freedom

5 tips for a successful first solo trip

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

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

 
 

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

Play it safe

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

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

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

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

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

Don't act like a dummy

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

Be prepared for the worse

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

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

  • Know the closest hospital in each of your locations.

  • Have a plan B for transportation and accommodation.

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

Solo travel is not only for men

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

Don't have expectation

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

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

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

 
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How to plan a successful business trip

Having the freedom to work in other countries is our main goal. We work hard to be able to fly Scandaleuse Photography all over the place and meet international Scandals. This business trip in Paris was our first one and we do not plan to stop here! 

So why don’t we do it more often? Well it takes a lot of time, organization and it is kind of tiring. Those business trip are wonderful but far from being a vacation…

 
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Do you like the idea of a business trip? Here is what we learned from our first one:

Organization is key

Tip #1: If there is one thing for sure, a business trip has to be planned a good year in advance.

What are you looking to get out of this trip? When are you leaving? When are you coming back? Where will you stay? Do you speak the language from the country you’re going to? There are too many factors to take in consideration, so it cannot be done last minute. Plus, the earlier you start planning, the cheapest your travel tickets will be!

The first step is to make a second business plan (#entrepreneursnightmare). You need to know exactly what is your goal: have a clear idea of what you are looking for in this business trip. What is your strategy?

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Find the perfect city

Tip #2: Picking a city you are familiar with already helps.

Once you know your goal, you need to figure out which city is the most appropriate for your business trip. Look for the country first: do you want to stay where you live so you do not have to travel much or do you prefer a little adventure across the ocean? In both cases, if you go back to a city you have already been to, it will feel less overwhelming. You will know the areas where to stay, maybe even a few people you can crash at. Don’t forget about the language spoken there, we are both bilingual in French, so it made our lives a lot easier.

Find clients

Tip #3: be smart on social media and the world is your oyster.

Remember, you start on a new territory where people probably never heard about you. Do not expect to have clients throwing themselves at your business and begging to give you their money, you will have to reach to those people. As mentioned previously, social media is a great way to get in touch with potential customers, it will be your best asset in this new adventure. If you are not sure where to start, you can create a survey on social media and see where you have the most chance to get clients, who knows, your followers may be located in one specific area.

Don't kid yourself, making profits is a priority

Tip #4 : You have to do some serious budgeting, don't take this slightly. While you are away, you will be unable to book anything in your home town for a certain amount of time. You wouldn't want to come back home penny less, right?

Even though traveling for business is fantastic, it will involve some important costs. Accommodation, food, transportation, and you will want to enjoy yourself a bit too there. It won't be a vacation, you will not have the time to really rest and enjoy it fully from a tourist perspective. Just like working from your own country, you need to make money out of any projects you work on. I am not talking only about enough money to reimburse your trip but actual profits! Hours will be long, the planning above will take a lot of time, and you have to eat. (I don't know about you, but I like food, eating is nice and my rent ain't gonna pay itself).

Bonus: Jet lag can kick you hard.

Tip #5: Avoid travelling when there is a time change.

We never thought it would be so difficult to adapt ourself after 2 time changes. When we arrived to our home country, there was already a difference of +6 hours with Toronto, then a couple of days later France changed time. The same pattern happened again when we came back to Canada… Second time change! It knocked us out and took us 2 weeks to get back to normal.

You now have the good recipe to start planning a solid business trip. Good luck! As far as we are concerned, we will focus on Canada for a bit, before aiming for another european country.

 
 

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Entrepreneur life - The importance of taking a break

Our summer, while pretty amazing, is also a bit overwhelming. Our shoots, a business trip to France to organize, the boudoir and wedding editing a bridal show to get ready for, a lot of new scandals to meet and our upcoming, it is keeping us busy. And you know us, we do not plan to stop there!

With everything on our plates, we have less time to take care of ourselves. It feels like our bodies are taking a hit, our aerial silks level is in a free fall, we are hairier than Chewbacca and our dinners are mostly made of pasta and cheese... It is time to take some me-time!

 
 

Working for yourself: Beauty and the beast

The positif side

We all dream to enjoy our life and have fun while the money magically appears in our bank account. If you want to be able to follow your own schedule, make your ideas come to life and take a vacation whenever you want... Well you wanna be your own boss. In other terms, you want to create something on your own and be free financially. I believe working for yourself gives you more chances to get to that goal rather than working for a company other than yours.

