Coffee Talk - My childhood in a psychiatric clinic

I have lived in a psychiatric clinic for 10 years and I had a wonderful childhood... I know what you are asking yourself: WHY. HOW. I can feel your curiosity growing. I am very tempted to keep the mystery and not giving you any details but if so, it would not be a blog article.

Let me put your confusion away... Hi, Fanny writing here and this is my story!

 
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How it began?

My mom was working in this clinic in France for over 20 years. Her job was to help patients with their creativity, through arts and relaxation. She was working with people suffering of alcoholism, anorexia / bulimia, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder and other mental illnesses. The clinic was a big property with a park, a little forest, two manors, few houses for employees and other structures.

A benefit from her job was to be able to rent, for a very small amount, one of those houses and live on site. I was 5 when we moved in. The house was very small, I had my own little bedroom but my mom was living in the living room, not the best but we were happy.

The mystery is over, as you can read I wasn't there because of mental issues. My only problem was to be an heavy sleepwalker when I was young (which made me several times getting ready for school at midnight and even made my mom running after me at night in the street).

I was never bored

Even if we were living in the city, the clinic had a lot of greenery and I spent my time outside as much as I could. From climbing trees and building shacks, to rescuing little animals such as birds, mice, cats and even a dog once (you could have called me Snow White without the great voice), I could not get bored. I remember exploring the clinic like if I was adventurer or hiding from people I was on a mission. I build slides from wooden boards, which wasn't a success: my friend ended up with a 1 cm splinter in his bum.  And when I needed some quite time to relax or sulk, I was always going to the same tree. That was my spot, my peaceful location and it broke my heart when I heard they destroyed it few years ago.

Even if the patients there had severe mental illnesses, everybody knew me and I never felt any insecurity, never got into trouble even though I was creating them sometimes. As an only child, it was pretty easy for me to find creative ways to spend my free times when I didn't have my friends to play with me. My favourite activity was to block the paths people where walking on, hide in trees and scare them when they were close enough. Did people kept calling me a sweet angel after that? Actually yes they did!

Colourful personalties

 
 
  • The other galaxy: One of the patient believed my mom was the queen of an alien tribe from an unknown planet, far away from our galaxy. But she sweared to never revealed my mom's secret!

  • Power rangers: Another person believed he was one of the Power Rangers. I remember hearing that guy every morning in the park, screaming one of their famous lines and fighting against the air. This guy always made my mornings brighter!

  • The one with the big heart: My mom had the authorization to bring a small group to the farmers market every Wednesday. One day on the way to the location, one of the patient fell in love with a big red strawberry stuffed toy and decided to love it for the rest of his life!

I remember people being happy but unfortunately I also heard and saw some dramatic moments, things such has death and violence I was too young to fully understand.

Acceptance you will learn

The great part of growing up in this type of environment, surrendered by psychological illnesses was I had to learn and understand that sometimes the brain does not work properly and people are suffering from it. I learnt to smile at instead of making fun of people who are different. It taught me acceptance, kindness and opened my mind on topics that can be quit taboo. 

I am so grateful to have had the chance to experiment it and build all of those beautiful memories of my childhood!

 

My favourite song about mental disorders: Olivia Ruiz - Le Tango Du Qui

 

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Eyes sparkling and heart racing - How boudoir pushes your limits

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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You can let your hair be.

Get ready for this universal truth: we all have hair. Everywhere. And you've probably heard at least once in your life "you should remove it", "it's gross", "why do you care?" "all natural baby!" "Aren't French people hairy anyway?"(oh wait, that one is for us eheh). It's time to unleash the truth.

We get asked quite often by our clients, men & women, if they have to shave or not before their shoot. So here it is:

 
 

Is it better to be shaved/waxed entirely before your boudoir session (or anything in life for that matter)?

No. Hair or no hair, it doesn't make one single difference. It's that simple. And if people are telling you the opposite, don't work with them. And it is because of a very simple reason:

the decisions concerning YOUR body belongs to YOU and you ONLY.

