Is it wrong to want to feel sexy?

It is in our nature to want to be admired and respected. On top of that we want to look strong, confident and just beautiful in general and we are not scared to say it out loud. However, we don't really say out loud "HELLO I AM SEXY!" or we don't even dare thinking it. But what's so wrong with that?

 
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What does sexy even mean?

Some people would tell you straight up: you are "sexy" when people want to have sex with you. Period. And it's actually not entirely wrong since we have the tendency to qualify someone as sexy when they radiate a sensual feeling and a lot of time, it comes from a physical aspect.

We have met countless women and men saying "oh gosh, I am so NOT sexy" sometimes with a chuckle, sometimes blushing, sometimes with regrets in their voice.

We are in 2018 and the word sexy should and has a lot more different meanings. To us, being sexy is pretty much a way to say you are attractive and you have a little je-ne-sais-quoi.

And since being attractive is so suggestive, it means that no one will ever have the perfect definition of sexy, but it also means that everyone can actually be sexy in their own way.

That's a pretty good news, right?

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Throw away the clichés

Non-exhaustive list of sexy things according to the Scandaleuse Dictionary, 2017 edition by Capdevielle J. & Lelorrain F.

  • confidence

  • a woman's neck

  • ambition

  • nice hands

  • determination

  • kindness

  • heels

  • a smile/smeye

  • tattoos

  • and way more...

Is there any links between all of these? Not really. Maybe your partner finds you sexy when you're changing a lightbulb for that matter. Because being sexy does not fall into one and only one category. It is more a feeling, an attitude and not only the way you look.

Now that we've seen these, I can honestly say that I would definitely love to be seen as confident, ambitious, kind with nice hands, a tattoo while smiling. It brings me closer to the version of myself I want to be in my life and it makes me happy.

So if I follow this logic, I then want to feel attractive. And since all of these factors can also be considered sexy, it also means that I do want to feel sexy too, but in my own way.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

So no, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy.

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Because it makes you feel good. And when you feel good, you also do good things. And this makes you feel good too. You see the snowball effect of goodness here?

So why wouldn't you want to be sexy? 

We are getting further and further from the cliché of "sexy = trashy" that it is time to reappropriate the whole concept and turn it into something positive. off you go you sexy beast.

 

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How to build good habits

Do you remember few months ago when 2019 started, we were all super motivated with our new resolutions: I am gonna sleep more, drink less, eat healthier, buy less stuff, spend more time with my friends… How many of them are you still doing today? We all want to improve ourselves and set up goals to make our life better. So why is it so easy to give up?

 
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You can find so many tools on internet which tell you if you follow the steps it is going to work, like a magical recipe. Honestly those rules are not exact science and cannot work on everybody because we are all different. It is really important to find what works the best for you and to do so, you need to experience and educate yourself.

I am not really good at changing habits because I do not have a strong self-discipline but I love challenges. Here are few advice I can share with you, little tricks that have been working for me so far. But first of all grab a pen and a notebook, you have some writing to do!

The importance of writing things down

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Writing down ideas, goals or projects is primordial for their realization. But I am not talking about using a sticky note or paper sheet you are gonna lose, I am talking about a notebook or journal you can have easily access to, to read them whenever you need.

I was like you when my friend told me for the first time to write my goals down, very sceptical: “What does it change? I do not need to put those on a piece of paper, everything is in my brain!”. And you see, that is the tricky part because those are just thoughts, nothing specific. Writing them down will help you to visualize them to make it more real. It will also help you prioritize on what you should focus on, instead of having it all mix up because you have to much going on in your brain and taking the risk to forget half of them.

Motivation

This is the first step and most importante part. You need to have a strong motivation otherwise it is going to be very difficult to achieve. Once you wrote down the bad habits you want to change or new ones you want to add to your life, ask yourself why and write the reason. Let say you want to lose weight, what is the reason? is it because your actual weight makes you get tired real fast and you don't like not being in shape? or is it because someone told you you look too curvy?

Are you doing it for yourself or just because it is what you are “supposed” to do? Changing just to please someone else or to do the same thing as others will not help.

Recently, I decided to change my morning routine which was having breakfast in front of a tv show. There is nothing wrong with that until I realized it made me start my day tired and not really motivated. If I read, listen to music or work while having breakfast, it makes me start my day with way more energy than watching tv on my sofa.

Is it realistic

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The second step is to make sure you can actually achieve them, otherwise let me tell you it is a waste of time and it might break your motivation, when you realize you cannot be successful at it. If they are unrealistic but you really really want to make them happen, then find a solution to the problem (even though it means changing other part of your lifestyle):

One of my goal is to wakeup everyday at 6.30am because I want to watch the sunrise and have more time for myself during the day. Unfortunately I do not sleep well so waking up early when you had only few hours of sleep was too difficult. I had to find first a solution to sleep better: 10 min of meditation before going to bed works like magic. Since meditation is new to me I really have to force myself to practice daily, so I can sleep better and wake up earlier. Do you see what I mean? You might have sometimes to create a habit to be able to work on another one.

