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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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.)

 

What's your REASON? | Austin Boudoir Studio | Miss B

While a potential client's initial e-mail to me may reflect that they're interested in a boudoir experience for an anniversary present or a wedding gift...the more that I learn about them, the more I discover the real reason for booking me. THAT is why I do what I do: Each woman's REASONS. Whether it's struggling to see her own beauty, desperate for a self-esteem boost, battling an eating disorder, going through a nasty divorce, or any other number of factors, my clients recognize that my mission is to help.

Miss B had a few reasons, and I was delighted to read her thoughts on the process afterwards to learn that we definitely pulled through on providing an empowering and eye-opening boudoir experience for her. That's what it's all about, y'all!  Gift-giving is the cherry on top (Albeit one of the juiciest, yummiest, highest quality cherries everrr....but, I digress.). The ice cream and the whipped cream and the sprinkles and the chocolate chips.....that's.all.for.you.

"I was fortunate enough to get the chance to shoot with Kara commercially before booking her for my private boudoir experience, and she didn't change her demeanor at all! She was the picture of professionalism both time, coaching me on best angles all while making me feel so comfortable, I felt like I had known her for years!"

"While we shot, she asked about my life and why I chose to do this shoot, while also opening up about herself. Her studio is gorgeous, even though it was a super gloomy day when we shot."

"During our photo reveal she just sat back and let me look at my shots at my leisure and helped me to choose the best ones, while cheering when I chose each one. It was an amazing experience and she is an amazing individual."

"I struggle with body confidence, battling eating disorders and depression, so to have someone so genuinely and effortlessly kind about my body was... well it just felt great! I had such a spring in my step after my shoot and my reveal!" -Miss B

"My shoot started out as a gift to me, but ended up being one for me and my man, because he is also one of my life's great cheerleaders."

My deepest thanks to Miss B for coming back to the studio and trusting me with her boudoir experience. T O T A L  K N O C K O U T! 

YOU HAVE A REASON FOR WANTING TO DO THIS. WHAT IS IT? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING. 

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EFFFFING AHHHHMMAZZIINNGGG, she says. | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm admittedly lightyears behind on blogging, which is a shame of epic proportions because I am sitting on so.many.insanely.stunning.images that I simply haven't had the time to feature. But the good news is....I got at least one set on the blog for you today! So...that's something! ;)

THIS bombshell. Y'all. 

A pixie cut, a bold lip, a figure to envy, AND tattoos!?! HOLD ME BACK. But really. Miss K absolutely rocked her session, however nervous she says she was (believe me, EVERYONE is. But I got you, girrrllll!). 

"EFFFFING AHHHHMMAAZZZIIINGGGG. Kara made the whole experience so easy and comfortable. I never imagined my pictures would come out, they way they did. I'm still speechless!"

"I've never liked pictures of myself and I find myself staring at these. I would do it again 100 times. Thank you so much for such a great experience! I can't wait for an excuse to come back. Love you, girl! You truly are something special."

AS IF these incredible images and her kind words weren't enough...

Miss K booked this session for herself AND to gift an album to her new husband whom she was marrying out of country last month.  Unless my client's partner is at the studio with them for their photo reveal, I don't always get to hear what their reactions were to seeing the photos for the first time. THIS TIME, I did and I'm over-the-moon grateful that Miss K's husband was so thoughtful to send me a message after receiving his wedding present. They gave me permission to share it...swoon.

"UMMMMM so I got my wedding gift!!! (Insert a bunch of heart-eyed emoji's here...like...a bunch.) You are so freaking talented! I can't thank you enough for your photo shoot with my wife! She is so beautiful and your ability to catch that in every shot was just amazing. I'm so in love with this gift. Continue to be a badass! Just felt like I needed to reach out because I CAN'T keep my eyes off my book!"

See? Told ya. SWOON.

 

A big THANK YOU to Miss K and her new MR for the sweet words and the permission to share them. 

Hair and makeup: Lorena of LoLa Beauty, Austin.

The Second Time Around | Miss C | Austin Boudoir Studio

The majority of my clients have either already come back for a second (or third or fourth) round of boudoir, or have plans to. It's one of those experiences that you can't have just once. Not with me. 

When Miss C came in to see me last year, she was nervous, a little uneasy about the whole process, and...I have a feeling...she was talked into it by her best friend who was also coming in for a session on the same day. Our end results were lovely, and it all worked out just fine. 

She knew she wanted to give it another go now that she knew it wasn't quite so scary, and she headed back into my studio a year later with a gritty and less-clothed vision for her finished product. We ran with it and created some of my favorite images yet. 

You can really FEEL these photos, and I adore that. Not to mention her completely badass ink (she even added a few fresh pieces between sessions) that added the perfect edge to the images.  

"Kara is just amazing. So fun to work with and just a chick you want to be friends with." -Miss C

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Looking at these pictures makes me feel like a badass!
— Miss C

"This was round two boudoir for me with Kara and totally different than my first! Last year I was shy and unsure about even doing a boudoir and this year I came back with a vision and ready to take it all off!"