And that goes for everything concerning your body: tattoos, hair colour, piercings, you name it.

 
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Why are you doing it to begin with?

Here is the second gigantic tip that will help you for the rest of your life:

These decisions you just took about your body? They have to be based on your opinion, not others.

Meaning that if you choose to get waxed every 3 weeks or not, it should be because it makes you feel great that way and not because you feel like you HAVE to do it.

Story time: a few months ago, we had a wonderful photo shoot with Léa Castor in Paris. She stopped removing her hair a couple of years ago now, because she realized that she wasn't really doing it for her, but for her lover at the time. She said that she wanted to start loving her hair the way it actually is, even though it is quite difficult, not because she thinks it looks ugly but because of the society. She felt like people will juge and criticize her.

When we first talked about her session, we really wanted to showcase and do close-ups of her hair to tell the world "hey see, it's not bad at all!" but it turns out that we just focused on her like we always do. And guess what?

No one actually noticed her hair and for the few photos where you could actually see it, it just looked great. not "eeeew" like some people can think. Isn't this super cool?!

So what if we just stop caring about what other people think and start taking care of our hair the way WE want to?

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Don't be embarrassed about your hair

When people ask us if they should get waxed or not, there is always a weird feeling of shame flying in the air, like it's such a nasty little secret.

Truth is: if someone is judging you or giving you attitude because of hair and any other aspects of your body, you are not the problem, they are

Isn't it about time for people to be able to treat their bodies the way they want to and say it loud and clear without feeling embarrassed?

A little recap for the road:

  • Decisions about your body are only yours to make
  • Don't let others influence these decisions.
  • You don't have to wax/shave entirely if you don't want to.
  • There is no reason to feel gross, ashamed, embarrassed about your hair. It's actually pretty useful to protect your body but that's another story.

So hair or no hair, if you feel comfortable and happy, it's all that matters. You will look beautiful either way.

PS: From what we've seen and our experience: French people are definitely hairier than Canadians and honestly, we don't care.

"You are morbidly obese" - Marine's Story.

We meet wonderful people all the time during our sessions. Each of you have a very specific story, and you are always so willing to share it with us, which we are extremely thankful for. We are not going to write a blog post today. We decided to let one of our most recent Scandals tell her story, in hope that it will help you if you need to.

• Version Originale Française Disponible dans la deuxième partie de l'article •

 
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“You are morbidly obese”
This is the sentence that changed my life. My name is Marine, I am 26 years old and I lost over 90 pounds.

This visit at the doctor's office changed my entire life. The word "morbidly" is pretty hard to hear when you still have your whole life ahead of you. But for some reason, here I was. It was iduring this split second when I finally decided to put my life back on tracks.

Everything started when my brother passed away when I was 13. That day, I lost a piece of my soul and  heart too. This is pretty much when the whole overweight phase happened: I was eating to compensate my loss. While I was at an age when you're supposed to start understanding your body and learning to love it, but my part, I just hated it.
Years came by, so did multiple diet plans... I am losing weight one day, gaining twice as more the next, until it hit me:

I am 25 years old and I weight over 220 pounds.

It was such a shock. I start seeing specialists who tell me that together, we can beat that obesity, that the secret is not drastic diets, it's a good BALANCE. Balance is what you eat, sure, but I also learned to exercise again (and trust me, that's not easy!). I also learned that indulging myself sometimes is not the end of the world. I just think they taught me how live properly again.

It took me two years to lose those 90 pounds.
Two years of doubts, tears, reassessment, anger... But also hope, self-acceptance and pride!

Boudoir photography, a rewarding challenge

While browsing online, I stumble upon one of my former highschool comrade's photography website. She and her partner take beautiful boudoir photographs and I jump on the occasion to ask if I could book a session during their trip to France.

I had a meeting with Juliette to discuss it. She was very welcoming and managed to make me feel comfortable right away. I am still having a hard time to accept myself, so taking pictures in which my body was the main focus was scaring me.

