How to Prepare for your Shoot
Hello, Beautiful! I am SO excited to be photographing you! I tend to over-communicate with my clients so they know exactly how to prepare and exactly what to expect throughout the whole process. Hope you don't mind ;)
The first thing that I ask clients to do is to create a "secret" Pinterest board for their boudoir session. If you are not a Pinterest user, you can also just send me some photos, but I find that the secret board on Pinterest is the best way for you and I to get a good visual of the concept we're going for. We'll first both have to be following each other, so go ahead and "follow" me HERE, and I'll follow you back! Then, you'll have to "invite" me to your board so I can see it (KaraMarie_T search Kara Marie Boudoir)! Once that's done, I want you to create a Pinterest board for " (YOUR NAME) Boudoir" (it's very important that you name your board with your name because otherwise I'll have a hundred "MY BOUDOIR SHOOT" boards and won't know who is who) and, without thinking too much about it, I want you to PIN anything that speaks to you and your style.
Try to turn off your fear and over-thinking at this point. Don't say things like "OHH that's so beautiful, but I would NEVER be able to pull that off!" or "I WISH I could look like that!". That's not the point of this exercise. After pinning 25 or so images, I will very easily be able to get a visual of your style and the type of boudoir you are interested in. Do you like sweet, bright, and bubbly? Do you like dark, moody, and seductive? Do you like shots that capture the entire body? Do you like close-up teaser shots of body parts? We'll find out together! The purpose of this is NOT to find photos to replicate at all! It is inspiration and now that we'll both know the kind of images you really like, it will be easier to deliver a set of photos that are YOUR STYLE, as long as it matches up with what I have to offer.
You'll want to determine where you would like your shoot to be held. 90% of my clients prefer to have their boudoir shoot at our natural light studio, and the others prefer to have their shoot in the comfort of their own homes (for an additional fee) where they have access to all of their clothes and shoes! Ha! Makes sense, right?! If you're trying to decide where you would like to do the shoot and want help, let me know! I'm happy to help you figure it out. Our studio is pretty dang awesome, though.
*THE NUMBER ONE BOUDOIR WARDROBE RULE IS:::: Do NOT bring outfits that you don't love! I can't tell you how many women show up with outfits that prompt them to say "I really don't like the way I look in this one, but I'll leave it up to you!". If you don't like the outfit, it's likely that you won't like photos of you in the outfit. Leave it at home!
*Lingerie is NOT a must! Especially complete lingerie sets. Don't be afraid to get creative! A garter belt and thigh high fish nets would go great with a cropped sweater or graphic tee. A gorgeous bra can be paired with a long flowing skirt. Your favorite tank top can be paired with no pants. Do not feel obligated to run out and buy a whole slew of new things for this shoot unless you just want to pamper yourself a little extra ;)
*Don't freak out too much over acquiring new wardrobe. I can literally do an entire session with nothing but the sheets! CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST ON STYLING YOUR ENTIRE BOUDOIR SESSION WITH ONLY WHAT YOU'VE GOT IN YOUR CLOSET ALREADY! READ MORE HERE.
*Structured pieces and solids look great on camera as well as items with texture, those that fit snug, and those with color.
*If wearing thigh-highs, buy them 1-2 sizes TOO BIG according to the size chart on the back! Buying them in a size that supposedly "fits" according to the package size chart will likely result in the stockings giving a bit of thigh muffin top ;) We can get them to stay up for each "pose", or you can wear a garter belt to keep them from slipping.
*If you've got large breasts or...eh hem..."mom boobs" (I can say that because I'm totally rocking them myself), SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT. Don't buy lingerie that doesn't have any underwire unless you have small and perky boobs...which is about 2% of the population by my math! ;)
*If opting for lingerie, I recommend going to a local lingerie boutique to have yourself properly fitted. Recommendations can be found at the bottom of the page. OR if you're interested in online ordering, True & Co. has a really amazingly helpful website and quiz that will help you to determine what styles and sizes work best for you. https://trueandco.com/quiz/intro
*Tiny busy patterns as well as neon colors are often harsh on-camera and a bit unflattering so try to avoid them.
