All the "no’s" have simply been guiding me to bigger "Yes’s"

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion.

If I had listened to all the "no’s" I wouldn’t have received all the "yes’s".

The amount of "no’s" that I have faced in my career have been endless, and have truly made me doubt my self worth and purpose.

 
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But what I have grown to understand is that all the "no’s" have simply been guiding me to bigger "Yes’s".

My dance journey began at an older age than most, so for me I was always the underdog, always one step behind those of my peers. It used to frustrate me, because it seemed like no matter how hard I worked I wasn’t reaching the level of those around me. Little did I know this struggle was developing me & prepping me to receive all the blessings that lied ahead.

I began to build a humble foundation, understanding that nothing great would come easy, and that hard work, sacrifices and pain would make receiving the reward that much more valuable.

With time & continued dedication my training lead me to become a dance student at Ryerson University’s Dance program. Accepting my offer was an absolute dream come true. I was a small town girl moving to the big city to pursue her dance dreams. I felt like Jody Sawyer from "Centre Stage", the ballerina with the non stereotypical ballet body, and average ballet technique that Ryerson was taking a chance on, and funny enough that was exactly how my story unfolded.

I was in a program that was stripping everything beautiful about me away, and trying to squeeze me into a box that I would never fit into.

It was so damaging and so heartbreaking because I wanted nothing more than to meet their unrealistic and unattainable requirements so badly, but the truth was, I never would. The program beat me down, and stole my love for dance completely away from me. I was told that I would never be enough, that there was no place for me in the industry and that it was best if I looked at other career options. Ouufff, at the age of 19, those words were so damaging, because I admired and respected my teachers so much. My dreams of pursuing dance professionally, slowly seemed unattainable & unrealistic.

Now this was a defining moment for me, because I faced a crucial "No" at such an influential time in my life. I was young, impressionable, and easily influenced by my mentors, but something deep inside wasn’t allowing that "No" to define who I was.

I knew that there was a place for me in this industry and if there wasn’t I needed to create a place, and that is exactly what I did.

I used all those “no’s” to drive me to so many successful “yes's”, one very important "yes" being my heels company Sensual Heeling Inc.

 
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Many times I’ve been asked “how did you know you wanted to be a dancer/choreographer and found your own heels company Sensual Heeling?” and the answer is I didn’t know, I didn’t know that any of this was achievable, let alone successful. I think the most beautiful part of it all is that I just didn’t give up, even at my lowest of lows, I kept on striving to be the best version of myself, despite what that looked like to others.

Many laughed at me, judged me, and doubted that my talent wasn’t enough to turn my passion into a success story, but here I am still standing strong, inspiring so many women each and every single day through my heels company Sensual Heeling. It truly comes down to your own personal happiness. Dance makes me happy, despite all the "no’s" I’ve received and continue to receive, dance always brings me back to a place of joy. Just as much as it has brought me joy, it has also brought me heartache. But nothing worth fighting for comes easy, and I’d rather have moments of unhappiness building a career that continually brings me back to a place of pride & joy then a career that is just sufficient.

My biggest piece of advice is stop waiting for approval, stop allowing all the "no’s" to define you. We as humans wait and we yearn for the approval of others when in the big picture the only approval that matters, is your own. You need to ensure you are living life for yourself and no one else, because if you aren’t happy than what is the value in living?

We don't have a studio.

We have several.

You would think that, when you are a boudoir photographer (or any portrait photographer), there is one thing you would need to establish yourself: a studio. Well Scandals, there is something you need to know about us (drumroll please): we don't have a studio. We actually have about 10 of them.

 
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Because, yes, my butt is comfortably sitting on my office chair in my apartment as we speak, on a Wednesday afternoon. Don't get me wrong, we did think about getting a studio, and to be honest, it is the ultimate goal when we find the perfect spot that would not ask for 5 kidneys as a down payment (welcome to Toronto baby!). But for now, we decided to focus on something much more important to us: how to make your boudoir experience different from everyone else's.

Your boudoir session is about you (yes mam!)

This is the core of our business. We were soooo tired of seeing the same kind of boudoir photos non-stop online when we knew we can do so much more. Not all of you belong in those cutesy bed shots. If you are a Scandal like us, you can also belong on a rooftop during a busy night, overlooking the CN tower, or right in the middle of the woods in the early morning light with the sun kissing your skin.

