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. 

 

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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The ease of a KMB Boudoir Experience | Austin Boudoir Studio

Ahhhh the boudoir experience::: a source of mad anxiety from the time of considering the session to showing up to the studio. It doesn't matter how much I preach about how EASY it's about to be for a woman, the idea of stripping down in front of a stranger's camera is stressful...and...well...terrifying. 

Let me try one more time to emphasize the ease for any of you who may be nervous about this. If the oodles of rave reviews aren't enough for you, I'll add one more and explain the process along the way. Miss M was insanely nervous. Like....REALLY REALLY nervous. One of the more nervous women to walk into my studio. 

Her close friend and roommate actually had a boudoir experience with me last year, and Miss M came with her to her photo reveal and was blown away. Even with her friend's promise of a super easy and FUN experience, she was uneasy about how she would photograph. 

Months and months later, she finally worked up the courage to book, though her shoulders were tensed up to her ears and her voice was shaking a bit as we talked through the session on her shoot day. 

About 10 minutes into the shoot, she began to calm down, and by the end of it, I had to many incredible images of her that even I was STOKED for her finished product. 

So, what's it like?? What *exactly* goes on during a session? 

First and foremost, by the time you walk through the doors, you've already received so much information from me that there really isn't anything left to wonder about. You know how long we'll be together, how many outfits we'll be photographing you in, how long hair and makeup takes, and that I'll be giving you guidance along the way. 

We go through your outfits together and I'll offer you a beverage while you're slipping into your robe. My makeup artist chats with you about how much fun you're about to have (She should know, she's done it 6 times!!), and calms your nerves. 

When it's shoot time, I give you another run down of the process, how it's actually fun and silly and not at all a "sensual" experience. We'll be chatting along the way. I'll encourage you the whole time. I'll be mindful of your "insecurities" and play up your favorite features. I'll direct EVERY SINGLE POSE. Every limb. Your hair. Your face. All of it. All you need to do is copy me. 

Time will FLY. It ALWAYS done. If I don't make a very conscious effort to check on the time, I would shoot all day. It's fun for me, it's fun for you, and it's over before you know it. You'll already want to do it again (and probably will...they always do ;) )

Miss M agrees:

"I'm so happy that I treated myself to this experience! I spent months worrying about choosing the right outfit, planning, and wondering if I made the right decision to be semi-naked in front of a camera; all of my stress was for nothing!"

"I felt informed every step of the way and the entire process leading up to the shoot (booking, communication, what to expect) was so easy. The shoot itself was even easier!"

" I felt welcomed and comfortable from the moment I got to the studio. Between talking, posing, and outfit changes, I didn't even have a chance to worry if I looked "pretty enough" or "thin enough." I was able to submerge myself in a judgment-free zone and really take in how I felt in my body in those moments"

"I left feeling proud that I did something that I had wanted, but been afraid to do, for so long!"

She sat through her photo reveal slideshow in stunned silence...along side her friend and roommate who had been in a year before. When it was over, she breathed a deep breath of relief, and did a little clap.  The photos, of course, turned out incredible. Turns out I really *do* know what I'm doing. Tee hee. 

ALL of my clients are nervous, some more than others...but they all have that self-doubt that all of my clients are models and naturally good in front of the camera and that they will be the very first person that I cannot photograph.  Yes, the women on my website look modelesque...they do. But very few of them are actually comfortable in front of a camera. Not many of them would describe themselves as photogenic and sexy. Yet every single one of them looks that way. 

I got you, girrrrrrlll! Promise. You will laugh at how nervous you were and will most definitely want to do it again...knowing that if your photos turned out THIS good when you were terrified....they will be even better the second round when you know what to expect. 

Trust me. 

Ready to bite the bullet? Let's chat dahhling!

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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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Name

Au Natural with Hannah | Austin Yoga Boudoir

It all started when...

I was approached by a yoga studio that I frequented back in 2008 to photograph the instructors in yoga poses. I had been practicing yoga for a while (admittedly, off and on), and found it to be so beautiful for my soul...but as a professional photographer, I can't believe I hadn't thought about how beautiful it would be to PHOTOGRAPH. 

Yoga + Acro Yoga guru, Hannah Gypsyon  | IG: @gypsyon__

Yoga + Acro Yoga guru, Hannah Gypsyon  | IG: @gypsyon__

Flash forward to my relocation to Austin, TX nearly seven years ago. A city flooded with yogis, and now I had a beautiful studio that was stunningly organic-looking and naturally lit in a heavenly way. When I would have a client in my studio for a boudoir session, and then found out she was a yogi, we would incorporate a few yoga poses into their boudoir shoot. 

The more I did this, the more I fell madly in love. Word began to spread, and soon, I was booked regularly for nude yoga boudoir photos. I love when my passions collide with those of others. These sessions are some of the most stunningly raw that I've ever captured. 

If you don't follow Hannah Gypsyon on Instagram, you must go NOW!  A beautiful and naturally raw yogi and acro yogi, her feed is flooding with the most organic images of her in practice, as well as her boyfriend Pablo. I assure you, you'll see this feed and go researching acro yoga classes in your city and then make your partner take them with you. (That may or may not have been me when I first discovered her feed....). So inspiring and couple goals AF. 

Anyhow, I commented on one of her insanely amazing videos and she reached out to me for a nude yoga session and it was every bit as inspiring as she is. Talk about disciplined talent!! There's not a whole lot I need to say about this woman or this set of images, the photos most definitely will do a better job of that. But check. them. OUT. 

nudeyogaboudoir

To view more of my nude yoga work, there's a special tab on my website since it's become such a "thing" for Kara Marie Boudoir. Check out the yoga boudoir page HERE. 

Infinite thanks to Hannah for sharing her skillset, gift, and beauty with me and the rest of the world. I continue to be so so grateful for the amazing things my camera allows me to be a part of. 

Namaste. ;)

From Cute to Sexy | Austin Boudoir Studio

Ahhh yes. I've heard it a hundred times before...the ol' "I've always felt CUTE...but never sexy."

What most people don't realize is that "sexy" doesn't have much to do with appearance. It's about the way you carry yourself. It's about confidence. It's that feeling you get when you know you're amazing.

And with me directing your poses, facial expressions, and encouraging you the entire time, you are guaranteed to feel SEXY through the whole process. Especially seeing your photos. 

It was an absolute pleasure to blow Miss K away and show her just how sexy she is!

"I have always considered myself 'cute', but I never would have described myself as sexy."

It felt so great to actually feel sexy!
— Miss K

"The whole experience from arrival, to hair and makeup to the actual shoot, it was a great day. Having my sister with me was the icing on the cake!"

" I felt very confident after the photo shoot. It was so much fun and definitely an experience I could do again."

To me, sexy is the confident energy a person produces. Sexy is the comfortable feeling of being who you are. Sexy is not just having beautiful lips, legs, and arms. It is beyond that. Sexy is soul.
— Karina Smirnoff

I'm so grateful for clients like Miss K that can come into the studio, trust me to do what I do best, and who finally get to see the SEXY in there. Because the more you experience, the more you can carry that SEXY with you every.single.day. 

ARE YOU READY TO SEE MORE THAN 'CUTE' WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

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