human

Dealing with trauma via boudoir photography

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

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

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

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My name is Nora, this is my story…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
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The Boudoir Shoot

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

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

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

“I am beautiful”

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


FRENCH VERSION

Je m’appelle Nora, voici mon histoire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

La séance Boudoir

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

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

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

" Je suis belle "

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

New year new you?

Oh January. You feel like a blank canvas. It's the time when everyone gets a chance to officially think about themselves by grabbing a piece of paper and writing things they'd like to change or improve in their lives. For some, it's easy and challenging, for others it's a burden. You  definitely need to find motivation to make those resolutions a success!

 
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Resolutions? Blah-blah-blah

Most of people don’t really like those new year’s to-do lists, either because they don’t know what to wish for or they prefer not to think about the future. Stop kidding yourself, you can always improve in something or learn new tricks. There are always little things you wish you could do, so roll up your sleeves and hold on to your panties, you're up for a ride. You have so many aspects of your life to work on: travel, business, health, habits… It should be easy to find a way to think outside of the box, open your mind and get creative. HAVE FUN!

The new you can take its time.

There is nothing more frustrating than making unachievable goals. Forget about going to the gym 5 times a week, learning a new language in 2 weeks or eating avocados only (the good fat!). Find in your mind or heart what you really care about, make it your Super Goal and then break it down into smaller tasks.

You will find it a lot easier to fulfill and this will make you happy, we guarantee that.

 
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What about us?

Indeed, it is easy to give advice to people. The question is do we have good resolutions at Scandaleuse? Of course we do:

• Develop our wedding division

After shooting weddings for others, we finally opened our own wedding studio back in November and our main goal is to make it grow just like our boudoir.

 
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• Work on getting a studio

Do we know anything about real estate? No. Should we in order to get an office space sooner than later? Absolutely.

• Keep traveling and working abroad

We've had a blast in Europe for the past month. Having a chance to shoot there and make it a yearly thing is our biggest goal.

• Invest in new photo gear

And stop drolling over that 85mm 1.4. We're coming for you. Just wait.

• Add more Scandals to our family

We have met so many fascinating people since we opened and we can't wait to add more to the list. We actually worked on 8 shoots in 4 weeks, which is a first, so get ready to see more boobies around here!

• Make more projects come to life.

Between Boudoir Bash (next on on January 20!), The Boudoir Circus, Model Call and couple sessions, we still have a lot of ideas. We even wrote a little guide on dealing with creative funk, to start off well!

• Visit San Francisco

It's been a dream of ours to go to SF for.... 6 years. (We want to see the house from Charmed but don't tell anyone.) Living in Europe, it was a lot more ocmplicated, but now in Toronto, you'd think it'd be easier. It is indeed, it's just the amount of $$$ that is just as big.

• Keep working on becoming aerial silks ninjas

4 years of this lovely circus activity and counting!

These are the main ones we have, and we will keep adding them throughout the year. Because yes, January is not the only time to work on yourself.   

What about you Scandals, what are your 2018 resolutions?

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