Obviously, we can't only shoot outdoors. But instead of dealing with the same background over and over again, we decided to go the extra mile and make a list of awesome locations all around the city with complete different decor. You are a minimalist with scandinavian vibe? Boom, meet our all white modern loft just for you. You thrive through your rock'n'roll looks? Warmer and darker tones will likely suit you better.

Does it take time and patience? Ooooooh yes. Finding the good spots, visiting them, figuring out the fees involved with each, dealing with the landlords and availability… Trust me, it makes us sweat. But at the end of the day, we are here to build an experience around you.

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We are artists (no joke.)

Like many creative people, we need to renew ourselves all the time. Otherwise, we get bored and it kills our souls bit by bit. Seriously, put a good photographer is the same room for every single shoot and by the 5th one, she/he will be crawling on the floor asking for mercy. Having multiple options keeps us passionate and creative. And if we stay passionate and creative, you get an awesome shoot. Two birds one stone.

And who wouldn't want to change her/his office on a daily basis? We have seen so many amazing places that belong on a Pinterest board and we are over the moon to be able to bring them to you.

We are not doing boudoir just so you feel good for one day. We are doing it so it impacts you, gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when you think about it and so you remember it for the rest of your life.

Now... what are you waiting for?

I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion. Read the first post here

If I had listened I wouldn’t have been able to find happiness and confidence within myself to truly love who I am.

I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.

 
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There are so many factors in society that contribute to my marginalization. I am a woman, I am from Jamaica, I am of mixed race.

Throughout my life, I have faced discrimination for all the above characteristics, all of which have thrown me off kilter, beat down my confidence, made me questions my identity and made me seriously doubt who I am.

I had times that were so dark and lonely that, unfortunately, only my damaged mind and broken heart were there to keep me company.

It wasn’t until I was able to work on myself, with help, that I was able to realize that it was the constant negative self-talk festering in my mind that was making me crumble into nothingness.

It took a really long time for me to accept that I had the power to be my biggest fan even if I were being my biggest roadblock.

I used to resent the people closest to me for not meeting my expectations and not being there to save me from my mind. But choosing to be in charge of my own outcomes and happiness as opposed to relying on others was the biggest contributing factor to reaching the self-acceptance and happiness that I am working towards today.

 
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I know that I will always be a work in progress and I totally accept that. However, I have now found beauty in my flaws and in my growth. I have stopped listening to the side of myself that constantly wants to hold me back from evolving as the beautiful human I am and I now place the ride or die version of Nathanielle at the forefront.

5 Things you can do to be more French

It’s Bastille day aka the Revolution day in France! Everyone is off work to go celebrate around fireworks, good food and good company. As you probably know already, we are both French from Paris (hi to our cousins for Québec!) and to celebrate our national holiday, we thought you could join us by developing a new French twist!

 
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Practice saying “APEROOOO!"

On a beautiful summer (or not) nights,it is not rare that we gather with our family and friends around some drinks and hors d’œuvres (this is how you spell it by the way) for a couple of hours before dinner. We called them “Apéro” and they are always filled with laughter and good vibes. It's about damn time we incorporate more of these in Canada!

Master the art of sarcasm

Not to brag, but we are pretty good at sarcasm and it makes us laugh a lot. It's also a powerful tool for a passive-aggressive comment you need to tell your foreign Aunt Jemma who asked to put sparkling water in her white wine. (don't do that.)

Ditch your top on the beach, it's summer.

Let your nipples see the world and enjoy the warmth of the sun.

After you put some serious sunscreen on them though, you only have two, you gotta cherish them. It's such a great feeling to swim (almost or totally) naked. Remember?

Don't “pardon your French”

It's very freeing to swear here and there.

Really, try it. I mean, don't do it in front of your 6-year old nephew, pick your audience, but still. Don't bottle up those feelings that want to make you swear, embrace and express the, you’ll feel much better!

Start thinking that you know slightly better than everybody else.

Because… don’t you?! Yeah that's what we thought.

Now, you are all set to grab your glass of wine - the real glass please, put down that plastic cup - put your brie on the barbecue and dance on this! You're welcome!

 
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I was called a failed journalist and copywriter.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion.