Consistency & Self-Discipline

And of course the last step and most difficult one: daily routine! Consistency is the key to set up any new habits, you HAVE to do them everyday so it can become natural. Of course at the beginning you will forget or be too lazy but do not give up. Force yourself even if you are not motivated to do it and stop looking for excuses. You will be tempting to go against those good habits you are setting up, just don't. Temptation is like a bad craving, but it goes away after few minutes… You are stronger than your brain! If not, trick yourself:

When I want to wake up early I put my phone far away from my bed so I have to get out of my bed to turn off the alarm. If I leave my phone close to me so it reachable from my bed, I turn off the alarme and fall back asleep.

Organization and scheduling

I found out planning your day in advance helps a lot to make some of your new habits a success. You do not to be as organized as business man but just scheduling your day when you wake up will have a huge impact on your routine.

So what about you Scandals, any tricks to add?

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The real motive behind Boudoir Photography

Ah. Pretty boudoir photos. Well that’s nice. You get them done and forget about them within a couple of months right? What if I tell you that it’s actually false? What if I add we can connect getting your shit together and boudoir photography together? Alright let’s get to it.

Disclaimer: while I am going to focus on women because – well - I am one, the following does apply to anybody.

 
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Everything and everyone else comes first.

If you are a caring human being, chances are your own well-being is not #1 on your priority list. Your family, your kid, your partner, your business, your problems, you name it, probably are. Congratulations, you are a decent person and we need more people like you!

However, it doesn’t mean your own self-care should be forgotten. After all, you do read it on Instagram every day, with a perfect woman doing an incredible yoga pose at sunset hashtagging #NamasteBitches

And this perfect lady isn’t actually wrong. The reality is that, by putting people or things before you every day, all the time, you will burn out.

You will end up walking around with a little rain cloud over your head, wondering who you are, what the meaning of life is and how the hell you get out of this.

We can assure you that you’re gonna have one day during which you will feel the urge to slam doors as hard as you can because you’re not supposed to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders but you are trying anyway.

Why is this bad for you? Because you need to be at peace with yourself to basically function and do great things. How can you if you don’t take time to…. take time?

Easier said than done, right? Actually, no it doesn’t have to be.

Why are so many women struggling with this to begin with?

Simple answer: we are naturally nurturing. But most importantly, we are expected to be (the ability to be mothers and also the fact that we actually give a crap about what’s around us and all that). You are expected to be relied on and quite frankly, chances are you will be considered selfish if you dared announcing loud and clear “screw it, it’s me time today!”. How dare you, since your primary function is to take care of someone?

So, what do we do? We restrain ourselves from doing what we really want to do. It doesn’t have to be something big like moving to Argentina but even little pleasures in life that could do us some good.

Do we even deserve to do this?

During a panel we went to last week, someone said that women constantly undervalue themselves and it is a sad but true fact. On top of taking care of people and their things, we also think that we are not good enough. Probably because we are constantly reminded that we can always do more. So why would we reward ourselves with some “me-time” to begin with?

If you think this way, this is the moment when you take a seat, grab the tea we’re giving you, look at us right in the eye while we tell you “you are doing the best you can, you are awesome and you deserve a break.”

What does our boudoir work have to do with any of this?

 
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Creating gorgeous art with your sexy self isn’t the main motive behind Scandaleuse. We wanted to create an experience around our photography work. A safe space in which you can let go, think about you, and more importantly: reconnect with yourself.

For a short amount of time in your busy schedule, you are a priority.

Boudoir is one of the only fields in which you can be your true self without hiding behind anything and even better: without being judged.

Of course it may feel awkward at first. But by embracing your vulnerability and turning it into a strength, you will be able to grow and tame (or rediscover) your confidence. And then what? You make a powerful tool out of it and use it in your everyday life. Other people’s judgments won’t matter as much, you will trust yourself a lot more to make bigger decisions and it will be easier for you to take on new challenges and succed at them. All of these can only lead to even more positives adventures.

Don’t underestimate the power of taking time to yourself. We all need to disconnect from our “duties” and reconnect with ourselves. Are we the only way to get some quality time with yourself? Of course not. We are just one of the long-term effective ones.

 

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4 more reasons to try the boudoir experience

The main question we get when explaining our work is “why would someone do a boudoir shoot to begin with?”. You may already do the most common answers we wrote here, but since we like being extra, here are 4 more reasons why you should take the leap!

 
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A travel reward

This one is definitively a cool idea. We got an email a month and a half ago from the sexy Vanessa saying she was coming in Toronto and wanted to have her photos taken in her Airbnb with the view on the CN Tower. She travels a lot and her goal is to get a boudoir shoot every time she is in a new city. We were so honoured she chose us for Toronto. It was her first boudoir session and she did a wonderful job at letting go. The pictures are stunning and we can't wait to work with her again.

 
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Birthday Girl

Few days ago we had the great pleasure to photograph - for the fourth time - the lovely Liana. She contacted us because she wanted to treat herself with a little boudoir shoot in the Graffiti Alley, to celebrate her 36th birthday. Such an awesome idea! We love her personality, she is always smiling, kind and so confident, we couldn't say no.

So here we are, 10:30 am downtown Toronto and there she was, holding tons of balloons, wearing heart-shaped glasses and her hot pink outfit. Of course, we picked the only day when the weather was coldish, but that was fine, she is a pretty badass woman to begin with. As usual we did not have to pose her, as a burlesque dancer she already knows how to play with her body. We had never shot in the Graffiti Alley and the photos turned out great (as colourful as her personality)

Morality of the story: birthdays are important and we should all treat ourselves with a little boudoir shoot!

