ALL SMILES | CLIENT FEATURE MISS A | AUSTIN BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

The literal SECOND that Miss A walked into my studio, her energy was 100000% apparent to me. She sported the most incredible smile throughout our entire shoot. Anytime we attempted a "serious" shot, it only resulted in a subsequent shot that was exuberant with laughter.  She was DAMN excited for her session, damn excited about her badass finger waves that she got special for the occasion, and she had a great reason to be doing it all (for.her.DAMN.self!).

Just TRY to scroll through these images without a big smile on your face.  I dare you. What an incredibly beautiful soul. 

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It was AMAZING! Kara and her staff went above and beyond and I would most definitely do it again.
— Miss A
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It made me feel even more comfortable in the skin that I’m in. I LOVED it, keep doing what you’re gifted to do!
— Miss A
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Miss A!!! A MILLION "THANKS" for bringing your positive energy into my studio that day, and leaving me with these incredibly happy ages to remember you by!! You are a FORCE and I hope to see you again in the future!

 

HIGH ON LIFE | CLIENT FEATURE: MISS D | AUSTIN BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER

H I G H  .   O N  .   L I F E . 

That's about the best way I could  describe the feeling after your boudoir experience at Kara Marie Boudoir. These women are high. on. life and THAT is what it's all about.  Can you remember the last time that you were?  I make it a point, now, to create as many experiences as possible in my own personal world that allow me feel those feels. But I certainly remember a time, not very long ago, and not very long before that...and before that....and before THAT (it's quite cyclical, isn't it?!)...in which I was struggling to find joy, struggling to love myself, and just struggling in general. 

Being a mom, or being a career woman, or being BOTH, or being NEITHER......just being a HUMAN is difficult. Treating YOURSELF properly is not something that comes naturally to most women. The women that come in to my studio are trying to remember who they are independently of their jobs, their marital status, their motherhood status. They are taking a really big and important step in reconnecting with themselves and learning to love all the things.  

This young woman was an absolutely incredible addition to the KMB family. She had survived a crazy car accident that broke her back. She glowed through her session, she glowed through her photo reveal, and every now and then I get a sweet e-mail from her just to let me know that she's STILL glowing about her experience. 

         THAT IS WHAT THE KARA MARIE BOUDOIR  EXPERIENCE                I S  .    A L L  .    A B O U T  . 

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"After following Kara on Instagram for a while, I really started to think that a boudoir experience could be positive for any female. After experiencing my boudoir session with Kara I was able to see what really set her apart from other photographers offering this service.

From the initial contact to the shoot itself, to the reveal, to walking me through ordering, she was not only professional and clearly talented but legitimately excited for me to experience the empowerment that comes from a boudoir session. Kara herself comes off as the kind of girl everybody wants as a best friend. I’m already dreaming about the next time I can work with her!

Not only has this changed the way that I see myself, but also how I look at other women. I wish everyone could feel as fabulous in their own skin in their everyday life as Kara made me feel."

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Even four months later I am still in awe of the whole experience! And every time I see a picture of ME on YOUR Instagram it’s the coolest thing ever! It really is the gift that keeps on giving :) I can’t put into words what you have done for my confidence and self love.
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I am so proud of her for recognizing, how important it is to invest in yourself...especially considering she is at such a "young" age for self-realization. Every moment of creating this experience for her was inspiring and refreshing and I truly hope to have her back in again. 

And with that I leave you with the KMB mantra:

D O .  I T .  F O R .  Y O U R .  D A M N .  S E L F .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I did.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Snowstorm Can't Stop Her | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm stepping back into the blogging game finally (I know, it's been a minute), and lucky for me (and you), I've got QUITE the stockpile of incredible women with incredible stories and images. So let's get this show back on the road!

Miss Y. This girl was so much damn fun to work with.  

