Wrapped in Nothing | Miss S Part II | Austin Boudoir Studio

I have really grown to be madly in love with tasteful nude imagery. There is nothing more raw, more natural, and...in my opinion...more rewarding for the client, than to have such timeless photos of yourself and nothing but yourself. 

Generally my clients come in, knowing that nude images are an option, and at the beginning of the session when we're reviewing her wardrobe, she gets shy and flushed and suggests maybe if she's comfortable towards the end she'd maybe sorta kinda like to possibly do some photos without any wardrobe.

It's always so amazing to watch the transformation between the shy girl thinking she could possibly do this with enough champagne, to the badass confident woman halfway through the shoot that says "You know what!? Screw this lingerie!"  Enter the classy nudes.

I know why clients are a little intimidated by the boudoir experience process. The women in my photos look SO confident, so sexy, like they really owned the shit out of their photo shoot. Practically pros, right!?

During your photo session, other than holding pretty uncomfortable poses for several minutes at a time, you'll be thinking "This can't possibly look sexy." and "Oh none of these are going to turn out.". It doesn't FEEL like a sexy experience while you're doing it. FUN...hell yes. But sexy?! Not really.  I'm not speaking in a seductive voice while using sexy verbiage in a dimly lit room with candle light and Marvin Gaye playing (although, I do believe "Let's Get it On" is on one of my playlists...we usually just laugh when it comes on.). 

NOT AT ALL.  The room is bright AF, generally some upbeat music playing, and it's pretty much an hour long chit chat with me about every day life with the occasional "Ok, now arch your back a tiny bit more and give me a good exhale out your mouth.....PERFECT!!! You're doing awesome!!!"

It's generally only 5 minutes into the shoot before women start to realize "hey, this is WAY easier than I thought it was going to be!"

So, trust me, the idea of taking off all of your everything in front of a stranger's camera IS scary to think about. But I assure you, it's business as usual for me and you can't scare me with "all this" (what women usually say while motioning to their bodies in reference to being nude), and, in fact, challenge accepted and you will LOVE your nude images, likely more than your clothed ones. I will pose you to perfection, I will use strategic lighting, I will coach you through every minute of it, and you will be SO GLAD YOU DID THIS!

Round of applause to this badass woman for taking it all off and being oh-so-proud to be documented wrapped in nothing. She actually didn't need any champagne and knew from the beginning she wanted to do nude artistry. And the final product reflected her confidence in that decision!

GET IT, GIRRRRRRLLLLL!!!!!

WHETHER YOU WANT TO TAKE IT ALL OFF OR KEEP IT ALL ON, IF YOU'RE READY TO FEEL AMAZING IN YOUR OWN SKIN, LET'S CHAT!

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Loving Photos of Yourself | Miss A | Austin Boudoir Studio

There probably won't be enough client stories and reviews that will make you believe that even YOU will love images of yourself.  But let's try for just one more, shall we?

You see, I *get* it. I'm a woman... well...a GIRL if you want to consider my reaction to photos of myself. I nitpick. I'm not proud of it, but I do. I am getting MUCH better about that...yet I seem to have a really long road ahead to getting to the point that I love myself from every angle, posed and unposed, candid or not. In the meantime, there's professional photographers like yours truly. 

I wish I kept track of the number of women who came in to me saying they were SO nervous about this experience because they aren't photogenic, they hate photos of themselves, they aren't as thin as the women on my website, etc etc.  Guess who calls bullshit? MEEEEEE!  It's not my client's job to take amazing photos of them. It's mine. And I will. And you will leave your photo reveal saying "I cannot believe I LOVE photos of MYSELF." It's a really awesome feeling....and this client here got to experience it!  

Miss A speaks on her Kara Marie Boudoir experience:

"The experience was surreal. I didn't know how to prepare for it other than the typical "let me lose weight and tone up before I strip down in front of a camera!"

"The week of my shoot was funky - I was in an emotional headspace and feeling pretty down. Needless to say, on the day of my shoot, I did not feel like being sexy. Luckily, Kara made me feel 100% comfortable right off the bat. She explained what to expect during the shoot and how to make a sexy pouty face. And just like that, the shoot was over and I could eat fried chicken again."

"The day of the photo reveal could not come soon enough. I was feeling happy and normal again and SO ready to see the pictures. This was far more exciting than the shoot itself. I couldn't believe how much I loved the pictures."

Most people don’t LOVE pictures of themselves, but damn ... I L.O.V.E. these pictures.
— Miss A
Makeup by Kendall of Mayhem 

Makeup by Kendall of Mayhem 

"I cannot wait to have the prints in my hands and the art on my walls. If you want to feel great about yourself in a way you haven't felt before, you must have a shoot with Kara."

" I'm a bit shocked to see myself in a such a pretty, sexy, and natural way."