If I had listened, I wouldn’t have founded Salty Woman.

I was called a failed journalist and copywriter, but I was just writing about the wrong subject matter.

 
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I grew up obsessed with Cosmopolitan magazines, desperate to work there one day. My dad said I was chasing fame because how many magazines are there for people to be an editor at? I didn’t have any awards in the category and no network of family or friends or mentors to tap into.

I went to New York and London chasing this dream and when I was finally in the Hearst office writing the Cosmo “look of the day” I realized this wasn’t the end for me.

I moved on to copywriting at some of the top creative ad agencies in Toronto, only to then quickly switch to strategy, taking a special focus on digital and social content. Eventually I built up my own department, my own team, and a whole new line of business working with influencers. I guess you could say I “made it” and all I wanted to do was step away from it all and bartend or something.

After years of fighting to get to where I was, it was the scariest thing telling my dad that I wanted to throw it all away.

It’s been a year since I walked away from my career in digital marketing. I’ve started bartending part-time, expanded the Salty Paloma business to add cocktail classes and bartending services for private parties and events, and freed up some time to dig deep into myself and find a new venture that spoke to my heart - Salty Woman.

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Salty Woman was born as a passion project to just meet a bunch of women I wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet in my daily life, hear their story and share it.

All I’ve ever wanted to do was tell the stories of women. The full story. Not just the good part, but every inch of it.

I think I really needed to hear it for myself and realize I wasn’t alone in my journey of not knowing where I am, who I am, or what to do. From then I couldn’t help but share the beauty of it all, and now I’ve committed to a monthly series involving an integrated workshop element and speakers. I’ve since then reached out to local non-profits and am working more closely with the Barbra Schlifer Clinic, that provides legal counsel for women survivors of domestic abuse.

They called me crazy for leaving my super successful, super respectable, super comfortably salaried full time job to bartend at 30 years old. Now I only work 4 days a week, never on Mondays, and I’ve never been happier. I spend a lot of my free time for myself, and that includes meeting a bunch of beautiful women in the city. I could do this all day for the rest of my life.

Looking for happiness? Start with self-confidence

You guys, it's summer. The beautiful weather is finally here to lift our spirits. Everything has a gold filter on and yet, you can't seem to fully enjoy it. It happens, you just spent months in the cold hibernating.

It is time to shed your dreary skin and embrace your brand new one full of colorful ideas and accomplishments. The good news? You already have all the tools in you.

Aim for long-term happiness

In case you didn't know, the true form of happiness isn't in the things you own. Maybe you will get those butterflies in your stomach because you just bought that pair of shoes, but it will only last for a couple of hours at the most. The real happiness is something that grows over time, to stick around for your entire life. It’s waking up with a soft and light feeling, and start your day with a smile on your face. And this requires constant work. If you don’t know where to start, we have some tips for you.

 
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Cultivate self-love

If you want to reach happiness, you have to treat yourself like you would do for your best-friend. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you already have instead of focusing on what you think you lack.

Don't talk down or belittle yourself. Your mind and body have been carrying you for a while and if you're still standing, you're already on the right path.

Self-love implies that you can peacefully be alone with your thoughts and don't have to constantly take care of other people. It is putting your needs first because you know you deserve it.

here comes self-confidence.

Happy people can see what they have accomplished, big or small steps. They don't dwell on the past and they don't see mistakes, they see lessons. We all need to f… up a few times to get something right. By learning to grow your self-confidence, you will be able to take the positive out of every situation, pick yourself back up and try again.

You need to learn to celebrate yourself often, to be proud of your accomplishments and most importantly: to acknowledge your self-worth.

If you are thinking “Blah, I haven't accomplished anything", we are gonna slap you silly because we know 100% that it is not true. Shift your mindset, if you made it this far, you have probably been doing something good, and this is what you need to focus on.

Talk to professionals

 
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If you feel like you are too deep in negativity, you may need help, and that's totally okay. Thinking happiness long term and putting all of the efforts required to get to it is a freaking ton of work.

Asking for help from someone who knows their sh*t is far from being a weakness, it’s actually giving yourself a chance and taking a step in the right direction for a better you.

That’s why we actually decided to partner with a lovely mindset consultant to help us elevate you as high as we can, so you can keep going forward in life with a light heart and get the tools to face the curveballs it throws at you.