The side effect

But this need of freedom requires A LOT OF WORK. This is why, as an entrepreneur, it is very difficult to take the liberty of having a 9 to 5 schedule. Especially for us, Juliette and I live together and work together from home. Our personal and professional life is all mixed up so it is quite difficult to have a regular schedule (and it is not something we truly want). But in this case you have to be careful this lifestyle does not become more of a curse than a blessing. Without realizing it, you start working everyday from early morning to late night, think about work almost all the time, forget to take days off and eventually you burn out. 

Even though you love what you do, being all the time in a business mode is stressful and ends up by being a poisoned gift.

How to find the perfect balance

 
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Force yourself to chill the hell out.

You and only you can decide to take a break from work. Feeling overwhelmed and being too stressed out will eventually make you weak and sick. Trust us, you will be more productive if your body and spirit are fully rested.

Day off is your ally

If you cannot or don't feel like taking some vacation, then take at least one day off per week. For at least one day, do not think about work, do not open your emails, do not connect on your social media. Instead spend time with your loved ones, go in the nature, cook or bake, watch some movies or tv shows, catch up with friends, paint, read, make love... Those little pleasure are super important if you want to be healthy and happy.

Not everything is urgent

Our biggest problem? Thinking every tasks needs to be done as soon as possible. The truth is, when you actually look at your to-do list, a lot of things can wait an extra 12 hours before getting done. Don't get us wrong, we don't encourage you to procrastinate, just to prioritize what is actually on a strict deadline and give yourself a breather for your other duties.

Ask for help

If it is too difficult for you to disconnect from work, then ask a friend or family to help you with this task. People will be more than happy to spend time with you and be here to remind you today is your day!

One of our solutions? Borrow your friend cottage for three days in Tiny Ontario, buy two bottles of wine, cheese and dessert, get naked and enjoy the weather

Our three days break was very relaxing even though it wasn't 100% work-free. But it is a beginning and we remind ourselves everyday that... a lot of things are actually not that urgent.

We were nudists for 3 days

We took 3 days off this week, in Tiny Ontario to relax at our friend's cottage. A short and sweet escape by the lake, more than deserved! We hiked, relaxed, had some wine and for the first time in our life, we went swimming and laid down in the sun all NAKED.

 
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THE FIRST STEP WAS EASY TO TAKE

From the moment we put our first step on the wooden dock, we knew it would be all about relaxing and taking time for ourselves. There was cottages on each side of where we were staying but no neighbours. So I had a loud thought: "I think I will be topless today!" and here we go taking off our tops and enjoying the sun. It took us only an hour before removing our bottoms and trying nudism for the first time.

The first ten minutes were a bit difficult to adjust, especially because of the fear of having neighbours going in their backyard and seeing our little white butts. But once you decide to not give a damn, it is just 100% enjoyable.

SUCH AN EPIPHANY

If you have never tried it before, you cannot imagine the feeling of the wind and water everywhere on your skin, on each part of your body. Such a feeling of freedom!

We were never really attracted by the idea of being naturist, first because the breasts' skin is very sensitive and the idea of having it exposed in the sun wasn't attractive. Second, we are not used to walk around butt naked and taking the risk of being seen by potential strangers. But holy guacamole, we have zero regrets. We spent half of our time in our birthday suits and we loved every minute of it!

 
 

LET'S THANK BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY

Being boudoir photographers and helping people feeling comfortable in their own skin, change the relationship we have with our body. It is not something we would have done a year ago, even though we saw our mothers being topless on the beach in France many times (yes it is super popular back there). Thanks to the media that sexualized the human body, we forgot the human vessel is just a protection for our organs and sometimes you need a good reminder: it is not all about sexuality!  

There is nothing to be ashamed of

Another reason why it is not common nature to walk around butt naked is because you are putting yourself in a very vulnerable position. You can't hide behind a flattering bathing suit, everything is out there. It takes a lot of work on yourself to face your body that way because of your own standards, but mostly because of other people's eyes. Our advice would be to start as privately as possible, so you can start feeling comfortable with yourself first. Then, if you feel like it, try it maybe topless with people you trust. And then keep going. Don't miss out on such a nice feeling. It literally changed the way we will tan from now on.