A photographer herself, Miss Y understood the value of a boudoir experience and she braved a snowstorm to fly to me from across the country, and we shot on a day that Austin was SHUT THE EFF DOWN because of a little bit of ice and cold. (We're wimps. I'll be the first to admit it as a girl who was born and raised in the #1 snowiest city in the country many years). 

We both brought our A games and came up with a collection of photos that was so representative of her and her badassery, while glamming it up a little with some leather and boots, letting her show off some story-telling scars of hers, and just overall killing.it.

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"Having a boudoir experience with Kara Marie was my dream. I had been following her for over 2 years before the stars aligned. I wanted to do this to celebrate myself. "

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"I traveled all of the way from North Carolina to Austin during a snow storm. It was worth it. She is absolutely on point in everything that she does. Seriously does this woman sleep? I am obsessed with my images. I am ready to do it again." 

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"I have always been a loud person. It is within that loud personality that I hid my insecurities. That is until now. I feel liberated. Words could never begin to explain how looking at an image of yourself and falling in love with that image of yourself changes the core of you. I thought I had confidence before, NOPE. Now am this new woman who exudes confidence in all facets of her life."

"This shoot changed me. I am happy with myself. I am content with my scars. I feel powerful."

And THAT is what it's all about! Hearing from my clients that this experience helped to improve their self-image is  job satisfaction to the nth degree. Thank you thank you Miss Y for your candidness, for your badassery, and for flying all the way to Austin from North Carolina in a snow storm ;) 

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. 

 

Cool Cate | Destination Boudoir

One of the perks of being in the photography industry is frequent conferences, retreats, and workshops that allow me to see my favorite photographer friends from all over the world far more frequently than I would any other out-of-town friends.  Cate, here,  is one of those friends. We are incredibly similar, only she's way more "likable" than me (she disagrees...but that only further illustrates my point). 

Photographing other photographers is one of those things I used to shy away from...or if I did it, I was always incredibly nervous.  NOW, I adore it and almost seek it out. It's so fun to give photographers, especially boudoir photographers, the experience that they themselves give everyone else on a regular basis. 

I knew EXACTLY how I wanted to photograph Cate. I wanted it to be simple, natural, "undone", and, of course, black and white.  All she wanted was to be made to look "cool", because apparently that's my boudoir style. It wasn't until she pointed it out to me that I recognized....that's EXACTLY what I try to do with all of my clients. I just try to make them look COOL AF (cool to me is confident, badass, strong, and like someone you'd want to be around.).  I'm so happy to hear that Cate felt I delivered. 

"One day out of the clear blue, my darling friend Kara sent me a beautiful note that simply said 'you are stunning and likable and I just wanted to tell you that.' I received it on a particular day when I couldn’t feel less stunning or less likable. I cried actually, and thanked her.

Later, when she told me she’d be available to photograph me during our trip to Miami, I jumped at the chance. Kara is one of the small few I knew could capture me in a way I could not only be proud of — but that could change that fear inside me and make me see myself the way others do. I was 1000% confident Kara had that magic and I was not wrong. "

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"Kara gave me ideas of how she envisioned shooting me and it was if she read my mind. Her sense of style is innate and when I joked 'Make me look cool!' I knew she’d deliver".

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"I was amazed at Kara’s swift and flawless posing instruction. Even as a photographer myself, it was impressive how fluid and easy she made it for me as a subject. My resulting images fully reflect grace and effortless beauty in a way I want to envision myself as a woman."

"As a fellow photographer, I have the opportunity to be photographed more frequently than the average woman. My friends, like Kara are some of the best boudoir photographers in our industry, and I’m very particular about who I feel can photograph me the way I want to see myself. It’s not because I’m a model or a hot young thang — it’s the complete opposite of that. "

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"The fact is, as a photographer I’m often ashamed to say I hate being in front of the camera. I don’t like the attention on me, the focus, my own lack of awareness of what I might look like ....and so much more. 

This was not my first boudoir shoot, but it was a completely eye opening, confidence boosting experience."