 
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Fabulous at 50

It breaks our heart when we hear women saying they would love to try boudoir but don't because they think they are too old. We will never stop saying it: you do not need to have a particular age or body shape to treat yourself. Why would you stop yourself because of what the society says or tries to make you believe. Just do you!

And this is what three of our recent clients did. They were brave enough to kick the standards in their faces and think only about themselves. They are powerful women who decided to enjoy being 50 and celebrate it instead of letting negatives thoughts about getting older dictates how they should feel.

We cannot show you their beautiful faces because of privacy purpose but they rocked their sessions. It was a beautiful encounter, they are such a great inspiration for us all.

Before becoming a bride

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We are always over the moon when we received inquiries from brides to be for a boudoir session. A wedding is such a big step and can be overwhelming, so taking some time for yourself to relax is a must. Plus the future partners are always pleased to see the final pictures.

This is what Sarah did few weeks ago and she was stunning. Such a beauty who was not scared to show her scars. She brought so many outfits, it was hard to pick the best ones, so we did most of them! We went for a modern vibe because bridal boudoir doesn't have to be classic, even if white lingerie is also gorgeous, it can be way more creative.

as you can see, there are many opportunities to do a boudoir shoot. We have a lot More adventures coming up and we can't wait to share them with you.

Important note: It is not because most of our clients are women, that you gentlemen can't treat yourself too. Remember, boudoir photography is not only open to women!

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Do not let procrastination take over!

Procrastination is a big and scary word, nobody likes to be told or think they are being lazy. But we all know how easy it is to let ourselves go in any aspects of our life: relationship, life goals, business… It does not mean we are actually lazy or we do not care anymore, usually it is something we build with time and without noticing. Slowly but surely we have been developing bad habits and at some point it just hits us, trust me when I say it is an awful feeling!

Starting 2019 with "Panache”

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I wanted to start 2019 in style, so beginning of January I wrote down a lot of new goals in my notebook, I especially wanted to work on being more self-disciplined and I was 100% motivated to achieve it. One of the first one was to travel alone: BAM! Two weeks later I was in Costa Rica by myself, celebrating my birthday and making new friends (I even met a new gorgeous scandal for a boudoir shoot). I came back to Toronto with clearer thoughts, new ideas and ready to conquer the world!

By the way, this feeling happens when you get out of your confort zone and try new experiences. Yes it is scary at first but once it is done, you feel so powerful and confident; you can do everything.

Hit me baby one more time

I kept that fire inside me until about two weeks ago when I started feeling down, unmotivated and not really healthy. Then few days ago it just hit me (and man, it was painful, I felt guilty!): I realized I have been letting myself go for a few months. Yes I was full of ideas and new goals but I wasn't working to make them happen. Business was busy, which was a bit unbelievable for winter time, so I focused on the tasks I had to do, I focused too much on the short term and forgot about long term plans. I have slowly been pushing back projects I was supposed to work on or business skills I wanted to learn. Those bad habits affected not only my business life but my personal one too:

  • I stopped cooking healthy meals (I am a vegetarian so I have to be careful to replace properly the nutrients I don't get from meat anymore), the result: iron deficiency = a week an a half of intense migraines and fatigue.

  • I replaced reading by watching tv shows (Netflix is temptation!).

  • My workout has been the same for the past 2 months instead of learning new fitness and aerial silk tricks.

  • Do you remember my 2019 goals I was talking to you about? Well I haven't opened that notebook since I wrote them in!

To make it short, I STOPPED LEARNING…

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Your brain is a muscle

We always remember to feed our body. If we don't, it doesn't take too much time before having a low energy, headaches, dizziness… But we have the tendency to forget our brain is a muscle we need to take care of. We need to work it out and feed it with knowledge if we do not want to see negative effects on the long term.

When you make your passion a business, unfortunately you can easily lose your creativity, you have to challenge yourself all the time: I am not gonna lie, it can be very tiring… So you take a break, you relax. And it's when you let go too much you start building procrastination. All it takes is to find the perfect balance between work and pleasure. I am not able to remember the last time I watched a documentary, discovered a new photographer, went to an art exhibition or learn something new. I am not a lazy person, I am the opposite: always working hard, curious and motivated. But somewhere and for some reasons on the road, procrastination showed up and stayed warm and cozy.

The first step is to notice

Procrastination's guilt is an awful feeling. So when you catch yourself procrastinating for too long you have to change your activity right away, just stop and do something that feels right! If this step is too difficult for you then ask someone in your loved ones who will let you know if you f**k up. I try to not beat myself up because nobody is perfect but I refuse to use it as an excuse to stay in this vicious circle.

The secret against laziness:

Some of you are probably gonna feel disappointed because I know you are waiting to read an advice which will change your life… Please do not hate me but unfortunately there is no magic trick! You have to force yourself to do stuff! Whatever it is you try to achieve, you have to kick your own butt to be successful. FIND YOUR OWN MOTIVATION.

 
 

Use your brain!

Never stop learning, think, have ideas, keep yourself active, build up your energy and consider your body as a temple because if you are not healthy then it will be difficult to be proactive.

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Should I do it with my partner?

You may not think about it when you have someone in your life but photography is a great tool to spice up your relationship. Indeed, couple sessions are not only for engagements and weddings!