We will be launching our new program with Eden soon, sign up to our newsletter to get all of the details! We hope to be a part of your journey towards long-term happiness!

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4 things we learned by becoming boudoir photographers

Even though we have been shooting boudoir here and there for 10 years, we decided to make it our main focus 3 years ago. Becoming full time boudoir photographers have taught us some quite unexpected facts…

1) There is a huge therapeutic aspect to boudoir photography

Don’t get us wrong, of course we knew that having boudoir photos taken can help a lot of aspects in your life. But when we first opened, we were mainly focused on the physical part of it, like getting more comfortable in your own skin. We quickly noticed thanks to our clients sharing their stories with us that the impact was much much bigger than “just” that.

Like Marine, who told us her weight loss journey, or another Scandal mentionning being assaulted over a decade ago, who said she lost her own image and couldn’t really see herself anymore. Or Léa, who managed to regain her sense of femininity, Or the lovely lady who hit the reset button on her life, got a divorce, got a new partner and just wanted to celebrate life.

We have helped women wiN their own self image back, deal with obstacles on a daily basis, get stronger, louder, prouder in our own little ways. And that’s incredibly rewarding.

That's also why we also decided to now team up with a mindset consultant, so we can go deeper and help on the long run. In case you missed it, we are actually having a model call to try it out, you should check it out!

 
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2) The snow ball effect

Little did we know that this very positive effect from above would spread all around... Until we received feedback from our clients after their photos, thanking us for giving them confidence to apply to their every day life. They’ve become more assertive, more determined and are not as scared of changes as they used to be. Even their posture have improved!

We now see it during every session: you pass the door slightly nervous, not sure what to do, you leave the shoot walking tall and proud, ready to conquer the world. The best part? It doesn’t just stop at the day of the shoot.

3) We have impacted ourselves by impacting others.

Or how we’ve impacted ourselves by impacting others. Ironically, while we are always the first one to encourage women to embrace their bodies, we were having our own struggles with ours. Without knowing, we started our own healing process by inspiring ourselves from YOU Scandals.

When we first opened Scandaleuse, we needed content for advertising purpose. A lot of our models have a clause in their contracts to forbid the use of their photos on any kind of support, which is pretty understandable. We needed content, so we took the decision to use ourselves to advertise.

And oh boy the life changing decision that was: we went from the shy first photos with as much coverage as possible to getting naked in the woods just for the hell of it.

 
Fact: I peed my pants before posting this one a year ago and almost chickened out. No, I want to print it for my living room.

Fact: I peed my pants before posting this one a year ago and almost chickened out. No, I want to print it for my living room.

 

If you had told us this a few years ago, we would have laughed at your face. Now we are like “I want my next shot to be in a busy street, wearing nothing but a trench coat”. Our perceptions of our own bodies have changed drastically and, just like you, the snow ball effect applied to us. Shaking the Earth to get what we want is definitely a skill added to our resume, and we have you to thank for that.

4) Turns out men also have body issues

The media don’t talk about it. You know, men are too strong to feel self conscious about their appearance bruh. The truth is, men can also feel crappy about the way they look, and can also benefit for some boudoir photos. 9 times out of 10, when men inquire with us, we can tell they fish for information, are tempted, but aren’t quite ready to say it out loud yet. Guess what gentlemen? We’re not going anywhere, so we will definitely be here when you’re ready to make the jump! In the meantime, you can read this. You’re welcome.

We never thought that being boudoir photographers would be so rewarding, on so many levels. We couldn’t be happier that you guys are allowing us to build our carrer out of it. You get stronger and so do we. And this will lead to newer, bigger projects…

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It ain't about time, it is about priorities!

Scandals, we need to talk! We have a big nowadays' problem (well we have more than one: #zerowaste, #prayforsudan, we unfortunately could add more to the list) and this problem is called “I don't have the time". It sounds familiar, doesn't it? Isn't it a sentence we hear more and more when we try to meet with friends or create professional collaborations?

 
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The “I am too busy” symptom

Don’t get me wrong, with all of those life opportunities people are getting busier and it is fantastic. Travelling is easier, we have so many tools to realize our projects and ideas, even dating is one swipe away from being effortless. It will be a nonsense to not grab life by the balls! But unfortunately we have the tendency to use “I don't have the time” too often as an excuse instead of being straight forward and saying “No”.