We had a chat, booked a date and worked on what atmosphere we would be going for and off we go!

The day of, I was super excited but also very nervous. Juliette started coaching with a smile right away which made me feel comfortable despite my non-experience in this field whatsoever. The session flew by and the woman I have been wanting started showing up bit by bit.

This session gave me a chance to appreciate my new body, but also to accept it. I felt sexy for the first time ever, and I never thought I would feel that way.

There is still a long way until I accept my new self completely, but this session gave me confidence I never thought I had.

So thank you so much ladies for this moment. I hope that I will be able to do it again one day and I know it will be with Scandaleuse.

 
 
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« Vous êtes en obésité morbide… »
Voici la phrase qui a changé ma vie. Je suis Marine j’ai 26 ans et j’ai perdu plus de 40kg.

Ce jour chez le docteur qui a changé ma vie. Le mot morbide c’est plutôt dur surtout quand on a encore toute sa vie devant soi. Et pourtant j’en étais là… C’est à ce moment là que j’ai décidé de prendre, enfin, ma vie en main.

Tout à commencer lorsque mon frère est décédé alors que j’avais 13 ans. Ce jour-là j’ai perdu une partie de mon âme, de mon cœur aussi. Mon surpoids est arrivé à ce moment, je mangeais pour compenser ce vide. L’adolescence c’est le moment où notre corps se réveille, on l’apprivoise, on commence à l’aimer. Moi je l’ai toujours détesté.
Les années passent, les régimes s’accumulent… Je perds des kilos, j’en reprends souvent le double et puis un jour je me réveille…

J’ai 25 ans et je fais plus de 100kg.

Là c’est le choc. Je vais voir des spécialistes qui me disent qu’ensemble on peut vaincre cette obésité, que le secret c’est de ne pas faire de régime mais l’EQUILIBRE. Équilibre de la nourriture oui, mais pas seulement: j’ai appris à faire du sport (et c’est pas facile!), j’ai appris que se faire plaisir de temps en temps ce n’était pas la fin du monde, bref je pense que j’ai réappris à vivre.

Il m’a fallu 2 ans pour en arriver à ces -40kg.
Deux ans de doutes, de pleurs, de remise en question, de crises de colère… Mais aussi d’espoir, d’acceptation et de fierté !

La photo boudoir, un challenge enrichissant

Et un jour, je tombe sur le site d’une ancienne camarade de lycée qui fait des photos boudoir magnifiques avec son associée, je saute sur l’occasion et lui demande si c’est possible lors d’un passage en France de faire une séance.

Juliette est tout de suite très accueillante et me met en confiance. J’ai toujours du mal à m’accepter alors prendre des photos où mon corps le centre de l’attention me fait un peu peur.

On discute, on pose une date, on voit ensemble la direction que les photos vont prendre et nous y voilà !

Toute excitée mais aussi nerveuse, me voilà devant l’objectif ! Juliette est tout de suite très souriante et douce et me permet de me mettre à l’aise malgré mes maladresses de débutante. La séance passe super rapidement et je fais ressortir peu à peu la femme que j’ai envie d’être.

Cette séance m’a vraiment permis de me mettre en phase avec mon nouveau corps mais aussi de commencer à m’accepter comme je suis. Je me suis sentie sexy chose qui ne m’était jamais arrivée avant!

Le chemin sera encore long avant une acceptation totale de cette nouvelle image de moi, mais cette séance m’a vraiment donné une confiance en moi que je n’aurais jamais pensé avoir!

Alors merci merci merci à vous pour ce moment. J’espère qu’un jour j’aurais l’occasion de repasser sous l’objectif, et ce jour-là, je sais que cela sera avec Scandaleuse Photography!

 

Thank you so much Marine for sharing your story. Boudoir photography is not only about getting pretty pictures. It's also about facing your body, challenge yourself to see it through's someone else's eyes.

contrary to what you may think, it is accessible to all shapes, sizes & genders. Don't be scared of jumping in, we can guarantee you will feel like a queen (or king).

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