" I usually try to take "selfies" so I have control over the picture and can decide if I like the outcome. I wasn't sure if I would like pictures of myself taken by someone else. Honestly, I was most terrified of seeing professional pictures and still picking myself apart in each image. This is where 'trust the professional' really comes into play. Kara knows what she's doing and DAMN it felt good seeing myself like that."

" I feel excited and happy with the pictures, I want to show everyone! And I want to tell everyone that you will look like that in your own photoshoot, too."

You will look hot, sexy, beautiful, and like yourself. And by the way, I am not staring at them picking myself apart.

"I wanted to add that I did this shoot for myself - these pictures are not for a significant other or fiance. These are for me to show myself how beautiful I am and to preserve when I'm 80 and no longer have my younger body. I highly recommend everyone do this, even if there is no special recipient in mind - YOU can be the special recipient of these beautiful images."

And if you're wishing and hoping that she printed some of these for her wall, you'll be pleased to know she went BIG....ANNNND went home!!! <3 

YASSSSS!!!!!! Just another example of a woman in shock at how much she loved photos of herself. She walked away with boosted confidence, self love, a mega thick boudoir album, and the most badass wall art pieces for over her bed that anyone could ask for! 

I know it's not always easy to place your trust in a stranger when it comes to seeing yourself in this manner. But, I assure you, you are in VERY CAPABLE hands. I photograph each and every client as I would want to be photographed. From the moment you book your shoot experience with me, you are in my hands, you are under my wing, and you are part of the Kara Marie Boudoir family. Consider me Mother Goose...I'll take amazing care of you.  

Thank you to Miss A for the amazing blog feature! You.are.ahmazinnnnggg!

Ready to trust me?? Good. Let's chat. 

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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! 

She forgot to hate herself.... | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm one of those weird "everything happens for a reason" people...you know, the kind who believes if you put good shit into the universe, you'll get good shit in return. I fully believe that my new assistant, Elaine, is one of those good shits. 

I am highly picky when it comes to letting people in to be a part of my business. I've spent nearly a decade building my brand and preaching my purpose. Someone coming to work for me can't just be "like, really, really good with people." or "a huge fan who has always been interested in photography!". On top of needing to have very specific character traits, work ethic, and qualifications, I had to KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that this person was a perfect fit. 

 For that reason, I poured through hundreds of applications and interviewed over a dozen candidates for the new assistant position. Then, finally, I met this uber passionate, intelligent, friendly, qualified, and freaking adorable super-ball of  energy. She actually wanted to interview ME for her research paper on how boudoir photography could be a complementary therapy for sexual assault survivors. Instead, she got a job. 

Elaine "before" her boudoir transformation......still absolutely gorgeous.&nbsp;

Elaine "before" her boudoir transformation......still absolutely gorgeous. 

In her short time working for me, I've breathed so many sighs of relief. I've been blown away by how amazing her young mind works, how quickly and efficiently she completes tasks, how INSANELY fast she learned my retouching style, and how much more at ease I've been about trusting someone else with some of my work load. 

On top of being the perfect fit for Kara Marie Boudoir, she also is a bit of a "super fan", and had her own photo shoot booked prior to speaking with me about a job opportunity. Because of her chosen research path, the shoot was approved by UT and considered "ethnographic research". So on her SECOND day of work, she had her scheduled boudoir experience. 

I have so much to say about her, her experience, and her photos....but she does a FAR more eloquent job, herself...so I will allow her to elaborate. I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee, glass of wine or whiskey, and really read this woman's testimony. She is wise beyond her years.

Makeup by Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty

Makeup by Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty

Elaine said:

"During the spring semester, I had a family emergency and ended up missing roughly a month of a school. The experience, the drop in my GPA, plus my weight gain completely devastated me. When I went home for the summer, I was considering transferring universities or just taking some time off altogether. I stayed by myself a lot, splitting my time between moody poetry and mindless pinterest-ing.

And it was through one of those night on Pinterest that I came across a boudoir board. From there I ended up on a Texas boudoir board and soon I found myself googling Austin boudoir photographers at four in the morning. And then I found Kara’s page."


"I wept reading the blog, seeing the stories and pictures of these women who were loving themselves again, or were at least on the path too. Reading Kara’s site from front to back and back again, it was obvious that boudoir was a tool of empowerment for these ladies.

Even though her work only reflected a small population of women, it had to be possible that Kara’s style of boudoir could help a large volume of women- and I started thinking maybe even women with a history of trauma or violence, where self-love isn’t as easy. So I poured over databases looking for academic articles on boudoir photography and it’s ability to empower sexual assault survivors or trauma patients or any group of women in general. And there was hardly any work out there."