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"I’m a 43 year old mom of 3 kids, (about to turn 44 soon) a wife, and a business owner. With each passing year comes an ambivalent feeling of being both proud of my years ... but also fearful. It feels vain and shallow to admit, but I do fear my youth and my beauty slipping away. That’s a very hard thing. I embrace my inner beauty always, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not terrified to lose my youth. It’s just one of those things so many of us struggle with as women."

I see boudoir photography as one of the ways we can celebrate and get an objective view of these fears and squash them whole.
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Check out Cate's reaction to her teaser photo that I texted here while sitting next to her and not-so-secretly recording. 

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"These images are SO me. She knew my style, my nature, and my assets. I saw these images and couldn’t believe I might *Actually* look this way? It is eye opening.

I’m not doctored, or morphed, or over styled, or 'too extra.' It’s just ME. A beautiful version of me I’m typically too busy/too fearful/too blind /too unwilling to see. But she saw it, and I’m eternally grateful.

I do a shoot each year for my birthday and share them. I’m proud that this is what I can show 44 looks like on ME. Love you, Kara."

 Birds of a feather flock together ;)   My all time favorite photo of Cate + I that speaks volumes. I thought this should most definitely accompany her boudoir photos. 

Birds of a feather flock together ;)   My all time favorite photo of Cate + I that speaks volumes. I thought this should most definitely accompany her boudoir photos. 

Shooting with this knockout the way that I wanted her to see herself, and then being able to witness her reaction to her first preview in person was SO amazingly fun and fulfilling. I adore this woman and am absolutely delighted that I had the opportunity to show her almost-44-year-old-ass that she IS in fact COOL, sexy, gorgeous, beautiful, and badass. 

Thank you, Cate for your sweetheart testimony and for allowing me to share your stunning images with the KMB followers. You. Rock.

 

Another Studio, Another Brand, Another Journey | Kara Marie Portraits

Y'all.  I have stalled and stalled on making this announcement. It's been "official" for nearly 4 months but I was nervous. Like, startling myself awake in the middle of the night, nauseating butterflies in my stomach, second/third/fourth guessing myself kind of nervous. It's a new Year and it's now or never. 

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10 years ago, I was setting up backdrops  (shower curtains) and lighting (spot lights from Home Depot) in my tiny little kitchen in my tiny little apartment in Erie, Pennsylvania and actually getting paid to do it. While my skill-set had not been developed at ALL at this point, I was still offering my clients the same level of customer service that I do now.  The studio portrait thing became tedious, inconvenient, and my kitchen couldn't take it anymore ;) 

Now, having an established and bustling boudoir studio in Austin, I found myself feeling like I was trapped in my tiny little Erie, PA kitchen studio again anytime I wanted to shoot portraits. The backdrops are no joke to set up and tear down, and studio lighting?! I didn't even have enough storage space in my studio closet to tuck it away when I wasn't using it. I sold off all of my studio equipment years ago, after allowing it to collect dust and sit as stagnant as my *insert any piece of workout equipment here* currently is.

I've been incorporating beauty + boudoir portraits into just about every session for as long as I've been shooting. For the last year, I've been studying extra hard, test shooting my heart out, re-stocking my space with studio lighting and portrait set-ups that I used to use but eventually got rid of to save space, and I've been all secretive and shit in the process, just in case I chickened out (again). 

At the beginning of September, I attended a photography conference in Palm Springs called the Portrait Masters. It was there that I had the fire lit under my rump yet again to take another risk. When I bought that ticket about a year ago I knew it was going to be the final shove into fulfilling this goal. You see, it's been a while since I've taken a big business risk. Opening the KMB studio was a huge step for me that proved to be the smartest thing I could have done for my business...and I've just been riding the wave ever since. Comfortably booked months in advance, hitting all my business goals, and consistently getting new clients referred by different sources. Yet I knew that I wasn't fulfilling my potential. 

