Episode 64: Karina Diaz, Photographer: Naked Women Rule!

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Have you ever thought about having really sexy pictures taken of yourself but then got too shy to follow through? Have you seen gorgeous pictures of other women in the nude or beautiful lingerie and thought, “I could never do that!” Well this interview is for YOU! In this exciting interview, Karina Marie Diaz shares with us how it is her life’s mission to empower women and their relationship with themselves via her gorgeous photography sessions.

Karina shows us the transformation that can happen when women take the very powerful step toward loving themselves exactly how they are, and expressing that through the art of photography. One of the offerings Karina specializes in is her unique “Bridal Boudoir” package in which women who are getting married sit of for a provocative photoshoot with elements that will be in the wedding. You’ve got to hear the stories she shares with us about how women learn to love and accept themselves and celebrate the essence of their beauty by doing a private photoshoot with her.

If you want a great dose of sister support and love – this interview is for you!

Transcript

Announcer: This program is brought to you by PersonalLifeMedia.com.

Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to "Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex". I am your host, Alissa Kriteman. This show is dedicated to providing today's modern women with useful information they need to make empowered, conscious choices.

On the show today we are talking about self-esteem, self-love and getting naked; well, almost. On today's show we are going to discover how photography can help us reveal and heal things about ourselves.

Our guest today is Karina Marie Diaz, professional photographer, whose focus is on women's empowerment.

Karina Marie Diaz: Women are incredible people, and they blow your mind. They're amazing. They're beautiful. They're powerful. They're just so much energy, and there are so much great things, but as is seen, there are both sides of the coin. There's so much pain.

I'm moved by the women that I photograph, and I'm moved to really support them to feel beautiful and celebrate their beauty and recognize how amazing they are.

Definitely, and I think secretly a lot of women want hot photos for themselves. That would be fun. It's a good thing to have around, for sure. We're changing all the time, and it's just playful and it's fun to say, "Hey, you know what? I'm amazing and I deserve this".

Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to "Just For Women", Karina.

Karina Marie Diaz: Hi, Alissa. Thank you so much for having me. This is so exciting.

Alissa Kriteman: I'm really excited to have you on the show. Let me tell people a little bit about who you are: Karina Diaz, Karina Marie Diaz. That's my middle name, too, but I never say it. [laughs]

Karina Marie Diaz: Really?

Alissa Kriteman: It works for you somehow much better. She is the owner of Karina Marie Diaz Photography. She has over 10 years experience in taking photographs of weddings, family portraits and maternity. She's been featured in Martha Stewart, Grace Ormonde, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.

She's also been featured on "A View from the Bay" as a photography expert focused on bringing out the essence of women's beauty.

So, Karina, I know my listeners really care about how to love themselves and how to be inspired by exactly who they are, exactly how they are. I'm really happy to have you on the show today.

Karina Marie Diaz: Thank you so much.

Alissa Kriteman: I'd like to talk to you about your journey as a photographer and how you came to specialize in weddings and women, and some of the issues that you help women overcome with your work and how you really support women in having greater self-esteem and self-acceptance.

Let's start with your background. How did you get into photography, and how did you come to focus on women specifically?

Karina Marie Diaz: Well, I have always been a girl. I'm a woman. I'm female, and I did play dress-up I was little. I'm sure a lot of us did that, and my thing was how can you play dress-up and not have photos of it? I can't imagine. It was just not something that I could see being possible, so since I was little I have, for every dress-up session, I took pictures.

Alissa Kriteman: Wow. You probably went from the Polaroid where it spit the picture out.

Karina Marie Diaz: It was like those one time cameras with the little flash cubes. What is that? That's like ancient history now, but that's how it all started. I was really organized about how I would put all these books together with all my girlfriends, and we would plan for our dress-up parties. Like, let's do this theme. What are we going to do? Let's do a Renaissance theme. It went on and on, and I just kept doing it. It was so much fun, and it was really exciting.

