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. 

 

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

Back to School means BOUDOIR TIME! | Austin Boudoir Studio

It's here, it's HERE!  For most Austin moms, it's the bittersweet day that their precious, miraculous little demons (ok, SOMETIMES angels) head back to school. I'm one of *those* moms.  Sure, I teared up as the school bus pulled away, but it was literally about 4 minutes before I felt relief and thought "I need ME day!"...and...y'all...I've been off work for the last WEEK. 

Motherhood is fulfilling as hell...it is. And I love my little boo thangs more than life itself. They complete me and I'm #hashtagblessed to have them in my world.  But dang....not only is it HARD work, but it's NEVER-ENDING work. It's not easy to feel like a WOMAN when you're used to feeling like a MOM all.the.time.  

Kid: "Hey, MOM??!  MOMMM??? MOMMYY!?!?!? MA!! Hellll-OOOO!?!? MOM!?!?!?"

Me: ....WWWHHHHAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT!?!?!

Kid: "Do you know where my ____ is?"

^^^THAT.  About 20 times a day. Then finding the ____  that has been sitting in the very first place they should have looked. Then forgetting what you were doing before you were interrupted. Then starting something new. Then racing to work. Then realizing that you were so busy packing the kids' lunches that you left yours on the kitchen counter even though you SWORE you weren't going to order delivery at work anymore. 

MOMS NEED "SHHHH" TIME. THEY NEED LOVE. THEY NEED TO FEEL LIKE WOMEN. THEY NEED TO FEEL DESIRED OUTSIDE OF FINDING LEFT SHOES AND LUNCH BOXES. THEY NEED REMINDED THAT THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Ok, dads, too. But I don't photograph dudes...sooo...back to the ladies ;) 

Enter the Kara Marie Boudoir experience.

It's true that the majority of my clients are moms themselves.  They often arrive feeling frazzled because they've just had a morning like the one I just described and they can't quite get in the "it's about ME now" headspace.

But guess what I'm real good at?!   Making.you.forget.while.making.you.remember.  

I help you forget your gigantic to-do list...even if it's only for a few hours. 

I help you remember that you are a WOMAN. A beautiful, strong, skilled, independent, badass, and SEXY woman. 

Miss R, here, was a classic case of 'complete ball of nerves because how could she possibly be sexy for this shoot because she's a mom and stuff....and life...and....gahhh so many nervous feelings'. But, HELLL-OOOO BOMBSHELL!   We lit that right on fire and dominated her boudoir experience together. 

I mean...DO.YOU.SEE.HER.EYES.THOUGH!?!  

She walked away from her experience realizing that bombshell was still in there, and recognizing that her husband isn't just blowing smoke when he tells her how beautiful she is. 

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She writes: 

"Thank you so much for the absolutely beautiful photos! As I sit at home in the most mom-ish pajamas possible, and house shoes too, I can't help but smile thinking about how glamorous you and your team made me feel for a day! I am SO glad that I was able to step out of my comfort zone and embrace this experience, and beyond thankful that I was able to have you lead the way. I am pretty sure I have repeated, "I can't believe that is me" at least a thousand times today. You are truly gifted with what you do, but photography skills aside, you helped show me that there is still something more to me than just plain mom, and for that I can't thank you enough!"

"I feel like I can see that the girl that existed before babies is still living in there somewhere, and that I need to stop being so hard on myself and try to see myself through other people's eyes!" -Miss R

Raising my "#1(ish) MOM" mug to you, Miss R. THANK YOU for hanging in there with me through your nervousness about the session and for trusting me with the process.  You are an amazing mom....and while that's an incredible title to hold, you're so much more than that, too! 

Now if you'll excuse me, ladies, I've got to get back to my emails....because....holy crap do the flood gates OPEN at back to school time!  So I guess we should all know that we aren't alone ;) 

NEED TO MAKE IT ABOUT **YOU** FOR ONCE!?! I CAN HELP.       LET'S CHAT...

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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

HEY YOU! You've got my attention. | Austin Boudoir Studio

As years pass, more and more women are coming to me for a boudoir experience....and I mean....coming to me from other places....as in flying to me. I can't even tell you how giddy it makes me when someone reaches out from New York, California, hell...CANADA...and says they want to come to Austin just do have a boudoir experience with me. It tells me that I'm doing something right.

I believe that right thing is making boudoir about more than just boobs and booties. It's about each woman's STORY. It's about the experience I provide. It's about the way these women FEEL when they are with me.  The women that make their way to my little Austin, TX studio are doing so for a purpose, and I take that purpose very seriously. 

There's a reason that all of the rave reviews on my page say similar things. "I felt so comfortable!" "I have never felt so sexy and I hadn't even seen one photo yet!" and "I am so so glad I did this for myself".....notice those raves have nothing to do with the photos. It's about something even more important than the photos themselves. 

When a woman is in my "care", she has my attention. I ask questions about her life, not because I'm making small talk...but because I genuinely want to know who she is, what she does, what lead her to me. I want to find out the real reason behind her boudoir experience with me....not just the one she mentioned in the e-mail when booking me.

You can ask my husband...no matter where I'm at or what I'm doing, if I see a "REVIEW" e-mail come in from a client, I stop everything to read their words about their experience....and I tear up every.damn.time. Even if it's something I've read over and over from different women. 