As humans being time is all we have, life is only about the time we have left before it is too late. So it is not truly about the time, it is about priorities.

It is fine to not wanted to be part of whatever someone is offering you but remember, no mater the excuse you have, it is always better to be as honest as possible without hurting the person's feelings or ego. If you have time to watch Netflix, then you have time to do anything else (priorities my friend!). If it is too difficult for you to say “No”, you can always find alternatives:

  • This is not a priority for me.

  • Let me think about it and get back to you if I change my mind.

  • I don’t have the budget for it.

  • I would prefer to enjoy some me-time tonight.

But honestly, you don't even have to give an excuse, you can decline politely: “Thanks for thinking of me but I will pass” (with a friendly and cute emoji). After all, you don't owe anything to anyone.

 
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The importance of saying “NO”

Two things happen when people do not dare to decline:

  • They disappear, cut communication without telling you what was the problem. FYI, this is unacceptable, rude, unprofessional and happened to us too many times. We hope for you guys you will never get stood up and if it did happen to you, we are sorry cause it sucks!

  • They don't put the effort to do the work they are supposed to do, which creates delays and unnecessary stress.

It is important to see any relationship as a win-win situation. Being honest and telling someone "No" will save you a lot of headaches, plus you will not waste the time of your interlocutor who is probably trying to plan things around YOUR schedule to make his/her project comes to life. If this person is ready to make time for you then you have to do the same…

Not rushing your decision to be part of it or not will help to avoid any negative issues. Take a couple of days to think about it, you do not have to give an answer right away! See if you want/can actually be part of a project or event. If it is for a professional collaboration for example, ask yourself what you can bring to this new business relationship and how does it benefit you.

Commitment is a virtue

If you commit to something avoid changing your mind in the middle of the road, unless you have a very good and honest excuse. The lack of motivation should not make you run away from your responsibilities!

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Let's talk about consent!

Guest post by Eden Wine - Mindset Consultant

 With the advent of the “Me Too” and “Times Up” era, we must learn the nuances of “Consent” so we can best equip ourselves to effectively navigate our relationships.

 
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It’s time to create a clear definition of what consent means to us, and it’s important to:

  • understand our rights when it comes to giving and receiving consent;

  • solidify our true introspective understanding of our personal boundaries; and

  • learn about and respect how to best support other people’s boundaries. 

HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE ALLOWED YOUR BOUNDARIES TO BE CROSSED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PLEASing OTHERS OR IN THE ATTEMPT OF “FEELING BEAUTIFUL”? WELL I HAVE.

When I was 14, I suddenly became well endowed in the derriere department. Now, given the location of this development, I was completely unaware of its existence. I only came to know about my “ass-et” because of my male peers. When walking down the hallway of my high school, adorned in a school uniform, I was consistently greeted by unsolicited slaps, grabs, and fondles. I wasn’t even able to acknowledge this new part of my body before it was claimed by others and objectified. Since this was one of the first experiences I had in my developing body, I was trained to think that this behaviour was acceptable.

As a young teen, I was quickly learning that it was okay for me to be caressed without consent. This, however, is not true.

We, as humans, have exclusive rights to our own bodies.

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It is our fundamental obligation to define boundaries for ourselves and to feel comfortable and assured when voicing such boundaries. We are not owned by anyone and no one is entitled to us or any part of us. In fact, the right we have to our own bodies is grounded in and protected by law.

HOW ARE OUR RIGHTS PROTECTED?

The Constitutions and Criminal Codes of many (if not most) developed countries have specific and designated laws that are geared towards protecting the sanctity of consent. Now, I’m no expert in the laws of the world at large, but I know Canada very carefully preserves the notion of consent into its legislation and case law. For example, section 273.1(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code dictates that sexual activity is ONLY legal when both parties consent and where “voluntary agreement” is obtained. Both parties means BOTH parties. In fact, the “two to tango” phraseology has never been more apropos. Sure, there will be nuances in courting and dating when flirting plays a role though subliminal and subtle body language, but that does not dismiss the importance of ensuring that BOTH parties are consenting and, even more than that, consenting the WHOLE time. 