I ended up doing yearbook photos and for my girlfriends that wanted something cooler than the generic empty smiled yearbook photo, they had me do something. It just kind of evolved from there.

Alissa Kriteman: So, you literally have been doing this your whole life. I love that. Do you have pictures from way back when?

Karina Marie Diaz: Oh, yeah. I have them all. They're at my parents' house. There's a whole wall full of dated and organized... I have like two full albums per year until I started my business, and then all of my albums became about other people's lives and now they're in their houses.

Alissa Kriteman: How did you come to focus on weddings in particular?

Karina Marie Diaz: By accident. I studied graphic communications which is print production technology at Cal Poly and concentrated in graphic design, minored in Spanish and then went on to my visual degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, my visual presentation degree. Not photography, but still all things that completely take into consideration composition, design balance and things like that. 

I was doing visuals, and I was trying to figure out what it was I wanted to do, but I'd always done photography so I didn't think of it as a career. I just thought of it as something I do.

Then I had a line of greeting cards of my photography from Mexico, and then I started to do shoots in San Francisco of some of my friends and do themed greeting cards. I had them in about 20 stores on the West Coast, and it was really fun. Then, it dawned on me that I kind of want to take the pictures more than manage the company, just the printing company.

And so, I got my job offer from Baby Gap-Gap Kids to be the visual person for the San Francisco District. I was already on the team, but when I graduated from FIDM I said "No" and I started assisting. I said, "You know, I'm going to take six months and just play around with this photography thing."
 
Then, I assisted a lot of incredible photographers and did all kinds of different things: food photography, fashion, editorial, business and took a couple classes and ended up being the photo studio manager for the Good Guys corporate office when the Good Guys was around. Totally different, photographing black boxes with 4x5 cameras and gels and a completely different type of environment for a woman.

Alissa Kriteman: I can imagine someone like you would get bored quickly doing something so corporate.

Karina Marie Diaz: Actually, you know what happened besides I wasn't allowed to wear the clothes I was wearing. My outfits changed, but I fell in love with technology through that job and the quality of good sound, hence my Marantz flat screen. I just love good quality audio equipment and things like that.

I think that made it easier for me to transition from film to digital that I already had that love affair with technology. Through photographing and meeting the truck and photographing all of these hot, top-of-the-line products that they were selling at the time, I just started loving them.

Alissa Kriteman: The leap to weddings was kind of a far jump.

Karina Marie Diaz: Yeah, it really was. I never expected it. I always thought wedding photographers did these really cheesy, boring, glowy, generic, empty photographs that were posed and had nothing to do with personality. Maybe, that could be true for a lot of photography from the 50's and 60's and the stuff that I had seen, anyway.

I assisted this great photographer that did more documentary style, and then I started having photographers ask me how to shoot the shots that I was assisting. I went, "OK, well, I might as well just start my own business". So, I started my business in 1999.

[laughter]

Karina Marie Diaz: 1999.

Alissa Kriteman:  And that's bad. You shot weddings for awhile, but really, you know, you exude this kind of feminine energy, and I can see why women would be really attracted to you. What is it about women and weddings and maternity and engagements that really light you up, besides being a woman yourself?

Karina Marie Diaz: Well, women are incredible people, and they blow your mind. They're amazing. They're beautiful. They're powerful. There's just so much energy, and there's so much great things but, as is seen, there's both sides of the coin. There's so much pain.

I modeled in New York when I was younger. I'm six feet tall. I was always really skinny, and people were always saying, you know, "You should model". And I was so shy, so amazingly shy. It was just not my calling at all, but I did do it for a little bit. I really didn't enjoy the process at all, hence why I feel like I have so much compassion for anyone who hates being photographed. I really get it. I don't really love the process myself, but I understand now how to play with it and how to have fun.

