conferences, retreats, and workshops that allow me to see my favorite photographer friends from all over the world far more frequently than I would any other out-of-town friends.  Cate, here,  is one of those friends. We are incredibly similar, only she's way more "likable" than me (she disagrees...but that only further illustrates my point). 

Photographing other photographers is one of those things I used to shy away from...or if I did it, I was always incredibly nervous.  NOW, I adore it and almost seek it out. It's so fun to give photographers, especially boudoir photographers, the experience that they themselves give everyone else on a regular basis. 

I knew EXACTLY how I wanted to photograph Cate. I wanted it to be simple, natural, "undone", and, of course, black and white.  All she wanted was to be made to look "cool", because apparently that's my boudoir style. It wasn't until she pointed it out to me that I recognized....that's EXACTLY what I try to do with all of my clients. I just try to make them look COOL AF (cool to me is confident, badass, strong, and like someone you'd want to be around.).  I'm so happy to hear that Cate felt I delivered. 

"One day out of the clear blue, my darling friend Kara sent me a beautiful note that simply said 'you are stunning and likable and I just wanted to tell you that.' I received it on a particular day when I couldn’t feel less stunning or less likable. I cried actually, and thanked her.

Later, when she told me she’d be available to photograph me during our trip to Miami, I jumped at the chance. Kara is one of the small few I knew could capture me in a way I could not only be proud of — but that could change that fear inside me and make me see myself the way others do. I was 1000% confident Kara had that magic and I was not wrong. "

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"Kara gave me ideas of how she envisioned shooting me and it was if she read my mind. Her sense of style is innate and when I joked 'Make me look cool!' I knew she’d deliver".

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"I was amazed at Kara’s swift and flawless posing instruction. Even as a photographer myself, it was impressive how fluid and easy she made it for me as a subject. My resulting images fully reflect grace and effortless beauty in a way I want to envision myself as a woman."

"As a fellow photographer, I have the opportunity to be photographed more frequently than the average woman. My friends, like Kara are some of the best boudoir photographers in our industry, and I’m very particular about who I feel can photograph me the way I want to see myself. It’s not because I’m a model or a hot young thang — it’s the complete opposite of that. "

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"The fact is, as a photographer I’m often ashamed to say I hate being in front of the camera. I don’t like the attention on me, the focus, my own lack of awareness of what I might look like ....and so much more. 

This was not my first boudoir shoot, but it was a completely eye opening, confidence boosting experience."

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"I’m a 43 year old mom of 3 kids, (about to turn 44 soon) a wife, and a business owner. With each passing year comes an ambivalent feeling of being both proud of my years ... but also fearful. It feels vain and shallow to admit, but I do fear my youth and my beauty slipping away. That’s a very hard thing. I embrace my inner beauty always, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not terrified to lose my youth. It’s just one of those things so many of us struggle with as women."

I see boudoir photography as one of the ways we can celebrate and get an objective view of these fears and squash them whole.
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Check out Cate's reaction to her teaser photo that I texted here while sitting next to her and not-so-secretly recording. 

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"These images are SO me. She knew my style, my nature, and my assets. I saw these images and couldn’t believe I might *Actually* look this way? It is eye opening.

I’m not doctored, or morphed, or over styled, or 'too extra.' It’s just ME. A beautiful version of me I’m typically too busy/too fearful/too blind /too unwilling to see. But she saw it, and I’m eternally grateful.

I do a shoot each year for my birthday and share them. I’m proud that this is what I can show 44 looks like on ME. Love you, Kara."

Birds of a feather flock together ;)   My all time favorite photo of Cate + I that speaks volumes. I thought this should most definitely accompany her boudoir photos. 

Birds of a feather flock together ;)   My all time favorite photo of Cate + I that speaks volumes. I thought this should most definitely accompany her boudoir photos. 

Shooting with this knockout the way that I wanted her to see herself, and then being able to witness her reaction to her first preview in person was SO amazingly fun and fulfilling. I adore this woman and am absolutely delighted that I had the opportunity to show her almost-44-year-old-ass that she IS in fact COOL, sexy, gorgeous, beautiful, and badass. 

Thank you, Cate for your sweetheart testimony and for allowing me to share your stunning images with the KMB followers. You. Rock.