On the flight home from the conference, I was scribbling out my 6 month action plan and ended my brainstorming session finally recognizing that I just didn't have enough space to do what I had in mind.  I love my pretty little studio SO much...I love the light, I love the location, I love the floors (ohhhhh the floors)...but my portrait set-ups were in the way, there wasn't enough storage (or time) to break it all down and tuck it away when it wasn't being used, and as my team is inevitably going to be growing...there just wasn't enough room for multiple desks and office space without getting in the way of my shoot space.  

On that flight I was determined to get back to Austin and find myself a giant space that I loved just as much that I could do modern editorial portraits in, as well as the boudoir style yet to be categorized (really....I don't ever know how to describe my style), as well as house my team without having to share a tiny desk. I arrived home excited about the growth about to happen, but still pretty concerned about finding exactly what I needed. I'd been keeping my eyes peeled in Austin for over a year...nothing was perfect. And y'all know I'm picky AF. Hence the 3 year delay on making this move. Yeah...it's been in my goal book fo.that.long. 

The next morning I pulled into my lovely little loft parking lot to see that my neighboring unit was loading up a U-HAUL, packing up, and moving out! I didn't even make it out of my car before calling the owners and getting my foot in that pretty little door. 

GETTING TO THE POINT...

|| AS OF 2018, THE KARA MARIE PORTRAIT STUDIO IS NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS  ||

New studio, new brand, completely different concept from what I'm offering in the boudoir world. Conveniently located one-door-down, it will allow me the flexibility of squeezing in short portrait sessions in between my boudoir clients.  I will be leaving the portrait studio intentionally bare bones to allow for flexibility in sets. It houses my backdrops, my lighting, set ups, a work station, gorgeous light and svelte floors without distraction.

This second studio will also allow me to accommodate some of the requests that I get from other photographers to rent shoot space (that's good news for all of you who email me desperate to rent my space for a last-minute session only to get a firm "no" from me!). 

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SOOOO WHAT ARE THESE PORTRAITS GOING TO BE LIKE?

If you've been following for a while, you're familiar with my boudoir shoot style, and you've probably even seen a boudoir portrait or two within my blog posts and Instagram feeds.  I will be continuing on with this type of modern portraiture with a slightly more polished finish, but also including....GASP....CLOTHING!  And even....GASP....MEN! I know, I know...crazy, right!? 

I'm a long time follower and "student" of Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn, Patrick Demarchelier, and other phenomenal fashion portrait photographers.  Their work, to me, is something that I would want to be remembered for long after I'm gone. I want to create images like these for legendary souls to be remembered by. 

Boudoir isn't going anywhere...so, you're stuck with me on that front ;) But now, I will have the space and flexibility necessary to create individual portraits of amazing people without cramping my boudoir style. 

What started as a portrait project has developed into something so much bigger! I would love to have you follow along on this journey, if you'll have me!  There is now a separate website for all of my portrait work HERE, and you can find Kara Marie Portraits on Instagram at @KaraMariePortraits

THANK YOU to the 40 or so legendary souls who have already stepped in front of my lens since setting up the studio to help me launch this second brand. I'm so very excited to continue sharing loads of boudoir + portrait work, and to become a good resource for those photographers in Austin who don't have the luxury of an indoor shoot space. 

H A P P Y   N E W    Y E A R !

The Best Year Ever | 2017 Recap

Every time I write one of these "It's the end of the year, holy shit" blogs, I am blown away by how much I crammed into one year, and stoked about having the "Best Ever Year of Kara Marie Boudoir".  2017 was another record breaking and fulfilling year of business and I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you who follows along regularly, trusts me with their boudoir experiences, and tolerates my annoying Instastories. 

It's this week every year that I spend looking back at the year's body of work, blog posts, and thousands and thousands of photos. I am so grateful for the abundance of business, blessings, and beauties that surrounded me in 2017. 