"That’s how I knew I had to go back to school in the fall.
If I could pour all of my energy into this research project, (at arguably one of the best research universities in the world,) then I would have the motivation to stay in school and stop spending energy trying to figure out how to make myself feel better, but instead, work towards helping other women feel in control and empowered. So I rushed a lot of paperwork, sent way too many frantic emails, and miraculously got my project approved.

I immediately signed up for a shoot with Kara once I had a general plan for my research. The shoot was considered 'ethnographic research’ and was meant to give me a better perspective on the boudoir experience. And it did. But more importantly- and yes, this is cliche but I am going to write it anyways- it gave me a better perspective of myself."

I had always considered myself as someone with a “nice personality,” but moreover, someone overwhelmingly podgy and homely with a good dash of anxiety thrown in just to keep things interesting.
And I was certain Kara was going to make fun of me for being some silly undergrad coming in taking silly photos for some silly research.

If you know Kara and her blog well enough, you know that didn’t happen.

I completely forgot to hate myself when I was with Kara. I thought the shoot would be 95% me straining my body as Kara barked disappointed orders. I couldn’t be more wrong.
— Elaine


"Literally, as long as you can take deep breaths and breathe, you can do the shoot. Let me repeat: your basic human functions are all that you need to shoot with Kara. She makes it so easy to just show up and be genuinely happy. That’s because, honestly, Kara is a genuine person and that kind of naked authenticity makes a huge impact (particularly when you’re practically naked).


"Now I read stories about women crying after their shoot or after their reveal, but for me, it wasn’t until last week. There I was again, at four in the morning, but this time I was turning in the first part of my research. And I couldn’t help but think back to the spring when I didn’t want to be in school anymore. Now I have a project that I’m not only passionate about, but has passionately changed me: I stopped sighing every time I looked in the mirror.

I am a thousand percent dedicated and happy to be at my university again and I’m now slightly obsessed with academic databases. And yeah, I’m not going to lie, I may or may not have been the background on my laptop for a few hours because I looked amazing. And I felt, well, overwhelmed. But this time, not by my flaws or insecurities or anxieties- but by my value. No one could give it to me or take it away . It was something that was intrinsically and inherently mine."

 

"Having an amazing shoot with Kara and making it through this semester didn’t give me my value, just reminded me of what was always there. And so, I poured all my energy into this research project and got more back then I could ever ask. I trusted Kara just the slightest bit and she showered me in an abundance of warmth and genuineness.

So I guess the lesson here is that there is a huge return on investment with boudoir and if you’re not booking your shoot right now, it’s gotta be because you’re already scheduled. If you’re unsure then just wait- at about four in the morning it’ll hit you and you’ll know that I was right."

 

 

I couldn't have said it better myself. No....really. I couldn't have. This young mind is brilliant beyond words and I am honored to have her as a part of this little business of mine. I applaud her for her extensive research and for really understanding what empowerment through boudoir is all about. 

Do a boudoir shoot. Don't do it just because you need a gift idea (yes, yes, it would be an unable-to-be-topped gift idea), but do it because you need to stop hating on yourself. Do it to stop sighing at yourself in the mirror. Do it to embrace your beauty, your body, and your soul. DO. IT. 

READY TO START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT YOUR OWN BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE? I'M MORE THAN READY TO SHOW YOU HOW AMAZING YOU ARE. LET'S CHAT.

Name *
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Rainy Afternoon Delight | NSFW | Austin Boudoir Photographer

Being downright hot and sexy is especially empowering. I am so thrilled to see this mass movement of embracing female sexuality spread through the population. 

Women are realizing that not only is it OK to be sexy and to love sex....but they are starting to shout it from the rooftops. 

More and more clients are coming in wanting to push their boundaries a little bit to create something that reminds them they are sexual beings.

Take a woman who wants to be photographed embracing her sexuality and her nudity and combine that with a stormy day and I'm pretty much in heaven (and also guaranteed to get some of my favorite images ever).

There's just something about the rain, isn't there? 

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We are all born sexual creatures, thank God. But it’s a pity that so many people despise and crush this natural gift.
— Marilyn Monroe
The most profound relationship we will ever have is with ourselves.
— Shirley Maclaine

Go forth, goddesses, and embrace your sexuality. 

Boudoir : Bet you can't have just one | Austin Boudoir Shoot

When I first began discussing the possibility of going full-time, all-the-time boudoir photography with my close friends and husband, they all had the same questions: "Is there really enough of a market for that to do it full time?!" and, more commonly commented "But, I mean, that's just a once in a lifetime type of thing...you won't get repeat clients, right?".  

Wrong. 

Almost EVERY SINGLE one of my clients comes back for more. If they haven't come back yet, they say they can't wait to!

This is not a once in a lifetime type of experience. 

It's a "any damn time you need a boost" type of experience. 

