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 .

Miss "Almost Cancelled on account of the blahs" | Destination Boudoir

It happens about once a month: I get a frantic e-mail from a client whose session is coming up and they just CAN'T go through with it.  They didn't lose the weight they wanted to lose, they can't stand the sight of themselves in the mirror so how could they POSSIBLY like photos of themselves right now? Plus, they don't have anything to wear and everything they try on is horrendous, and...oh shit....maybe there's even a monstrous pimple arising and their monthly horror movie of a flow is about to rear it's ugly head just in time for the worst time to be bloated with the blahs. 

Listen, I GET IT. BOYYYYY DO I GET IT. I have those days/weeks/months myself, and GET THAT CAMERA AWAY FROM ME, are you NUTS!? But here's the thing, it's not MY camera. I fully recognize that this is about to be the most horn-tooting statement ever, but I KNOW what my capabilities are. I know what I can do with a pose, with the light, with a sheet, with a hug and some encouragement, and with a tiiiiny pinch of post-shoot magic. I know that, for my shoot style, wardrobe doesn't matter. I know that I can camouflage whatever it is that's bothering you without making it look like we're obviously trying to hide something. 

I don't WANT you to feel that way, but I also don't think when you DO feel this way some days, that it's the troublesome-deep-seeded-self-loathing/depression/whathaveyous that media/society makes it out to be every time we feel that way. I think that we're women, and HORMONES ARE DICKS. I think, regardless of what the scales say, our bodies could look completely different at the end of the week than at the beginning. I think that we all have times where we feel kind of shitty about ourselves and that could be something as minor as feeling fat because we just binge watched Man vs. Food on Netflix and tried to recreate the 17-layer loaded french fries we just saw last night, or something as major as having a baby and going through the "WHOSE BODY IS THIS!?!?" stage for a few months or a decade. 

WE ALL GO THROUGH THIS.  And here's the thing, I will never ever force a client to have their session if they're feeling this way. But I will pep talk the shit out of them, and now, maybe just point them to this blog post. Because everyone FEELS that way occasionally, and even though I do my absolute best to educate on all the reasons why you should trust me on this and post review after review from women saying "I CANNOT BELIEVE I LOOKED SO GOOD. I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW COMFORTABLE I WAS.",  for all you know, every single woman on my blog/Instagram/website are in the best shape of their lives and have zero cellulite and obviously are not mothers, etc etc etc. 

UNTRUE. SOOOOOOO untrue. Everyone just looks amazing in their photos. Everyone just looks CONFIDENT in their photos. And CONFIDENCE, my loves,  is my dirty little secret gift that I give to each and every one of my clients.  I cannot be giving all my secrets away here, but I'll tell you that women leave my studio feeling like She-Ra and they did NOT come in that way. 

Now, on to Miss "Almost Cancelled in lieu of the blahs", here. It's true. She was not just saying "I don't think I can do this. She said "I need to cancel.". This girl was going THROUGH it. Not only did she say she was at her heaviest weight ever, but also had an absolute mess of personal stresses.  I felt for her, and even *I*, knowing my capabilities, thought: "Maybe it's just not a good time for her"....and then quickly squashed that thought and gave her my pep talk.  A photographer herself, I thought it might be even harder to gain her trust. But I gave her my best encouragement pep talk and told her she needed this especially right now. She did. And she came. And she ROCKED. And here is what she had to say:

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"My life lately has been less than fantastic, with numerous family issues, personal issues....basically ALL the issues! Because of all this stress and just general life-ness, I have completely and totally let myself go. I have gained so much weight that I now weigh more than I did when I was pregnant with either of my boys. It's bad....real bad.

But, when I saw that Kara was coming to Dallas I just instantly booked with her without thinking twice because I love her work so, so much and I desperately wanted just one beautiful photo of myself, even at what is undoubtedly the most unhealthy and fattest of my life. "

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"About two weeks before my session I had a meltdown, and told her that I just couldn’t do it, I was just too overwhelmed with life and circumstances and I was fat and ugly and had nothing to wear….and she gently told me that she completely understood how I was feeling, but that I NEEDED to do this.

And I did.

But y’all, I was a WRECK. I arrived with no lingerie, no shoes, nothing except a robe. Because none of my lingerie fit and I was feeling so awful about my body that I didn’t want to spend money on buying new stuff. So I told her to just shoot me with a sheet and to do her best."

"I was so nervous and shaking the entire shoot, and my inner monologue was basically 'Don’t look down, don’t look down' because if I even glanced at my body or what it was looking like I was going to freeze up and have to stop.