 

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS


TOP LIKED INSTAGRAM POSTS


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THE NUMBERS

+Photographed 384 Women

+Coached + Mentored 13 Boudoir Photographers

+Attended 3 photo conferences

+ Composed 10,695 emails (whaaaaaaa???)


TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

2017 Travels to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Miami (Lots of warm and tropical surroundings, apparently!)



ACCOLADES

It was a year of awards and I feel extremely honored and....well...baffled quite honestly! There's been several print magazine features, a few Huff Post articles, individual image awards, and the 2017 Boudoir Photographer of the Year from AIBP to cap it all off.  I have this problem where I downplay a lot of "accomplishments" as I am truly always aspiring to fulfill my potential which is still a long road in the future. But recapping on 2017 I can actually look back at the year and be proud of what I've built, even if there are 1000 things I would change, I know that I busted.my.ass.  I have a long way to go, but am proud of where I am. THANK YOU to all of the publications, mentions, reposts, and cheerleaders giving me encouragement along the way!!! <3  I plan to put myself out there even more in the photography industry in 2018 and really fine tune my craft as much as I possibly can. 


WHAT'S NEXT?!

I'm not much of a "resolutions" girl. I think it's just the word itself that's lost it's meaning because of all of the empty promises attached to it. I AM a goal-setter, and more importantly, a goal-ACHIEVER. So while you're not going to get a whole slew of big dreams that I will likely not fulfill, I'll go ahead and list out all of the plans that are already in motion for 2018, and I will continue to work my ass off towards them. 

In 2018, I will be...

+MAKING A HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT.  Like....in 2 days. I've been chickening out big time on this one that's been in the works for 3 years. I pulled it off in September and have yet to fill y'all in on my little secret. Stay tuned.

+TRAVELING A TON. There has been so much time spent wishing that I would have traveled more before having kids, or before my career became so demanding. About 6 months ago I made a promise with myself and my husband to make 2018 a year of experiencing things I've always wanted to see.  We'll be working out of Europe for the summer of 2018 ([Santorini|Mykonos|Athens]Greece, [Naples, Florence, Venice, Milan, Almalfi Coast, Rome] Italy, [Paris, Nice] France), and I also have several other photography related travels occurring (Los Angeles, New York, and Boulder CO. 

+Slowing down. I have this little problem that involves seeing a blank spot in my calendar jumping at the chance to fill it if someone asks. That resulted in a 2017 full of being FULL. Too full. Client experience is my TOP PRIORITY in my business. It's what this has all been built on. I still delivered on this in 2017, however it became a lot more difficult to do when I was sometimes taking as many as 15 appointments a week. That.is.NUTS. I am continuing to remind myself that this is a SMALL BUSINESS, and to keep it as top-notch as it's always been, I need to learn to stick to my pre-determined number of appointments a week, and politely decline on any additional. It's in the best interest of my clients, and in the best interest of my creativity and mental health (which is also in the best interest of my clients). 

THAT SAID, My 2018 is already over 75% booked (HOLY.CRAP.), and I will be increasing prices a pinch and saying "I'm so very sorry that I can't accommodate you" a little more. As much as those words pain me,it is worth it to keep the ultimate client experience 100% intact and even improving as time goes on! No burn out for me!

+Beefing up my boudoir photographer education offerings. As per the previous bullet point, I *do* need to slow things down a bit. That will mean taking on fewer boudoir mentorships. I believe in giving photographers a REALLY thorough and customized experience when it comes to their business coaching, so I will continue to limit these to a manageable level for me so that I can over-deliver to my "students". HOWEVER-- the great news is, I will be really beefing up on my educational guides for photographers and other small business owners!!! 

By the end of the 1st quarter, there will be a really beefy library of educational offerings on my website for purchase for photographers! I'm in the final stages of fine-tuning now, it's been a TON of really really hard work, and I'm really excited to release all of it soon to continue to help photographers and other small business owners market their companies, grow in their craft, and deliver impeccable customer service. 

