body awareness

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!

 
scandaleuse-photography-toronto-boudoir-Costa Rica-blog-blogger-erotism-tamarindo-love-woman
 

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

scandaleuse-photography-toronto-boudoir-Costa Rica-Tamarindo-blog-blogger-business-love-erotism

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.

 
 

Subscribe to our mailing list & get our feel good gift!

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.

 
scandaleuse-photography-boudoir-blog-toronto-nude-erotic
scandaleuse-photography-boudoir-nude-blog-toronto-erotic
 

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.

scandaleuse-photography-boudoir-blog-toronto-nude-erotic

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.

 
scandaleuse-photography-boudoir-nude-blog-toronto-erotic
scandaleuse-photography-boudoir-blog-toronto-nude-erotic
 

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!

You deserve to love your body (again)

We all have "flaws". Yes, even that girl in the corner that you think is perfect, she very likely doesn't like something about her body. Sometimes they make their way in our minds because of others, or we create them ourselves from time to time. Time to take a breather and hug that body of yours.

 
LR-Caitlin-love-your-body-scandaleuse-photography-boudoir-toronto.jpg
 

Your body changes all the time.

Whether you are 25 or 55, your body is in constant evolution. Maybe it is out of your control, maybe it isn't, but since it is likely to stay with you for a while, you may as well accept it and make peace with it. (I secretly vow to read this in 5, 10, 15 years and onwards.)

Don’t think of imperfection, think of a map of memories.

When you really think about it, isn’t your body a keepsake of everything you have been in life?

Scars, stretch marks, and other various changes, they are here to witness what you have been through and I am convinced these can all be turned into a positive outcome. Maybe your stretchmarks are witnesses of that beautiful baby of yours. Or that your body adapted itself to a new you. Scars are here to remind you that you can heal. You’ve done it before, you will do it again. And that’s a beautiful feeling.

43770121_1919451151479464_7420079650547695616_o.jpg

Guess what? You’re unique.

I have a birth mark on my neck - which I was asked a million times if it was a hickey - and I could have tried to hide it with foundation. Easy fix. But you know that, I decided it was cute and it’s even heart shaped a little. I also have a good layer of hard skin on my feet, but hell, I grip on my aerial silks like Spiderman.

Every birth marks, dimples, random beauty marks are what makes you unique. No one has the exact same body as yours and it is a great thing!

Isn’t it a breath of fresh air that, since there is no one like you, you can be anything YOU want?

Be the best version of yourself, not what people expect you to be

It personally took me forever to do anything concerning my body because I wanted to and not because my environment suggested I do or don’t. Wearing whatever I want, get tattoos, get physically stronger, cut my hair, shave, not shave, put makeup on and so on. If I feel like walking around naked for the hell of it, then so be it.

You will be much happier the minute you start making decisions about yourself for yourself. so go, dye your hair blue, wear that dress you love, stop shaving your armpits if it makes YOU happy.

Subscribe to our mailing list & get our feel good gift!

A boudoir shoot in Winter Wonderland

If you live in Toronto like us, you know that unexpected snow storm, while very annoying, can also be spectacular. And when something is spectacular, you can make sure your Scandaleuse ladies are there. 

 
Now picture us running outside when Fanny said "THERE ARE DEERS!"

Now picture us running outside when Fanny said "THERE ARE DEERS!"

 

We met the beautiful Jewelz on Instagram and we were blown away by her confidence. She describes herself as a body-positive and life extremist, which suits her pretty well. She's strong-minded, very kind and her smile lightens the entire room. Shooting with her was an absolute pleasure.

To make this session even better, we had our lovely make-up artist Nicola Peel tagging along to create a bold look, just like Jewelz's personality.

 
 

Last but not least, we were lucky enough to be able to shoot at the Bob Rumball Manor in Northern Toronto. Oh my goodness, the pictures of this place you can find online do not do it justice. Full of character and natural light, we couldn't get over how beautiful this manor is. If you are looking for a event venue (weddings too!) close to the downtown core, make sure to check it out. The owner Joanne is one of the nicest people on Earth. (If you are as lucky as we were, you might bump into some deers running around the manor)

We really appreciate having so many talents behind us for our sessions. It makes your experience amazing - which is why we shoot boudoir at the first place - but it also gives us the drive to keep going and keep creating shoots, bigger & bolder. Thank you.

You are making us unstoppable and we want to return the favour.

Subscribe to our mailing list & get our feel good gift!

How a boudoir session turned into so much more (feat Madmoizelle.com)

Scandals, we just had our first press publication. Buckle up because what's to follow is even better: it's a comic strip. Drawn by one of the coolest illustrator on the planet, from one of the best online women magazine. How cool is that?

During our trip back to France, we didn't only eat a lot of cheese and notices how many times French people are saying "oh hé oh hé ooooh" when they speak. No Mam', we worked.

We have been reading Madmoizelle since it opened, over 10 years ago. They target young women from 15 to late 20's. What we love about them is that they are not afraid to speak the truth, kill taboos loud and clear and share body positivity in every way they can. We naturally thought of reaching out to their office in Paris to offer a boudoir shoot to one of the writers.

The lovely Léa took on our offer and we had the best time with her. She's is the main illustrator and graphic designer there. Try putting 3 creative women in one room, we just made magic.

Enough talking, here is the strip, translated from French to English for YOU scandals!

 

Boudoir-photography-comic-strip-scandaleuse-toronto.jpg

Nota Bene: all facts Léa stated in this strip are.... true. Yes we make bad jokes, we laugh a lot, take odd positions.... That's part of the package you get with Scandaleuse. 100% accurate.