 
 

What is couple boudoir?

This is our little favorite at Scandaleuse Photography. We love taking pictures of couples getting naked… Ok I see what you have in mind my friends and no, we do not do porn. Voyons! We just take pictures of couples with or without clothes on them.

Joke aside, boudoir photography for couple is a fun way to change your routine and try a new experience with your partner. It develops trust and communication; and brings you to another level of intimacy.

Love is powerful and should be immortalized. We enjoy taking intimate pictures of couples, to see those true smiles and sparkling eyes that shows this special bound two people share together.

Soft, romantic, sensual or erotic?

Most of the clients who have never done a boudoir session before are afraid of the final photos, especially if they have to show some skin. And when you talk about boudoir photography for couples, lots of people have a negative image and assimilate it to pornography. This is people's biggest concern and it is totally understandable.

While Juliette & I enjoy working on nude photography, it is way more important for us that our customers feel comfortable in front of our cameras. This is why we let couples decide in which direction they want to go. We have been working with various personalities and each session has been different from the one before. We go with the flow: most people start softly and if they get more comfortable, the vibe changes.

Clothing wise

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I often say that boudoir is like a streap-tease: you start with the most clothes on, and then you take them off one by one. Sometimes, you can end up with nothing else than your birthday suit.

It's very likely you booked your shoot to show some skin. This is the difference between boudoir and a regular photoshoot. But it doesn’t mean you have to go for a total nudity, it is truly up to you.

And you know what is the best part of doing a boudoir session with your significant other? You can use his/her hands to cover what you don’t wanna show. Isn’t it beautiful!

What do people say?

And because words are powerful, we wanted to share with you how one of our couple experienced their first boudoir photography session:

“We were both a little nervous because we had never done anything like this before but we were more excited because this photoshoot would be a celebration of our love as we were celebrating out 25th wedding anniversary. Our experience from start to finish was amazing. It was really fun and we can’t believe how quickly the time flew. I was a little self-conscious about my body but by the end of the shoot I felt relaxed and unjudged and ended up almost nude - feeling like for the first time I could really embrace my body and expose my inner goddess.”

Photography is like a game, as a model don’t take too seriously. Have fun, enjoy this experience, after all, it is not something you will do everyday.  You willbe surprised about how comfortable you will feel and that is even better when when you share it with someone you love.

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Why do a boudoir fitness shoot?

We all have our reasons to work out. To feel better, to reach a certain goal, to challenge ourselves. For some, working out is a really big part of who we are. It is safe to say that we all get the sense of pride upon achieving a new trick, pushing our capacities or even by just starting the journey. What’s the link with boudoir photography? Well, we use our work to also make you feel proud.

Here are 5 reasons why you should do a boudoir fitness shoot, no matter what your physical activity or level is.

 
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1) Showing your evolution

It is impossible to get an objective vision of yourself and let’s be honest, 90% of people have a tendency of focus on little things they thing are flaws about their physical aspect. Have you ever had that feeling when you look at an old photo of yourself thinking “I can’t believe I thought I was too fat, too skinny / that I gave up on that dress, hair colour, you name it.” ? We sure have.

Having a boudoir session fitness oriented is a great way to see where you are at and what you’ve accomplished. And that my friend, feels awesome.

2) Staying Motivated by setting it as a goal

What better way to stay motivated than having a deadline you set yourself? If you were to book your session in the future, you will for sure have the extra motivation to keep going to reach your goal because you will have something concrete by the end of it.

Once you see how badass you look, you will want one thing: progress even more.

Be careful though, you are not here to set up unrealistic goals! These only bring negative crap you don’t have time for, hot stuff.

 
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3) Celebrating an accomplishment

Reward yourself my friend. If you spent that much time lifting weights, running, getting more flexible, to finally get in a specific spot, you may as well treat yourself to some strong-minded photoshoot. Just saying.

4) Have a keepsake

Our bodies change throughout the years, that’s inevitable. Feel like bragging to your grandchildren about how grandma use to do the splits? I know I would.

More seriously, a fitness boudoir shoot is a great way to remind yourself how you committed yourself to something and had very positive results.

If you were able to do it for this specific project, what’s stopping you from applying it on everything else in your life?

 
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5) It may be easier for you than a regular boudoir session

Why? Because you would be in a familiar environment, doing what you are comfortable with. I personally felt more comfortable posing on my silks for a boudoir shoot because I had something to do and I could focus on it.

There you have it. Now the real question is: when are we gonna photograph your sweaty bum??

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How people's words can have an impact on your mind and body

Language is a powerful tool which brings people together and help understand each other. But unfortunately it can easily be transformed and used as a weapon. Since humans have the tendency to criticize others (because it is apparently easier than giving a compliment), this weapon put in mischievous hands can be extremely painful. It is really difficult to know the impact our words can have on others but is it so difficult to be more careful and taking the time to be aware of it?

 
 

I can say I am pretty confident with my body but it wasn't always the case, especially in middle school. I am glad I choose to go to photography school as it helped me to become self-confident.

I wish sometimes I could be curvier, taller, have thicker wrists, get more tan, have a beautiful skin… but this is my body and I cannot change it, so I decided to cherish it because it is precious and I now don’t give a freaking damn about people's critics.

