TIME TO GET READY FOR YOUR SHOOT!
Hello, Beautiful! I am SO excited to be photographing you! I tend to over-communicate with my clients so they know exactly how to prepare and exactly what to expect throughout the whole process. Hope you don't mind ;)
Exactly what kind of images are you hoping to walk away from your session with? Do you find yourself drawn to anonymous images that show off the body? Portraits? Editorial? It can be very difficult to articulate your own style, so we don’t ask you to. Instead, the first thing that I ask clients to do is to create a "secret" Pinterest board for their photo session. If you are not a Pinterest user, you can also just send me some photos, but I find that the secret board on Pinterest is the best way for you and I to get a good visual of the concept we're going for. We'll first both have to be following each other, so go ahead and "follow" me HERE, and I'll follow you back! Then, you'll have to "invite" me to your board so I can see it (KaraMarie_T search Kara Marie Studios)!
Once that's done, I want you to create a Pinterest board for " (YOUR NAME) Boudoir" (it's very important that you name your board with your name because otherwise I'll have a hundred "MY BOUDOIR SHOOT" boards and won't know who is who) and, without thinking too much about it, I want you to PIN anything that speaks to you and your style. We have lots of boards on our page for you to reference, but you can also take it upon yourself to venture out into Pinterest or pin images directly from this page or the rest of our website!
Try to turn off your fear and over-thinking at this point. Don't say things like "OHH that's so beautiful, but I would NEVER be able to pull that off!" or "I WISH I could look like that!". That's not the point of this exercise. After pinning 25 or so images, I will very easily be able to get a visual of your style and the type of images you are interested in. Do you like sweet, bright, and bubbly? Do you like dark, moody, and seductive? Do you like shots that capture the entire body? Do you like close-up teaser shots of body parts? We'll find out together! The purpose of this is NOT to find photos to replicate at all! It is inspiration and now that we'll both know the kind of images you really like, it will be easier to deliver a set of photos that are YOUR STYLE, as long as it matches up with what I have to offer.
TYPES OF IMAGES
While our standard style is “authentic cool girl” (You’ll get it when you see your first image. You’ll look confident and cool. It’s our specialty ;) ), there are lots of different types of image categories to work with.
What are your favorites?
Showcasing the beautiful bits that grace the female form. Collarbones, shoulders, arms, spines…these types of shots are perfect for a wall artscape and to add visual balance to an album.
With or without clothes, these images include your face and a portion of your body. We have black, charcoal, light grey, and white backdrop options for different aesthetics.
Classic Boudoir Style…
If you’re here for the skin, we’ve got you covered. The Kara Marie Boudoir style is elevated, effortless looking, and a beautiful celebration of the female form. Most boudoir style images are shot nude, or while wearing sheets or some form of loungewear.
Fine Art Nudes…
Taking a page out of the Renaissance Art period, Kara Marie’s fine art nudes are a timeless display of the female form.
These bold, high-contrast statement images will leave you breathless. Mostly silhouetted, these types of shots look best in levels of undress…very sheer tops and slips leave just enough to the imagination.
These types of shots are quite a bit more curated, posed, and polished…which means there will be far fewer of them, but these images will be billboard ready. If you want to feel like a centerfold, consider requesting stylized beauty for one of your sets. Ideal wardrobe for this are long skirts, gowns with excess fabric, jeweled lingerie, and statement pieces.
Coming in from out of town?
Check out our "Welcome to Austin" guide for recommendations for accommodations, food, and fun to make the most out of your time here!
JOIN THE SISTERHOOD
You can always reach out to me via e-mail; but if you want a broader audience, a safe space has been created so you can engage with other women who have experienced a Kara Marie Boudoir shoot or have one coming up! Start to get pumped about your shoot, ask any questions, calm last minute nerves, and interact with other empowered ladies through the Kara Marie Boudoir Family Facebook Page!
Most of our clients come to us at the Kara Marie Boudoir studio on South 1st street. Our space is built for photos. Gorgeous natural light, stunning clean simple sets, even the most flattering paint color for all skin tones (yes, we thought of everything). HOWEVER, I also love shooting in new places! If the schedule permits and for an additional fee, we can discuss having your session in your home or an alternate location.
HONESTLY, and I'm not even close to exaggerating here, wardrobe is really not that crazy important for the way that I shoot. Please, please, please don't stress out over wardrobe. Don't feel the need to run out and buy all new things. I can do a completely versatile and awesome shoot with a single scarf, or the sheets, or a sweater. Truly. Don't stress about it.