But I made it, and I had fun, and I didn’t die."

"And in my car on my way home after my session I cried. I don’t really know why, precisely, I was just so glad I went through with the session and just so proud of myself. And as anyone who has ever had a session with Kara before knows, I got WAY more than one gorgeous photo of myself!"

So not only did she get her ONE good photo (which is, TRULY, all she expected or wanted), but she told me she had to have them all, and she got that much-needed self-love boost. THAT is what it's all about. I was SO very happy that she'd showed up, she let me guide her, coach her, and even happier she had an amazing experience and got an incredibly badass set of photos to remind her, every time she needs it, that she is incredible. 

 

Don't be a Lady | Austin Boudoir Studio

With all the feminist "noise" lately (it's.about.TIME.), comes a surge of female voices who are no longer afraid to stand their ground, to be heard, and to flip the bird to societally pressured gender roles that don't really suit them. 

I've become fascinated with the female trailblazers who are shattering the "rules" and doing their damn thing. I'm fascinated by the legends who just.don't.give.a.fuh what anyone thinks. And it's who I want to be.  It's who I'm actively working to be.

Like any aspiring badass, I turn to Stevie Nicks for wisdom. And Stevie says:

"Don't be a lady. Be a legend."

This quote, and the woman who muttered it matter-of-factly in the way she does, reminds me so much of the client featured here. She also adores Stevie Nicks....and had quite a bit of a modern-day-Stevie thing going on! 

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So enjoy these photos of a legendary human who completely SMASHED THE HELL out of her first boudoir experience. 

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"It was such a comfortable environment. I was so nervous but Kara immediately made me feel right at home. Treat yourself, its worth it!" -Miss H

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I couldn't adore these images from 2 years ago more. It was a happy surprise to see the photo use permissions come through my email recently! Now you can enjoy her legendary badassness, too!

Go forth and be legends. 

 

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!

 

The L word (lingerie) | Boudoir Wardrobe Ideas

Recently, I demonstrated to you that there are a TON of easy wardrobe options for the woman who isn't interested in lingerie, or who just doesn't have time to shop for her boudoir experience. If you missed that blog on zero fuss boudoir wardrobe, you can check it out HERE.

I promised that I would be releasing a blog and a little extra help for those who love the idea of lingerie-ing-it-up for their boudoir experience but quickly realized that I would NOT be the best person to write that blog!

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SO I brought in lingerie expert Ashley Kelsch to guest blog about what she does best. Ashley is the owner of one of my favorite local lingerie boutiques, Teddies for Bettys.

When my local clients visit one of her shops (downtown on 2nd street, or north Austin at the Domain), I know that they are going to show up to their session with well-fitting and beautiful pieces that flatter their bodies majestically. 

TAKE IT AWAY, ASHLEY!

 


Recently my girl and favorite boudoir photographer Kara Marie wrote a blog called “ZERO FUSS boudoir wardrobe. Literally.” It’s for the girl who maybe doesn’t have time to pull together a lingerie look for her boudoir session or the girl who just doesn’t feel her power in lingerie. You might be wondering what I have to say to that?! Here comes the truth train- I identify 100% with that woman. I know! Let me lift your jaws ;) I’m more of a minimalist as well as a last minute planner. Personally, I don’t necessarily identify my sexy side with a garter belt, but instead she is wrapped up in white crisp sheets with messy hair and a smokey eye.

Needless to say, Kara’s article and 15 Zero Fuss suggestions spoke to me. HOWEVER, I’m one of few AND ironically have a knack for helping women bring out their powerhouse self through lingerie styling. God works in mysterious ways… 

Kara and I share a similar clientele and I’ve have had the pleasure of spending time with many of her clients before they go for their own boudoir shoot. The task of lingerie shopping can seem daunting for some women, but in the end, despite any reservations they had before their boudoir shoot, they return with a photo album that would have Dita Von Teese handing out high fives. Actually, I feel like maybe Dita would hand out ass smacks with a paddle. Gentle ones, right? Yes. Dita Von Teese ass-smacking good photos. 

So how does it all go down? Where do we start and what do we suggest when you’re shopping for your boudoir session? I’m going to break it down for you in 5 easy steps. Who knows? Maybe by the end of this write up I will have convinced myself to explore the lingerie boudoir session and find my power through a garter belt!