LET’S THINK ABOUT AND DEFINE OUR BOUNDARIES AND RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S BOUNDARIES TOO! #PlatinumRule 

Consent is truly grounding yourself in your beliefs and saying “yes” when an activity  (any activity really) feels right without a shadow of a doubt. This could apply to any sexual encounter or even as something as simple as a hug.

For all people alike, the onus is on us to:

  • know and learn our boundaries;

  • feel secure and confident in our ability to voice our boundaries; and,

  • to inquire and respect other people’s boundaries. In the end, it is each of us who have exclusive rights to our own person and it is our obligation to protect such rights with the entirety of our being.

DISCLAIMER

Eden Wine is presently a non-practicing lawyer. She was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2018 and has since been a member of the Law Society of Ontario.

The content of this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers of this article are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting independent legal counsel regarding any specific legal issues. Neither the author, nor Scandaleuse Photography warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information in this article or on Scandaleuse Photography’s website. The content of this article is current as of the original date of publication, and should not be relied upon as accurate, timely, or fit for any particular purpose.

Fitness shoot or the other version of men boudoir

You may have heard that boudoir is essentially for women. It's girly, it's always the same pitch, and no men can relate to that. To be honest, everytime we mention we are boudoir photographers to a man, we are likely to get two reactions: either the "can I come to your shoot to see naked woman ha-ha-ha" or they just tune off. Well my friend, sit back down, because boudoir can definitely be for men, in a way you did not expect!

 
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When we have an idea, it sticks until we do something with it.

A few months ago, we decided to see how we can also target our gentlemen. We had the tattoo project that was very helpful for that but we also wanted to explore another angle: the fitness industry.

Now don't get us wrong, we know fitness is not only for men! Sending love to all of our fellow fitgirls out there! But it is true that you are likely to pick a man's interest with boudoir, by using the fitness way.

So there was the idea. Then we needed a model.

Interesting fact, we had our model in front of our eyes all along. He actually taught us a crash course of kickboxing last year (that we would love to do again by the way!). All it took was:

"Hi Kevin, can we take pictures of you boxing? "
"Yeah, do you want me sweaty?"

Needless to say, you had us at "sweaty" Kevin.

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Here we were, roadtriping to... Whitby, Ontario.

At the Muay Thai Whitby gym. We took our beloved lighting studio kit and started building the softboxes while Kevin was destroying the hell of that punch bag. We built a dark atmosphere based on the gym and used a lot of chalk powder for a more dramatic effect. We. Had. So. Much Fun. 

 
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If you have been around for a little while, you probably know right now that we have a constant need to renew ourselves and try different things. It was a challenge for us to deal not only with a man, but also in a different vibe and lighting. We mostly shoot in natural light, and using our lights reminded me how much I miss being able to spend time working on specific lighting. This is a different set of skills that we don;t use enough.

Last words: Gentlemen...

Keep an open mind. There are millions of ways to highlight you as well, especially with us. it's not just because boudoir sounds like it is female-oriented only that it actually is.

Feeling badass should be for everyone.

 

Take control of your self-image

Originally written for The Beach Psychotherapy in Toronto

We never see ourselves the way we really are. And that could be okay if we didn’t have a tendency to turn towards negative feelings about our own image. Let’s be real, rare are the people who don’t fall into self-criticism.

Three years ago when we started Scandaleuse Photography, we didn’t know how much we would help women struggling with their self-perception. Women that can’t stand looking in the mirror and end up avoiding them at all costs. Women who think they are never good enough or who got their self-respect stolen from them. Women who feel stuck, who lack the amazing feeling of accomplishment that gives you butterflies and the motivation to keep growing and improving.

Because the relationship you have with yourself starts on the physical aspect and can impact everything else in your life.

Your femininity is a source of positive energy you need to tap into.

 
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First things first: you are not alone. At least 1 out 5 Canadian women are not happy with the way they look. That is huge. There is a certain pressure society lays out for us that implies, or rather screams at us, that the definition of beauty is to be thin and flawless. Seeing this very day, It is very difficult not to compare yourself to these standards and feel miserable if you think you don’t match them.

You are your best ally and your worst enemy. Getting in touch with yourself is essential for a positive mind growth and it starts with celebrating your own kind of beauty and femininity, your way.

