life

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 build good habits

Do you remember few months ago when 2019 started, we were all super motivated with our new resolutions: I am gonna sleep more, drink less, eat healthier, buy less stuff, spend more time with my friends… How many of them are you still doing today? We all want to improve ourselves and set up goals to make our life better. So why is it so easy to give up?

 
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You can find so many tools on internet which tell you if you follow the steps it is going to work, like a magical recipe. Honestly those rules are not exact science and cannot work on everybody because we are all different. It is really important to find what works the best for you and to do so, you need to experience and educate yourself.

I am not really good at changing habits because I do not have a strong self-discipline but I love challenges. Here are few advice I can share with you, little tricks that have been working for me so far. But first of all grab a pen and a notebook, you have some writing to do!

The importance of writing things down

Writing down ideas, goals or projects is primordial for their realization. But I am not talking about using a sticky note or paper sheet you are gonna lose, I am talking about a notebook or journal you can have easily access to, to read them whenever you need.

I was like you when my friend told me for the first time to write my goals down, very sceptical: “What does it change? I do not need to put those on a piece of paper, everything is in my brain!”. And you see, that is the tricky part because those are just thoughts, nothing specific. Writing them down will help you to visualize them to make it more real. It will also help you prioritize on what you should focus on, instead of having it all mix up because you have to much going on in your brain and taking the risk to forget half of them.

Motivation

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This is the first step and most importante part. You need to have a strong motivation otherwise it is going to be very difficult to achieve. Once you wrote down the bad habits you want to change or new ones you want to add to your life, ask yourself why and write the reason. Let say you want to lose weight, what is the reason? is it because your actual weight makes you get tired real fast and you don't like not being in shape? or is it because someone told you you look too curvy?

Are you doing it for yourself or just because it is what you are “supposed” to do? Changing just to please someone else or to do the same thing as others will not help.

Recently, I decided to change my morning routine which was having breakfast in front of a tv show. There is nothing wrong with that until I realized it made me start my day tired and not really motivated. If I read, listen to music or work while having breakfast, it makes me start my day with way more energy than watching tv on my sofa.

Is it realistic

The second step is to make sure you can actually achieve them, otherwise let me tell you it is a waste of time and it might break your motivation, when you realize you cannot be successful at it. If they are unrealistic but you really really want to make them happen, then find a solution to the problem (even though it means changing other part of your lifestyle):

One of my goal is to wakeup everyday at 6.30am because I want to watch the sunrise and have more time for myself during the day. Unfortunately I do not sleep well so waking up early when you had only few hours of sleep was too difficult. I had to find first a solution to sleep better: 10 min of meditation before going to bed works like magic. Since meditation is new to me I really have to force myself to practice daily, so I can sleep better and wake up earlier. Do you see what I mean? You might have sometimes to create a habit to be able to work on another one.

Consistency & Self-Discipline

And of course the last step and most difficult one: daily routine! Consistency is the key to set up any new habits, you HAVE to do them everyday so it can become natural. Of course at the beginning you will forget or be too lazy but do not give up. Force yourself even if you are not motivated to do it and stop looking for excuses. You will be tempting to go against those good habits you are setting up, just don't. Temptation is like a bad craving, but it goes away after few minutes… You are stronger than your brain! If not, trick yourself:

When I want to wake up early I put my phone far away from my bed so I have to get out of my bed to turn off the alarm. If I leave my phone close to me so it reachable from my bed, I turn off the alarme and fall back asleep.

Organization and scheduling

I found out planning your day in advance helps a lot to make some of your new habits a success. You do not to be as organized as business man but just scheduling your day when you wake up will have a huge impact on your routine.

So what about you Scandals, any tricks to add?

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Do not let procrastination take over!

Procrastination is a big and scary word, nobody likes to be told or think they are being lazy. But we all know how easy it is to let ourselves go in any aspects of our life: relationship, life goals, business… It does not mean we are actually lazy or we do not care anymore, usually it is something we build with time and without noticing. Slowly but surely we have been developing bad habits and at some point it just hits us, trust me when I say it is an awful feeling!