*Avoid anything too loose in the lingerie department. If you are going with a big sweater with nothing underneath, then, yes, it should be baggy. But a flowy nightie will usually be pinned back by me to show your curves anyhow! For this reason I usually recommend avoiding babydoll lingerie.
*Have several outfits and accessories picked out and we can go through them together before your shoot to determine what will photograph best. We will have time for 2 different outfits in a one hour session, 1 for every 30 minutes. If you're nervous, feel free to bring one "beauty" outfit to start with. This can be a low cut sparkly dress, or a curve-hugging body suit with a flowy skirt. I often recommend the first look being a beauty look for those clients who are a bit more modest or extremely nervous for their session. This will get you comfortable in front of the camera before you start to lose articles of clothing!
*Try to incorporate a variety of pieces into your wardrobe selections. Having 5 different bra and panty sets won't allow for a whole lot of variety in your photos. Rather, have something formal, something casual, something super textured and fun, to something black and sleek...you get the idea. You can add on additional 30 minute sets for extra outfits if the schedule allows! Just ask for details.
*Don't be afraid to think outside of the "lingerie" box. We can work with pretty scarves, sheets, white button down shirts, or my favorite look is a super amazing tighter-fitting top and no bottoms (don't worry, lady bits covered!)
*Make sure your wardrobe selections aren't wrinkled, and cut all the tags off of your sheer lingerie.
*No costumes, props, or military apparel, please. They tend to be more "themey" and is not the style of photography that I specialize in.
If you are more of a lingerie type of girl....or if you WANT to be, I recently published a blog on *THAT*, too, as written by guest blogger Ashley Kelsch of Teddies for Bettys! Get more information on styling your session with lingerie HERE!
FLATTERING ALL FIGURES WITH WARDROBE
All women, I truly believe this, are beautiful!!! Curves, no curves, all shapes, all sizes, are beautiful. I often get questions from clients saying "I'm curvy--so what should I wear?" or "I have no butt!". Here's a few tips based on the most common "complaints" I get from women and how to enhance those features with wardrobe.
*Curvy bodies- Corsets work wonders at creating a beautiful hourglass shape. Avoid loose-fitting clothing which masks curves. Items should be snug but not too tight. It should give your body a hug without cutting off circulation or pushing your skin elsewhere. Also, BODYSUITS BODYSUITS BODYSUITS. They look amazing on everyone!
*Flat-butts- HEYYY GIRLLL! Fellow flat-butted chick here! Opt for panties that are ruffled on the backside, those tend to add a lot of dimension. Also "hipster" type bottoms, when adjusted properly, will enhance the natural curve of your cheeks. Thongs always make a butt look fuller than full-coverage bottoms. Play around in the mirror with different styles to see what you like best! And don't worry, I'm a PRO at creating curves in posing where there aren't any otherwise! I can get a killer booty shot with any level of curve (or lack thereof).
*Shorter legs- High heels with a THIN heel rather than chunky! Avoid shoes with ankle straps or a square toe. Nude shoes naturally elongate the legs.
*Thin/no curves- Again, a corset to create shape! We will create a lot of curve with strategic lighting, too! BODYSUITS BODYSUITS BODYSUITS! Love them for all figures.
*Small chest- this is obvious-- if your small chest bothers you, opt for push up bras, chicken cutlets, and lingerie with structure. Just make sure your bra tops are fitting properly WITH any inserts you have in mind.
*"Mom boobs"- Structure, structure, structure. An underwire + push up is a great idea for those of us who have had a child or two or twelve. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, I'm sure you haven't had children yet. A properly fitted bra is a must!
Now that we've got you booked, you have your location selected, and we've got the style direction of your shoot down, here's a list of Do's and Don'ts that will help you prepare the details!
*Get your beauty sleep! Seriously! Photoshop can't fix tired.
