Sorry, I'm washing my hair that day... | Boudoir Editorial

Just a fun little boudoir editorial that I rolled into my South Congress Hotel "staycation". Loving the visual of this. Straight out of the "Sorry, I'm washing my hair that day" magazine. ;)

Model: Savannah Kinney  IG: @scubasavvy

Location: South Congress Hotel, Monroe Suite (worth.every.penny.)

 

The ease of a KMB Boudoir Experience | Austin Boudoir Studio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miss M agrees:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust me. 

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

Name *
Name

What's your REASON? | Austin Boudoir Studio | Miss B

While a potential client's initial e-mail to me may reflect that they're interested in a boudoir experience for an anniversary present or a wedding gift...the more that I learn about them, the more I discover the real reason for booking me. THAT is why I do what I do: Each woman's REASONS. Whether it's struggling to see her own beauty, desperate for a self-esteem boost, battling an eating disorder, going through a nasty divorce, or any other number of factors, my clients recognize that my mission is to help.

Miss B had a few reasons, and I was delighted to read her thoughts on the process afterwards to learn that we definitely pulled through on providing an empowering and eye-opening boudoir experience for her. That's what it's all about, y'all!  Gift-giving is the cherry on top (Albeit one of the juiciest, yummiest, highest quality cherries everrr....but, I digress.). The ice cream and the whipped cream and the sprinkles and the chocolate chips.....that's.all.for.you.

"I was fortunate enough to get the chance to shoot with Kara commercially before booking her for my private boudoir experience, and she didn't change her demeanor at all! She was the picture of professionalism both time, coaching me on best angles all while making me feel so comfortable, I felt like I had known her for years!"

"While we shot, she asked about my life and why I chose to do this shoot, while also opening up about herself. Her studio is gorgeous, even though it was a super gloomy day when we shot."

"During our photo reveal she just sat back and let me look at my shots at my leisure and helped me to choose the best ones, while cheering when I chose each one. It was an amazing experience and she is an amazing individual."

"I struggle with body confidence, battling eating disorders and depression, so to have someone so genuinely and effortlessly kind about my body was... well it just felt great! I had such a spring in my step after my shoot and my reveal!" -Miss B

"My shoot started out as a gift to me, but ended up being one for me and my man, because he is also one of my life's great cheerleaders."

My deepest thanks to Miss B for coming back to the studio and trusting me with her boudoir experience. T O T A L  K N O C K O U T! 

YOU HAVE A REASON FOR WANTING TO DO THIS. WHAT IS IT? LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING. 

Name *
Name

INTRODUCING A NEW SEXY THANG | KARA MARIE BOUDOIR STUDIO

Get ready to OOOOH and AHHHH! The Kara Marie Boudoir studio has teamed up with another album company to offer a sexy album upgrade option that will seriously take your breath away.

KaraMarieBoudoir_floricolor-2.jpg

ALL of our products are outstanding, including our sexy nightstand album that we've been offering for years and will continue to do so. But if I've noticed one significant shift in my client base, it's that most of them are doing this for THEM.DAMN.SELVES.

They are having me create outstanding giant wall art for them of their favorite image. They are adding lots of extra images to their album. They are wanting to see their photos BIGGER and on more luxurious surfaces. They are wanting something to display rather than tuck their photos away in a drawer. 

ENTER THE SUPER DUPER LUXURY BADASS BOUDOIR ALBUM COLLECTION. Ok, so I have to shorten the name. But.DAMNNNN. It's hard to pick a short name worthy of such sexy luxury. 

While yes, the album itself is awe-inspiring with it's silk pages, large 8x12 size, and stunning cover...it's the presentation that had me sold. With every album comes the same size image folio with your favorite 2 images that you can display on your desk/bookshelf/nightstand in all it's glory. ANNNDDD my favorite part: the display case wrapped in matching fabric. 