That’s right, your version of being feminine. Because there isn’t just one perfect way, you can twist it and morph it making it your own.

Let us tell you a little story. When we photographed Lea, she told us she refused to see herself as attractive. She could see it through her partners’ eyes, but couldn’t believe it from her own perspective. Through her session, she finally managed to see that she was beautiful with every aspect of her body. Things she had considered “flaws” such as, “her asymmetrical breasts, soft belly, cellulite and hair”

Sometimes you need to see yourself from another pair of eyes to ditch the distorted image you have of yourself.

If you have one day in which you feel even a tiny bit good about yourself, channel it 500% and use it as a constant strength. Because while we all have moments when we feel not so good about ourselves, we also have days when, hey, we’re actually okay. It could be as simple as having a good hair day or a little success like changed that light bulb that had been burnt out for months. Take this feeling, hold it tight and nurture the hell out of it.

Take Katie as an example, a lovely woman with a physical disability. She decided to not let this get it the way and to celebrate her true self. It started slowly, one step at a time with a better diet and focusing on improving her range of motion. She put herself on a good path, wanting to make of her goals come true: showing it to the world. That’s when she called us. She said it herself “I am ready to challenge what people expect. You are not invisible, you are worthy.”

 

If this speaks to you already, join us in our next event in Toronto!

 

What about when someone stole and damaged your self-love?

 
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This is Erica’s story. Erica suffered from the hatred of a man, a family member for years. While she managed to escape, it wasn’t without consequences: this experience completely destroyed her self-esteem. She told us she didn’t have control of her own image anymore. We met completely randomly and she gathered the courage to challenge herself with a boudoir session.

It wasn’t easy. We saw her shake, hesitate and even tear up but she did it. Posing in front of the lens made her realize that the qualities she was admiring in others were also part of her.

She was able to win back what she thought was gone forever and shout out to the whole world “I will never feel ashamed to be me anymore.”

This feeling of accomplishment is a great push to keep going, you end up craving it and you’ll do anything to keep creating and experiencing it.

The truth is: once you get the courage to show yourself and vulnerable in lingerie in front of “strangers”, you’re left with an empowering feeling of “I can do anything”.  Everyone needs to challenge themselves on different levels. It makes you want to keep going, it helps you grow and become more assertive, thus more confident. You end up creating a cycle of positive vibes which will lead you to move mountains.

Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend, because after all, YOU are your best friend. If there is one thing you need to take away from this post is that you only have one body and one mind; it’s YOURS to make use out of it.

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Why you should challenge yourself with lingerie photos

Boudoir photography is definitively an art, a beautiful way to use light, framing and background composition to highlight the human body. But it also has a therapeutic purpose. Most of the women who finally dare to book their boudoir shoot are usually looking for more than a regular portrait session.

 
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Why does it create such a great feeling?

When was the last time you actually looked at yourself naked or even in your underwear? And I mean, reaaaally look at yourself, not a quick glimpse before hopping in the shower? Rare are the people actually doing it, us included.

The human body, especially the woman one is taboo. Nobody at school teaches us to truly love ourselves the way we are. If anything, we are taught to hide it and sometimes in the worst cases, to be ashamed of it. Only a minority of people know every inches of their body even for the parts that are the most intimate.

On top of that, we focus so much on its physical aspect that we tend to forget our bodies are shells that actually makes us human beings to begin with. And that is something to cherish and treat well.

Being able to see your body from different angles, posed beautifully in a stunning environment, surrounded by a warm light is a rare opportunity you shouldn't pass on. Hell, even from the back, because seriously, we never get to see ourselves from the back! (unless you can twist your head 360 degrees but in this case, we need to talk)

It is not just about getting pretty photos.

Truth is, when you sign up for a shoot, you will get way more than that.

You will learn to push your limits, put your boundaries down. And this will make you stronger not only in your own head but also on a physical aspect.

You will be standing straighter. you will start having a better posture. you will walk with more confidence.

Because you managed to push yourself through a quite challenging adventure, your everyday life is taking its benefits too.

We are not saying that based on our own beliefs. We are saying it because we saw it. We've had a chance to work again with some of our past Scandals and the difference between the first and second shoot was drastic. The beautiful intimated women we saw became these strong-minded, ready to own it, supermodels. They were posing themselves so confidently that even us were blown away.