I feel reconnected with my body and closer to my wild side. Being naked does not make you feel more vulnerable, it is an amazing way to feel badass and free. And to avoid those nasty tan lines.

 
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How to start your business: putting your fears aside

As you may know Scandals, our first year of business is over and so far it has been running well. But you know what they say: it takes 3 years for a business to be successful, we have done half of it so… yay to us!

It has been a year and a half full of stress – joy – tears – laughs – fears - surprises – projects  – beauty – nudity (sometimes not wanted). You got the idea; our emotion and lives were like a roller coaster: lots of ups and some downs. Having a business is the dream of most of the people we meet and every time Juliette and I hear the same things: “you guys are so brave to go through this process”, “I would love to do it but I do not have the time or/and the money”, “How did you guys do it?

Well Mesdames et Messieurs, here is the secret, you need to think super super strongly about an idea and tada!! It’s happening. Drop the mic, end of this blog…

 
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THE REALITY

I wish it was so simple. Unfortunately there are no magic tricks, you just have to bite the bullet (I know, so disappointing right?). Like anything in life actually, if you want something to be done, you have to make it happen. Were we scared? Oh hell yes. Did we ask ourselves a thousand questions? Totally. Did we think it wasn’t the good time to start Scandaleuse? Absolutely not!

It was our main goal and we were so ready to start this new adventure because we knew it can give us a financial freedom and a happy state of mind. You have to feel confident in your vision, you have to trust your guts and ask yourself the good questions:

Is it the fear of failing?

Lack of experience or knowledge?

Not enough time or money?

Lack of support from your love ones?

Not having a strong project?

Knowing what the problem is will help you to find a solution to move forward. You also have to stop finding excuses, the only barriers are the ones you are creating to stop yourself.

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

The first steps are always the most difficult ones and they will make you feel overwhelmed. Educating yourself and being well organized will help you to feel more confident in your project.

 
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Time and Money

Before starting, make sure you will have enough time and money to invest. If you want it to be your full time job, your business will become your baby and has to be a priority. You will spend countless hours of work so be ready to change your schedule and make some sacrifices. If you decide to have a part time job while building it, it is going to take way more time to be ready for its launch. The best is to focus 100% and have a good 3 months of savings on the side.

Baby Steps

  • Develop an idea but make sure it is realistic and practical: If your dream is to sell homemade panties made of wood, you have to be sure clients will buy them because the primary purpose of every business is to maximize profits ($$$) for its owner. Do your own research, find out who your competitors are, analyze the market and start this goddamn business plan.
     
  • Talk about your project: It is very important to share your vision with your surroundings. Talk to your family, friends and even strangers about what you have in mind, they would be very happy to give their opinion and help. You can be surprised how creative, smart and resourceful people can be.
     
  • Find a badass name and a kickass logo: When you create a business, you are building a brand and you want people to be able to remember and scream your name. One more time, ask people to tell you honestly what they think about it, if it describe your project, if it is catchy or too common, if it would make them buy your service or product…
     
  • Build your social media and content: You need to be everywhere, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, you name it. Your customers will be mostly online and are craving for interesting and creative contents. You will have to take pictures and make videos about your product/service several times per week if you want people to buy it.
     
  • Make it legal: Just in case you had the idea of screwing with the government… well don’t. Learn what category correspond the best with your business (Corporate, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship…), register your business and potentially for HST, apply for trademark name if needed. You can also get free advice from the City Hall and Canada Revenue Agency has a program who helps new entrepreneurs with taxes. 

Being entrepreneurs is not easy but we would not go back, we love the freedom of working for ourselves and making Scandaleuse Photography an empire.

Put your fears on the side and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

 
 

Free the nipples

If you've been following us since the beginning you know we love nude photography (we are not boudoir photographer by mistake!). What we love even more is being able to share the gorgeous ladies we take pictures of on our social media. And sometimes, something really stupid happens: they get deleted.

Why? Well I can tell you it is not because we shoot porn or violence like some things you can randomly bump into online. No, what we like to photograph and share is something small and beautiful but extremely sexualised by our society for whatever reason: women's nipples.