Starting 2019 with "Panache”

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I wanted to start 2019 in style, so beginning of January I wrote down a lot of new goals in my notebook, I especially wanted to work on being more self-disciplined and I was 100% motivated to achieve it. One of the first one was to travel alone: BAM! Two weeks later I was in Costa Rica by myself, celebrating my birthday and making new friends (I even met a new gorgeous scandal for a boudoir shoot). I came back to Toronto with clearer thoughts, new ideas and ready to conquer the world!

By the way, this feeling happens when you get out of your confort zone and try new experiences. Yes it is scary at first but once it is done, you feel so powerful and confident; you can do everything.

Hit me baby one more time

I kept that fire inside me until about two weeks ago when I started feeling down, unmotivated and not really healthy. Then few days ago it just hit me (and man, it was painful, I felt guilty!): I realized I have been letting myself go for a few months. Yes I was full of ideas and new goals but I wasn't working to make them happen. Business was busy, which was a bit unbelievable for winter time, so I focused on the tasks I had to do, I focused too much on the short term and forgot about long term plans. I have slowly been pushing back projects I was supposed to work on or business skills I wanted to learn. Those bad habits affected not only my business life but my personal one too:

  • I stopped cooking healthy meals (I am a vegetarian so I have to be careful to replace properly the nutrients I don't get from meat anymore), the result: iron deficiency = a week an a half of intense migraines and fatigue.

  • I replaced reading by watching tv shows (Netflix is temptation!).

  • My workout has been the same for the past 2 months instead of learning new fitness and aerial silk tricks.

  • Do you remember my 2019 goals I was talking to you about? Well I haven't opened that notebook since I wrote them in!

To make it short, I STOPPED LEARNING…

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Your brain is a muscle

We always remember to feed our body. If we don't, it doesn't take too much time before having a low energy, headaches, dizziness… But we have the tendency to forget our brain is a muscle we need to take care of. We need to work it out and feed it with knowledge if we do not want to see negative effects on the long term.

When you make your passion a business, unfortunately you can easily lose your creativity, you have to challenge yourself all the time: I am not gonna lie, it can be very tiring… So you take a break, you relax. And it's when you let go too much you start building procrastination. All it takes is to find the perfect balance between work and pleasure. I am not able to remember the last time I watched a documentary, discovered a new photographer, went to an art exhibition or learn something new. I am not a lazy person, I am the opposite: always working hard, curious and motivated. But somewhere and for some reasons on the road, procrastination showed up and stayed warm and cozy.

The first step is to notice

Procrastination's guilt is an awful feeling. So when you catch yourself procrastinating for too long you have to change your activity right away, just stop and do something that feels right! If this step is too difficult for you then ask someone in your loved ones who will let you know if you f**k up. I try to not beat myself up because nobody is perfect but I refuse to use it as an excuse to stay in this vicious circle.

The secret against laziness:

Some of you are probably gonna feel disappointed because I know you are waiting to read an advice which will change your life… Please do not hate me but unfortunately there is no magic trick! You have to force yourself to do stuff! Whatever it is you try to achieve, you have to kick your own butt to be successful. FIND YOUR OWN MOTIVATION.

 
 

Use your brain!

Never stop learning, think, have ideas, keep yourself active, build up your energy and consider your body as a temple because if you are not healthy then it will be difficult to be proactive.

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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!

 
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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

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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.

 
 

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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!

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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Paris & Lyon: Our first business trip

What a trip! We are back from France where we met 17 new Scandals! Since we could not take all of you in our suitcases to show you our home country, we decided to bring our business trip to you.

Make yourself a nice hot chocolate and enjoy the show:

 
 

Two busy weeks

Let me tell you: we had a blast and were very busy. In 14 days, we traveled for 20 hours, worked in two cities, drank few glasses (or bottles you will never know…) of red and white wine, had a lot of cheese, pastries, well, awesome food in general. We photographed 34 nipples and 17 butts, had to keep working on blog, vlog and social media. I will skip the number of time we packed and unpacked our suitcases but I can tell you we now mastering the art of folding clothes, in a way we can have room for more food (call us for our folding workshops!). And on top of that we were able to spend a bit of time with friends and family. We felt like Wonder Women and sadly time flew a bit too fast.

17 new and different personalities

 What made the experience even better was the fact that those new scandals were all different from each other. They were all creative with their outfits and ideas: they brought masks, small lights, colourful lingerie and were all happy to experience nude photography. They had different styles and personalities but they were all similar in one thing: they were bold enough to put their boundaries down for their first boudoir shoot.