Thank you so much Léa for this. We were SUPER excited to see ourselves cartoony too, it is off the bucket list!

Now Photo time....

Keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list & get our feel good gift!

Boudoir Photography = a step back from feminism?

Oh boy. Sounds like it's gonna be a deep topic. Don't leave yet!

Fanny and I had an impromptu interview with Radio Canada Manitoba a couple of weeks ago concerning boudoir photography. An expert was brought on board to discuss the impact on publishing your boudoir photos online. She did bring up an interesting point of view we never really thought of.

If you'd like to watch the interview and read the article (in French), it's here.

 
LR-Scandaleuse-Butt-Close-up-1.jpg
 

A quick reminder.

While more men and couples are inquiring about boudoir sessions, our clientele is mostly women as you can imagine. No secret here. We won't go over in details why you should do a boudoir session (because we did it here) but to be honest with you, we think that the best reason to do it is because you want to treat and/or challenge yourself. It is a full experience that everyone should try at some point.

Posting sexy photos of yourself online = seeking attention?

During this interview, we were asked why our models were sharing their photos online. Our main argument is that, you Scandals post them because you are proud of them, and proud of yourself. The second argument is that nowadays, while we may not like to admit it openly, we do like online validation. It feels nice to get positive comments from friends, family and sometimes strangers. Every time one of our clients has posted her pictures from her session on social media, we have never seen a negative comment. It is actually quite the opposite, people are supporting the movement, which makes us obviously very happy.

The point of view expressed by the sociologist in this article was pretty concerning. From what we understood, she thinks the fact that more women want to show themselves in lingerie is risky and is not a way to claim our feminism. She adds:

"Why should every woman show themselves? I see it at a regressive phenomenon."

Not Ashamed.

By definition, feminism is wanting to get the same rights as men, period. I do think that dragging feminism and politics in this interview didn't make much sense with boudoir to begin with. I am assuming the idea behind it was that, as women, we cannot expect to be taken as seriously if we were to post sexy pictures of ourselves online.

Boudoir photography is getting more and more popular for one reason: women (and men!) are finally saying "screw it" to inaccessible beauty standards and are encouraging self love and acceptance. Boudoir is a way to celebrate yourself, why would you hide it? Don't get us wrong, you have every right to keep your photos private. But you also have the right to share them without losing points in the feminism column.

Less professional because of boudoir?

If you have been following us for a little while, you must have seen that we are using ourselves for our advertising. You have seen us in lingerie, and even tasteful nudity. Does that make us look less professional to you? Do you even remember it when you see us face to face? Every time we have met someone who knows us through Scandaleuse, we only got positive and exciting feedback on our movement.

One of our many example of our advertising with... ourselves.

One of our many example of our advertising with... ourselves.

The other photographer Sarah says at the end of the video that she admires women who share their photos online and that it will become more and more normal, so we won't have to worry about we are seen by others. We thank her for that.

You are not less professional because of your boudoir photos. It has absolutely nothing to do with your work performance, the way you interact with people, or whether you like broccoli or not. If anything, you were just brave enough to openly say you are proud of yourself.

If social media can get more positive messages and encouragement, I don't know about you but I am down. As long as we keep those cute cat videos too.

Keep in touch! Subscribe to our mailing list

Our Boudoir Approach - Between sexual harassment and body shaming

Scandaleuse was born over coffee in Toronto. When Fanny and I first discussed the concept of shooting boudoir, we were surprised at the positive reception from our friends and family. If anyone was going do it, we realized, it was going to be the two of us.

 
boudoir-photography-toronto
 

Let's face it, human bodies have always been fascinating, and risqué. Whether it was in the 1920's in Paris where it was forbidden but secretly exciting, or in the 70's to encourage women's femininity, we have always photographed people showing skin. There are no rules, no average, no limits.

When starting Scandaleuse, our main goal was (and still is!) to provide a high quality session in which our models, women or men, would feel completely themselves. No disguise, no theme, just beautiful people in beautiful places. Where did this thing start you may wonder? While we don't have a straight answer, we do have a few pointers.

As simple and juvenile as it may sound : body shaming sucks. Come to think of it, we spend so much time comparing or underestimating ourselves. Beauty standards will always be here unless we break them. You should feel comfortable in your own skin. After all, you only have one. Who's to say that if you are not a size 0, you are not beautiful? Who can tell you what to wear and what not to wear to fit in society? As far as we know, there are no fashion gods, only people with strong beliefs that don't always make sense.

Shooting boudoir photography is our way to contribute to stop body shaming, one shoot at the time.

 
boudoir-photography-burlesque-toronto
 

Here comes our second but just as important trigger to what we are doing today. Growing up in France and living quite a bit of time in Paris, we can officially say that being girls over there is not the nicest feeling on Earth.

Take Paris for example: all of our friends, ourselves included, have suffered from sexual harassment while minding our own business. Between daily insults (or physical assaults in the worst cases), all of us have wondered if this skirt was too short, or if this outfit showed too much skin even if we felt comfortable right before passing the front door.

Once we set foot in London and in Toronto, we realized that this kind of behaviour was not okay and far away from the norm. We have never been bothered by anyone walking down the street in Toronto in 4 years (and still counting!).

That being said, we are happy to say that we took something good out of this nasty behaviour: promoting women. Showing off their bodies by giving them the respect they deserve and make them feel beautiful.

Don't worry gentlemen, we got your covered too. Wellnot "covered" per se. You get the idea!

We are game if you are.