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

Me, Too. | Standing against sexual assault and harassment

ME, TOO. 

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You've likely witnessed the onslaught of social media posts that read "Me too" in reference to those who have been sexually assaulted or harassed. Genuinely, I would be shocked if you haven't been, as well. 

While sexual assault is an actual physical violation that likely will forever scar the victim, harassment is so rampant that it's normalized. Hell, *I* have normalized it. If I were to let myself get all up in a tizzy every time a man relentlessly cat called me, every time a man licked his lips at me, every time I got a honk followed with "where you going, baby?!", I wouldn't have any time left for happiness. I've begun to shrug it off as normal. I roll my eyes, occasionally flip the bird, and don't make eye contact. 

I've experimented with my outfits, I've experimented with my reactions, I've experimented with my body language as I'm walking. None of it makes a difference, the harassment continues, and I'm feeling really embarrassed that I even toyed with the idea that I should be doing something different to avoid the harassment.  

With the rise of feminism, I'm happy to say that the US population, especially women, has become more vocal about harassment and assault. People are coming forward more than ever before saying, "Me, too. And it's NOT fucking ok!" Victims are finally beginning to say "It is NOT my fault." Though, society isn't fully on board with that just yet.

Questions are still being asked following a proclamation of sexual assault. Questions like "But did you see how she was dressed?!", "What did she think was going to happen going up to his hotel room for a business meeting?!", and "She should have been more in control of her body and not drank so much." NO. NOT OK.  

"Why did you wait so long to report it?!" Is a question I hear so often when women wait years...often until another woman speaks up about the same individual, before making it publicly known that she was assaulted. I was one of them. Years. And it was a common story. Young girl, older boy, often in a place or situation I shouldn't have been in. I didn't speak up until years later when the rapist resurfaced and began stalking me and threatening me again and I was so terrified that he would get to me, that I finally reported it. Yet I was still asked by people close to me, by law enforcement..."Why are you just now reporting this?". EMBARRASSMENT. SELF BLAME. FEAR OF JUDGEMENT, AND THE FACT THAT I NEVER EVER EVER WANTED TO VOCALIZE THE DETAILS OF MY ASSAULTS. That's why. 

When I went public with my story several months ago to raise awareness for young women who have been raped, abused, neglected, I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support....and also not at all surprised to hear so, SO many people tell me that it has happened to them as well. It's absolutely sickening. 

Almost 20 years after my assaults, I've made my peace (with a side of "mad as hell") and have found my happiness. My husband has restored my belief that there are still good men out there. 

We have voices and need to be heard. If we stop normalizing this behavior, maybe this behavior will stop. If we start calling out the pigs, maybe he pigs will disappear.  At the very least, making ourselves heard is giving permission to other victims that it's important to speak up. 

My choice in career should come as no surprise to those who are closest to me.  I continue to help women reconnect (or maybe connect for the first time) with their bodies, to claim their body as their own, to claim their sexuality as their own. 

And that is why my narrative at Kara Marie Boudoir is do it for yourself. Do it for you! Own your own body, own your sexuality.

Sure, you can gift a book of images to your partner and they will love them. But the experience...that's for you. The moment that you lose your breath while sitting with me at your photo reveal appointment....that's for YOU. The strong, proud, badass feeling you get when you see your favorite image on your bedroom wall every day...THAT IS FOR YOU. No one can take that from you. And if they try, we can call them out on it.  We WILL call them out. I stand with you.

It is more than OK to love yourself...it's necessary. The more we love and respect ourselves, the more we will call out these unacceptable behaviors that pollute our society. 

 

YOUR BODY, YOUR CHOICE OF...

...clothes

...personality 

...body language

...company

...lovers 

 

NOBODY deserves to take those choices from you. NOBODY deserves that kind of power over you...but yourself.  

Choose yourself.

Love yourself.

Respect yourself.

And call out all the assholes that don't. 

 

I love you all so much, thank you so much for all of the support. Know that I'm here for you and will continue to be a voice against those who try to take your power from you. 

Boudoir Makeup | Kara Marie Boudoir Studio

Every Kara Marie Boudoir experience includes professional makeup application with lashes...and for good reason. Nothing puts a damper on perfectly posed/lit/composed boudoir images like a bad makeup job. 

Does that mean when you do your own makeup, you're doing a bad job!? Nah. Well...maybe...but let's assume not, just for the sake of keeping it warm and fuzzy today. ;)

So why do we require professional makeup application for your boudoir shoot? 