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Thank you to our french ladies and gentleman for trusting us and trying for the first time the boudoir experience. You guys were really amazing, badass and fun to work with!

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Bridal Boudoir

For our Scandals who are getting married, have you heard about bridal boudoir?

It sounds like just a detail to add to your endless to-do list, less important than shoes, flowers and the other millions tasks you need to take care of. As a result, boudoir shots are either overlooked or done very quickly the morning of your wedding if you or your photographer remembers.

 
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WHY NOT TAKE MORE TIME AND BOOK YOUR BRIDAL BOUDOIR SESSION BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY?

BRIDAL BOUDOIR = PRETTY NEAT YOU TIME

Let's face it: wedding planning can be very stressful. From finding the best venue to the problematic seating chart (you know, uncle George having a feud with aunt Roberta while your 14-year-old cousin would rather die than sit at the kids table...), it feels like there is no ending.

That's why we believe every bride should take one day to take care of herself and relax: spa, massage, karate class (everyone has their own way to calm down!). A boudoir session can definitely join that list of cool stuff. It's a great way to have fun and think about you and only you.

HERE ARE 4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD DO A BOUDOIR SESSION BEFORE YOUR WEDDING:

1) YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO IT.

Secretly or not, we are 99% sure this is something you've been curious about. What's better than using the fact that you are getting married as a reason to finally do it?

2) YOU'RE GOING TO FEEL LIKE A BAD-ASS

You will definitely leave your shoot feeling like Beyonce. We see it with all of our clients: they first come excited and a little shy, they leave rocking that pavement like it's a cat walk, with their hair is slow-motion. That's exactly what you need. And we all love Beyonce.

3) YOUR PARTNER WILL JUST LOVE IT.

Just picture your partner's blushing face and adorable smile when he/she will see your photos. There is something so special about giving this gift to the love of your life.

4) YOU ARE GOING TO BUY EXPENSIVE LINGERIE/VEIL FOR YOUR BIG DAY.

Might as well make it count. That pair of cute panties you bought for the night of deserves more.

You can even involve your partner for a couple boudoir shoot if you want to try something unique, he/she also needs to relax, in a romantic way...

INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?

Most of the time, it is done indoor,s usually at the bride’s home, friend or family house or in an hotel room. But because we love to offer you something different, your session can be done in beautiful lofts: from bohemiam artsy to moderm minimalist, it's your choice!

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If you feel adventurous, we can take you for an outdoor session. Depending of the weather and your taste, a boudoir shoot can be done in a beautiful garden, in the forest, on the beach, in the water or in even the street, for creative and beautiful images.

ONLY ME, MYSELF & I?

This is totally up to you. Some women like to do it by themselves, others feel more comfortable with someone they know. If you feel like sharing this wonderful experience, here are some ideas:

  • With your partner: Such a great way to bring your relationship to another level of intimacy. Bring your lover and a bottle of wine, we vow to create a romantic atmosphere.

  • With your bridesmaids: those sessions are so much fun and can be very creative. You just need to bring your girls, your lingerie and props and some drinks (yes a bottle of wine works here too) and we are good to go!

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

You decide what is the most comfortable for you and the vibe you have in mind. Here are few tips to help you started:

  • Classic: white lingerie, veil, garter  and bouquet

  • Fancy: corset or bodysuit, lace, stockings and heels

  • Natural: simple lingerie, oversize sweaters, knee socks, light makeup and barefoot

THOSE ARE JUST LITTLE TIPS, FEEL FREE TO MIX AND MATCH IDEAS, WEAR COLORS, BRING JEWELRY OR GO FULL NUDE. THERE ARE NO RULES, LET YOUR IMAGINATION DO THE WORK!

 
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Birth Control Pill: A little devil

Disclaimer: In this post I am talking about my own experience and feedback about the birth control pill. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered as legal advice. You should seek appropriate counsel for your own situation.

Ladies and gents (I do have some hope that men can also be interested by that topic!), today's blog post is about my experience with the birth control pill, why I decided to stop it and it's impact on my body 11 years later…

When I Sold My Soul For Beauty Purpose

2007 was a great year: first boyfriend and sexual blooming, beginning of adulthood… This was the reason I started taking the birth control pill, “Jasmin” if I remember correctly. Unfortunately when I was 17, I had a lot of migraines and also a strong acne, “Jasmin” wasn't strong enough for my body. So I decided to follow my gynecologist advice which was to go for one of the strongest hormonal pill, perfect against acne and migraines: Ladies and gentlemen, the famous “Diane 35", let's sadly acclaim it.