And then...AND THEN you get to pick from one of over 30 cover fabrics INCLUDING EIGHT different black ones. EIGHT BLACK COVERS. Be still my all-black-lovin'-heart!

This is love. 

This is love. 

These bad boys are available from this point forward as an upgrade to theWORKS package, or added on a la carte for any package. YEAHHH! I absolutely cannot wait to see some more of my client's images in these sexies!!! 

Ciao and Cheers ;)

EFFFFING AHHHHMMAZZIINNGGG, she says. | Austin Boudoir Studio

I'm admittedly lightyears behind on blogging, which is a shame of epic proportions because I am sitting on so.many.insanely.stunning.images that I simply haven't had the time to feature. But the good news is....I got at least one set on the blog for you today! So...that's something! ;)

THIS bombshell. Y'all. 

A pixie cut, a bold lip, a figure to envy, AND tattoos!?! HOLD ME BACK. But really. Miss K absolutely rocked her session, however nervous she says she was (believe me, EVERYONE is. But I got you, girrrllll!). 

"EFFFFING AHHHHMMAAZZZIIINGGGG. Kara made the whole experience so easy and comfortable. I never imagined my pictures would come out, they way they did. I'm still speechless!"

"I've never liked pictures of myself and I find myself staring at these. I would do it again 100 times. Thank you so much for such a great experience! I can't wait for an excuse to come back. Love you, girl! You truly are something special."

AS IF these incredible images and her kind words weren't enough...

Miss K booked this session for herself AND to gift an album to her new husband whom she was marrying out of country last month.  Unless my client's partner is at the studio with them for their photo reveal, I don't always get to hear what their reactions were to seeing the photos for the first time. THIS TIME, I did and I'm over-the-moon grateful that Miss K's husband was so thoughtful to send me a message after receiving his wedding present. They gave me permission to share it...swoon.

"UMMMMM so I got my wedding gift!!! (Insert a bunch of heart-eyed emoji's here...like...a bunch.) You are so freaking talented! I can't thank you enough for your photo shoot with my wife! She is so beautiful and your ability to catch that in every shot was just amazing. I'm so in love with this gift. Continue to be a badass! Just felt like I needed to reach out because I CAN'T keep my eyes off my book!"

See? Told ya. SWOON.

 

A big THANK YOU to Miss K and her new MR for the sweet words and the permission to share them. 

Hair and makeup: Lorena of LoLa Beauty, Austin.

Unruffled | Austin Boudoir Studio

In 2017, I've been setting a weekly mantra for myself. Undoubtedly inspired by quotes (I'm a quote girl, you know it...I know it...and it's never gonna change!), each week I repeat the quote or mantra each day and look for ways the mantra presents itself in my world. 

This week's mantra is to "remain unruffled", inspired by a pretty spectacular quote by Thomas Jefferson that's been giving me life this week amidst lots of things that would normally "ruffle" me. 

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
— Thomas Jefferson

I won't go into a long-winded story here (I know, that's a first!!! More on Instagram)...but this set of images of Miss D seemed so calm, cool, collected, and UNRUFFLED AF. Something about her demeanor in these photos says "Whatevs. I'm just gonna keep doing my thing." and these photos are giving me life this week! ENJOY!

Client wearing La Perla from Teddies for Bettys

Client wearing La Perla from Teddies for Bettys

AHHHH! Yes. Unruffled AF. I adore these images and am so delighted that more and more clients are opting to do an artistic nude set. The resulting images are so classic, timeless, and FREAKING STUNNING. 

 

Au Natural with Hannah | Austin Yoga Boudoir

It all started when...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nudeyogaboudoir

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

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

Namaste. ;)

Embracing female SEXuality (GASP- did she say that!?) | Austin Boudoir Studio

LOOK OUT, I'm in a ranting kind of mood, so this post will be a long one.

Female sexuality. AHHH.  Something so beautiful yet so openly shamed in our society.