"It is so empowering to feel beautiful in your own skin and Kara is wonderful at capturing that. Doing this boudoir shoot let me see how far I've come in just a year. I've grown and I've changed and to get that in print is something I'll have forever."

YASSSS to Miss C! Major props for going at it again with less clothes and more confidence! It's amazing what we can accomplish with an hour and a badass attitude, isn't it? 

ARE YOU READY TO GIVE IT A GO? YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED! ALREADY DONE IT ONCE? EACH SESSION WILL BE BETTER THAN THE LAST! LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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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

 

She didn't think she could love a photo of herself | Austin Boudoir Studio

I can't even tell you how many women approach me with the ol' "I am NOT photogenic" line. Which basically means they always hate photos of themselves. I always say "That's because you've never had your photo taken by me before!".  It may seem like a bold (and super cocky) statement to make, but what I mean is, you wouldn't believe the power of a good pose, great light, and a professional eye.  NOT TO MENTION the evil evil powers of a bad pose, horrible lighting, and an amateur eye. 

I've spent many years learning exactly how to pose women, how to light women, how to make women feel comfortable, and how to let a woman's inner light shine though in a photo. I'm happy to say that I'm STILL learning and always will be. 

THIS little gem of a woman. My goodness.  She completed her pre-shoot homework, which led me to believe that she wanted to keep this SUPER conservative and really just wanted a pretty picture or two of herself. 

She said her favorite feature was her hair, that she never likes photos of herself, and on our sexy scale 1-10, she wanted her photos to be at a level 3. A LEVEL THREE SEXY. I don't even know how to do that. Hahah. I teased her just a bit about that and we rocked the hell out of our photo session.

Meet Miss C. 

Makeup by Kendall Koehler of  Mayhem Beauty

Makeup by Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty

Here is what she had to say about her Kara Marie Boudoir experience

"I couldn't have asked for a better experience. From the moment I walked in the door I felt so comfortable. I've had a lot of big changes in my life and I felt like I was losing myself but after this experience I have never felt so empowered and good about myself. I still giggle when I think back to my shoot."

I never thought I would actually like pictures of myself but I am in LOVE with my photos!
— Miss C

Thank you, beautiful, for letting me prove to you  that you ARE, in fact, photogenic......and sexy. Like level 11 sexy. I'm overjoyed that I was able to provide her with a full collection of images she loved of herself...not just one as she'd hoped for. 

Let this be encouragement for other women who maybe don't ever like photos of themselves. For the women who deem themselves "not photogenic". For the women who don't think they can be more than a level 3 sexy. 

 

LET ME PROVE TO YOU THAT YOU *ARE* PHOTOGENIC. LET'S CHAT!

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Name

40 and fabulous | Austin Boudoir Photographer

40 years and 5 children under her belt, and she's still kicking ass and taking names.  Miss "R", here, is absolutely awesome. I've photographed her a few times in the past and her enthusiasm about the experience is a reminder to me that I am doing EXACTLY what I'm supposed to be doing. For women like her. She rocks. Read on for her story. 

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"I have worked with Kara over the past three years and every time she announces she is coming to Erie I try to book some time with her. This last time I had a boudoir shoot, the 2nd one in 3 years, only this time I felt differently about myself. I am 40 years old, 30 lbs. heavier then last time and with 5 kids, the oldest being 20....a lot more haggard.

I hide from having my picture taken, the person I saw in photographs just didn't fit the image I had in my head. The idea that I wasn't that young flat bellied perky breasted tight butted hottie that the media spreads across the masses as the ideal woman left me feeling less then desirable, no matter how much my guy said I was the prettiest woman in the room. Kara wouldn't hear of it, between her and Lindsey, my make up artist, (Kara only works with the best) I not only looked like the hottie I saw in the media but I felt like it too. I just couldn't believe the those images were me!"

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I now see the same thing my boyfriend does when he says I am beautiful, sexy...HOT even. What I walked away from with this shoot was more then just some pretty images... I got my groove back, I got to see that woman that the media portrays as ideal, only she’s beautiful and desirable. She’s on the 30 lbs.-heavier-side-of-40, and she’s me. Thank you Kara....
— Miss R

I also must share an email that she sent me after her experience....it's so sweet, touching, and the last line just HAD to be published for all to see!!! LOVE HER! 

"I'm so glad I met you. Truly... its not just about your photos, which we all agree... you are talented, its about you too... You have this awesome Leo personality that just shines. You put all our insecurities out of our heads.. literally out of the room, and you instantly become our life long friend, our greatest support and confidante. What our men can't do... no matter how hard they love us, no matter how hard they try, you can do in a matter of 10 minutes. The self esteem you provide is undoubtedly priceless. That my dear, whether you believe it or not, is an extraordinary gift. You can share it so freely. You are more to me then just my boudoir photographer... You are my life long friend. You are like my favoritest bra... close to my heart."

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Miss R just showed 40 who was boss.  Your turn. Let's chat!

 

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