+EDUCATING THE $%&@! OUT OF MYSELF. I always say that my biggest insecurity....well...it's not anything having to do with my appearance. The thing I wish I could change the most about myself is my intelligence.  LUCKILY----that's something I can change.

There is endless information out there, endless education, and endless possibilities for expanding my knowledge on just about any topic under the sun. I have ALWAYS been an advocate of continued education and will continue to study photography for as long as I'm shooting. It's so important to recognize that YOU DO NOT KNOW IT ALL. You don't. Even in the things you're an "expert" in. I recognize that (x100000), and am taking a very proactive approach to my education. I am already enrolled in several classes that will enhance my technical craft, and have about 60 books on my "to read" list to work on becoming a more self-aware, enlightened, happy individual. Like the last 3 years, this next year will be a year of learning new things. 

 

+GIVING MORE TO MY CLIENTS. I'm always looking for new ways to make my clients feel extra special. From helping them with their bags into the studio, to customizing a welcome sign for each of them, to following up with them years down the road to congratulate them on new life events....client relationships are really important to me. That's not just something I saySo, in 2018 I'll be fine tuning the client experience even more to give them alllll the warm and fuzzies. 

 

And now that all THAT'S out there, y'all can hold me accountable! 

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, TRULY...GENUINELY...THANK YOU. Thank you for reading through this long and winding blog post, thank you for reading all/ANY of my blog posts. Thank you for every sweet comment, every word of encouragement, every Instagram "like". Thank you for trusting me with your boudoir experience. Thank you for being friendly and my friends. Thank you for all of your continued support over the last decade of making my passion a career. I love you all and cannot wait for another BEST.YEAR.EVER. 

 

 

 

 

 

Boudoir Photographer Friends::: WORKSHOP NOTICE ::: Boulder, CO Boudoir Retreat

It has been one *BLEEP* of a year in the best way possible. I've really crammed a ton in, but have also learned to turn down a LOT. Speaking/teaching gigs in particular are something that I have about a 1 in 10 ratio of accepting solely because my studio schedule is always so packed, and my clients are my #1 priority. But when AIBP (the Association of International Boudoir Professionals) goes and gives me the Photographer of the YEAR award...how can I say no!?! Jk jk, it wasn't a bribe, promise. The order of events was purely coincidental and I'm honored on both fronts!

boudoirphotographeroftheyear

If you're one of those photographers who has asked about workshops or speaking gigs of mine, or if you were one of the several past attendees who said you wanted to have me back, I've got an announcement you might like!  

I'd love for you to join me in Boulder, Colorado November 2nd-5th where I will be speaking on marketing and building a booming boudoir business at the fourth annual AIBP Retreat!

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I always have a great time at the annual AIBP retreat with boudoir-centric content and great company.  I will be joined by Jessica Rae, a brilliant boudoir artist in her own right who will be talking on maximizing small shooting spaces and getting tons of variety with out the benefit of having a big, beautiful studio.

Her shoot style is dreamy and intense and she's the master at making.it.WORK.


The retreat includes instruction from myself, Jessica Rae, a Wealth manager, as well as a few surprise "for funsies" speakers. On top of that, breakfast, lunch, and model shoot outs, AND LODGING are all included in the rate!  Y'ALL....THIS IS LIKE A SLEEPOVER FOR BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER AND IT'S SO MUCH DAMN FUN.  The camaraderie is effortless and I promise that my class will be jam-packed-full of thorough information that you can apply to your boudoir business regardless of what stage of business you're in. 

I take my speaking gigs VERY seriously and do quite a bit of homework on all the attendees prior to speaking just so I know that I am teaching relevant information to those in the group. We'll cover social media marketing, referral programs, running a booming boudoir studio, how to dominate in your market, as well as a "as long as it takes" Q&A breakout session. This will be very comprehensive, y'all. 