**BRUSH YOUR LIPS- sounds weird, right?! Dry lips are very hard to fix in post processing. In the days leading up to your photoshoot, use your toothbrush while brushing your teeth to also make a few passes over that pucker of yours. This will help shed dead skin. After that, apply a moisturizing lip balm...repeat repeat repeat.
*Make it an opportunity to pamper yourself! Go a few days before your shoot and get a manicure and pedicure! This will give you a finished, polished look. Chipped polish can be distracting.
*Lather on the lotion! Supple is key for beautiful skin! Be sure to moisturize twice a day for the week leading up to your shoot. On the day of your shoot, use a non-bronzer illuminizing lotion. I LOVE Pacifica's coconut crushed pearl lotion . If you're having a hard time finding an illuminizing lotion without color, you can absolutely just go with an oil based lotion like Argan Oil Moisturizer or Coconut Oil Moisturizer. Don't use tinted lotions or anything with color.
*Have extra wardrobe options! Have at least 3-4 different outfits pulled, a couple pair of shoes, and accessories handy. We won't use it all, but it's best to have options. Some things will photograph better than others. Re-read through the wardrobe section above for more tips.
*Be ready early. Nothing puts a damper on a fun and relaxing photo shoot like feeling rushed or late! You should plan for traffic and arrive about 5 minutes before your scheduled start time.
*Make a playlist! Music will really help you get into the super model zone!! Try to select music that matches the concept of your shoot. We have a bluetooth speaker at the studio to stream your tunes if you bring them! We also have a pretty kickass boudoir playlist that tends to jive well with most people.
*Wear a lightweight, soft robe without any undergarments on while getting your makeup done. This will allow for any marks from tight bras, etc to even out so they don't show up in your images. Avoid your big furry winter robe as that will tend to leave little dimples in your skin AND I find that most clients have a higher body temperature while they are getting makeup done because of nerves...it's hard to do makeup when you're sweating! ;)
*Trust me. I won't make you do anything that is going to make you look bad. I'm a pro. I've been doing this for a long time and I know how to make a woman look good with killer poses, strategic lighting, and appropriate camera angles. I've photographed over 2,000 women in the last 9 years and have quite literally worked with EVERY body type and typical insecurity. I've got you covered. Don't stress.
*No spray tans before your shoot! I know you think that you look better with a tan...but I assure you, even if you don't see the streaks and unevenness with your naked eye, the camera will pick them up. You will photograph a lot more tan than you think you look, and spray tans will photograph orange. Trust me on this!! On that same note, no tinted lotions or bronzers on your body! #1- again with the streaking issue, #2- Everything in the studio is white! You see the problem there! Nothing puts a damper on photo of you sprawled out on a ruffly white bed like a big orange butt print next to you!
*No props, please. They just don't jive with my style of photography and prop images tend to be cheesy. If you have jewelry that has sentimental value, absolutely bring it! But avoid jerseys, military apparel, weapons (yes, really), sports equipment, masks, etc etc etc.
*No alcohol the night before! If you're nervous, try a bubble bath and a yoga class. Hangovers aren't sexy.
*Don't drink a bottle of red wine right before you show up in efforts to calm your nerves! #1-It will stain your teeth and lips. #2--Drunk doesn't photograph pretty either. HOWEVER, I'm admittedly an advocate of a little bit of booze to soothe anxiety. SO, I set a firm 2 drink maximum limit for my clients on the day of their shoot. Champagne or white wine is a good option because it won't stain your mouth and will still calm you down a little. You're welcome to bring a bottle with you to the studio. We have non-alcoholic refreshments for you.
*Don't get a new haircut/color immediately before your shoot. Even just a "trim" can sometimes go awry, so be sure to schedule your hair appointments for at least 2 weeks before.
*NO NEGATIVE SELF-TALK ALLOWED. I don't want to hear about how you hate your hips. I want to hear about how you LOVE your legs. A great attitude will go a long way in having a fabulous and upbeat experience! HOWEVER...if you really feel the need to discuss the thing that bothers you the most about your body, just let me know by saying "I love my ___, but my biggest insecurity is my ___". I will be extra careful to play down your "flaws"...but I will ALSO make it my challenge to take the best damn image featuring your ____ so you have a newfound appreciate for it ;)
Where to Prepare...