 

First Time's a Charm | Austin Boudoir Studio

The email correspondence leading up to Miss A's boudoir experience told me that we were going to have a fabulous damn time. She was so excited, and attitude is EVERYTHING when it comes to making the absolute most of your shoot. She told me that she's never done anything like this before, she'd never even had her makeup professionally done, and that she was awkward in pictures.  EVERYONE tells me that. As you can see by the myriad of blog posts and client photos, not a single one of them look awkward. That's part of the magic of the KMB experience. ;)

This woman was so awesome, we had an absolute blast, and I'm obsessed with her final images. They show off her personality so well.  Hearing from my clients after-the-fact fulfills me to the utmost. I adore hearing that their experience was everything I strive for it to be. I'm going to shhh up now and let Miss A take the spotlight with her words and images.

"As someone who regularly feels like I ruin group pics, signing up for a Kara Marie Boudoir session was something I admired from afar. I regularly followed on Instagram from the sidelines from the beginning and dreamed of the day I would gain courage to sign up. After some shenanigans happened in my life and I was feeling kinda down overall - I decided to gift myself a session for my 26th birthday almost a year in advance."

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"Everything about my experience was better than I expected and more than I ever could have dreamed. From the prep information, to the outfit selection advice, the day of planning, the shoot and the reveal - I literally never wanted the experience to end. You made me feel SO comfortable in my own skin and the moment I walked in to the studio I was ready to bare all and do artistic nudes!"

"I never enjoyed taking pictures or posing in the past, but every position you put me in I loved. The shoot felt fun, quirky, silly, crazy, AND WAY TOO SHORT. I wanted it to last for hours and the way you make us feel in front of your camera is INSANE."

"Not only was this my first photo shoot, it was also my first time wearing a bodysuit and my first time getting my hair and makeup done. Everything about it was magical and I felt so comfortable the entire time."

"I told my friends after the shoot that even if I never saw a single image, it was hands down the best thing we can do for our body image as women."

"Now on to the reveal - not only was this experience amazing, it was almost surreal. Watching my photos slide by on the slide show and knowing that each and every single one was actually me, with hardly any retouching is insane. It just makes you feel incredible. You helped me through the decision making process the entire way, and next time I will walk out with insane wall art and the fantasy package because I loved EVERY SINGLE PHOTO."

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Miss A's happy face during her photo reveal appointment

Miss A's happy face during her photo reveal appointment

"I am now a Kara Marie Boudoir addict and will 100% be back. I have already been sharing with all my friends and telling them it is the best thing I have ever done for myself. Honestly, without a doubt, you made this experience incredible and one I will never ever forget. I can't thank you enough."

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"Post shoot, I felt on top of the world and like I was the most amazing beautiful woman ever. I mentioned before, that I didn't even need to see a single photo to feel how incredible this was for my mood and my moral and body image."

"Obviously once I had my reveal I realized that I need to buy everything next time and do the full works package! It was amazingggg. Before I went I thought I would buy maybe a few lose images in a box, and came out with 64 and a massive 8x12 luxury album. Would 100% do again."

My heart is bursting. What a sweetheart (eh hem...and a BABE!). She was lovely inside and out and it was an absolute honor to work with her to capture her femininity, her personality, and her badassness. Thank you, Miss A, for joining the KMB club. I adore you. 

 

Photos Copyright Kara Marie Boudoir

Hair and Makeup: Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty

Boudoir Makeup | Kara Marie Boudoir Studio

Every Kara Marie Boudoir experience includes professional makeup application with lashes...and for good reason. Nothing puts a damper on perfectly posed/lit/composed boudoir images like a bad makeup job. 

Does that mean when you do your own makeup, you're doing a bad job!? Nah. Well...maybe...but let's assume not, just for the sake of keeping it warm and fuzzy today. ;)

So why do we require professional makeup application for your boudoir shoot? 

Simply put, because I want the best possible outcome of your boudoir experience.  Every day makeup often doesn't translate on camera the way it looks in person.  Photo shoot makeup is slightly heavier, with a touch more contouring and highlighting to make your skin look amazing at every angle.  On top of THAT, my makeup artists (Kendall of Mayhem Beauty, and alllll the girls at Lola Beauty) know my natural light shoot style and how I prefer boudoir makeup to be and they.ROCK.IT.OUTTTT.   A professional makeup artist will take lighting, styling, your comfort level, and your face/feature shape into consideration when planning the perfect makeup look for you. 

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How should you prepare to have your makeup done for your boudoir experience?