 
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When your “supposed-friends” show their true colors

I always been really thin: tiny body, tiny bones, boobies which are still hiding from the world (still looking for them!) and for a long time I was ashamed of that. Of course people liked to remind me of it:

-“You look like a garden gnome hahaha!”

- “I should not talk about that in front of you, you are like what… 14?!” (I am 19 dude but thanks-what an ass!")

- “Are you not ashamed of not having boobs?”

- “Are you sure you don't suffer from anorexia?”

… I could keep going on and on.

Most of those awful sentences came from friends or people I knew and every time they broke me into thousand pieces. Until a classmate told me the worst one “your mom should be sooo ashamed for giving birth to an anorexic girl. What an embarrassment!!”.

That sentence was the last one I let putting me down: F**k that! Never again I will let words break me.

Relax, it was just a joke!

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The famous: “I was joking!”… I am pretty sure we all went through that and maybe we did it too without realizing it can be painful for our interlocutor. Do not get me wrong, as a french person I love sarcasm and bad humour that makes me laugh even though it is directed towards my body or my intelligence. Lets take my family as a an example, I saw partners or parents with their kids, pocking each other and making jokes about the way they look, their personality: "Don't take it badly, it was just a joke!” they say.

Yes it was probably… a joke but for some reason that day, those words sticked to your mind. Maybe it wasn’t the first time you heard those words or maybe you were already having a bad day and was feeling a bit down. When a loved one reminds you several time per week “how flat you are”, “how curvy you are”, “how sometimes you can be stupid", even if they say it with a touch of humour, you ended up believing those words and not in yourself anymore.

Yes jokes are funny but do not forget also to tell your loved ones every day how much you love them, how strong and smart they are and how successful they will be.

“Et mademoiselle, t’es bonne, tu baises?”

Disclaimer: Ladies and gents caution, coarse language coming.

Translation: “Yo miss, you're hot, wanna f**k?” (no kidding, I heard those words in the street).

I never really had any problem since I moved to Canada and I wish I could tell you the same for France but I would be lying. You see, France is like Tinder's nightmares in real life. A lot of men have the bad habit to harass women in the street and we heard them all. From “I am gonna eat that ass!", "B**ch I am talking to you!”, “Nice legs, at what time do they open?!"… to “I am gonna rape you!”, when you are victim of street harassment for years, it gets very easy to stress about the idea of going out by yourself. And they say apparently french women are very difficult to approach… - Cough - Really? I wonder why!

The worst sentence a guy told me in Canada was “You're gonna get in trouble with this body!”, I am not gonna lie it scared the crap out of me (I was walking in a very quiet street with nobody else around) but I played it cool and thanked the guy for his “compliment”. At some point he left after wishing me to have a great day.

Please gentlemen, think twice before hitting on a girl and watch your language!

When people make your day

Fortunately, a lot of people have the ability to cheer your day up with hilarious and unforgettable compliments and honestly those are the ones that counts. So for you and exclusively, here are the best ones people ever told us:

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- “You have very nice collarbones!”

- “Your hair smell like sex!”

- “If I have to compare you as a car, you will be a Porsche”

- “Wohh, where did you get those eyes from?!”

- “If we take my friend's legs, this table as my body and my face, would you love me?”

What about you? What is the best/worst/unforgettable compliment someone ever gave you?

You can say "no" and people will still like you.

Since we opened Scandaleuse, we have been shaking the Earth for opportunities. One of our motto is “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, so we jump right in with our no-BS mentality and 90% of the time, we get positive results. But sometimes, we cannot get a simple yes or no answer for the life of us.

 
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A lot of people are incapable of saying “no”. Why is it so hard to reject an offer, to set boundaries and decline something you can’t or don’t want to commit to directly? If you are one of these people, do read the following!

You won’t be offending anyone. (and if they are, honestly, they need to grow up)

The #1 reason for not being able to say “no” is the fear to offend the person you are refusing something to. Maybe you like them, you’d love to help, you’d like to be able to swing whatever they are asking and if you were to say no, they will be disappointed, let down and -dear God- they won’t like you anymore.

Trust me, I am the one person that cannot stand not being liked by someone. I am Reliable Girl and it crushes my heart if you don’t like me. (I am working on it). But there is something even more important to me when it comes to other people: I treat them the way I want to be treated, with mutual respect.

To me, being honest with this specific person and admitting you won’t be able to do whatever they need you to do is showing respect.

Respect of their time. It definitely does not showcase a lack of feelings or care to them, it is just letting them off the hook so they can replace you, organize themselves and avoid endless awkward follow-ups with you.

don’t be the cause of multiple follow-ups.

On the business side of things, you have no idea how many times we follow up with people on a weekly basis. It feels like we need to babysit people constantly, and it is a huge waste of time when we finally get a “no”. Are we disappointed? Not so much. Are we annoyed because you stayed on our to-do list for weeks? A little. We are not psychic, so until you put on your big girl pants to say a definite and clear answer, we will keep asking.

The truth is, you are likely to lose credibility as a person or a business by making people wait around.

We have reached out to companies we truly admired and got led on a potential opportunity for weeks. It ended up not working out and it stained our perception of them. It just shows us you really don’t give a crap, which can be okay too, after all you can’t care about everything, but ignoring us or leading us on makes us feel like dummies. And if I feel like a dummy through your behavior, I will never come back and I will also never spread a good word around.