You'll notice a common trend in my brand message: it's not about anyone else, it's about you. It's about making YOURSELF feel beautiful, strong, empowered, and....SEXY.

Yes. FEELING SEXY is important. Whether that means you're rocking out with your DDD's out, or you are modestly sporting a turtle neck. Whatever "feeling sexy" means for you should be embraced. Oh, and for the record, you CAN own your sexuality as a woman without being a "bad feminist" (ohhhh the things I read on the internet. Eye roll). 

A common request from my clients is that we create a set of images for them that remind them that they are, in fact, sexual beings, and it is my absolute honor to do such for them. 

This post was all prompted by me searching for a powerful quote or passage about embracing female sexuality to caption one of these images. The Instagram post below, as I'm far too busy to not just copy/paste.

 

-------

 

BE.PROUD.TO.BE.A.SEXUAL.BEING. 


Y'all know I'm a quote girl. But I don't pair just *any* quote with any image flippantly. I look at it and think about what word(s) comes to mind about that photo and then I research poems, quotes, passages that reflect what the image means to me. 

To me, this photo in particular represents a woman embracing her sexuality, which shouldn't be frowned upon or judged, but often is. When I began to research "embracing female sexuality", instead of a slew of badass quotes that are typically generated, I came across a plethora of passages from women defending their right to say "no", from women afraid to be vocal about rape, from women screaming that just because she enjoys sex, it doesn't make her a whore.  What does it tell you about our society that a "female sexuality" internet search warrants a slew of women having to defend themselves like that!?

Time for the narrative to change. SEX is not a bad word. SEX is not only for men to enjoy. SEX is not something to be ashamed of. And SEX is not something that is done TO us. Embrace that sexuality, women. It's a beautiful thing. 

I was thrilled to be able to document this client's embracing of herself as a sexual and sexy being. She was uninhibited, a ton of fun, and most importantly she trusted me to create these images in an artistic and empowering way (and THEN let me share them with you. So...double brownie points!....Mmmm. Brownies. Cut me some slack, I'm dieting.)

If you're expecting an uber awkward photoshoot with me trying to coach your sexual prowess out of you and break through your barriers......that's just not the case at Kara Marie Boudoir.  "Oh my GOD! I can't believe these images turned out so HOT!!! It did NOT feel like anything sexual at all during the shoot!!!" <--- What I hear ALL.THE.DAMN.TIME. 

Every boudoir photographer has a different method for getting their finished product. To each their own. But for me, I'm all about the hacks and the tricks. How can I make a client look like she's having a steamy and intimate personal moment, when, behind the scenes we're really talking about Girl Scout cookies and I'm occasionally asking her to breathe out of her mouth heavily in between giggles and bad jokes (from me. Always with the bad jokes)?  

I've spent years fine tuning my methods to make ALL WOMEN feel comfortable, not just those who are already comfortable with their bodies/sexuality/appearance/etc etc etc. And, I'm quite good at it...if I do say so myself. 

Maybe you've been ashamed to embrace your sexayyy. Maybe you've been following along for quite some time and don't think the women in my photos could possibly be you. Maybe since becoming a mom you forgot that your body was good for anything but creating a human life and then feeding it. All the more reason to reach out and come see me.  I.LOVE.HELPING.WOMEN.REALIZE.HOW.AMAZING.THEY.ARE. (Think that will fit on my business card?)

Chat soon?

Name *
Name

Miss M shows us her pump AND her sexy | Austin Boudoir Studio

Occasionally, and I mean *VERY* occasionally, I'll receive an email from a prospective client asking for something a little different than I've ever done before.  Maybe even something a little (gasp) challenging.  And no, I'm not referring to the email that starts out with "I'm wondering if you're comfortable with photographing my girlfriend and I making love?"...because I get those just about every day. Annoying. 