Big mistake! But I was young and looking for an easy way to feel prettier. I was really ashamed of my acne, all I wanted was to get rid of it. I just wished my doctors would have told me about the risks and side effects of those pills…

 
Before taking the pill

Before taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

 

The Results Were Beyond Expectations

If there is something I cannot complain about, it is the result and efficacy: my acne was gone few months after I started taking it and the migraines were less intense, it was honestly a relief. On top of that, they helped regulate your menstrual cycle and the main purpose of that pill was also a success, I never got pregnant. You got it, I am not complaining about their efficacy against pregnancy. The birth control pill is a great contraceptive as long as you don’t forget to take it. Unfortunately the side effects and risks on the woman body are pretty scary.

But for 11 years I was never aware of those side effects. This is why the "pill” is sneaky: you usually do not feel how unhealthy it is, at least I never felt it.

So why did I stop?

As you may know, two years ago I became vegetarian and it is now important for me to take care of my body and be careful with what goes in and out. It is my way to feel confident and respectful of it! Stopping the pill was obviously another step towards taking less chemical, since I did not want extra hormones in my body anymore (If you wanna learn more about this topic, I found this very interesting article).

To make it short, the birth control pills is a combinaison of two hormones: estrogen and progestogen, that eliminate ovulation and prevent pregnancy. It changes your natural hormone balance, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month.

I also never like having to take a pill every day because I have sometimes forgotten to take them (oh and I guess reading about those women who died from blood clotting in their legs, sudden blockages in their lungs, bleeding in their brains and chest pain before death, did help me with that decision…) Anyway, in January 2018, I took the decision to change contraception and go for a non-hormonal copper IUD. I went to my family doctor to talk with her about that decision, her advice was to stop the pill and wait until my next period to have the IUD inserted. Which I did…

Another big mistake, I should have never ever stoped the pill right away! In one month, I went from 11 years of intense synthetic hormones to natural ones. Of course it was a shock for my body, my doctor should have told me about it. The consequences? I developed a strong acne in a couple of months and my menstrual cycle was all over the place. I feel like a teenager again and I now have a lack of confidence because of that acne. It has been less than a year I changed contraceptive and my body is slowly getting use to it, but it will take few years before the level of acne decrease.

 
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Why I like non-hormonal contraception

First of all, big shout out for the Copper IUD, it is so convenient. I am not gonna lie, the insertion was painful but it lasted only a couple of minutes and I do not have to worry of getting pregnant for the next five years. What if I want a baby in two years? The doctor will just take it out!

My body has changed a lot since I switched birth control method and I have now “real” and natural cycles, which includes unfortunately: cramps and irregular, heavier and longer periods. But it also had 3 positive impacts that are really worth it: I am feeling less emotional, my sex drive increased a lot and I am more lubricated (don't laugh, it was pretty frustrating in the past!).

I have no regrets of that change and do not plan to go back to birth control pills. There are so many contraceptives on the market, you should not have any problem to find the perfect one for you. Talk with your doctor or gynecologist about it and most important: do your own research.

Now go make love and viva la sexualidad!!

 
 

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Kiss your body insecurities goodbye

Isn't it a great feeling to feel the positive evolution in body positivity? Do you guys see it too? From articles I read or friend's conversations, I have the feeling that people and especially women are more self-confident. Man, how powerful is that?! Even though we still have a lot of progress to make, we are slowly getting there.

The importance of confidence

Most of the people I meet know about their qualities and are confident about either their sense of humour, their kindness, their intellect… But I have never met a single person who is in love with 100% of his/her body. We always feel judged, always have the impression people are looking at us. Do you want to know the truth? People don't care… or at least most of them don’t (honestly who cares about judgy people). If you love the way you look and accept what mother nature gave you, it will be easier to conquer the world: being self-confident shows charisma which is a powerful quality to be successful in life.

I never said it will be easy

I am not 100% confident and writing this blog is making me think about the parts of my body I do not like and why I don't like them. Our past traumas are usually the reasons why we are so picky with ourselves.