So truly, saying “no” can be a proof of reliableness, which is one of the best quality anyone could have.

Don’t make me feel like you are waiting for better options.

Ah. The biggest problem in our generation. People wait to see if they have better options before giving you a definite answer. They like to keep their options open. Blame it on the FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) movement.

But on the receptive line of this, how do you think I feel if you throw a bunch of maybe’s at my face and then cancel my plans for something else? Like crap. Like my ideas don’t matter to you, they aren’t worth your time. This also applied if you leave me hanging and don’t show up.

 
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How to behave in society so you keep your friends and your business

Rant over, let’s get to the actual advice.

By all means, please decline an offer if:

  • You have too much on your plate. If you already don’t know how you could possibly fit this inquiry in your schedule, be honest and decline it. It’s way better than half-assing it or worse, not even show up.

  • You really don’t want to do it. It’s that simple. If you get an off feeling by just hearing the favor, that’s not a good sign. And no, laziness is not a good excuse, but feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable are.

  • It’s just not a good time. Bad-timing is a real thing, you are not Wonderwoman. For your own sanity, you can’t accomodate everyone and maybe it is time you put yourself first.

Note: don’t be a dick when you decline something but be honest. Honesty is always appreciated. Remember: mutual respect.

What are the benefits of saying no?

  • You won’t look like a fool. If anything, you may gain respect for not wasting people’s time.

  • You can take better care of yourself. By not overscheduling yourself, you can take a breather and put your health, your mental state back into first position in your life, just like the way it should be.

  • You actually become reliable. You’ve set boundaries and people know they can expect honesty from you, that you will actually be here if you can help. You are building trust and it is the hardest feeling to build with someone.

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So there you go, no more excuse to… give excuses. Here are your big girl pants, tailored just for you. You will thank us later!







Heidi, when strength meet kindness

Hello dear scandals,

We all feel how winter in Canada can be tough sometimes, the lack of heat and sun after few months starts to have a negative impact on our mood. So it can be a great idea to take few days out of the country: one of us went five days to Costa Rica and it was incredible. The goal of that short trip was to get away from Toronto and take some me-time… You guys know how hard workers we are and how it is difficult for us to disconnect from work. Well we have to confess, it was hard to not take the opportunity to do a boudoir shoot in paradise and work with a new lady… So we had to do it :)

We posted a message on a facebook group about a boudoir shoot idea and Heidi was one of the first to reply. Even though we did not know her, she was the one who stood out and we new from the start we wanted to shoot with her. What a meaningful encounter: her story was inspiring, we always love to hear about other business owner's experience and life. Plus she has an incredible personality, beauty… PERFECT COMBO!

 
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Meet Heidi

Everybody has a story, I think that’s one of the things I enjoy the most about meeting people in Costa Rica. Here we are in this little beautiful country, together, talking and forming friendships, discovering how much we have in common and yet we all have a different back story about what led us here.

Costa Rica, 5 years ago

I went there for the first time to celebrate my partner’s and my 50th birthdays.  We planned a double vacation – some skiing and boarding in Whistler for the first week, and then straight to Costa Rica to learn to surf. Tamarindo….such a neat place! My partner could already surf and had tried it in many other exotic locations, but this was a first for me and I don’t even skateboard or snowboard… Yikes! Well, I survived surf camp and could actually say I could surf afterwards!

That first trip led to another and another and another, at least twice a year, enjoying the beach, training every day, surfing and always pondering eventual retirement and speculating about what little business could be started here to fill a niche.

At first we thought about a coffee shop, or more specifically, a mobile coffee cart – because at that time there were only a couple in town. Needless to say in 5 years there are probably 14 now…. so that was a good pass!

How Gilliepops was born

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One thing that seemed to be lacking was treats of any sort that weren’t laden with sugar or milk and specifically cold frozen treats. Popsicles… Yes, that became the focus and ultimately Gilliepops was born, named after my late daughter, who passed away a few months after our first trip here.

Lots of brainstorming, creative thinking and marketing ideas, and in November 2017 I arrived in town with a bicycle, a cooler, my Vitamix and a couple of giant duffel bags filled with popsicles sticks, moulds, labels and packaging supplies. It was new and exciting, and at times very disappointing and stressful. I ate a lot of tuna and eggs that’s for sure but what an amazing experience! I even added gluten free baked goods to my repertoire and it seems the tourists and even locals can’t get enough of them. It’s awesome!!

Thanks to social media

Business here in Costa Rica is done differently that in North America.  It’s less formal and much of the communication is done either on Facebook or Whatsapp.

Because of the dependency on Facebook for business, I’m forced to check it daily and post often to encourage awareness of the availability of gluten free products here. This is when I saw Fanny's post about her visit to Tamarindo. I sent her a few suggestions, I think because I knew she was from Toronto. When she mentioned being a photographer and looking for someone to photograph while she was here, I jumped at the opportunity – there are almost no pictures of me here because I’m on my own. And what a beautiful place to be photographed.

Its been a couple of years since I’ve done a photo shoot and never when I wasn’t ready to compete (I’m a physique competitor), but I thought it would be nice to be captured as my regular self, my natural self, a little smoother and softer… tan lines and all…! The shoot was amazing – the view from the location we chose was so beautiful and the pictures she took are so flattering and beautiful.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met one of the Scandaleuse's team, the time we got to spend together talking an sharing our stories.