1. Consider your wardrobe/boudoir aesthetic. 

If the boudoir style you're most drawn to is natural nudes, rolling around in the sheets, cozied up with a sweater.....it would probably be a makeup mismatch to go vampy or super glam.  On the flip side if you are bringing a lot of leather and fishnet, a blacked out smoky eye would be killer.

LIGHT + NATURAL MAKEUP

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"IN THE MIDDLE" MAKEUP

If you're bringing a variety of boudoir wardrobe styles, we generally go with what we call "middle of the road" boudoir makeup. I know, I need to think of a sexier phrase for that. The middle ground is beautifully + lightly contoured and highlighted face with eye makeup that make your eyes really pop and stand out as the main attraction, with a lightly colored gloss. 

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HEAVY + SMOKY MAKEUP

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2. Find photo examples.

Because this experience is so customized to each client's personal style and personality, we make sure to educate and communicate along the way to ensure we're all on the same page.  If a client comes in and says "I usually wear a lot of makeup"...that can be translated in about 20 different ways depending on who you ask.  See, technically *I* wear a lot of makeup....but I am almost always in the no-makeup-makeup look. So what looks minimal could be considered "heavy" to some. And what looks really heavy to some, may be way less than you're used to. 

For all these reasons, photo examples are key! Each KMB client is asked to create a boudoir mood board so we can get a very quick visual on exactly the style each client is drawn to. I encourage my clients to visit my Boudoir Makeup board and pin a couple of makeup looks that speak to their style and desired heaviness. Then, when reviewing their board, I make sure that their makeup look compliments the wardrobe style they select. 

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3. Prep yo face. 

Not only do we ask clients to come in with a clean, makeup-free, moisturized face on the day of their boudoir experience, but we actually lay the foundation for amazing skin in the months/weeks leading up to the session. I encourage clients to drink TONS of water to ensure their face and skin on their entire body is hydrated.  We also have an amazing partnership with the Piazza Center for Advanced Skincare who offers my clients a complimentary face treatment a week before your session (you'll get details on this when you book your session!). 

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So what's my favorite makeup look of the moment? 

I never want the timelessness of your boudoir photos to be compromised by any sort of fad makeup. For this reason, we don't go crazy on shaping/ombre brows, bold jewel tones on the eyes, or heavy contouring.  I keep the editing/processing of my images very classic and not overdone for the same reason. I don't want you to look at your photos from 2017 in 2050 and say "Wow. What was I thinking?!".  Keeping neutral colors and classic style makeup for your boudoir session will ensure you never think back to how dated your images are. 

All that said, my absolute FAVORITE boudoir makeup of the moment (but it's, like, a REALLY long moment, y'all.) is the no-makeup makeup look. Don't get me wrong, it takes Kendall or any of the other girls just as long to complete this look. It's still a full face of makeup. There's loads of steps that go into perfecting the skin from covering blemishes and under eye circles to subtle highlights in all the right places, and still applying a natural false lash to most clients, as lashes tend to get lost in photos. It looks amazing on EVERYONE and adds a REAL element to the finished product.  All of my personal favorite photos of me are the ones that I look like I wasn't trying too hard (or at all, really. Yet I totally was.).  The no-makeup-makeup look really translates well on just about everyone. 

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Another favorite is a bold lip with simple eyes, which works well for those who are used to wearing lipstick (for those that aren't, this probably isn't the best time to try it out) and whose boudoir style/wardrobe warrants it. 

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What about blemishes?

I don't believe, even for one second, that your blemishes define you as a person. For that reason, I do retouch out mild acne, acne scars, redness, and bruising. Telling you that probably won't stop the barrage of pre-shoot text messages from clients "Of COURSE I have a monster zit the day before my shoot!"...but it should give you some peace of mind ;) I got you, boo. No pimples will make it to your photo reveal appointment. 

So, what if I don't like my makeup?

Regardless of how talented our makeup artists are, or how much we communicate about makeup prior to your session, you very well may look in the mirror and see something so different than what you're used to.....and you may not like it!  We have a VERY, VERY, VERRRRY open communication policy about this!! Though it's never ever happened, I would absolutely prefer to start a face over than to have you not like your finished product because of your makeup. But generally if a client isn't instantly over-the-moon with her makeup, only a tiny tweak is needed to get her there. And we're happy to oblige!

We tend to always err on the side of caution with makeup application because we know just how much personal preference plays into your satisfaction with your makeup job. We tell our clients that we can always add more, or change anything they'd like, but that it's important that they are honest with us when they look in the mirror.