Simply put, because I want the best possible outcome of your boudoir experience.  Every day makeup often doesn't translate on camera the way it looks in person.  Photo shoot makeup is slightly heavier, with a touch more contouring and highlighting to make your skin look amazing at every angle.  On top of THAT, my makeup artists (Kendall of Mayhem Beauty, and alllll the girls at Lola Beauty) know my natural light shoot style and how I prefer boudoir makeup to be and they.ROCK.IT.OUTTTT.   A professional makeup artist will take lighting, styling, your comfort level, and your face/feature shape into consideration when planning the perfect makeup look for you. 

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How should you prepare to have your makeup done for your boudoir experience?

1. Consider your wardrobe/boudoir aesthetic. 

If the boudoir style you're most drawn to is natural nudes, rolling around in the sheets, cozied up with a sweater.....it would probably be a makeup mismatch to go vampy or super glam.  On the flip side if you are bringing a lot of leather and fishnet, a blacked out smoky eye would be killer.

LIGHT + NATURAL MAKEUP

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"IN THE MIDDLE" MAKEUP

If you're bringing a variety of boudoir wardrobe styles, we generally go with what we call "middle of the road" boudoir makeup. I know, I need to think of a sexier phrase for that. The middle ground is beautifully + lightly contoured and highlighted face with eye makeup that make your eyes really pop and stand out as the main attraction, with a lightly colored gloss. 

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HEAVY + SMOKY MAKEUP

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2. Find photo examples.

Because this experience is so customized to each client's personal style and personality, we make sure to educate and communicate along the way to ensure we're all on the same page.  If a client comes in and says "I usually wear a lot of makeup"...that can be translated in about 20 different ways depending on who you ask.  See, technically *I* wear a lot of makeup....but I am almost always in the no-makeup-makeup look. So what looks minimal could be considered "heavy" to some. And what looks really heavy to some, may be way less than you're used to. 

For all these reasons, photo examples are key! Each KMB client is asked to create a boudoir mood board so we can get a very quick visual on exactly the style each client is drawn to. I encourage my clients to visit my Boudoir Makeup board and pin a couple of makeup looks that speak to their style and desired heaviness. Then, when reviewing their board, I make sure that their makeup look compliments the wardrobe style they select. 

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3. Prep yo face. 

Not only do we ask clients to come in with a clean, makeup-free, moisturized face on the day of their boudoir experience, but we actually lay the foundation for amazing skin in the months/weeks leading up to the session. I encourage clients to drink TONS of water to ensure their face and skin on their entire body is hydrated.  We also have an amazing partnership with the Piazza Center for Advanced Skincare who offers my clients a complimentary face treatment a week before your session (you'll get details on this when you book your session!). 

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So what's my favorite makeup look of the moment? 

I never want the timelessness of your boudoir photos to be compromised by any sort of fad makeup. For this reason, we don't go crazy on shaping/ombre brows, bold jewel tones on the eyes, or heavy contouring.  I keep the editing/processing of my images very classic and not overdone for the same reason. I don't want you to look at your photos from 2017 in 2050 and say "Wow. What was I thinking?!".  Keeping neutral colors and classic style makeup for your boudoir session will ensure you never think back to how dated your images are. 

All that said, my absolute FAVORITE boudoir makeup of the moment (but it's, like, a REALLY long moment, y'all.) is the no-makeup makeup look. Don't get me wrong, it takes Kendall or any of the other girls just as long to complete this look. It's still a full face of makeup. There's loads of steps that go into perfecting the skin from covering blemishes and under eye circles to subtle highlights in all the right places, and still applying a natural false lash to most clients, as lashes tend to get lost in photos. It looks amazing on EVERYONE and adds a REAL element to the finished product.  All of my personal favorite photos of me are the ones that I look like I wasn't trying too hard (or at all, really. Yet I totally was.).  The no-makeup-makeup look really translates well on just about everyone. 

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Another favorite is a bold lip with simple eyes, which works well for those who are used to wearing lipstick (for those that aren't, this probably isn't the best time to try it out) and whose boudoir style/wardrobe warrants it. 

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What about blemishes?