 
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It is perfectly normal to feel nervous

You guessed it, a boudoir shoot is full of various feelings. While it is an extremely positive experience, it does make you face some of your fears For example: the fear of being judged, not good enough, or being in an unknown situation. Most of our clients are a little anxious before the big day because they do not know what to expect and they are out of their comfort zone. 

But like every challenges, it gives you these butterflies of excitement we all love so much. The little butterflies that make us grow and take on even more challenges.

And then the magic happens

The hardest part is taking the initiative to book. After this steps, the fun stuff officially begins. You can go shopping for new lingerie or use outfits you wore only once. You can brainstorm makeup & hair ideas with our makeup artist who is going to take care of you. If you are also doing it for someone, you can even imagine the joy of this special someone, when he/she will see your photos.

When the session is finally here, our favourite part begins: the changes in our client's attitude.

From the moment, they pass the door until the time they leave: they are two different people. They start with the usual shyness, feeling a little intimated, probably doubting themselves. Some of them have the face of "what did I get myself into?". But after an hour, here they are, walking around like the world is their oyster, ready for topless and full nude. Free the nipples in all its glory!

eyes sparkling and heart racing.

The after shoot is usually the best with the big reveal. It's when you can finally see & choose your photographs. This is the moment when everything comes together. The before booking thoughts, the getting ready, the actual shooting... And this is when you realize how stunning you are and how much you are killing it. This is when we see you letting go  and taking it all in with a laugh, huge smiles and sometimes a couple of tears. .

It can be quite a feeling of freedom and surprise and it is for sure a wonderful experience! the real question now is: are you ready to start your boudoir journey?

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5 tips for a successful first solo trip

As you guys know, last December one of the Scandaleuse boss ladies booked a flight to Costa Rica for her first solo trip. Let us tell you it was a blast… I can now say I actually prefer to travel by myself than with people, it was such an unforgettable experience!

It can be scary at first but like anything in life, if you have the desire to try then put your fears aside and do it!

 
 

When it comes to the topic of traveling solo, many fears appear mostly about safety. You hear it from the media, your friends and family: “It is unsafe to go travel by yourself!”. No it is not, but it can be if you are not careful. Here are few tips for a successful first solo trip:

Play it safe

As a first time you want to make sure you will enjoy it, especially if you are not an adventurous person. My suggestion is first to:

  • Choose a country which speak your language, not being able to communicate can make your trip a nightmare.

  • Don't go for too long, you don't have to leave for 3 weeks if you don't feel it (don't do like me neither, I made the mistake to go for only 5 days and that was way too short). I would suggest to go from one week to 10 days.

  • Make sure to stay close to civilization. One more time, if you are not adventurous chose the city over the wildness of nature. You want to make sure to have people around you in case of emergency.

  • You don't have to tell strangers you are traveling solo, especially as a woman. Pretend having friends or family with you if that can make you feel less like a target.

Don't act like a dummy

When you read about people's experience, you hear few nightmare stories that can be pretty scary. But most of the time bad things happened to people who put themselves in the worst situations. When you travel by yourself don’t take stupid risks, it is not worth it! Always have your ID with you, don't get wasted in the street or unsafe places and don't accept candies from strangers!

Be prepared for the worse

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You do have to think about what can badly happens but without scaring yourself off. Just be prepared to any possibility:

  • Have a photocopy of your travel documents and a virtual copy accessible through your phone.

  • Know the closest hospital in each of your locations.

  • Have a plan B for transportation and accommodation.

  • Give all your trip's details to your emergency contact.

Solo travel is not only for men

Get that idea inside head, yes women can solo travel too, we just have to be a little bit more careful than men. Follow your guts, do not trust too much and do not make yourself vulnerable.

Don't have expectation

Stop thinking your trip is going to be perfect, because it will not and it is fine! You have to accept little flaws which are going to happen during your trip.

Organization and safety are the keys for a successful first solo trip. I am not saying you have to be a control freak and stay in your hotel the all time, but just the minimum of care for yourself. I can promise you your trip is going to be unforgettable.

Open yourself to people and you will make new friends from all over the world. I can promise you, you will not get bored during your trip and you will never be really alone. Now go travel and make it incredible!

 
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