 Photo by:  Dana Laymon

Photo by: Dana Laymon

2018's AIBP retreat is ALL about building SUCCESS regardless of your current situation, so it's not one to be missed! The early bird pricing ends on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15th though you can continue to sign up for several months following.  Still best to reserve sooner than later to save yourself some moo-lah AND give you something to be super excited about!  It's just $200 down to initially reserve your spot for this retreat under the early bird pricing prior to Friday! Woot!

CHECK OUT MORE ON THE RETREAT AND SIGN UP HERE: http://www.aibphotog.com/aibp-annual-retreat/2018-colorado/

 BTS from 2017's MIAMI retreat | Shot by  Michael Sasser

BTS from 2017's MIAMI retreat | Shot by Michael Sasser

You do not need to be a member of AIBP to sign up but you should most definitely get yourself a membership so you can join tons of boudoir photographers from all over the world to further elevate the industry and have fun interacting with each other while doing it.  Here's a link to your first month of AIBP free 

If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to hit me up with the form below! I'm happy to help and am honored to have been asked back to teach again.

See you in Boulder!

Name *
Name

Travel Notice | Boudoir Shoots in Europe? YES PLEASE.

Working such a crazy schedule at the Austin boudoir studio is most definitely a choice, but also tends to hinder my ability to travel as much as I'd like to. I've been a lot of cool places, but Italy + Greece are top on my list and I.cannot.believe.I.still.haven't.been.there.  I've been holding out until I had the proper amount of time to dedicate to exploration. But a month of time never seemed to fall into my lap on its own.

Five months ago, after salsa lessons and over a charcuterie board and cocktails at our favorite little Mediterranean restaurant (oh man....we sound so cool...or douchey. We aren't either.), I proposed to my husband.  Except it was probably the only kind of proposal he would actually accept.

"I'm so tired of waiting for things to slow down. I'm tired of being frustrated that we don't have infinite child care options for our travels. And I'm tired of waiting for the kids to be 'old enough' to join us. Let's spend next summer traveling Europe...all of us."

He raised his eyebrow in the way only Joey can, and then followed it up by raising his glass. "Let's do it."   We sealed the deal with a "Cheers" and a clink of our glasses, like we always do for important decisions. 

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It was through the planning that I found out that I actually have fans (is that what I call them? That sounds weird. Followers? Whatever. Let's just call them awesome people who follow along with my work) in Europe! REALLLY!?!?! Yay!  I also have lots of clients who have a dream of a grand destination boudoir shoot. Now that can happen in Greece, Italy, or France.

NOW ACCEPTING A LIMITED NUMBER OF EUROPEAN BOUDOIR BOOKINGS FOR JUNE-AUGUST 2018

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Make no mistake, this trip will be 75% vacation, exploration, and EATING. But I can absolutely never ever ever take more than a few days off without itching to work. Alas, I'll be working from Europe for the summer.  I will continue to write and shoot and post. I always get some of my favorite sets of photos is new places, and my brain cannot even contain itself right now with all the ideas.  I'm throwing my dates out there in the Universe and will take a VERY limited number of boudoir bookings while abroad. Current lineup is as follows:


JUNE  | ATHENS, GREECE  *not accepting bookings*

JUNE  |  SANTORINI, GREECE *not accepting bookings*

JULY | NAPLES, ITALY

JULY | ALMALFI COAST, ITALY

JULY  | ROME, ITALY

JULY  |  TUSCANY, ITALY

JULY  | FLORENCE, ITALY

JULY /AUGUST | MILAN, ITALY

AUGUST | PARIS, FRANCE


I'm looking forward to a summer of exploration (and LOTS of documenting it) in these amazing places. Anyone interested in a Europe booking, including photographers interested in mentorships, send a direct email to hello@KaraMarieBoudoir.com or fill out the form below to chat more!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go learn how to be minimalist because somehow we have to pack for an entire summer with 4 people in only carry-ons. Tips welcomed!

 

CIAO!

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