Here's some wardrobe tips to calm your nerves and help you decide what to bring::
*THE NUMBER ONE WARDROBE RULE IS:::: Do NOT bring outfits that you don't love! I can't tell you how many women show up with outfits that prompt them to say "I really don't like the way I look in this one, but I'll leave it up to you!". If you don't like the outfit, it's likely that you won't like photos of you in the outfit. Leave it at home!
*Lingerie is NOT a must! Especially complete lingerie sets. Don't be afraid to get creative! For a boudoir style shoot, a garter belt and thigh high fish nets would go great with a cropped sweater or graphic tee. A gorgeous bra can be paired with a long flowing skirt. Your favorite tank top can be paired with no pants. A SHEET can be used for everything. Your 20 year old favorite tee shirt paired with cheeky bottoms will get the job done just perfectly. This is about YOU and your authentic personality, not about being someone you aren’t.
For beauty or portraits, structured and/or statement pieces work amazing. Your favorite blazer or jacket, a cocktail dress with an interesting neckline, or just a bodysuit and jeans….we want you to look and feel like yourself (just on your best day).
When in doubt, just bring in some of your favorite wardrobe items and let me style them for you.
*My shoot style is very "I'm-not-trying-too-hard-chic"! We go for the "I woke up like this" look as often as possible. For that look, wardrobe is even LESS of a obstacle. CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST ON STYLING YOUR ENTIRE BOUDOIR SESSION WITH ONLY WHAT YOU'VE GOT IN YOUR CLOSET ALREADY! READ MORE HERE.
*Structured pieces and solids look great on camera as well as items with texture, and those that are form fitting to show your figure.
*If wearing thigh-highs, buy them 1-2 sizes TOO BIG according to the size chart on the back! Buying them in a size that supposedly "fits" according to the package size chart will likely result in the stockings giving a bit of thigh muffin top ;) We can get them to stay up for each "pose", or you can wear a garter belt to keep them from slipping.
*If you've got large breasts or...eh hem..."mom boobs" (I can say that because I'm totally rocking them myself), SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT. Don't buy lingerie that doesn't have any underwire unless you have small and perky boobs...which is about 2% of the population by my math! ;) No need for push-ups or chicken cutlets, either. It’s best to keep clothing form-fitting if you’re ultra voluptuous to show off those curves!
*If opting for lingerie, I recommend going to a local lingerie boutique to have yourself properly fitted. Recommendations can be found at the bottom of the page. OR if you're interested in online ordering, True & Co. has a really amazingly helpful website and quiz that will help you to determine what styles and sizes work best for you. https://trueandco.com/quiz/intro
*Tiny busy patterns as well as neon colors are often harsh on-camera and a bit unflattering so try to avoid them.
*Have several outfits picked out and we can go through them together before your shoot to determine what will photograph best. We will have time for 1 outfit (nude counts as an outfit, if you’re wondering) for every 30 minutes you are scheduled.
*Try to incorporate a variety of pieces into your wardrobe selections. Having 5 different bra and panty sets won't allow for a whole lot of variety in your photos. Rather, have something formal, something casual, something super textured and fun, something more modest, to something black and sleek...you get the idea.
*We can work with pretty scarves, sheets, white button down shirts, or my favorite look is a super amazing tighter-fitting top and no bottoms (don't worry, lady bits covered!)
*Make sure your wardrobe selections aren't wrinkled, and cut all the tags off of your sheer items before arriving.
*No costumes, props, or military apparel, please. They tend to be more "themey" and is not the style of photography that I specialize in.
If you are more of a lingerie type of girl....or if you WANT to be, I recently published a blog on *THAT*, too, as written by guest blogger Ashley Kelsch of Teddies for Bettys! Get more information on styling your session with lingerie HERE!
FLATTERING ALL FIGURES:
All women, I truly believe this, are beautiful!!! Curves, no curves, all shapes, all sizes, are beautiful. I often get questions from clients saying "I'm curvy--so what should I wear?" or "I have no butt!". Here's a few tips based on the most common "complaints" I get from women and how to enhance those features with wardrobe.
*Curvy bodies- BRING ON THE FORM-FITTING ITEMS! I adore bodysuits, tight dresses, and nothing at all….especially for voluptuous bombshells. We often see curvy women trying to cover up more, but often that has the opposite effect they think it will. Allowing me to pose you so that we can see your figure and celebrate it is the way to go!