In one session, this client wanted to accomplish my usual artistic boudoir in lingerie, some fully clothed portraits that she could potentially gift to her parents, and some art nudes...including a feature of her nude and embracing her sexy...while wearing her insulin pump. All three were such a different direction than each other, but I felt confident that the challenge would inspire me. After all, I *am* a creative brain (read: scatterbrained), right?!

We sorta kinda nailed it. Miss M was open to my creative interpretations and did an amazing job trusting me and letting me do my thing while also adding her own energy to the session. I LOVE the confidence that is exuded in each of these images. Enjoy.  

 

I received the most beautiful e-mail from Miss M shortly after I sent her "sneak peek" photo and I felt that it was likely highly relevant to so many women, so I thought I'd share it in it's entirety...

*The Boticelli comment she is referencing: I kept telling her what a beautifully classic figure she had. She reminded me of a subject in one of Boticelli's paintings.  She kind of laughed the compliment off at first, but I elaborated and explained again why her figure, just as it was, was beautiful. My compliments to my clients are NEVER meaningless fluff. I specifically look for the absolute best features of my clients (not just physical ones) and I TELL THEM. This a boudoir shoot with me is NOT just about the finished images. It's about how my clients feel about themselves along the way. And I pride myself on that. 

*The Boticelli comment she is referencing: I kept telling her what a beautifully classic figure she had. She reminded me of a subject in one of Boticelli's paintings.  She kind of laughed the compliment off at first, but I elaborated and explained again why her figure, just as it was, was beautiful. My compliments to my clients are NEVER meaningless fluff. I specifically look for the absolute best features of my clients (not just physical ones) and I TELL THEM. This a boudoir shoot with me is NOT just about the finished images. It's about how my clients feel about themselves along the way. And I pride myself on that. 

Shifting out of parent-friendly portraits and into boudoir...

"This experience definitely made me more aware and appreciative of the features I have and allowed me to embrace them. I'm focusing more on those positive things and letting go of the self-criticism. I'm now able to focus and enjoy the beauty of others in a positive way without it causing me to feel bad about myself."

"I had not felt attractive or feminine, let alone beautiful, in a long time. This has been an awesome experience that has helped to open my eyes to see myself in a new perspective."

"The "Show Me Your Pump" campaign that began in 2014 was a great starting point to help users feel more comfortable with exposing their pumps and to decrease the stigma and any feelings of embarrassment some people may have. I feel it is important to not only be unashamed of having one but to show that one does not define you.

Your character is more than a medical device and it shouldn't be the only thing someone focuses on. People should see YOU regardless of whether you have a pump or use a wheelchair or have a prosthetic." - Miss M

Admittedly, the only knowledge that I had prior to photographing Miss M, here, about the "Show me your pump" campaign was a news story that crossed my feed a few years ago when the campaign was started. It was featuring Miss Idaho who wore her insulin pump out on stage with her bikini during the pageant. When interviewed about it, this is what she had to say:

"My message to everyone, diabetic or not, is that we all have something that doesn't "measure up" to the beauty standards set by the media--and that is okay! It does not make you any less beautiful. We also all have obstacles, challenges, and trials. Diabetes turned my life upside down when I was first diagnosed. Don't let your challenge hold you back or slow you down." -Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014

"The type of photos I requested were envisioned and produced by Kara in exactly this way. Those images are so powerful that the last thing anyone would think was that the pump was a flaw. Rather, the images throttle it into the forefront as an accessory to sensuality. I would encourage any insulin pump wearer that feels any reservation about revealing their pump to view these images in order to gain a more positive perspective" -Miss M

"My photo session and the photos that I received have made me look and feel confident, sexy, beautiful, powerful, feminine, voluptuous and soulful. I am a force to be reckoned with!"- Miss M

Thank you SO much, Miss M for sharing your thoughtful words with all of the KMB readers, and for being an inspiration to so many who may be feeling insecure about their figures (95% of women!) or their medical devices.

xoxox 

NEEDING SOME HELP BELIEVING THAT YOU ARE SEXY? I'M JUST THE GIRL FOR THE JOB.  LET'S CHAT, DAHHLING!