I don't believe, even for one second, that your blemishes define you as a person. For that reason, I do retouch out mild acne, acne scars, redness, and bruising. Telling you that probably won't stop the barrage of pre-shoot text messages from clients "Of COURSE I have a monster zit the day before my shoot!"...but it should give you some peace of mind ;) I got you, boo. No pimples will make it to your photo reveal appointment. 

So, what if I don't like my makeup?

Regardless of how talented our makeup artists are, or how much we communicate about makeup prior to your session, you very well may look in the mirror and see something so different than what you're used to.....and you may not like it!  We have a VERY, VERY, VERRRRY open communication policy about this!! Though it's never ever happened, I would absolutely prefer to start a face over than to have you not like your finished product because of your makeup. But generally if a client isn't instantly over-the-moon with her makeup, only a tiny tweak is needed to get her there. And we're happy to oblige!

We tend to always err on the side of caution with makeup application because we know just how much personal preference plays into your satisfaction with your makeup job. We tell our clients that we can always add more, or change anything they'd like, but that it's important that they are honest with us when they look in the mirror.

99% of our clients gasp with disbelief and start tearing up because they cannot believe how amazing they look!  We are often fanning away tears because we don't want it all to be ruined before we pick up the camera. A few others will request that our makeup artist makes a minor adjustment like adding a little more liner, or changing the lip color. EASY PEASY!  We are oh-so-happy to make tweaks to ensure our clients are completely satisfied! The bottom line is, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION! Don't worry about hurting our feelings, we want you to love the look!

THE BOTTOM LIP...ERR...*LINE*. THE BOTTOM LINE.

We want you to look like YOU...just on your best day ever ;) I always tell my clients how picky I am, and if I'm letting a makeup artist work on your face, knowing how particular I am about my work, you KNOW she's damn good and I trust her. Your makeup isn't everything, but it plays a large role in your finished product, which is why I only want the best! 

So while you're pouring over Pinterest for wardrobe ideas and boudoir styles, don't forget to give makeup a moment in your planning process!

 

Special shout out to Kendall Koehler of Mayhem Beauty + the whole team at LoLa Beauty for keeping my clients looking fabulous and fabulously THEMSELVES for their boudoir experience!

 

The L word (lingerie) | Boudoir Wardrobe Ideas

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

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

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

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

TAKE IT AWAY, ASHLEY!

 


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

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

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

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

 

FITTING

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

 

FIND YOUR STYLE

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

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

 

YOUR THEME

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

 

PLAYING DRESS UP

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

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ACCESSORIZE

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

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

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

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Now get your sassy booty in front of my camera!

Ciao. 

 

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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Aging 10 years in 1 | Annual Birthday Post

Welp. I've officially survived another year around the sun. When strangers try to guess my age, it's closer to 24/25 (thanks for the baby face, Mom!), yet people who actually know me can't believe I'm *only* 33.

I've got the metabolism of a 60 year old, the mind of a 15 year old boy, and the soul of an 80 year old (GET OFF MY LAWN, SERIOUSLY.), and the birth date on my driver's license fits me about as well as the photo on it (WHYYY with the fluorescent lights in the DMV?!)

My piss poor attempt at recreating one of my favorite portraits. You know it's bad when the outtake ends up being the only keeper.

My piss poor attempt at recreating one of my favorite portraits. You know it's bad when the outtake ends up being the only keeper.

In between my last birthday and this one, I've done the following adult AF things...

*Started wearing far less makeup, and caring far more about the skin under it.

*Built and moved into a lovely home....in the 'burbs for the sake of the kids. (So not a suburban type)

*Gotten 8+ hours of sleep 95% of my nights, most often in bed before 9pm.

*Narrowed my social circle, but made more effort in my relationships.

*Bought a "grandma" car for comfort and reliability (but whatevs, it's comfortable as shit, it's tricked out, and if it's good enough for Matthew McConaughey, you better believe it's good enough for me.).

*Pretty much given up on bras. They're dumb and I hate them. 

*Put far more priority on experiences over stuff.

*Developed an intolerance for alcohol...which saddens me more than you'll ever know. 

*Really grown to appreciate and crave absolute silence.

All goes to show you, age really is just a number. I'm really happy with what I've accomplished in my 33 years on earth, while simultaneously wondering how on earth I've gotten this far into adulthood. I don't quite fit in with most other 30-somethings, most definitely don't fit in with 20-somethings, and am for the first time in my entire adult life---- genuinely comfortable with who I am. So there's that. ;) 

Thank you as always for all of the support and for allowing me to share a bit of my personal life with those who allow me into theirs. Those clients and followers who have sent gifts and greetings::: I genuinely appreciate it more than I can put into words. Y'all make me feel so special and fulfilled!  