99% of our clients gasp with disbelief and start tearing up because they cannot believe how amazing they look!  We are often fanning away tears because we don't want it all to be ruined before we pick up the camera. A few others will request that our makeup artist makes a minor adjustment like adding a little more liner, or changing the lip color. EASY PEASY!  We are oh-so-happy to make tweaks to ensure our clients are completely satisfied! The bottom line is, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION! Don't worry about hurting our feelings, we want you to love the look!

THE BOTTOM LIP...ERR...*LINE*. THE BOTTOM LINE.

We want you to look like YOU...just on your best day ever ;) I always tell my clients how picky I am, and if I'm letting a makeup artist work on your face, knowing how particular I am about my work, you KNOW she's damn good and I trust her. Your makeup isn't everything, but it plays a large role in your finished product, which is why I only want the best! 

So while you're pouring over Pinterest for wardrobe ideas and boudoir styles, don't forget to give makeup a moment in your planning process!

 

Special shout out to Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty + the whole team at LoLa Beauty for keeping my clients looking fabulous and fabulously THEMSELVES for their boudoir experience!

 

Taking it ALL off | Miss S | Austin Boudoir Studio

BY THE END OF THIS BLOG POST, I WILL ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE IT ALL OFF FOR YOUR BOUDOIR SESSION. 

Yep, down to just your birthday suit. There's something so damn freeing about not wearing even a stitch of clothing...yet that thought is often derailed by our intense fear of not looking the way we're "supposed" to, our crippling insecurities, or, maybe just the "weird" factor of being photographed by a stranger (Hi! I'm Kara Marie! Lovely to meet you. Now that THAT'S out of the way....

I GET IT.  I GET IT ALLLLL.

But if you're going to be nude in front of anyone's camera, mine is the one to choose. I've got the whole naked female form thing down to a perfectly lit and posed science. I'm also pretty easy to be comfortable in front of. *in my best Lamar Burton voice* "But you don't have to take MY word for it!", check out the RAVES page for more on clients being comfortable in such a "weird" setting. 

You'll giggle, then belly laugh. You'll wonder how these photos could possibly turn out with all your bits hanging out there. Then you'll see them, you'll gasp, and you'll fall deeper in love with yourself and the way you and your body are right now. And you'll probably wish you would have done your entire session in the buff. But it's fun to have the variety of wardrobe, too. ;)

Miss S reached out to me in order to help her celebrate herself in her 40th year of life. We started out clothed...then less clothed...then nude. She felt silly in the poses, she admits, but never imagined that she would love the photos, and so many of them, the way she did. Read on:

"When I turned 40, I promised myself that everyday would be better than the last. The power of intention led me to have the most amazing year of my life. As I round the corner towards 41, I wanted to do something extra special for myself. Enter Kara Marie Boudoir. I really enjoyed looking at images to give Kara an idea of the style that I like. "

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"Kara nailed my vision and I'm thrilled with the results. Every step of the journey was easy and enjoyable. Kara's website has a ton of great info and she was quick to diminish any anxiousness that I had about being naked or doing a weird pose."

"I'm a glass half-full kind of gal so luckily, I don't struggle in the self esteem department. I did not expect to fall madly in love with so many photos, though!"

"I feel great and am proud of the hard work I've put into my body. I'm excited to look back on these when I'm older."

It was time to strip down, be vulnerable, and trust me completely. She did. And the resulting images make my heart skip a beat. They aren't hyper sexualized, but reveal a woman who is proud of her sexuality. They aren't "traditional" boudoir, rather, they lean more towards fine art nudes.  They aren't heavily retouched, but they are strategically posed and lit to show off her natural curves. They don't bare it ALL, but they bare her soul and show her in her most natural form.

"What a fun present to myself. I'm so happy, thank you a thousand times over. Hopefully I get to see you next year, too!"

Nudes are intimidating, I admit it. But you can truly rest assured that you are in the very capable hands of a professional. I'm never going to have my camera all up in your business in an uncomfortable way. I won't expect you to do ANYTHING at all and will monitor your comfort level the entire time. I will photograph you in an artistic and classy way. You will laugh and have fun and be surprised that you are able to have such a good time while being naked in front of a "stranger".  You won't be showing me anything I haven't seen before. Your body won't offend me, and when you see your final result, your body won't offend YOU, either.