That is such a great thing to do, to be able to do because once you can have fun, play in front of the camera there is a side of yourself that you kind of embrace, the playful side of femininity. It's getting into that vibe that really is what I do when I connect with women here in my studio, when we shoot in San Francisco and South of Market. It's really great light here, and it's just a really great personal environment. Much like you, you are so comfortable. You're so easy to talk to. You're really passionate and it's moving.

I'm moved by the women that I photograph. I'm moved to really support them to feel beautiful and celebrate their beauty and recognize how amazing they are because a lot of women I think just don't. They don't know, and it's shocking because we as women can look at them and go, "How is that possible that she doesn't feel like she's the hottest show on the planet?" She's so amazing in so many ways. She's sexy. She's hot. She's feminine. She's alluring. She's graceful. There are all these different things we think about our friends, and so often they may not think that about themselves.

When I was photographing weddings, I kept getting these comments from my brides like, "Wow, you made me look smokin' hot" and things like that. I was like, I can't really publish that - smokin' hot wedding photography. Yeah, that's just not...

Alissa Kriteman: There's a niche for everything.

Karina Marie Diaz: No, I don't even want to turn a wedding into that. A wedding day is very sacred and special and I love it, but it's a different story than that. So, I said, there must be something here and it seems so obvious now that I photograph women to celebrate their beauty considering that I did it when I was little. At the time it wasn't. The dots had not connected yet at all. So, I became really passionate about it. I started doing it for free because the women that I photographed were so excited.

Alissa Kriteman: I really like what you're saying. It's as though we're the last ones to realize the magnificence of ourselves and our beauty. Sometimes, it takes an outside source, a sister, a friend, somebody outside of us to actually point that out to us. It sounds like that's really what you're doing with your photography with women, really pointing that out and highlighting their beauty even though the ladies might not see it themselves.

Karina Marie Diaz: Definitely and I know secretly a lot of women want hot photos of themselves, like "That would be fun". It's a good thing to have around for sure, and we're changing all the time. It's just playful, and it's fun to say, "Hey, you know what? I'm amazing and I deserve this".

This is something that I cherish myself. I respect who I am. I love my body. I accept myself for who I am. I don't need to lose weight or gain weight or dye my hair or get a facial or get my nails done or get a new outfit. This me today is amazing, and that's really what I want women to take away from having the pictures to understand, it's you. This is you we're photographing.

I get so many clients saying, "Oh, I don't know if I could do that. You just photograph models. They all look so perfect". Yeah, you do, too. It's just that you don't see it, and that's exactly what you're seeing is someone else has pointed out.

That's why I think it's really important to have these beautiful photographs so we can be reminded, granted you're capable of getting to the place where you love our photos and you go, "Wow. I look amazing". Then, keep that photo in front of your face and keep looking at it until you remember every day, I am amazing. Don't let that feeling go away because that's really special.

Alissa Kriteman: This is exactly why I wanted to interview you. You're not just a photographer. You are really for women and women's empowerment and for us loving and honoring ourselves.

We're going to take a quick break to support our sponsors. Listeners, I'd love for you to listen to these ads. These ads are created by my sponsors for my show, and they help me bring these great experts to you and really empowering women like Karina Marie Diaz. Please support them. Listen to these ads and check them out. This is Alissa Kriteman. I'm with Karina Diaz and we'll be right back to talk more about how we can love our bodies exactly the way they are.

Announcer: Listen to "Beauty Now", the intersection of cosmetic surgery, longevity and biomedical innovation for confident decisions in preventative aging on PersonalLifeMedia.com.

Alissa Kriteman: Welcome back. I'm Alissa Kriteman. We're talking today with Karina Marie Diaz about what women confront when they are about to get in front of the camera and have their pictures taken, and really how Karina helps women love and accept themselves exactly who they are.

Karina, before the break we were talking about your work in general, how you got to get into the whole world of weddings and maternity. Now, I want to talk to you a little bit about a very unique offering that you have for women called "The Bridal Boudoir". Why don't you tell us a little bit about that and how that came to be?