*Flat-butts- Thongs tend to make a butt look fuller than full-coverage bottoms or g-strings. Play around in the mirror with different styles to see what you like best! And don't worry, I'm a PRO at creating curves in posing where there aren't any otherwise! I can get a killer booty shot with any level of curve (or lack thereof).
*Shorter legs- High heels with a THIN heel rather than chunky! Avoid shoes with thick ankle straps or a square toe. Nude shoes naturally elongate the legs.
*Thin/no curves- That’s all in the posing-girl! Form fitting options and nothing at all work great as I pose the heck out of you to make you look and feel bodacious.
*Small chest- Underwires and balconettes are lovely, as well as NO BRA AT ALL (my personal favorite for small chested women!) And also, small boobs rock. So please don't feel the NEED to create extra "oomph" unless it's something that really concerns you.
"Mom boobs"- If your breasts are a bit lower or “floppier” than you’d like them to be, just be sure to snag a bra with some support, or form fitting bodysuits that will keep them at bay. Posing will play a huge role here, and I’m really good at that. So…bring your mom boobs my way and we’ll embrace the hell out of them!
*Surgery scars and stretch marks- My personal believe is that scars tell a story. Sometimes clients wish they didn’t have to be permanently reminded of that story, and other times, clients embrace their scars and say they’re a part of them. For this reason, I will never edit out a scar or stretch mark unless a client specifically requests it….and if they do, in fact, request that retouching, I will happily do that at no additional charge. This is a VERY personal topic and it’s not my decision to make. I welcome scars and stretch marks, but I also support a woman’s decision to conceal them if they would like!
*Get your beauty sleep! Seriously! Photoshop can't fix tired.
**BRUSH YOUR LIPS- sounds weird, right?! Dry lips are very hard to fix in post processing. In the days leading up to your photoshoot, use your toothbrush while brushing your teeth to also make a few passes over that pucker of yours. This will help shed dead skin. After that, apply a moisturizing lip balm...repeat repeat repeat. If you’re looking for a KILLER product recommendation….I LOVE DR. LIPP’S MIRACLE BALM. You can score a tube of it on AMAZON, and don’t be surprised if you see it referring to being a Nipple Balm in the description. It’s a jack-of-all trades balm that was originally released as a lip conditioner, but because it’s 100% lanolin and odorless/tasteless/colorless, people soon discovered you could do nearly anything with it. Nursing moms love it for cracked nipples, I love it for luscious lips and a cheek highlight, I’ve heard of people using it on dry heels/elbows/knees, etc. For less than $15, a tube of this stuff will last you a REALLY long time (My first tube was a teeny trial sized BirchBox find that lasted me 4 months!)
*Make it an opportunity to pamper yourself! Go a few days before your shoot and get a manicure and pedicure! This will give you a finished, polished look. Chipped polish can be distracting.
*Lather on the lotion! Supple is key for beautiful skin! Be sure to moisturize twice a day for the week leading up to your shoot. On the day of your shoot, use a non-bronzer illuminizing lotion. If you're having a hard time finding an illuminizing lotion without color, you can absolutely just go with an oil based lotion like Argan Oil Moisturizer or Coconut Oil Moisturizer. Don't use tinted lotions or anything with color. We will have some moisturizer at the studio for you to use if you don't have a lotion you love.
*Have extra wardrobe options! Bring at least 4-5 different outfits, a couple pair of shoes if you’re a shoe girl, and accessories only if you usually wear them. We may not use it all, but it never hurts to have options. Often clients will bring a smattering of wardrobe options and I’ll just style up some different looks that they maybe weren’t thinking and they end up loving them.
*Plan ahead. Nothing puts a damper on a fun and relaxing photo shoot like feeling rushed or late! You should plan for traffic and arrive about 5 minutes before your scheduled start time.
*Make a playlist! Music will really help you get into the super model zone!! Try to select music that matches the concept of your shoot. We have a bluetooth speaker at the studio to stream your tunes if you bring them! We also have a pretty kickass boudoir playlist that tends to jive well with most people.