 
 

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VIDEO | Is it wrong to want to feel sexy?

Short answer: Absolutely not.

The truth is: there shouldn’t be anything wrong with the word “sexy” nowadays since it can mean a lot of different things. It is perfectly normal to want to sexy, and you can learn why in the video below:

Don’t be scared to say it out loud, sexy beast!

Dealing with trauma via boudoir photography

A few months ago, we flew back to our home country, France, to do one of our Boudoir Bash in Paris. We met a lot of wonderful Frenchies there, including the exquisite Nora. The first time we talked with her on Skype, she opened up right away about her motivations to do a shoot and her story moved us.

 
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Having someone telling you about her past is quite emotional and this is why we love being boudoir photographers. It gives us the opportunity to work and help people to win back their confidence and even better, their self-love.

We are no therapists but we know that in some cases, photography can help heal consequences of a traumatic event such as abuse, assault, harassment and other traumas who have left you confused about who you can see yourself.

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My name is Nora, this is my story…

“Let's start talking about my fear… I know, pretty unusual for people who know me!

My biggest fear is actually one of my family member, so it makes it really complicated to move forward, to liberate myself from this situation. Even though I haven't seen this person in years, I know that, deep inside, we might see each other again.

Yes, I grew up but I still have that fear to see his face, the way he looked at me, or even worse, to awake those bitter memories of his physical and psychological hits.

All of those years by his side can be summed up with tears and this feeling of helplessness against a man way stronger than me. To me, it sounds like a trivial story, so I tell myself “there is probably worse stories than mine.”

I grew up surrounded with machismo & the “alpha male” spirit. One day I had no other choice but to escape this life. I gathered up my strength and I left. I needed to get away as far as I could from this person, this source of fear. It was love that helped me to take this first step and put a temporary "band-aid” on what was haunting me.

Inevitably, the consequences of this sitution with this member of my family remove completement all of my self-esteem.

Being constantly put down during the first decade of your life makes you forgetting about who you are very quickly. However, time goes by and we try to rebuild ourselves after all, even if we have to put our loved ones aside.

I do not have this person in my life anymore. I have been with someone who listens to me and understands my past, who pushes me to thrive as much as I want for the past few years.

With time and maybe without noticing it, I was attracted by those women who are self-confident and whom by art, politic and culture were able to accept themselves the way they are. This is how I had the idea to use boudoir photography as a way to heal myself.

 
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The Boudoir Shoot

What an unforgettable experience! A moment of peace where I was able to forget about my problems, all of my "flaws” and more importantly, my demons. It was just a magical therapy!

Posing in front of the lens made me realize that the qualities I was admiring in others were also part of me. I was able to win back what I thought was gone forever and shout out to the whole world “I will never feel ashamed to be myself anymore.

This magical moment had a real positive impact on my life and I don't want to stop here as I have more ideas to keep feeling unstoppable. I have to say it would have been much harder without Fanny and Juliette's help.

“I am beautiful”

Thank you to the man who I have been sharing my life for the past 5 years, it is because of him I am still thriving!


FRENCH VERSION

Je m’appelle Nora, voici mon histoire

Commençons par parler de ma peur, chose inhabituelle pour ceux qui me connaissent je sais.

Ma première peur, la plus grande, est un membre de ma famille. C'est donc compliqué de s'en défaire, de s'émanciper, car même si je ne l'ai pas vu depuis de nombreuses années, je sais qu'au fond de moi nous nous reverrons un jour sûrement.

Oui, j'ai beau avoir grandi, j'ai toujours cette hantise de revoir son visage, son regard et surtout de réveiller amèrement les souvenirs de ses coups tant psychologiques que physiques.

Tout ce temps à se côtoyer durant toutes ces années se résume aux pleurs ainsi qu'à un sentiment d'impuissance face à un homme bien plus fort que moi. Mon histoire me parait banale et je me dis alors "qu'il y a certainement pire que moi".

J'ai donc grandi dans ce contexte de machisme, du "male alpha" à la maison. Un jour j'ai eu la force de m'enfuir loin de cette vie, je n'avais plus le choix, il fallait mettre une réelle distance avec ce qui incarnait cette peur, une rencontre amoureuse m'a confortée évidemment dans cette démarche. Ce qui m'a permis de mettre dans un premier temps une sorte de "pansement" sur ce mal qui me poursuivait. Fatalement, ces déboires familiaux, dû à cet individu principalement, m'ont enlevé toute estime de moi.

Être constamment rabaissé durant vos premières décennies de vie vous font "très vite" oublier qui vous êtes, mais le temps passe et on tente malgré tout de se construire même si cela implique de (se) priver (de) ses proches.

Je ne partage plus ma vie avec cette personne avec qui j'étais partie à l'époque. Depuis quelques années je suis avec quelqu'un qui m'encourage à m'épanouir comme je l'entends, il a particulièrement su m'écouter et me comprendre. Inconsciemment peut-être, je me suis doucement intéressée à ces femmes qui s'assumaient, s'acceptaient au travers de diverses façons (art/politique/culture). L'idée d'accepter mon image et de faire un shooting photo m'est alors venu.

La séance Boudoir

Une expérience inoubliable ! Un moment où j'ai oublié tous mes soucis, tous mes (potentiels) défauts et surtout, tous mes démons ! Ce fût ni plus ni moins une thérapie magique.