Karina Marie Diaz: It came to be because the fact of the matter is that a lot of women aren't willing to step up and say, "You know what? I really deserve this. I'm hot shit, and I want to celebrate it and have these great photos". A lot of women would rather spend $500 on two shirts or getting their hair done and dyed for $350 or who knows than just spend $1500, or anywhere from $500 to $3000 on a session that is something that you'll have forever, that's a piece of art that's about yourself.

For some reason, I think for some women it feels self-indulgent in a negative way. It is a completely positive thing to do for yourself, but it's not what the media has sold to us as acceptable because nobody else, no big business person is going to make money off of you buying portraits of yourself. They are going to make money off of you buying clothes and makeup and all these other things that you add to the outside of yourself that have nothing to do with who you are on the inside and how you feel about yourself.

So, having a session like this is really for yourself, but since a lot of women need a little extra push, "Oh, perfect excuse. It's a gift". He's going to love it. He's going to love this gift and he will and he does. He loves to see you in lingerie or just in beautiful clothes. I have clients that get sessions that don't... They aren't nude. They aren't lingerie. It's just beautiful portraits. It's a really nice thing to have around.

However extensive the shoot is, whether it's one hour or four hours and however many outfits we go through in looks and styling and hair changes and things like that, it's really great to do a bridal boudoir session because then you have... It's a gift for him. It's a gift for yourself and he loves it. You love it. If he goes on business, I have these cute little books that you can get that he can take with him that are small, mini books. Then, a lot of my clients will get bigger books, too, 8x8, 10x10, just really beautiful.

Alissa Kriteman: It sounds like this isn't just for brides that even though it's called "The Bridal Boudoir" and you're taking pictures of women in their lingerie. It's very sexy. What are some of the things that women confront when they decide to take on a project like this for themselves?

Karina Marie Diaz: Well, you know, we get nervous. That's just the way it is, and that's a good thing because that's part of what makes it so great when you're done and you have this awesome experience is the contrast of, "I was really scared" and then, "Wow, it was really fun and I look hot and I can't believe I have these photos. And this is amazing."

I say it casually because I hear it all the time and I get really beautiful thank you letters. It's such an honor for me to be able to do this. I just want the experience for everyone, but as far as what's unique about bridal boudoir because I don't know if I really got into that. The difference is that we're taking... It's usually a little bit more about him and about the wedding.

Sometimes, they'll wear their wedding dress. We'll have their shoes, the special things, you know, something blue, special things that will be there for that day and it's taking it in a really sexual, erotic, exotic, sensual way and looking at your bride from that perspective.

It's kind of hot to see that and it's an opportunity for brides to get that wild, crazy bouquet that was a little too crazy for walking down the aisle, but they wanted to do that, feathers and who knows, like black roses. It could be all different kinds of things that I've had people do, and just the more sexy makeup. Do their hair up, up-do, kind of wild.

You can go places that you couldn't go on your wedding day, but it's a great way to be able to use your wedding dress again because it's the one day, you only get one day with that dress. Then, another thing with the bridal boudoir is bringing some of him into it, like with his tie for the wedding day or his shirt or his shoes. No, I'm just kidding. We haven't done that.

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman: I really love what you're saying because the quintessential picture of the bride is this white virgin and it's so old and dated, the idea. But, yeah, we are sexy. We've been having sex, and this isn't the first time we're going to have sex. And so, I love that you really allow brides to get into the other flavors of what they wanted. Maybe, for their wedding but they didn't feel it was appropriate.

Karina Marie Diaz: That is a good point. I didn't think of it in those words, but I love how you said it. It is really true that the percentage of virgins that get married is probably pretty small.

[laughter]

Karina Marie Diaz: Both male and female. I think, maybe, I've had one or two in my ten years of shooting weddings. Not that they all tell me everything, but I think there were two.

Of course, for the average, the normal woman who has had sex before their wedding, and some women do. I've had women for their wedding that wore red velvet dresses and things like that. But, that's often a second marriage. For your first marriage it's a lot riskier to go vampy.