*Bring a lightweight, soft robe without any undergarments on while getting your makeup done. This will allow for any marks from tight bras, etc to even out so they don't show up in your images. Avoid your big furry winter robe as that will tend to leave little dimples in your skin AND I find that most clients have a higher body temperature while they are getting makeup done because of nerves...it's hard to do makeup when you're sweating! ;)
*Trust me. I won't make you do anything that is going to make you look bad. I'm a pro. I've been doing this for a long time and I know how to make a woman look good with killer poses, strategic lighting, and appropriate camera angles. I've photographed over 2,500 women in the last 10 years and have quite literally worked with EVERY body type and insecurity. I've got you covered. Don't stress. (Easier said than done, I understand.)
*No spray tans before your shoot! I know you think that you look better with a tan...but I assure you, even if you don't see the streaks and unevenness with your naked eye, the camera will pick them up. You will photograph a lot more tan than you think you look (especially given that my specialty is low-key lighting and black and white imagery), and spray tans will photograph orange in color images. Trust me on this!! On that same note, no tinted lotions or bronzers on your body.
*No props, please. If you have jewelry that has sentimental value, absolutely bring it! But avoid jerseys, military apparel, weapons (yes, really), sports equipment, masks, etc etc etc.
*No alcohol the night before! If you're nervous, try a bubble bath and a yoga class. Hangovers aren't sexy. Lawwwwd do I know it.
*Don't drink a bottle of red wine right before you show up in efforts to calm your nerves! #1-It will stain your teeth and lips. #2--Drunk doesn't photograph pretty either. HOWEVER, I'm admittedly an advocate of a little bit of booze to soothe anxiety if you are super nervous. SO, I set a firm 2 drink maximum limit for my clients on the day of their shoot. Champagne or white wine is a good option because it won't stain your mouth and will still calm you down a little. You're welcome to bring a small bottle with you to the studio. We have non-alcoholic refreshments to offer you.
*Have a good stretch. Many of these poses, while they look effortless, are quite unnatural feeling. Take a few minutes on the morning of your shoot to stretch your arms, legs, hips, and especially your back. People are surprised to see how sore their muscles get after something as silly as a photo shoot, so any extra flexibility you can add by a quick yoga flow will only benefit you.
*Don't get a new haircut/color immediately before your shoot. Now isn’t the time to experiment with a whole new look.
*NO NEGATIVE SELF-TALK ALLOWED. I don't want to hear about how you hate your hips. I want to hear about how you LOVE your legs. A great attitude will go a long way in having a fabulous and upbeat experience! HOWEVER...if you really feel the need to discuss the thing that bothers you the most about your body, just let me know by saying "I love my ___, but my biggest insecurity is my ___". I will be extra careful to play down your "flaws"...but I will ALSO make it my challenge to take the best damn image featuring your ____ so you have a new-found appreciate for it ;)
SO….what are you worried about?
It happens all the time…a client’s photo shoot is a few days away and she begins to panic. I get a terrified e-mail in the middle of the night begging for me to talk them off the ledge. They want to cancel, they just haven’t had the time to prepare, you name the excuse, I’ve heard it. So let me be proactive here and tackle the most common trepidations I hear, so that maybe you won’t be hyperventilating in the middle of the night on the day before your session.
*STRESS ACNE. Yeah, it happens. Pimples suck. If you think for one second that every woman you see pictured on my website was magically pimple-free on the day of their session, you’re taking crazy pills. We retouch blemishes and bruises with ease on every photo you see. No problem. No stress. Let that pimple try it’s hardest to ruin your day, but your photos will not be a permanent reminder of it.
*BODY ISSUES. I long for the time that women are comfortable in their skin at all stages, for the time that women embrace their wobbly bits and beautiful side creases. That said, I know women well enough to be realistic and understand that many women struggle with self love and no matter how much I tell them they are beautiful, they wish they would have lost just a few more pounds before their session. For THOSE women, I can assure you, that this ain’t my first rodeo. The majority of the women that come in to see me are working on loving themselves, but struggle. They don’t approve of the size of their thighs, their belly pooch, their dimples. I take women’s feelings very seriously and never want to make anyone uncomfortable. While this is a body positive studio, I will also light and pose you in the most flattering possible way while I shoot you from the best possible angles.
I’ve spent the last decade photographing all kinds of women, all extraordinary in their own way. I’ve learned all the tricks to ensure that I am featuring the attributes that women most love about themselves, while paying special care to downplay areas of concern. While I’m going to make it my very best effort to change your mind on what you consider to be your “flaws”, I don’t expect every woman to be ready for that yet.