En se prêtant au "jeu de l'objectif", j'ai pu constater que ce que je pouvais admirer chez les autres, je pouvais aussi l'apprécier et le retrouver chez moi. Je pense avoir, presque malgré moi, crié aux monde entier "je suis moi et n'en aurais certainement plus honte !".

Ce moment "magique" m'a réellement fait du bien, m'a donné d'autres idées encore et rien de tout ça n'aurait été si parfait sans Fanny et Juliette.

" Je suis belle "

Un énorme merci à l'homme qui partage ma vie depuis plus de 5 ans, grâce à lui je grandis encore!

IUD: the life saver

Disclaimer: Just like our birth control blog post, I am talking about my own experience and feedback in this post. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered as legal advice. You should seek appropriate counsel for your own situation.

I asked to have an IUD inserted when I was 18. I am now 27 and on my second one. Over the years, I have seen many women that were never offered that option and barely know what it was. If you are looking for a hormone-free alternative for your birth control, I gotcha.

 
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Ok, what’s the IUD in the first place?

First of all, IUD stands for Intrauterine Device. It is a birth control system, and just like its name says, it is a little device inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy to prevent pregnancy. You have two options available for you: one is made of copper and hormone-free, the other one sends progesterone hormones. I personally have the hormone-free one.

How the copper IUD (hormone free) works:
The IUD releases copper ions into your cervix. Copper makes your uterus a pretty hostile environment for sperm. Your cervix begins to produce a thick mucus that sperm can't navigate navigate through to get to your egg.

Now that you know, you and I are about to become very close….

When the pill drives you crazy.

I was on the pill for a little bit over 2 years and after a while, I noticed some side effects: my mood was changing drastically, I was crying for no reason and just wanted to lie down on train tracks. My libido had decided to run away to Mexico, having sex was painful (#litteraldryspell).

Long story short, I realized it wasn’t normal and it sucked balls.

I knew a bit about the IUD from sex-ed in school, and when I did my research, I found out there was a hormone-free version that lasted for 5 freaking years, so my mind went “BINGPOT!” (Brooklyn 99 fans will know). I booked an appointment with my gynecologist at the time, and off I went.

 
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“But you’re so young/haven’t had children yet!”

Not gonna lie, in order to get this IUD, I had to go through small obstacles with my doc. The first myth was that you need to have had children in order to get an IUD inserted. I heard it was because it could make you sterile. WRONG. It was maybe true 45 years ago, but definitely not nowadays, and absolutely not with the copper one.

The second obstacle was concerning my age, which honestly has nothing to do with it. As long as you are sexually active, you can definitely have an IUD.

My doctor insisted that I try the micro pill, which has fewer hormones and is to be taken exactly at the same time everyday (#superconvenient). I tried it, didn’t do anything, I went back to the office and said “that’s it”. And hallelujah, we did it.

Let’s do it!

First of, you will have to be off the pill (slowly and with your doctor’s recommendations! You don’t stop the pill one day to the other like Fanny said here) . Since I had tried another pill variation with less hormones, I transitioned slowly into no birth control at all.

Then, you will get a blood test done. It is to see if everything is fine with you, if there is a chance for your body to reject the IUD, because yes, it is rare but it can happen.

Once you are in the clear, you will have to wait for your period to get the IUD inserted.

The insertion

The good news? It lasts for 2 minutes. The bad news? It sucks.

 
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I am sorry to be blunt, but it is painful (and I like to think I have a fairly good pain tolerence), especially when you are on your period, it’s already not a fun time. If you have had a pap test done before, it starts like this and the boom sharp pain and it’s over. You are left with a device in your body and very likely some cramps for the rest of the day.

I am going to be real with you, in my opinion, the pain is worth it. A few minutes of pain for more than 5 years of peace? Sign me up. Actually I already did, I am on my second IUD.

The Pros and some advice for you, my fellow uterus owners

PROS:

  • You will be good for between 5 to 10 years depending on the brand you use for your IUD. FREEDOM.

  • You won’t have nasty hormones injected in your body and we all know that hormones from birth control are not your friends, girlfriend.

  • Once it is inserted, you don’t have to worry about a thing. I personaly have mine checked every year to make sure it hasn’t moved and in 8 years, it never did.

  • No need to have an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a pill, no freak out when you are not home and forgot your birth control, no fear of running out and not being able to get a prescription.

  • Its efficiency rate is 99%, woot woot!

  • Way cheaper alternative than the pill too. I paid my IUD around $145 for 10 years. Boom.

Besides the short pain, I really don’t have cons. Yep.

Advice:

  • Don’t go alone to your insertion appointment. It ain’t a day in the park, you may feel a bit dizzy and it is definitely not recommended to drive afterwards and also….

  • Take a day off so you can chill afterwards. I spent my afternoon in a hot bath after my insertion.

  • You will go back on your real period. While you are on the pill, you don’t have real period per se and having your “real ones” can be painful. I always had cramps even while on the pill and a mild endometriosis, so I was already on the sucker team so it didn’t change much.

  • It doesn’t protect you against the STDs. If you are having multiple partners, you still have to wear condoms until you all get tested.


Hope this helps ladies. Remember, you are the only one that can choose your birth control plan. And you are allowed to try different options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!