Alissa Kriteman: And you raise a good point about they don't tell me everything because it sounds like - and one of your clients actually made a comment about forget therapy, go have a session with Karina because posing in front of the camera for yourself in these sexy poses and positions in lingerie, feel something. You actually have to get right with who you are exactly and how you are.

How do you support women in getting comfortable and relaxed in something that is going to be or is a transformational experience?

Karina Marie Diaz: A big part of it is that this is me. I am not trying to do anything or be anything with any of my clients. This is just my personality with everyone that I meet every day. I think because of that women can feel that I want nothing more for them than for them to feel amazing and beautiful and loved and valued and appreciated and special and all of those great things. And I want them to have time to just relax and play and be all about themselves.

There is a lot of caring coming from me, and that's just who I am. You can't put that on anyway, but I think there must be something with that that helps women to calm and soothe any of the fears that come up. Other than that, it is as you are here in this great space. You can see it is really calming and soothing and beautiful. It does evoke a peaceful way to come into yourself.

Then, we're playing and we're blasting music and we're being girlie. Before you know it, you've forgotten about all of your fears because that's just all chatter that doesn't need to be there. If there's something louder that's better going on in your head, it will decrease.

Alissa Kriteman: I love that. What's your favorite success story of a woman who came in to be photographed?

Karina Marie Diaz: Which one? I think every one is such a favorite success. Well, I don't really always get to know the full impact of the sessions other than the thank you cards, but what I did start doing is - and the referrals. But, what I did start doing is I really wanted women to share their experiences because women and people would start asking me, "Who does this? Why do they do that? Why would a woman want to do that? Is it for other people or for their selves?"

I realized that women really wanted to know the story, the women's story. That's what I want, too. I want women to share each other's stories so that they can know we're all in the same boat here. So, we might as well just love ourselves and each other and support each other because that is going to make so much positive impact everywhere.

I decided to interview clients and put that in the newsletter and talk about their story and give them an opportunity to share with other women why, why it was special, why it was hard, why it was scary, why it was rewarding and what it changed in their life. Through doing this with one of my clients and she would never have said this, but I was interviewing her for the newsletter. I found out that she - she was like 23, tiny, beautiful, adorable, perfect, wonderful body - she had never been out in a bikini in public. Wow, never been out and so ashamed of her body.

Alissa Kriteman: Wow.

Karina Marie Diaz: Felt something was so wrong with her, and you can ask a lot of girls, even little girls, sometimes they have a long list of complaints and things that they're upset about, about their bodies that are cuckoo. We're a little cuckoo when we expose our true fears about ourselves. Women can be crazy and neurotic about that stuff, and that's just part of being a woman. And it's to different extents. For some, it's not there. For some, it is more but it doesn't have to be there.

Alissa Kriteman: Exactly, and that's one of the things I was thinking about when you said it's just a part of being a woman. I think that's yeah, maybe, in the past or maybe that's how it's been. We can be the spearheading women who can say, "You know what? This is not the way it needs to be", and it sounds like that is what you are doing with your photography.

What impact does this have on a relationship? I could see a man getting this kind of gift if he's never seen his wife in such sexy, provocative clothing and positions. Have you gotten some feedback on what that's like on the relationship?

Karina Marie Diaz: Let me just finish about her and her never being out in a bikini. She started going out in her bikini and changed her whole diet. It just got really healthy and self-empowered and just changed her whole life. So, that was extremely moving.

As far as couples, how it affects relationships, it's funny you said that because the next woman that I interviewed was a mother of two, about 37 years old. She said that... This is why I was speaking before to the fact that women need a push and they do it for the bridal boudoir, for him. But guys think it's for them and everything, but for a lot of women it really is for themselves.

I think in her situation she was always that hot, and he knew it. But, it was for her to remember how hot she was. It's great that he can see the photos and go, "Wow, you're amazing". The bigger part is her going, "Wow, I am amazing" because it's so easy to forget.