When I received Miss C's email, I did the same. I was at my son's soccer game and reading "I would have traveled pretty much anywhere for you"...as I shed a tear thinking about how special I felt making this amazing woman from California feel special herself.. I'm not "mushy gushy" about much, guys....but my work...my clients....I MUSH AND GUSH ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Read and view, y'all. Read. and. view. 

"The whole experience was great from the initial email up to this review. I appreciated the quick response to emails and the notes on what to expect and how to prepare (I musta read over them at least 10x)."

"Since I'm a long-time Instagram follower (aka stalker) of Kara Marie Boudoir, I know that Kara is a very busy woman, but during my time at the studio I never felt like her attention was else where. I felt very much like the center of attention and my time there was focused on my experience and making sure I was comfortable and having a good time. I left wishing the time was longer and looking forward to doing it again."

"My morale after an experience like this, and especially after viewing the pictures, is at an all time high. I'm learning more and more as I get older that the more often we are able to do things for ourselves, the better we feel from the inside out." 

"It's difficult to put into words the feelings of self-confidence, self-worth, and inner strength that result from doing this. It's a remarkable feeling and I wish I could convince all of the women in my life to do this for themselves."

"Thanks again so much for the whole experience.  You are a true artist and you work stays with a woman forever.  I would have traveled pretty much anywhere for you. I didn't want to pose by any window, it had to be THAT window; I didn't want to lay down and arch my back on any floor, it had to be YOUR floor.  Anything else would have been settling, and quite frankly I've done enough settling in my day."

Goodness. I'm so so grateful for Miss C and clients like her who value the experience that I work so hard to create. More than that, I'm so grateful for what I takeaway from each and every boudoir experience. Every woman that I have the opportunity to work with affects my life in big ways. 

It doesn't have to be me...but if you find a boudoir photographer whose body of work and boudoir philosophy speaks to you....GO TO THEM. It.is.WORTH.IT.  Don't settle for someone based just on proximity to you. You will value it so much more if you invest in your own boudoir experience with THE photographer you want to work with...wherever they are. 

 

THANK YOU, MISS C!!!! I adore you.   xoxox

Googling "How to Be Sexy".... | Miss K | Austin Boudoir Studio

Ohh, the dreaded "BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOOK/ACT SEXY" excuse! I get it all the time. Like...almost every single shoot. My clients tell me how terrible they are in front of the camera, how they have NO clue how to be even remotely sexy, how they dislike this and that about their bodies. 

I'll tell you what I tell every single client...

It's not your job to make yourself look amazing in your photos. It's mine. And you're in really, really good hands. Promise.

Not only do I have tons of boudoir photography experience under my belt, but I'm also highly intuitive (which allows me to really read people's demeanor to know if they need a little more assistance feeling comfortable, or if they're not particularly digging one of their outfits, etc), AND I've got this knack for posing people oh-so-perfectly to play up their favorite bits, ANNNND make them love their not-so-favorite-bits so much more. 

But enough about me. On your end of things, you're already awesome...we know that. You're gorgeous--whether or not I've met you. You've got things going on for you that no other woman has. 

Every so often, I'll have a client who thinks they are going to be the first person to make my job impossible (Nope. Not gonna happen.), orrrrr who thinks that I only show the modelesque women on my website and their images aren't going to be anywhere near as good (I show everyone who gives me permission to! Your photos WILL turn out that good.). I always joke with clients that my favorite part of boudoir photography is proving people wrong.

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Miss K is an example of a woman who was quite a bit nervous for her session, and not expecting walk out of her shoot feeling so amazing...and certainly not expecting to love her photos so much. Hear from her here:

"This year I turn 30 AND get a new last name! I wanted to do this shoot just as much for myself as I did for my fiancé, who I must say makes me feel beautiful even in my 'give-ups,' as he calls them.

I booked my session 5 months in advance, because #weddingdiet, so I had lots of time to anticipate being super awkward. On the day of, Kara's fabulously personable demeanor and coaching {and my glass of champagne} quickly put me at ease...and, VOILÁ! "

"The walls I had built of insecurities and negative thoughts about myself vanished. I left my photo shoot feeling so incredibly empowered and beautiful, which was a huge shift from the same girl who was googling "how to be sexy" the night before (I wish that was a joke). "

"This was such an unbelievable experience for me and I could not be more thrilled to have stepped out of my comfort zone. I encourage every woman to do this, if not for someone else, for YOURSELF."

"And, finally, a huge shoutout to Kara for her amazing talent...I even got a "Damn!" out of my sweet, southern mama."

I assure you, SHE.WAS.SEXY....though I'm not sure it had anything to do with what her Google search results turned up ;)

Miss K was an absolute stunner. Her curves were that of a goddess, her freckles were sprinkled perfectly on her face and shoulders, and her eyes were the most insane shade of blue. Between that and all the pose guidance and continuous encouragement, we certainly could write a new article for Google search on "HOW TO BE SEXY". We got this. 

SO many thanks to Miss K for trusting me, for letting me show her all her sexy, and for sharing her experience with all of the KMB readers!

You ready?!? The hardest part for you will be reaching out to start the conversation. I'll take care of the rest. Promise. Let's chat!

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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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