 

FITTING

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The very first thing that you should do is have a professional bra fitting. There is nothing worse than unnecessary pinching, unflattering overhang, or a band riding up causing the girls to get low. Nine times out of ten this is caused by simply wearing the incorrect size. The last thing we want to do is get this common error caught on camera. So set yourself up for success from the get go by getting measured. Of course, I’m going to recommend one of our experts at both Teddies for Bettys' locations, but most any speciality store can happily help you determine your current bra size to guarantee you are ready to strike a put-together pose. 

 

FIND YOUR STYLE

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This step is SOOO important. What is YOUR style?  Exploring this question is key to finding out what makes you feel the most comfortable, aka your sexy-self. If you are not comfortable in an unlined lace demi you certainly do not want to try and strike a pose in front of the camera wearing one. Do you love lace? Push Ups? More or less coverage? Thongs vs bikini’s? Trying on different styles AND silhouettes will give you time to take yourself in and see your body dressed in something besides your normal everyday bra and panty.

Chances are you don’t wear bodysuits or a teddy very often. Being able to take the time to dress your body and see what works/doesn’t work will give you all the more confidence in front of the camera. If you’re anything like most women, you will be shocked at how sexy you feel in styles that you would have never considered before. This is where the fun starts happening- you start seeing yourself in a different light- which is the point of all of this, right? to reveal the inner you…

 

YOUR THEME

Now that we know what brings out your inner sexy self we can discuss your theme. Theme is, but not limited to the following questions; Are these pictures for you or someone special? Is their a special occasion involved? Are you looking to capture Sweet and girly? Classic? Vampy? Pin up? Conversely, if you tend to be more conservative in your everyday but there is a fierce and fiery seductress aching to come out, now would be the perfect time to play with embodying this role. Maybe you are looking to capture a few different sides of yourself. Something sweet, something sexy. Having a theme will help mainstream the process, give you some direction and a little peace of mind. There are so many ‘looks’ in boudoir photography and it’s easy to get caught up in wanting a little bit of everything, but that would make for a chaotic day. Once you know what your end goal is you can relax into the experience a little bit more.

 

PLAYING DRESS UP

We’ve made it to the fun part! After we’ve pulled lingerie based on your size, style and theme you get to start trying it on and bringing your look to life. Seeing yourself in the full ensemble is oh-so-important, ladies. This is where you stand on your toes (or we bring you some heels) and you start turning, twisting and looking. Whenever I watch this, I can’t help but notice how empowered a woman becomes. The layers start coming off and you start to take in your body, femininity, self and ADMIRE it. There is no question at this point who the boudoir session is for- it’s for you… (let the special someone think it’s for them, but we know girl. all yours.)

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ACCESSORIZE

What’s a garter belt without thigh-highs? Or a bare shoulder without a silk robe draping off? Though accessories are not imperative, you will want to take an inventory of your lingerie looks and decide if you’d like any extras; masks, jewelry, shoes, furs, etc. Maybe you have a sentimental piece from your someone special. You want to think this last step through even as small as it seems. I’m telling you, you will be mid pose and think, ‘noooo, I forgot my louboutin pumps! They would have matched back to this black lace bra and red lip like an olive in my martini!’ Let’s not have a shoulda-coulda-woulda.

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There you have it, babes! For customized boudoir shopping, be sure to hit up Ashley + her experts at Teddies for Bettys on 2nd Street in downtown Austin, or their new location at the Domain!  

As luck would have it, they're currently having a BACK TO SCHOOL SALE! Woot! 

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Now get your sassy booty in front of my camera!

Ciao. 

 

One of the Boys | Austin Boudoir Studio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

*high five, dude.* 

xx

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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Remembering You're More than "Mom" | Miss C | Austin Boudoir Studio

Motherhood is a beautiful, rewarding, selfless blessing and responsibility. It's SO selfless, in fact, that so many moms admit to having a hard time remembering who they were before having children.  If they try *super* hard, they can recall the days back when....

"I used to be more fun. I used to be more spontaneous. I used to be in better shape. I used to have ME time all the time. I used to stress less. I used to have a ton of friends....and I used to actually HANG OUT with them."  -Me. And just about every mom I know.

It's true that the majority of my clients are moms....most of them longing to remember the woman that they were before they were "Mom. MOMMY!!! MOMMAAA!?! Mom?? MOMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!!!".  And it's not just the duties of motherhood. It's LIFE. The responsibilities of adulting have a way of changing you and making you forget the most important relationship of all--the one with yourself. 

My clients come to me for many reasons, but re-connecting with their womanhood is top. 