Alissa Kriteman: I love that. It is easy to forget. I'm glad you are reminding us. This is such a special interview because I don't normally meet people who are so empowering to women in this kind of way.

It's usually through books or authors and some kind of therapy or seven steps, but this is a real life experience. To get the breakthrough, you have to have the experience. You have to go through it. There's no avoiding it or being up in your head about it.

This is literally right there in the front so I just want to thank you for all women and the women that you have dealt with that you have that space. And you don't have any training in psychology or anything like that. It's just your true passion.

Karina Marie Diaz: It is but I've been that person my whole life, that people would go to to tell things that they never told anyone else, of course. I can sit down at a bar and be with three girlfriends, and I hear the man's whole life story and the deepest, darkest secrets. They are like, "What? How did you know all that about him? Even more things than their friends would know.

I'm just that kind of person. I really care and it's just such an honor and it's really one of those things where, well, you know what? If I can help a woman feel great, how could I not? How could I not do that?

I'm very open and I think that's another thing with my clients. I don't really have secrets. I think it's refreshing for women for us to be around each other. It's OK. It's OK to have therapy. It's OK to not like your kneecap for some reason or whatever. There could be some thing, you know. It's no big deal. It's also great if you love your body, and you just want to celebrate it because you're amazing and you love yourself.

Those are unfortunately not the majority, but hopefully one day it will be because I think as women we really are the ones who set the tone in our children. Little girls look up to us.

Yes, when my mom talks to her friends about this, her friends are like, "Why would any woman ever want to do that? Why would she even want to have a picture of herself? Why would she even take a picture?" So, that's how far we've already come, but I just see a brighter future for our children, for the little girls to grow up and go, "You know what? I look great, and this cellulite is awesome." This is part of being a woman. I've had cellulite since I was 10. It's not going anywhere, you know. It's like I'm not going to take a pill and have it go away, but it's just loving who I am for how I am. I learn so much from all my clients. I learn so much from every experience. It's very rewarding.

Alissa Kriteman: Karina, you are so inspiring. We are going to take one more break. When we come back we'll talk a little bit more about what you do and how you inspire women. This is Alissa Kriteman, your host of "Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex". We're speaking with Karina Marie Diaz.

Listeners, feel free to send me an email at [email protected] or you can give me a call or leave me a message at 206-350-5333. I'd love to hear your feedback questions so feel free to do that.

Again, this is Alissa Kriteman and I'm with Karina Marie Diaz. We'll be right back.

Renee Stephens: Hi, this is Renee Stephens, host of "Inside Out Weight Loss". If you want to be a thin person, you have to learn how to think like one. Learn how on my weekly show that aligns mind, body and spirit for lasting change. Find me on iTunes or at PersonalLifeMedia.com. That's "Inside Out Weight Loss", how to think like a thin person on PersonalLifeMedia.com.

Alissa Kriteman: Welcome back to "Just for Women". I'm Alissa Kriteman. We're talking today with Karina Marie Diaz about "The Bridal Boudoir", a very special photography session that Karina has created for women to help them really tap into their beauty and love themselves and express themselves in ways that we haven't been able to do in a really long time.

Karina, before the break we were talking about the amazing breakthroughs that women have and the big impact it has on their life, almost like a transformational therapy session.

Now, we want to go a little bit deeper into... You were talking about how it brings up a woman's sexuality and her sexiness for herself. How does this manifest since you know so much about your clients and the like? Does it really have a bridge into healing relationships, women having this sexy photography session?

Karina Marie Diaz: I think it's like anything. Yes, it definitely does and can. Like anything in life, it's about how much do you want to show up for it? If you walk into any situation saying, "This is not going to work for me". It's going to be hard to make it great.
If you walk into the situation saying, "I'm going to try this".