CHEERS! (Raising my water glass to you!) 

Taking it ALL off | Miss S | Austin Boudoir Studio

BY THE END OF THIS BLOG POST, I WILL ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE IT ALL OFF FOR YOUR BOUDOIR SESSION. 

Yep, down to just your birthday suit. There's something so damn freeing about not wearing even a stitch of clothing...yet that thought is often derailed by our intense fear of not looking the way we're "supposed" to, our crippling insecurities, or, maybe just the "weird" factor of being photographed by a stranger (Hi! I'm Kara Marie! Lovely to meet you. Now that THAT'S out of the way....

I GET IT.  I GET IT ALLLLL.

But if you're going to be nude in front of anyone's camera, mine is the one to choose. I've got the whole naked female form thing down to a perfectly lit and posed science. I'm also pretty easy to be comfortable in front of. *in my best Lamar Burton voice* "But you don't have to take MY word for it!", check out the RAVES page for more on clients being comfortable in such a "weird" setting. 

You'll giggle, then belly laugh. You'll wonder how these photos could possibly turn out with all your bits hanging out there. Then you'll see them, you'll gasp, and you'll fall deeper in love with yourself and the way you and your body are right now. And you'll probably wish you would have done your entire session in the buff. But it's fun to have the variety of wardrobe, too. ;)

Miss S reached out to me in order to help her celebrate herself in her 40th year of life. We started out clothed...then less clothed...then nude. She felt silly in the poses, she admits, but never imagined that she would love the photos, and so many of them, the way she did. Read on:

"When I turned 40, I promised myself that everyday would be better than the last. The power of intention led me to have the most amazing year of my life. As I round the corner towards 41, I wanted to do something extra special for myself. Enter Kara Marie Boudoir. I really enjoyed looking at images to give Kara an idea of the style that I like. "

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"Kara nailed my vision and I'm thrilled with the results. Every step of the journey was easy and enjoyable. Kara's website has a ton of great info and she was quick to diminish any anxiousness that I had about being naked or doing a weird pose."

"I'm a glass half-full kind of gal so luckily, I don't struggle in the self esteem department. I did not expect to fall madly in love with so many photos, though!"

"I feel great and am proud of the hard work I've put into my body. I'm excited to look back on these when I'm older."

It was time to strip down, be vulnerable, and trust me completely. She did. And the resulting images make my heart skip a beat. They aren't hyper sexualized, but reveal a woman who is proud of her sexuality. They aren't "traditional" boudoir, rather, they lean more towards fine art nudes.  They aren't heavily retouched, but they are strategically posed and lit to show off her natural curves. They don't bare it ALL, but they bare her soul and show her in her most natural form.

"What a fun present to myself. I'm so happy, thank you a thousand times over. Hopefully I get to see you next year, too!"

Nudes are intimidating, I admit it. But you can truly rest assured that you are in the very capable hands of a professional. I'm never going to have my camera all up in your business in an uncomfortable way. I won't expect you to do ANYTHING at all and will monitor your comfort level the entire time. I will photograph you in an artistic and classy way. You will laugh and have fun and be surprised that you are able to have such a good time while being naked in front of a "stranger".  You won't be showing me anything I haven't seen before. Your body won't offend me, and when you see your final result, your body won't offend YOU, either.

If clients are considering a nude set of images during their boudoir experience, I always encourage them to bring an extra outfit, just in case they aren't feeling it. Yet I've never once had a client who was CONSIDERING doing a nude set decide mid-shoot that they weren't comfortable with it. If anything, they decided sooner into the shoot than planned that they were ready to take it off. This experience isn't about being someone you aren't. It's about showing EXACTLY who you are...who is hiding under masks. I only want you to do what you are comfortable doing. It's just that I have this uncanny ability to make people comfortable with themselves. That is my super power. 

Infinite thanks to Miss S for trusting me with her boudoir experience, for loving the process, and for allowing her words and images to be shared with the KMB audience. 

WHETHER YOU'RE READY TO BARE IT ALL, OR ONLY A LITTLE....LET'S CHAT.