Today's featured client is one of those truly blessed, truly exhausted moms who has overcome a ton of heartache, personal loss, and lost a large part of herself in the process.  It was clear to me from our first communications that this woman needed this. She needed to reconnect with herself, not as a mom, not as a wife, not as anything else...but as a woman

There is not much more that I can say to preface this post, because Miss C has written the most beautiful testimony of her experience and I hope that you take the time to read through it. Those who have lost a child, or were never able to conceive at all and had feelings of failure as a woman should especially read on. She is one STRONG woman, and I'm so delighted I had the opportunity to work with her.

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"GIRL you are a genius!!!! I truly don't know where to start. From the first email exchange to the photo reveal it has been the most amazing experience and has forever changed me.

As an angel mommy to 2 boys who have passed, I have felt like a complete failure as a woman. I have never seen myself as sexy ever, and have had some horrible relationships that have torn me down in so many ways. For the last 12 years, I have been 'Mom' and have put myself on the back burner. This [boudoir experience] was my way to help heal myself and start being ME in a way I've never been. As a soon-to-be 33 year old, and mom of 7, I decided I had to just jump in and go for it."

"I have never felt so comfortable around someone else in my entire life, not even my husband. The process was so easy the day-of. My nerves that were all over the place when I arrived, were easing away by the time my hair and makeup were done. I left the shoot on cloud nine feeling a confidence I had never felt before." 

To me, at that moment, the experience was worth it no matter what the pictures turned out looking like.
— Miss C

"The photo reveal left me speechless and just in pure awe that I was looking at MYSELF in these stunning photos! I called my husband on the way home with this amazing empowering feeling, like I hope my daughters always feel about themselves! I told him how shocked I was and how I think he will be pleasantly surprised at the photos. He laughed a little and said 'Nope I won't be surprised, I have eyes and see that in you all the time. I know they are going to be amazing and beautiful.' "

"My self-doubting ways are going away and I am finally confident in who I am and focusing on the positives. I am happier, spunkier and for the first time feel like I am good enough. My album arrived today I am again left in awe of this amazing experience!"

"I am already looking forward to doing this again it is truly addicting!!!! You are a true professional who feels like someone you have always known. Without you, it would not have been the same experience. Thank you for lifting my spirits and finally showing me what my husband sees." -Miss C.

ALL. THE. EFFING. FEELS. 

I cried reading this e-mail when it came in, and cried again composing the blog today. I am so honored to have been able to work with Miss C to help her reconnect with her womanhood, gain confidence, discover her SEXY (I mean, did you see these photos!?!? HOT DAMN!), and do it all so comfortably. I work really hard to make this a comfortable experience for all of my clients, so hearing it in the majority of my client raves makes me so incredibly happy. 

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Miss C for your candid review, for your trust, and for choosing me. I cannot wait to have you back and put another notch in your boudoir belt! You are strong, beautiful, and BADASS. 

 

IF YOU NEED A LITTLE BIT 'A HELP REKINDLING THE ROMANCE WITH YOUR 'OLD' SELF....LET'S CHAT!

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ZERO FUSS boudoir wardrobe. Literally. | Austin Boudoir Photographer

This post must be prefaced by saying: I LOVE GOOD LINGERIE.  I have a special all-black-everything place in my heart for a fine piece of "underthings". 

Yet, my favorite boudoir images of myself and clients are rarely the fruit of any sort of preparation at all. Not to mention there's a whole group of woman out there who can't even wrap their heads around the idea of themselves in a full garter set and heels...it just isn't them. Add to that the number of women who end up snagging a last-minute time slot that I announce due to a reschedule.....and they.have.zero.time.to.prepare.

After enough emails and comments about not knowing where to begin with boudoir wardrobe, I decided to take on the challenge of coming up with 15 boudoir looks out of my closet....not counting my lingerie drawers (because obviously not everyone is in the unique position of being a boudoir photographer who gets tempted by lingerie constantly while also having zero shopping willpower), without buying anything new.  In addition, I'll share self portraits and some client photos that have been the result of similar no-fuss preparation. 

1. The black blazer. 

Like just about everything else on this list, a black blazer is something that most women already have in their closet. I prefer more of a relaxed fit for boudoir photos...but can work with really any fit with proper clipping/pinning. For this set of self portraits, I opted for a black "boyfriend fit" blazer that I bought from Nordstrom Rack 3 years ago for $19.  You can put your blazer on over a bra + panty set, a pair of cute bottoms, or nothing at all. 