And with that said, I think it takes some practice to make something a habit. A lot of my clients come back regularly because it is so much fun and it feels so great. It's practicing going there. It's practicing feeling feminine. It's practicing being in touch with your body and taking time out for yourself to say, "You know what? I deserve to take this moment to be just for me and only me and all for me."

It's not for how I look. It's for how I feel, and the great thing is you do get great results, visual results afterwards, but it's an investment, a piece of art in your home that you can look at, that's something you can cherish, that says I'm amazing. It's a known fact studied that what is the number one thing men are attracted to? In women, it's confidence.

And so, for men that are dating and there's a woman that has a big print of herself in her home, it's like, "Wow, she really loves herself. That's hot". That's hot. That's hot.

Alissa Kriteman: Isn't that funny? They say - they say - that what women are attracted to in men also is confidence so we really just want to be confident people hanging out with each other but from a really natural place. I really love what you're saying.

All right. Here's one more for you. What is challenging about working with women?

Karina Marie Diaz: The challenging part for me about working with women is that I don't have time and I'm not able to spend more time with the women I've met. I have met so many incredible, inspiring, just blow-your-mind amazing women. I really want to get to know them all better. We have so much fun when they're here, and then we have to say goodbye.

That happened with weddings, too. That's what motivated me to be a life cycle photographer, not just a photographer for your wedding that you see and say goodbye but to be there for your photos when you're dating, your online photos; your photos for a gift to your husband, your boudoir, your bridal boudoir; your wedding photos; your maternity photos when you're pregnant.

Then, you with your baby, with your husband, and then your family photos. That is so much better for me. I have clients. They step out of their cab. They come here and fly from New York and visit and get a session and cry because we have been together for some of the most moving, very important parts of their lives.

That's a great way for me to get the gift of their friendship more than just one time because emails aren't the same. Also, what I've done is I've created these events that I'm hosting here because I feel like I would be freaked out to do this if I wasn't me. The only thing that would make me feel more comfortable is to be in the space, to talk to other women that have had the experience.

I've heard that from a lot of clients requesting... The truth is that when women go through a lot of stuff they really need to meet other great women. I feel like I've attracted so many wonderful women I want to share them. I want them to meet each other.

You know, sometimes a woman will do this at the other end of the spectrum, "The Bridal Boudoir", after a divorce. She's like, "You know what? I'm going to get back in touch with me now". I was sitting there, and I've never been married yet.

Alissa Kriteman: She's pretty hot, men.

[laughter]

Karina Marie Diaz: Yes, I am hot. I'm hot, too and you're hot, too.

Alissa Kriteman: I'm hot, too. Isn't she fun?

Karina Marie Diaz: What a kickass awesome woman that she found me and she wants to do this for herself, and she's saying to me she wants to meet other women right now because it's been all about her marriage. That is the biggest compliment I could ever imagine.

I just hosted an event with Yelp last week where I had 50 people here, and I'm doing another one in January with Yelp again. It's just so exciting to pull these women together and give them an opportunity to meet and know that, you know, that is not a perfect person on a pedestal. That is a human being.

When you look at pictures of women in magazines, you've got to understand that there is an art to composition, lighting and balance and movement and energy and styling and makeup and hair that does affect the outcome of how you look in your photos. And so, just to realize that you've got to keep that perspective when you look at media.

When you have hot photos of yourself, it's a lot easier to keep that reality because we're bombarded by all of these ridiculous images of all these crazy, wonderful, beautiful women that aren't necessarily like that without all of... It's not the same without the retouching and the great angles. There is always a bad angle, and there's always a flaw. It's just important to be realistic about what comes in the package.

Alissa Kriteman: Do you do a lot of retouching?

Karina Marie Diaz: I do some. I think it's only fair [laughs]. I do retouching to baby portraits. It's only fair. Babies have scratches on their face. Their eyes underneath can get dark. It's just part of the reality that when you look at a photo you're really focused on the photo, but not in a way that you would in real life.

