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  . 

blackandwhiteboudoir

"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."

AustinBoudoir-9.jpg
AustinBoudoir-8.jpg
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.
AustinBoudoir-20.jpg
AustinBoudoir-19.jpg
AustinBoudoir-26.jpg
AustinBoudoir-37.jpg
AustinBoudoir-40.jpg

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 .

A Photographic Love Story | Austin Maternity Boudoir

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

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

 

 

THE PROPOSAL

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

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

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

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

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

THE WEDDING

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

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

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

 

THE BABBBYYYYY

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

WEEEEEEEEE!!!

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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!!! 

Name *
Name


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! 

Boudoir as a LIFE CHANGER | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm about to share a doozy of a blog post with you. Miss "L" here, was yet another reminder of why I chose Boudoir Photography as my career path. Her shoot was easy, breezy, and effortless (more effortless for me than for her...she had to do a lot of back arching!). She was an absolute GODDESS in front of the lens. Even looked quite a bit like Scarlett Johansson.

She could be a model...

...but she's not.  She's the mom of the most precious little girl, a business owner, and has really impeccable taste in shoes and lingerie (as you'll soon see.)

What's more than that, though, is that she was SO much fun to be with and her words about her experience brought me to tears. Again. Yeah yeah, I cry a lot lately. But man, it really resonated. I know I preach how important this is to women, but I'm always surprised by how different their backgrounds/stories, yet how similar their response to their images was and how it's changed them. 

I'm going to stop blabbering because this client's words says more than enough...oh...and then there's the photos! 

"Three years ago, I was sitting on my couch watching my almost one year old walk around and make a mess of everything. I was thinking about how easy this little human changed my life and my body. Then, I got a text from my best friend that said, “we should do boudoir shoots!” I laughed. Yeah, definitely not going to do that.

I was not back to my pre pregnancy weight and wasn't about to run around in almost nothing taking pictures. I told my husband about it and he said that I should because I deserve to feel sexy and confident. The problem was, I did not feel sexy or confident and wasn't sure pictures would help that.

Fast forward 3 years, I stumbled upon Click Chick’s website. I was immediately lost in the images. These women were gorgeous and elegant and classy. I could never be those things, right? The next week, a friend of mine posted some of her images to Facebook and I instantly noticed they were taken by Kara. SHUT UP.

As fast as my little fingers could work, I began emailing with Kara! Did she just call me "Dahhling"? Yes. Well all right, this may not be so bad. I decided that night I had to book my session, claiming it was going to be an anniversary gift for my husband. If not now, when? That's what I kept telling myself.

I booked my shoot several months in advance so I would have time to pick the perfect wardrobe and work up the nerve to be in front of a camera. The day finally arrived. I was nervous, anxious, and a little worried about whether I would be able to do this or not. Would the pictures turn out okay? Would she like me?

As I walked up the stairs, I seriously thought about turning around and leaving. That would have been the biggest mistake of my life. I opened the studio door and there was the cutest, sweetest little blonde with the biggest smile coming right at me. As soon as she put her arms around me for a welcome hug, I immediately started to relax. I cannot even explain how relaxed and comfortable I felt from the beginning, even before hair and makeup.

I sat down for hair and makeup and had the best conversation with the most amazing makeup artist I have ever known. After that, it was time to start. Kara told me exactly what she wanted me to do. She made the shoot extremely easy, (well, maybe not easy because some of those poses HURT! haha) comfortable, relaxed. She also has a way of making you feel like you’re a supermodel. Not even kidding.  I walked out of my shoot feeling like I just won Miss Universe.

When I got home, my husband said, “ you look different!” I said it was the makeup. He said, “nope. That's not it.” That night I got a sneak peak. I died. I thought to myself, that's not me. It can’t be. Oh, but it was! 

I (not so) patiently waited for my reveal. I arrived 30 minutes early. As I sat in my car, I kind of started to hyperventilate. I was approximately 154258% more nervous to see my pictures than I was to actually take them. Such a strange feeling. I opened that studio door one more time and there was that adorable little blonde firecracker again. I like her.

So we sat down, she woke up her computer and BOOM, there I was. My heart started racing, I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to have every single image printed. I wanted wall paper made out of these images. I did it. This was me. As Kara scrolled through, I lost my words. I couldn't speak. I was speechless. (obviously, that never happens).

These pictures showed me that I was more than just a wife and mother. They showed me that I am a woman with so much more to offer. What started out as a gift for my husband, ended up changing my life. Confidence is the number one word out of my mouth when anyone asks about my images. Confidence.  

“ You've always had the power my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”-Glenda, the good witch.  THANK YOU IMMENSELY, Kara for being my good witch. I cannot wait to do it all over again!!!!!!

I am so grateful that Miss "L" found her way into my studio... and even more grateful that this experience was exactly what it was supposed to be for her, and then some! 

Hair and makeup by Kendall of  Mayhem Beauty , Blue bra and panty set is  Heidi Klum Intimates from UNDERWEAR Austin , Black garter belt set is  Agent Provocateur .

Hair and makeup by Kendall of Mayhem Beauty, Blue bra and panty set is Heidi Klum Intimates from UNDERWEAR Austin, Black garter belt set is Agent Provocateur.