Name *
Name

It's not business...it's personal | Austin Boudoir Studio

I tried to ride out the flood of New Year blog posts and really contemplate on mine (that, and give all my readers a chance to not be annoyed by so many New Year posts.) I'm not a New Year resolution girl.  It's now 2017, and I'm still the same girl that's making a giant pan of 5 cheese macaroni and cheese for lunch on January 2nd. 

I set my goals year round, I truly do. I set monthly goals for my business (which I'm really good at achieving), I set quarterly personal goals (THOSE sometimes...err...often fall behind...but I'm working on that), and I keep the most extensive and organized to-do list I've ever seen for every day tasks (though often forgetting to add things like "take a shower" and "work out").

One ongoing to-do list item I always keep at the top of my list is a reminder for me and it says "It's not business...it's personal."  If you've been following me for a long time, you may remember that my old photography website had that phrase written at the bottom of every single page. 

Obviously, this *IS* in fact a business, and I do operate it as such on most levels. But the one facet of my business that isn't business is ME. It's my relationships with my clients. It's my passion for my work. It's my love affair with the stories that each client tells me.  It's how seriously I take each and every customer's review of my services. It's my dedication to making sure that every person has the warm and fuzzies about their experience. It's my desire to continue to do something for a living that I'm SO passionate about without majorly sacrificing my time with my family. 

KEEPING.IT.PERSONAL is the reason I don't have a (probably much needed) large staff of additional photographers, virtual assistants to answer my emails for me, a sales person doing my photo reveals, and someone else running my social media accounts.  It's the reason that sometimes I rock a messy top knot that contains far more dry shampoo than hair.  I have had to actively try to keep it small. And to be honest, it's outgrowing me. It's become bigger than I can handle on my own with just myself and an assistant.  But like any business, I need to continuously adapt, and I will strive to do so while keeping.it.personal. 

While I most definitely have help, *I* am the only person that is fully invested in this business of mine. It's a part of me.  And in such an intimate line of work, I find it to be utterly important that you all get to know me. I want you to feel like you know me before you meet me. I want you to feel completely at ease, like you are working with an old friend.  I want to be the one to sit with you as you see your images for the first time and get all watery eyed. I want to be the one that gets more excited than you are to see your images blown up huge and hung on your wall.

Ok, ok, so maybe that makes me a wee bit selfish. But I genuinely feel the personal touch adds so much to the experience for my clients.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with not having a hands-on approach in many businesses. In fact, my apparel line Blonde Black and White is one that I dedicate about an hour a week to, I outsource just about every aspect. And my husband coincidentally just publicly announced yesterday that his fitness studio Heat Bootcamp is now officially a franchise.  There's most definitely a time and a place for expansion, but for Kara Marie Boudoir, that is not in the foreseeable future. 

Sometimes people will stop me in restaurants/grocery stores/coffee shops and say "HEY! I follow you on Instagram! I love your work!". I think "Who? ME!? You recognized ME!?!?!" *commence crawling into a hole in embarrassment and trying to remember what the last embarrassing thing I posted was...*  But then I realize that's a pretty awesome thing. I definitely put myself out there a little bit (lot bit) more than most other photographers. And I'm ok with that...in fact that's very intentional for all the reasons I've already listed. 

So, in 2017, I want to officially pledge my commitment to KEEPING.IT.PERSONAL. 

Thank you all SO, SO much for the most incredible year KMB has seen. Thank you for keeping me booked. Thank you for referring your friends. Thank you for every single "like" and Instagram comment. Thank you for understanding my mission to helping women feel a way they haven't felt in a long time (or ever). Thank you for your grace when I go a month without blogging because I'm swamped with edits. Thank you to each and every woman who has trusted me with their boudoir experience. I don't take the privilege lightly. 

I ADORE YOU. 

XOX

KARA MARIE