Miss "F" proclaimed the same after her Austin Boudoir shoot.

 

Miss "F" said...

"It was AH~MAZING!!!! I felt completely comfortable from start to finish - it was like I was hanging out with a friend even though it was our first time meeting.

I couldn't have asked for a better experience & I'm beyond happy that it was with with Kara Marie Boudoir!" 

I’m already thinking about when I want to do it again!
— Miss "F"
austinboudoir_missf-8.jpg

Just about every woman says the same as soon as she sees her images, and often times, even at the end of her shoot, BEFORE she even sees her images. 

YES, the photos will be badass. But it's so much more than that. It's about walking out of that studio with a sexy strut and your head held high knowing that you are absolutely incredible. Knowing that you just got a little piece of your old self back. Knowing that you STILL GOT IT.  

And I don't know about you ladies, but I could use that boost more than once in my lifetime ;)

Thank you so much to Miss "F" for trusting me with her boudoir experience. 

I absolutely cannot wait to have her back for round 2 (and 3 and 4, I'm sure!)

WANT TO SEE WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT??? LET'S CHAT ABOUT YOUR BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE, DAHHLING!

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Naughty + Nice Part II | Austin Boudoir Studio

Yesterday, I shared the "naughty" portion of this shoot, and today shall be nice ;) Although...hm. I guess the naughty portion was pretty nice too. 

But I digress. 

Miss "M" brought two polar opposite boudoir outfits into the studio for her shoot. And while I have so much fun with dark and sultry images, creating a classic set of in-the-sheets black and white boudoir images was amazing. 


What's awesome about creating classic, timeless images like this is.....WALL ARTTTT!! YEAH! I was so psyched that this client got some incredible fine art prints for her bedroom wall out of these images. I didn't want to see them go!

Boudoir Wall Art

Boudoir Wall Art

Talk about a diverse shoot! We had a great time and everyone involved adores the finished product!!! 

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The Boudoir Photo Reveal | Austin Boudoir Studio

The Kara Marie Boudoir experience is just that, an experience. Because these boudoir photos are so incredibly important (let's face it, they are!), we want to make sure that you are getting the most out of the occasion.  This means viewing your photos in a unique way. 

I wanted to give you a little look into my photo reveal process. This is how my clients see their images for the first time...barring any long distance circumstances. 

The photo reveal. 

boudoirphotoreveal_2
boudoirphotoreveal

When we are getting you all packed up after your photo shoot, we will get you scheduled for your photo reveal session. This is anywhere from 1-3 weeks from your photo session date (depending on the time of year) and generally takes about an hour. THIS WAY, there is no GUESSING when you will get to see them all. You won't be wondering how long it will take before I show you. It takes a little anxious edge off, I promise. 

On the day of your reveal appointment, you come in to the studio, have some chocolates and champagne (duh! No photo shootin' going on TODAY. Indulge.), and watch as I reveal 15 or so of my favorite favorite favorite images from your boudoir shoot in a pretty little slideshow. You will love them and ooh and ahh over them. You will likely say "Wait. Is that ME!? That's ME!" about a dozen times. 

But wait! There's MORE! (Said in my best infomercial voice.) Then I take you one-by-one through each retouched image...generally about 60 of them. I show them all to you and we do some more oohing and ahhing. 

A sample screen of a full collection (from yesterday's blog post! If you haven't, go check it out!)

A sample screen of a full collection (from yesterday's blog post! If you haven't, go check it out!)

At this point we've already discussed what you foresee your finished product to be, whether that is a fine art album to keep on your coffee table, a little black book to keep in your nightstand, gorgeous acrylic wall art, or even digital files.  Nonetheless, I show you all of the options so you know what kind of awesomeness we can create for you with your images. 

boudoiralbums

We then go BACK through each image, one by one, and you give me a simple "YES" or "NO". There will be FAR more YES's than NO's, I assure you. The "NO" images will be removed from the "pile", and the "yes" images will be saved to a more pleasantly plump pile.  Together, we can eliminate any images that are too similar to make sure that you've got a diverse album. I will give you recommendations on images that would make for exquisite wall art. 

You make your final selections with my help, and then we get RIGHT to work with designing your finished product. 

And that is how it's done. 

The photo reveal is such an incredible experience for Kara Marie Boudoir clients and we often find that women are more nervous about this appointment than their actual shoot, and ALWAYS over-the-moon happy with their images. 

You can see a little of our photo reveal process in action in our promo video, too! 

And if you're coming in from out of town for your boudoir experience, like many women do, we can still offer up the photo reveal experience via online screen-sharing! Ohhh the power of technology! Here's a quick pic that my studio manager captured during our last long-distance photo reveal! I love the beaming look on my client's face as she watched her boudoir video!!

READY FOR YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE? THOUGHT SO. LET'S CHAT!

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