 
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Dear close-minded people

We live in a modern world where scientists are able to 3D print organs with human cells and where you can wander around the globe fairly easily. We are so advanced in many many fields and it's a pretty cool thing. Yet, some basic topics are being turned into such a big deal that it becomes absolutely ridiculous.

you can find porn, violence, blood and detailed plastic surgeries on social media and yet a little piece of flesh is still considered as the devil. 

How can female nipples be more sexualised than male ones? Don't you also know men also get pleasure when you stimulate their nipples?! So please tell me why you can allow portraits of topless men but not women?

It's not only about the nipples, it goes way deeper: It is about gender equality. and it needs to change.

People are talking a lot about it for work positions and salary, but if we want women and men to be equal, it has to start with the human body.

 
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So here are little reminders for you: 

  • Women's periods are not disgusting, it is something natural and needed. Did you know in some countries girls and women are forbidden to go to school or enter a kitchen when they have their menstruation? Ridiculous! 

  • Vagina is an actual word presents in our dictionary and not a scary gnome with sharp teeth. It is time to use it instead of trying to delete it!

  •  Women should not feel ashamed when breast feeding their babies in public spaces. Once again it is a natural act and it only concerns a mother and her child!

We are 7.6 billion people on Earth, of course we don't all think the same way. If you refuse to understand that mentalities need to change, or acknowledge the slightest possibility there is to open your mind, it is your right, no one can force you to. What's not right is for you to be demeaning towards those who think otherwise.

One advice, keep your energy to create a positive impact on our world instead of trying to denigrate women. 

We can change mentalities 

Fighting for a cause is always difficult, we never know where to start. Thankfully, internet is magical and can give you all of the answers you need if you take the time to do some research. If you are man, don't run away, we need your help too: the more you talk openly about a topic, the less it becomes taboo.

There is a group of fierce women who decided to take action, it's called Free The Nipple movement. They have campaigns coming soon and they are really active on social media. We have no doubt they will help to change mentalities and they need to be supported.

But if you still consider a woman like a piece of meat or you believe women should only take care of your home and give you pleasure whenever you want, then you can go sit on a cactus... Free the nipples and the woman body!

 

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Work for me but for free - meet the artists

Sometimes I dream that I can take pictures of people for free everyday. Just for the beauty of helping them express their sexyness. All they have to do is take their clothes off and together, we create beauty and sensuality (I am still talking about boudoir photography - oh you naughty minds!)

But then reality comes back and reminds me it’s not possible yet.

 
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A few weeks ago, the business women in us were explaining why we can’t work for free.

Today, it's time for the sequel and we decided to let our artistic side speaks.

Once upon a time…

In the wonderful world of Edith Piaf, the baguette and delicious cheese, two young ladies named Juliette & Fanny signed up in a photography school located on the north side of Paris in the dark forest who was full of trolls, gremlins and angry dragons. Fortunately, Juliette and Fanny surrounded themselves with lovely people who became good friends and all together they were able to study in a joyous and relaxed atmosphere (with some drama like in every fairy tales). For 3 years, they used their time and some gold coins to pay for their education and developed their creativity, knowledge and sense of humor.

 
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It was time to leave the castle…

Our two lovely companions always wanted to discover the world and become international photographers. So they decided to get on board the Hogwarts Express with a first stop in London and a few other ones such as Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Rome, Prague...

Hand in hand they worked as photographers, they built their skills with different photography studios, had a good amount of mentors and worked on many projects and photoshoots to become better and better at their craft.

But something was missing, in their heart Fanny and Juliette were aiming for freedom. They knew they were the only ones who can make things change so they used their magic wands (and their brains) to create Scandaleuse Photography boudoir & weddings and finally made one of their dreams come true.

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And they lived happily ever after...

There are a lot of pages to add to their story and trust me, getting married and having a lot of children is not the happy ending here.

It is all of these years of travel, people we have met and the time we invested in our profession that makes us the professionals we are today. You are not paying only for a photoshoot but investing for great quality, creativity, knowledge and the security of working with two serious ladies who can give you the photographs you are dreaming of.

Boudoir photography puts our vulnerability down and taking your clothes off in front of strangers can be a difficult exercise. Going with a photographer you trust and can reveal your personality to is a must. And this is what we have now been working on for over 8 years.

With love,

 
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