I've got a few recommendations for local businesses + websites that will help you prepare your face and bod for your session! Feel free to pay these establishments a visit and mention that Kara Marie Boudoir sent you!
TEDDIES FOR BETTIES- Luxury Lingerie Boutique. Masters at fitting you perfectly! 221 West 2nd Street + at the Domain 512.614.2103.
TRUE + CO- For a personalized online lingerie shopping experience. A questionnaire helps you select styles that suit you!
Navya- The best "brow lady" in Austin! Navya treats your face as a canvas and works her magic like whoah!
WaxThat! - Professional Hair Removal and Tinting. 2900 South Congress #109. 512.789.8019
Piazza Center for Advanced Skincare- HydraFacial / Dermaplaning / SO many amazing services. 7900 FM 1826. 512.288.8200 **CALL FOR A COMPLIMENTARY HYDRAFACIAL FOR ALL KARA MARIE BOUDOIR CLIENTS!!!!!***
HEAT Bootcamp + Personal Training if you're looking to sweat it out before your shoot! 2210 South 1st Street. Use code HAVEONEONUS for your first class free! 512.994.6886
STILL&SEA - Amazing cover-ups, kimonos (and TONS of swimwear for the pool after your shoot!) 2120 S. Lamar. 512.326.1443
MAYHEM Salon- Kendall is also my primary makeup artist and hair stylist! Feel free to schedule a cut or color with her prior to your shoot!
What to Expect...
A couple of days before you shoot, you can expect to get a confirmation from me, just making sure we are on the same page about your makeup start time, shoot start and end time, and location...and I'll also ask if you have any last minute questions!
On the day of your shoot, your makeup will be done by my glam squad. You should have your face clean and moisturized when you arrive. If you haven't added on a hair stylist, you should already have your hair done prior to arriving. Make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing while getting makeup done! While you're getting lovely, I will take a peek at your wardrobe selections and start putting together looks so we can hit the ground running when you're done in makeup! Once you're done with makeup, you can get into your first look and throw a robe on over it.
Once the shoot begins, you can expect me to give you gentle direction. I will not expect you to super model pose throughout your shoot. I will show you what to do, and encourage improvising whenever you feel comfortable. I will say things to elicit laughter whenever possible, too...so be prepared (or, actually, don't. It's better that way.)
The poses generally aren't very comfortable and your shoot will give you more of a workout than you anticipate. But I assure you, I know what I'm doing. Get a good stretch in the morning of your session, and the evening after your session. A couple of ibuprofen might need to happen for those lower back aches, but it will allll be worth it!
Your shoot time will FLY by. That's a good thing!! That means it wasn't awkward or boring. Just the right amount of fun!
Within a few days of your shoot, I will email you a teaser image with a referral voucher that you can pass on to your friends if you'd like! Within 2-3 weeks I will schedule your photo viewing with you so that you can see all of your proofs and order anything you'd like! Anything ordered during your photo viewing is entitled to a special rate, so you should come prepared to place your order. The most popular photo product is definitely the album and the fine art acrylic wall art. I highly recommend them!
Any questions?? PLEASE don't hesitate to ask, dahhling! I'm here to help!
AHH, I bet you didn't think you'd ever have to do homework again, did you? Think again, beautiful! First, I want you to head on over to Pinterest and create a secret board called "(YOUR NAME) Boudoir". Follow me, I'll follow you back, and then invite me to join your board (KaraMarie_T), and I want you to spend some time pinning boudoir images that speak to you. See my tip on this up above in the "Planning" suggestions. Don't put too much thought into your pins, I just want to get a general idea of your boudoir style. If you don't have a Pinterest account and don't feel like creating one, then just email me a sampling of at least 20 different boudoir images you've found online that you like.
Next, complete this form for me!