When I'm looking at you, I'm feeling who you are as a person. When I'm looking at a photo, I don't have your energy so anything that would detract from that, that isn't really what you see with your eye, that's what I work on.

Alissa Kriteman: So, no retouching on the bridal boudoir photos or things like that where there's more flesh?

Karina Marie Diaz: Oh no, that's what I was saying, that I do do retouching.

Alissa Kriteman: Oh, OK. It's not like the transformational new nose et cetera.

Karina Marie Diaz: No, no. It's real people, real looking people; not fake, not glossy. I support women to completely be whoever and however they want, whether they're someone who doesn't like makeup or someone who wears a ton and loves to be totally glammed out.

I have clients that range the full spectrum, and we capture whatever they want, wherever they want to go. It is a totally different look, and I have clients that... There's so much to a woman, right? There's so much to a woman in what she thinks about her body.

Each session is very custom. If you look at my work, I don't put women in the same position in the same outfit with the same lighting. There's a reason because we're all different and I don't want to make all women the same, but that takes a lot more on my end, a lot more sensitivity to where the woman's at, what she wants and who she is and what her goals are to get out of the session.

That's why it is fun to have multiple sessions because you can start off with just doing your clothes. Then, next time do a bathing suit and then do lingerie and then do nudes later and just do it in phases because not everyone is ready to just jump right in to the first step.

Alissa Kriteman: Karina, we have got to go. Tell us how we can find you.

Karina Marie Diaz: Well, you can find me on the Internet at www.colettephotography.com and soon that will be forwarded to my name, which is KarinaMarieDiaz.com, and the phone number here is 415-543-3100. You can call or check out the website and email me [email protected]

I am in SOMA in South of Market in San Francisco, but I also do sessions for groups of women in different parts of the United States that like to get together and have a special event.

If you have a few girlfriends that you want to do something like this and they really want it to be special and personal and they are kind of shy about it, I'm the perfect person to have come out and do a special 30th birthday party or 35th or 40th or 45th [laughs].

Alissa Kriteman: I love that.

Karina Marie Diaz: No age limit.

Alissa Kriteman: Karina is going to give "Just for Women" listeners a nice discount of $50 off of - what is it off of, anything?

Karina Marie Diaz: I just want to say that's for women and men because men can get a session, too, and they can get a gift certificate.

Alissa Kriteman: And men listen to the show.

Karina Marie Diaz: Yes, and men are everywhere.

Alissa Kriteman: We love men.

Karina Marie Diaz: Yes, we do. We do. We love that men love our lingerie. The discount is $50 towards a portrait session, and they start at $500 and they go to $3000. All you need to do is say 'just for women'. Then, you get your $50 off through February 14th, 2009.

Alissa Kriteman: I love that. That would be Valentine's Day.

Karina Marie Diaz: That is Valentine's Day. Perfect.

Alissa Kriteman: Which is a whole other ballgame. Karina, thank you. Karina Marie Diaz, I love that. Thank you so much for being on "Just for Women" today and the inspiration that you are for all women and for celebrating women exactly how they are. Thank you for the work that you do in the world.

Karina Marie Diaz: It's my pleasure. It's such an honor to be on this show with you here. You are such a wonderful spirit and such a beautiful woman. You have the best energy on the planet. It's just so great to share everything that I do with you and all the people on your show. Thank you so much for this opportunity and everyone have a beautiful day.

Alissa Kriteman: Thank you very much. Well, that brings us to the end of the show. Thank you so much for listening. For text and transcripts of this show and other shows in the Personal Life Media network, please visit our website at PersonalLifeMedia.com.

For a copy of my book, "Alissa's Four Cornerstones to Living Your Dreams", just go to my website, SacredSpa.org and click on the book cover icon.

I'm your host, Alissa Kriteman, always expanding your choices here on "Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex". Tune in next week for more juicy news you can use.

Announcer: Find more great shows like this on PersonalLifeMedia.com.