 

2. The White tank top

More inappropriately called a "beater" (UGHHH a cringe-worthy name. So let's just call it a white tank top.), wearing one of these with nothing under it, paired with a pair of white underwear is a completely classic, completely CHEAP look for some really steamy boudoir photos. This one was one of those fancy $3 Target tops that had a lace detail on the top of it to class it up ;) 

 

3. The oversized sweater.

Everyone has an open front sweater, yes? Grab it. Preferably in a neutral color. We can pair it with a cami like I did here, a bra + panty, or nothing at all. 

A couple more awesome examples from other clients:::

 

4.  The t-shirt

If you own nothing else on this list, #1- I don't believe you, but... #2- I KNOW you've got yourself a tshirt. It can be oversized, baby-sized, crop, off-shoulder...you name it, we can rock it. 

From a recent session with Miss J rocking out her boyfriend's Iron Lung band tee. LOVE.THIS.LOOK.

 

5. Nothing at all.

I've successfully captured some of my favorite boudoir images of all time using literally no wardrobe. Whether it's artistic nudes, implied nudes, or fine art...you don't need any more than your birthday suit for this one. 

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6. The sheets

Again with the "no wardrobe necessary", nothing says classic boudoir like a simple "in the sheets" session. 

 

7. The kimono

I have yet to wear a kimono for a shoot, but I've had so many clients rock it out. Kimonos look amazing over basic undergarments or simply as an accessory to a nude figure. 

 

8. The bodysuit.

There are few things I love more than a bodysuit. They are available everywhere (and all over the internet), they can be found relatively inexpensive, they are sexy, and they look amazing on all body types! I encourage my clients to bring one bodysuit to their session and I'm so glad when they listen!

 

9. The sleep shirt.

I AHHH-DOOORRRRRRE the morning-after look and feel of a sleep shirt in boudoir photos. There's something so raw and VOGUE about it, isn't there?  It can be draped so easily, buttoned/unbuttoned to any degree, and layered over whatever you'd like or nothing at all. 

 

10. The swimsuit.

Everyone's got a swimsuit...and I'm willing to bet everyone has a solid colored swim suit. You can use just the bottoms of a bikini, just a bikini top paired with underwear, or if you're a one-piece queen like me, rock your one piece as a bodysuit. I haven't had the chance to shoot in it yet, but a one piece black thong swimsuit paired with a loose cozy sweater draped off the shoulder is the perfect look for a cozy Sunday morning boudoir set. 

And check out Miss J rocking a bikini top with high waisted underwear!

...and the badass Miss C in a super awesome swimsuit that doubles as lingerie for sure!

 

11. The scarf.

Scarves are so versatile, inexpensive, and beautiful. Oftentimes they are a plethora of sheer luxurious looking fabric and are PERFECT for a boudoir shoot. 

My all-time favorite boudoir photo involves an ivory scarf from Target....

Followed by a black scarf from Target....

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....which I then just wrapped around me like a towel out of the shower.

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You can have fun with colors and textures and I've got at least 100 poses than can be accomplished using a scarf. We could do an entire boudoir set using nothing but! 

 

12. The robe.

There's been times when clients have forgotten their wardrobe (photo shoot day nerves! ha!), and I've just had them start off in a robe because they were too nervous to go straight for nude. We can make just about any robe work as demonstrated here in the largest, bulkiest robe ever from the South Congress Hotel. 

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13. The granny panties.

Just hike 'em up and you're in business! White cotton panties are hard to beat when it comes to comfort AND photo worthiness (and Sunday lounging).

 

14. The holy jeans

Ok...you DEFINITELY have jeans, right?! I was on a mission to make this one work even though I'm a no-pants girl by trade. Unbutton, pull down, and voila. 

Even mom jeans work....as TOTALLY DEMONSTRATED BY THESE PHOTOS. These are Ralph Lauren POLO high-rise jeans that were literally given to me by my mother in-law who didn't like the fit on her. (which I left out when I texted the photos to my husband. Woops.)

15. The jacket

Wearing a coat or jacket of some sort is a popular option for boudoir....leather jackets and fur coats in particular! Here are some favorite examples from recent sessions:

There you have it, ladies....a tremendously long-winded blog post to demonstrate that you don't NEED a shopping trip or even lingerie for a boudoir experience with me. Stress less about what you'll wear and enjoy the experience knowing that I'm pro at working with what you've got!!!!

If you do decide that you want to use your boudoir experience as an excuse for a fun shopping trip, I've got you covered there, too! All clients receive a boudoir prep guide chock full of lingerie recommendations and prep advice. Bottom line, whatever "kind of woman" you are, my goal is to make sure THAT woman shines through, not who you think you should be for these photos. 

xx