If clients are considering a nude set of images during their boudoir experience, I always encourage them to bring an extra outfit, just in case they aren't feeling it. Yet I've never once had a client who was CONSIDERING doing a nude set decide mid-shoot that they weren't comfortable with it. If anything, they decided sooner into the shoot than planned that they were ready to take it off. This experience isn't about being someone you aren't. It's about showing EXACTLY who you are...who is hiding under masks. I only want you to do what you are comfortable doing. It's just that I have this uncanny ability to make people comfortable with themselves. That is my super power. 

Infinite thanks to Miss S for trusting me with her boudoir experience, for loving the process, and for allowing her words and images to be shared with the KMB audience. 

WHETHER YOU'RE READY TO BARE IT ALL, OR ONLY A LITTLE....LET'S CHAT.

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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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Embracing female SEXuality (GASP- did she say that!?) | Austin Boudoir Studio

LOOK OUT, I'm in a ranting kind of mood, so this post will be a long one.

Female sexuality. AHHH.  Something so beautiful yet so openly shamed in our society.

You'll notice a common trend in my brand message: it's not about anyone else, it's about you. It's about making YOURSELF feel beautiful, strong, empowered, and....SEXY.

Yes. FEELING SEXY is important. Whether that means you're rocking out with your DDD's out, or you are modestly sporting a turtle neck. Whatever "feeling sexy" means for you should be embraced. Oh, and for the record, you CAN own your sexuality as a woman without being a "bad feminist" (ohhhh the things I read on the internet. Eye roll). 

A common request from my clients is that we create a set of images for them that remind them that they are, in fact, sexual beings, and it is my absolute honor to do such for them. 

This post was all prompted by me searching for a powerful quote or passage about embracing female sexuality to caption one of these images. The Instagram post below, as I'm far too busy to not just copy/paste.

 

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BE.PROUD.TO.BE.A.SEXUAL.BEING. 


Y'all know I'm a quote girl. But I don't pair just *any* quote with any image flippantly. I look at it and think about what word(s) comes to mind about that photo and then I research poems, quotes, passages that reflect what the image means to me. 

To me, this photo in particular represents a woman embracing her sexuality, which shouldn't be frowned upon or judged, but often is. When I began to research "embracing female sexuality", instead of a slew of badass quotes that are typically generated, I came across a plethora of passages from women defending their right to say "no", from women afraid to be vocal about rape, from women screaming that just because she enjoys sex, it doesn't make her a whore.  What does it tell you about our society that a "female sexuality" internet search warrants a slew of women having to defend themselves like that!?

Time for the narrative to change. SEX is not a bad word. SEX is not only for men to enjoy. SEX is not something to be ashamed of. And SEX is not something that is done TO us. Embrace that sexuality, women. It's a beautiful thing. 

I was thrilled to be able to document this client's embracing of herself as a sexual and sexy being. She was uninhibited, a ton of fun, and most importantly she trusted me to create these images in an artistic and empowering way (and THEN let me share them with you. So...double brownie points!....Mmmm. Brownies. Cut me some slack, I'm dieting.)

If you're expecting an uber awkward photoshoot with me trying to coach your sexual prowess out of you and break through your barriers......that's just not the case at Kara Marie Boudoir.  "Oh my GOD! I can't believe these images turned out so HOT!!! It did NOT feel like anything sexual at all during the shoot!!!" <--- What I hear ALL.THE.DAMN.TIME. 

Every boudoir photographer has a different method for getting their finished product. To each their own. But for me, I'm all about the hacks and the tricks. How can I make a client look like she's having a steamy and intimate personal moment, when, behind the scenes we're really talking about Girl Scout cookies and I'm occasionally asking her to breathe out of her mouth heavily in between giggles and bad jokes (from me. Always with the bad jokes)?  

I've spent years fine tuning my methods to make ALL WOMEN feel comfortable, not just those who are already comfortable with their bodies/sexuality/appearance/etc etc etc. And, I'm quite good at it...if I do say so myself. 

Maybe you've been ashamed to embrace your sexayyy. Maybe you've been following along for quite some time and don't think the women in my photos could possibly be you. Maybe since becoming a mom you forgot that your body was good for anything but creating a human life and then feeding it. All the more reason to reach out and come see me.  I.LOVE.HELPING.WOMEN.REALIZE.HOW.AMAZING.THEY.ARE. (Think that will fit on my business card?)

Chat soon?

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