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Happenings | Kara Marie Boudoir

Good grief, I was so excited for summer to start so I could start to relax and play catch-up from the crazy fall/winter/and spring we've had, but summer is turning out to be just as crazy! I'm terrible at sending out newsletters (who wants to read those, anyway?) and I figure that my blog is under-utilized just enough to make more sense to post my newsletter here. 

SO-- here is all that's been going on lately!!

1. We hit our donation goal for Janie's Fund...but we're still going!

Janie's Fund is an impactful charity organization headed up by Steven Tyler that benefits girls and young women who have been abused or neglected. I committed to donating a portion of every single boudoir booking between now and my birthday (8/16) to Janie's Fund with a fundraising goal of $1000. We hit that goal in less than a week, and have over a month left. Currently we're sitting at $1,427 and wold love your contribution if the cause speaks to you. Read more about my ties to the cause HERE

 

2.  We have 3 time slots remaining for our DALLAS boudoir Marathon in October!

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That's right...on occasion I hit the road/sky for a boudoir marathon to cities that I get a ton of requests from. DALLAS is one of them ;) Currently, the remaining time slots are Friday, October 20th at 5:00pm, Saturday, October 21st at 2:00pm, and Saturday, October 21st at 4:00pm. The flat-rate package includes professional makeup application with lashes, an hour long boudoir shoot at our picturesque Dallas location, 5 digital files of your choice, and a 2-image leather wrapped nightstand folio. To request a time slot to chat more, shoot us an email at hello@karamarieboudoir.com 

 

3. I'm...like...really really really behind on blogs. Like, really behind. 

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Many photographers, boudoir photographers especially, struggle with having enough content to publish on their blogs. But Kara Marie Boudoir clients LOOVVVEEE having their photos and stories featured on our blog. You badasses, you. Generally every time I publish a blog post, I get at least 10 inquiries and 8ish bookings right away. My holding out on blog posts reasoning has been two-fold...#1- We've been so busy with shoots and reveals, it's been so hard to have enough time to write out blogs that are worthy of the women in them. I certainly can't half ass that! And #2- If I published the blog and the usual number of immediate requests for a boudoir shoot booking came in, I would have to give date options that are super far in the future as we're booked AF. And I hate to disappoint. ;)

But not to worry,  I got myself in a writing zone yesterday and pre-scheduled 8 features, and I've got 32 more blogs ready for my typing fingers to tackle. Yep...thats FORTY BLOGS rolling out. If you are one of the clients who has been blog-stalking and think that I hated your images because I haven't posted them yet....NOPE! I post everyone who lets me. I'm just slow to it ;)  Be sure to check out recent blog features-- there's some good stuff in there ;) 

 

RECENT BLOG FEATURES:::






4. Destination Boudoir is a thing, y'all. And I do that thing.

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I've got quite a bit of travel coming up in the next few months. LA, Palm Springs, Miami, Cabo, and somewhere undecided in August....and you know what I love most about traveling? It inspires me to the nth degree. Being in a new place with different surroundings, different light, different climate, it just makes me want to take all the photos (really. Ask my husband. He LOOOVVVEEESSS it. ;) ).

What's even better than that, though, is that my clients are starting to catch on to the fact that, not only can I travel for boudoir...but the resulting photos are SO unique and badass and incredible.  When you eliminate the bedroom scene, things tend to take on a little more of a fashion vibe.  So if you've got a vacation coming up and you're thinking "Man, I sure would love to have some boudoir photos of me in my little vacation hut in the jungles of Mexico..."....yeah, I can do that. 

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The trickiest part is availability, so it's definitely a plan-ahead type of situation, but I most definitely accept travel bookings as often as possible. Full disclosure: yes, it costs extra. But all the coolest things do. ;) 


 

5. My clients are amazing. 

Yep. They are. Just when I think they can't be any more amazing...there they go, being amazinger. Forgive the humble brag, but my clients have been so good to me, bringing their enthusiasm to their sessions, having fun new ideas, booking me for super cool destination boudoir shoots, and trusting me with such a personal and intimate experience.  I love y'all.  And if you're not a KMB client yet but maybe are kind of thinking about possibly becoming one maybe sometime in the futureish? I love you, too.  This is a small business...it's a booming one...but it's just me, my assistant/retoucher, and my glam squad. Each year I pour more and more of myself into this little business, and each year my clients and my someday clients but current followers give me so much more in return. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. 

Cheers, 

Kara Marie

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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