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There are two things I do not like about my body. The first one is my wrists (oh gosh I know it sounds stupid but it is a fact). I see them so tiny and I never been able to like them. Not that I am ashamed and try to hide those wrists but I never felt confident about them. Why? If you have been following us for a little while, you may have read the blog post in which I was writing about my teenagehood and how photography changed the way I see myself. I was a skinny and insecure teenager and kids in my middle school were mean so I got a lot of insults about anorexia. Their words still resonate in me sometimes.

The second thing I do not like is my recent acne. Last February I decided to stop taking my birth control pills to switch for a non hormonal birth control device because I want to take care of my body, go for something more “natural” and stop ingested those crappy hormones. Well I wanted to go natural: I got acnee… Yay! (unhappy smile). Two months after I stoped those pills, I developed a severe acne and felt awful about myself. I totally lost my confidence and sex appeal. Why? Same as previously written, it reminded me when I was fifteen and brought back all of those bad memories.

How to change your mindset

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The only way to accept those parts of your body you like the less is to look a them, stop hiding them and talk positively about them. When I look at my wrists I stop telling myself they are too skinny, instead I decided think and say loudly they are cute. For my acne, I try to not use make up to cover the pimples. Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I look at every pimples and tell myself it is not so bad and they will eventually disappear with time.

You can also learn how to highlight and showcase your imperfections. the good news is that it could be fairly easy: you just have to decide to change a negative mindset to a positive one.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK AND GO LOVE EVERY FREAKING INCHES OF YOUR BODY!

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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Should I keep my pictures private?

A lot of people are hesitant about doing a boudoir shoot because they do not really know how they will be using their pictures. Some can't imagine sharing them and the idea of other people seeing their photographs is sailing away the boudoir shoot boat, no matter how bad they want to try it..

 
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Before we start, if you are still looking for a reason to try the boudoir experience, I suggest you read our two previous blog posts here and here.

Sharing or not sharing

I have to start by saying the choice is and should be 100% yours. The most important is how comfortable it makes you feel: if you want to post them on social media, this is your decision and nobody (including partners, coworkers, family, friends) should tell you not to. And on the other hand, if your desire is to keep those pictures private, then it is your right. For example, some of our actual clients wants to keep their photographs private mostly because of their job. They are afraid to not be taken seriously if coworkers were to see them in lingerie, especially women.

Even though, we think this initiative should be applauded and not shamed, because  it takes a lot of courage to reveal and own what is usually hidden!

- Side note: we are working on a cool project about this topic, it's not ready yet but we plan to have it live in the next months. Stay tuned! -

That being said, we do suggest sharing your pictures with at least your loved ones and here are the reasons why:

Inspire Other People with real bodies

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You might not realize it but a lot of women and men are looking to be motivated and want to push their boundaries. Visuals are very important in our everyday life  and when you can identify with it, it is a lot less scary.

That is why getting a chance to see real bodies - and not the generic body type we see in the media - is extremely inspiring. You can relate and it is a pretty powerful feeling.

Each of our clients inspired another one, we are in a sense all connected by the love of boudoir photography. How does it feel to be someone's muse?! 

Boost Of Confidence

The way you see yourself is different than the way others see you and sharing your pictures on social media can seem superficial but it is actually a great way to boost your confidence. Not that you need approval from people but it always feels good to get compliments on either the way we look or the fact we did a boudoir shoot. And true fact, none of our Scandals ever got negative feedback.

It's Like Wearing A Swimsuit

Why is it politically correct to be in a swimsuit in public but not in underwear? Just because lingerie is suppose to be more erotic... But it shows the same amount of skin than bathing suits. Juliette and I have a deep love for bodysuits and we don't want to keep them hiding in our closet, so we decided to wear them as everyday clothes. Ladies and gentlemen, if you share with the world your beautiful body in a swimsuit than you might as well do it in lingerie... Do you accept this challenge?

More Scandals For Our Portfolio

The last reason is more for Scandaleuse. We love sharing our creations with our followers and help women, men and couples to feel 100% themselves. As previously said, we need more examples to be able to inspire more people. 

To conclude, it is your decision whether you would like to share your photos or not. It shouldn't be influenced by others. Follow your desires. So.. should we see you soon?

Give us your opinion: Are you for or against sharing pictures on social media?

 
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