*POSE ANXIETY. This one’s easy. You don’t have to know how to pose…not even a little bit. I will walk you through every step of the way. I will get into the poses myself and have you mirror me. If we didn’t get it right on the first try, I’ll gently redirect you. It’s not YOUR job to take amazing photos, it’s mine. And I’m pretty competitive about taking amazing photos.
*BEING THE ONE CLIENT THAT I AM UNABLE TO GET A GOOD PICTURE OF. If you’re thinking that all of the women featured on the pages of my website and social media are models, you’re sorely mistaken. I have NEVER….EVER had a client who didn’t love their photos. You don’t have to love EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, but you will love most of them. And you will be shocked that you could love photos of yourself this much. I WILL rock out your photo session and I WILL get a whole bunch of killer images of you. I always do. But if you come into the shoot with an open mind and with trust in me, we’ll get EXTRA. And extra is always good.
Where to Prepare...
I've got a few recommendations for local businesses + websites that will help you prepare your face and bod for your session! Feel free to pay these establishments a visit and mention that Kara Marie Boudoir sent you!
TRUE + CO- For a personalized online lingerie shopping experience. A questionnaire helps you select styles that suit you!
Navya- The best "brow lady" in Austin! Navya treats your face as a canvas and works her magic like whoah!
WaxThat! - Professional Hair Removal and Tinting. 2900 South Congress #109. 512.789.8019
Piazza Center for Advanced Skincare- HydraFacial / Dermaplaning / SO many amazing services. 7900 FM 1826. 512.288.8200 **CALL FOR A COMPLIMENTARY HYDRAFACIAL FOR ALL KARA MARIE BOUDOIR CLIENTS!!!!! USE CODE: GLOW*** Must be used within 6 months of session, I recommend 1 week before so you have nice glowy skin for your shoot.
HEAT Bootcamp + Personal Training if you're looking to sweat it out before your shoot! 2210 South 1st Street. Use code HAVEONEONUS for your first class free! 512.994.6886
What to Expect...
A couple of days before you shoot, you can expect to get a confirmation from me, just making sure we are on the same page about your makeup start time, shoot start and end time, and location...and I'll also ask if you have any last minute questions!
On the day of your shoot, your makeup will be done by my glam squad. You should have your face clean and moisturized when you arrive. If you haven't added on a hair stylist, you should already have your hair done prior to arriving. Make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing while getting makeup done! While you're getting lovely, I will take a peek at your wardrobe selections and start putting together looks so we can hit the ground running when you're done in makeup! Once you're done with makeup, you can get into your first look and throw a robe on over it.
Once the shoot begins, you can expect me to give you gentle direction. I will not expect you to super model pose throughout your shoot. I will show you what to do, and encourage improvising whenever you feel comfortable. I will say things to elicit laughter whenever possible, too...so be prepared (or, actually, don't. It's better that way.)
The poses generally aren't very comfortable and your shoot will give you more of a workout than you anticipate. But I assure you, I know what I'm doing. Get a good stretch in the morning of your session, and the evening after your session. A couple of ibuprofen might need to happen for those lower back aches, but it will allll be worth it!
Your shoot time will FLY by. That's a good thing!! That means it wasn't awkward or boring. Just the right amount of fun!
Within a few days of your shoot, I will email you a teaser image with a referral voucher that you can pass on to your friends if you'd like! Within 2-3 weeks I will schedule your photo viewing with you so that you can see all of your proofs and order anything you'd like! You should be prepared to place your full order on the day of your photo reveal and ordering appointment. Most clients find themselves getting a large album as well as a piece or three of our fine art metal wall art.
Any questions?? PLEASE don't hesitate to ask, dahhling! I'm here to help!
AHH, I bet you didn't think you'd ever have to do homework again, did you? Think again, beautiful! First, I want you to head on over to Pinterest and create a secret board called "(YOUR NAME) Boudoir". Follow me, I'll follow you back, and then invite me to join your board (KaraMarie_T), and I want you to spend some time pinning boudoir images that speak to you. See my tip on this up above in the "Planning" suggestions. Don't put too much thought into your pins, I just want to get a general idea of your boudoir style. If you don't have a Pinterest account and don't feel like creating one, then just email me a sampling of at least 20 different boudoir images you've found online that you like.
Be sure to join the Kara Marie Boudoir Family Facebook Group to interact with past clients and share your excitement about your session!
Next, complete this form for me!