I've said it a million times before and I will say it over and over again: This is NOT about sexy photos. It's about showing yourself that you are AMAZING. You can be confident, powerful, gorgeous, feminine, and a badass all at once.

Let me show you.

IF YOU'VE BEEN PUTTING IT OFF, STOP IT. JUST STOP IT.  LET'S CHAT ABOUT YOUR BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE! I'M READY TO SHOW YOU WHAT YOU'VE GOT!

Name *
Name


Curves | Austin Boudoir Studio

I have a love affair with beautiful light and beautiful curves. Marrying the two together makes my heart sing (not just any song...but like...Whitney Houston or something). 

Curve: The loveliest destination between two points.
— Mae West

It's about CONFIDENCE. | Austin Boudoir Studio

She was so enthusiastic about her upcoming shoot, yet so, SO nervous. I could feel her anxiety through email.  I got a really spot-on feel for her personality and style through the words that she wrote in her first few messages. Before even laying eyes on her, I knew exactly the approach we would take for this session. 

On the day of the shoot, Miss "W" came in with her tea and her all black everything.  A girl after my own heart. It's no secret that black is my favorite color. I see a red door and I want to paint it black (second favorite song reference!). I'm also a mega bodysuit fan. And a fan of tea and hashtags. And a fan of people who own their style.  We were going to get along swimmingly and I knew that when she said "I'm kind of visualizing all of these being in black and white."

I'm going to keep my own commentary to a minimum because her words are SO important. Read them. Seriously.

Attract what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, + mirror what you admire.

"Seriously. I don't think you EVEN know how much this whole experience means to me. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

"A little over a year ago, I started my own business. It's been an amazing whirlwind experience of #getitgirl ... venturing into the uncomfortable world of self doubt on numerous occasions. Confidence is a little thing that I had always been lacking. There was always someone just a little bit better. There was always someone a littler more creative. 'I've never done this before' ... 'how the hell am I going to get this done?!' ... 'Why did I even say yes?!' ... 'I can't do this.'

So for the past year I've been really focusing on working harder than anyone else I know, pushing myself further creatively than I ever have before, + experiencing every opportunity to the fullest capacity that my little brain [+ heart] could hold.

I'm a true believer in 'fake it 'til you make it'... + 'make it work.'  I say yes, + then figure it out afterwards.  Mirror what you admire, right?

But. Let me tell you, girl. I DREADED saying yes to my photoshoot. Dreaded. Ugh.

However I knew that it would completely blow my husband away.  Something that he would NEVER imagine I would do. So I HAD to do it."

austinboudoirstudio_aw-5.jpg

"So, tonight I gave him a car & driver magazine, with one of the images tucked inside.... at the dinner table. I told him that his birthday present was inside.

It was SO fun to completely catch him off guard while he was just nonchalantly flipping through the pages. He was totally confused, + didn't even realize that it was me he was looking at. His reaction was PRICELESS. The first words out of his mouth?? "Wow babe, I'm really proud of you."

Not "this is hot!" or "you're so sexy"... but ...  "I'm proud of you."

Of course, i started crying.

But it was EXACTLY the whole point of this entire thing.   CONFIDENCE."

austinboudoirstudio_aw-9.jpg

"Not to just have some photos to flip through when he feels like it. But to show him that I'm not just some "mom" who is overworked, exhausted, and usually highly caffeinated.  To show him that I'm willing to push myself of out my comfort zone.  To show him that I DO feel sexy, that I can still rock it, and that I'm not afraid to do something not just for him...but for myself. #confidenceiseverything

We had this whole long conversation about my "journey" to do this... [like seriously!? when does a husband ever said "tell me about your journey...."] so it was so so great for us to talk through everything I felt + experienced through the whole thing. SUCH GREAT MEMORIES."

"I'm sure that you hear all the time how transforming your photoshoots are... but seriously.  It's so much MORE than just feeling sexy. It's the confidence of GET IT GIRL, of not backing out, of HOLY SHIT I DID THAT.

So THANK YOU, Kara. thank you TREMENDOUSLY. You have totally changed my life.

I canNOT wait to do it all over again, soon!"

austinboudoirstudio_aw-12.jpg

I am so grateful to have been able to meet, photograph, and share this journey with this woman/mom/business owner. Yet another example of why I do what I do with such passion. 

Can you identify with her? I sure as shit can!  

I'M READY FOR IT TO BE YOUR TURN. ARE YOU? LET'S CHAT.

Name *
Name

Miss "B" | Austin Boudoir Studio

Do you remember the movie "Sleepless in Seattle"? Do you remember a freaking adorable, young, bubbly Meg Ryan in that movie?   Ok, so this client reminded me SO much of young Meg Ryan....SO MUCH.  Which actually kind of made me love her even more if that was possible. Check out this stunning set of images that this beauty gifted to her lucky husband earlier this month!

Stunning, yes???  Yes.

This is what this doll had to say: "Everything was just awesome. The studio was amazing and I felt totally comfortable the whole shoot! I have to give all the credit to Kara. She gave direction really well and had a great sense of humor which put me at ease. I would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone!"

Your turn!! 

If you're ready to step in front of my lens, (I PROMISE, you'll do great!), let's chat!

Name *
Name