boudoir session

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let's talk about consent!

Guest post by Eden Wine - Mindset Consultant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW ARE OUR RIGHTS PROTECTED?

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

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

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

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

  • know and learn our boundaries;

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

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

DISCLAIMER

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

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

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?

We can never be too careful: Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography is such a great experience to try at least once in your life. It is the best way to get intimate and sensual photographs of yourself. It's a great exercise to feel more comfortable with your body and posture, as well as putting your boundaries down for a moment in front of a stranger.

Since this type of photo shoot is closer to sensuality or eroticism than a regular headshot session, it sadly has the tendency to attract ill-intentioned people who use boudoir photography as an excuse to assault women. This is why it is important to be careful when you book your session.

It is sad that we have to take so many precautions but this is the kind of world we live in. And we will tell you everything you need to know so it never happens to you!

 
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You have less risks with female photographers.

I am sorry gentlemen I am not saying you are all the same, I know a lot of male photographers are very respectful to women. The goal of this post is not to put every men in the same basket, I just want women to feel comfortable when they're about to stand in lingerie or naked in front of photographers.

I have been working in the photography industry for 10 years and I have never heard stories of women assaulting their clients. Unfortunately, it seems to happen with some men and I am not only talking about the relationship between male photographers and women clients: 9 times out of 10, when we get an inquiry from a man, they turned out sketchy. For example, some have asked us to dress up sexy so they can feel turned on during the shoot. We have never gotten any bad emails from women.

Professionals are a go-to

We didn't spend years to learn our craft just to have a piece of paper to look pretty on a wall. Photography is a real career and doesn't only require to press the trigger.

So please, I am begging you, hire professional photographers who have a proper website, social media and reviews. Stop going on Kijiji or Craiglist to find the person who will take intimate pictures of yourself in his basement. This is how problems start most of the time!

 
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Safety first

It is really easy with the internet to pretend to be someone else. As mentioned above, some men uses "boudoir" photography to get closer to women and get them to pose them naked in very sexualized poses. Sometimes, it doesn't go any further that just bad taste, but in other cases, nightmares have happened with women getting assaulted.

This is why it is important to meet your photographer face to face in a public place, a proper photography studio or at least on skype (actually this rule should apply in our every day life, we can never be too careful!).

We personally always, always, always meet our potential clients before starting anything. We have refunded a deposit because we did not feel safe. Plus it is pretty nice to talk about your photo shoot around a cup of coffee and pastry, isn't it?!

Also, know that you should be allowed to bring someone with you. If the photographer says no, leave, it's a red flag.

Last but not least: we know pricing is a big factor when choosing your photographer and it is why some women go for cheap photography services without thinking of the risks behind. Don't you think it will be better to postpone the shoot to save up what you need and get breathtaking photographs of yourself and a proper boudoir experience?

Do your own research

The good thing with internet is you can track people to see if they are serious and professional.

  • Read the reviews people leave on google, forum and other websites. It will give you a good overview of the person and the company.
  • Don't hesitate to ask questions to your photographer and tell her/him if you feel anxious. Your photographer should care about your feelings and do his/her best to reassure you. If the photographer doesn't really reply to your questions, keep them unclear or doesn't explain to you how the session will go, then go with someone else.

Trust your instinct

Either you go with a female or male photographer, there is one think you should always do: FOLLOW YOUR GUT!! 

The human body is very powerful for this and we are most of the time able to feel when something or someone is wrong.

If you have a bad feeling about the person who is going to do your photo shoot, don't go through with it.

 
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The recap:

• Avoid Kijiji or Craiglist.
• Always meet with your photographer(s)
• Check the company's reputation with reviews or referrals.
• Have a contract signed and the details of the session laid out before the day of. Everything has to be crystal clear.
• Bring someone with you or let someone know where you will be and when you'll be done.

Stay awesome but more importantly: stay safe.

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Things to know before your boudoir session

Maybe you've thought about doing a boudoir shoot.  Maybe you're about to get one done. Or maybe you went straight into "no" mode and decided that you would never be able to do it, because who would be crazy enough to get naked in front of a stranger? Buy me dinner first! Yet, like one of our lovely client said, "everyone should get the feeling of a boudoir session once in her/his life". She couldn't be more right.

 
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Whether you belong in one of the categories mentioned above or not, here is a list of things you should definitely know before booking a boudoir session (or any sort of shoot for that matter).

Being sexy is very versatile

We are conditioned to think that sexy is personified by a 5'8 woman, thin but with curves, likely with big breasts, super feminine. Wrong. I mean, you can be sexy with that list, of course. But you can also be sexy eating your cereal in the morning, with your hair still screaming "anarchy!", wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

Being sexy is about your attitude, not the way you look.

Have you ever met a confident, strong-minded women that isn't sexy in any way? No. We are tired of hearing "I am not sexy enough". There are no levels. The sexy etiquette is much better when it comes from yourself.

You don't need big breasts to go topless.

I would never forget when Fanny asked a client if she wanted some pictures topless and she whispered "I don't have boobs" and Fanny responded straight from the heart, loud and clear: "well neither do I, so what?". Spoiler alert, this lady got her topless photos and loves them.

It is the same for you if you have been gifted by mother nature on that side! Big breasts doesn't mean they should always be trapped in bras.

Hell, posing topless has even helped me to get rid of uncomfortable bras and actually to start loving my boobs just the way the are!

You don't have to look a certain way

Isn't it surprising? You don't have to be skinny, curvy, white, black, blue, tall, short for a shoot. You don't have to start a drastic diet before your shoot or lift a crazy amount of iron whereas you would never do it normally.

Do yourself a favor and buy some nice lingerie that will make you feel great with your current body.

It's okay to be nervous.

Posing in general in front of a photographer is hard, but doing it when you are in your birthday suit is worse. The first pictures will be awkward, even if you're Beyoncé. Then you warm up and boom: magic happens.

If you are having anxiety just of the thought of a session, ask a million questions to your photographers (aka us uh ? ;) ) before making any decisions. You are definitely allowed.

 
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Let go of Facetune, you'll thank us later.

We bumped into a very nice lady recently who told us she'd never do a boudoir shoot because she edits her own photos and couldn't publish one without doing so. She is making herself thinner, or adjusting whatever she doesn't like. This is exactly why she should do a boudoir session. To prove to herself that her natural body is beautiful. You don't need any sort of editing and if you think you do, we need to talk.

Bonus tips: practicing your posing is a great idea

When you're alone in your home, feel free to practice your posing. Blast your music, play around, see what you like, maybe you're happier with your left profile than the right, or your legs look great this certain way. No negative comments allowed.

So... shall we see you soon?

Hello, World!

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