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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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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?

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!

"You're Pretty For a Girl in a Wheelchair"

Last September we received an email from an incredible and gorgeous woman who push her boundaries and decided to talk to us about her disability. She wanted to use boudoir photography as a gift for her 35th birthday, a way to celebrate and treat herself.

 
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What a beautiful soul!

What a pleasure to receive her email and read about how self-confident and proud of herself she was! Katie is for sure an inspiration and we were really happy when she agreed to share her story. She made her disability a strength in every aspects of her life and we cannot wait to do another shoot with her.

Meet Katie

“I wanted to have a photo shoot to celebrate me finding beauty within my own body.

It took me a while to reach self-acceptance. In high school, I remember there was always this pressure society laid out for us that implied that the definition of beauty was to be thin and flawless. I was also a teenager with a physical disability.

I remember being at a mall, shopping with my friends and someone saying to me “You are very pretty, for a girl in a wheelchair”. It really got me to thinking that not only does my physical features go against social norms but so does my disability.

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Have we built up such an image in our heads about the ideal look of beauty that we can’t think outside the box?

Why is there a box in the first place?

Why is my attractiveness contingent on the status of my abilities?

Years pass, my body changes, as naturally as a woman’s body would do. I started to carry myself with more confidence as time went by. I made a decision a few times along the way to choose a healthier eating lifestyle.  My weight fluctuated here and there, but I continued to maintain a positive image of myself and I chose to become more active.

As a young woman with a physical disability, exercising routines had to be modified. I started including weekly swimming sessions, seeing a physiotherapist to see how I could optimize increasing my range of motion, and I use a hand bicycle three times a week. In addition to exercise, I found and implemented a diet that suited me, personally. I was able to eat healthy and still eat the foods I enjoy.

Now that I was on a good path, it was time to focus on pampering myself.  Display to the world, how I am feeling on the inside.

“Yes, as a curvy woman with a disability,

I embrace and celebrate my sexuality.”

But I wasn’t always brave enough to share it openly on such a public platform. I am ready to challenge what people expect.

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I am Katie, I’m thirty-five years old, single, curvy, sexy and beautiful.

Thank you, Juliette and Fanny, for helping me to bring out a side of me I wasn’t sure existed. I have a feeling the journey has only just begun…

“You are not invisible! You are worthy!” 

A big part in making my decision to do a shoot comes from this breathtaking piece of poetry by my dear friend Forest Blakk: SWIPE RIGHT

 
 

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Sexy Christmas Cookies

Ohohoh Scandaleuse family, we hope you all have been naughty this year. For sure we have been, especially on social media: posted several times women nipples on Instagram and Facebook, got posts deleted, banned 24 hours from Facebook which black listed us and does not want our “dirty money” (sadly we cannot advertise and boost posts there anymore). But we are badass & rebellious boudoir photographers and will always find a way to help desexualized the woman breast.

To annoy social media a little bit more, we made those Christmas special cookies. They are crispy, tasty and super sexy

 
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The recipe

For 6 people / 15 cookies

 

Ingredients:

• 250g of Flour

• 100g of Sugar

• 65g of Apple Sauce

• 65g of Melted Butter

• 1 Egg

• Orange Blossom or Rose Water

• Decorating gels

 
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First you will need some heart-shaped cookie cutter for a neat shape. If you don't have any, this is not a problem: grab a piece of thick paper and fold it in two. Draw half of your shape on one side of the crease line and cut it from both sides. When you unfold your shape, you should get a symmetry.

• In a mixing bowl, add all of your ingredients (make sure the butter is cold before to add it otherwise it is going to cook the egg) and mix well with either a fork or your hands (it tastes better with fingers). The texture of the dough should be thick, a little bit sticky and scrambled. If your dough is too liquid, add more flour. Sprinkle a bit of flour on a kitchen plan and your hands, make a ball out of the dough and put it on the floured surface.

 
 

• Preheat the oven at 180°C/360°F.

• Flatten the dough with a rolling pin but do not make it thinner than 5mm. Use your paper shape or cookie cutter to create the cookies. Once you don't have room on your dough, mix it again and repeat the process until you finish completely the all dough (no food waste guys!).

• Put the cookies on a baking tray slightly buttered and stick it in the oven for 15min at 360°F. Once they are baked, take them out and let them cool off before decorating.

For the decor, feel free to be as creative as you want… with the rest of the dough we made some delicious vulva and penis (hey don't judge us we are french!).

Now it is time to enjoy those big ass cookies with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Take a selfie with your cookies, tag us and #scandaleusecooking. Let's free the boobies and have a wonderful Christmas…

JOYEUX NOËL!

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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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Male Boudoir - Can we talk about it?

We have a secret to reveal... But before we start telling you about it, have some popcorn ready, make yourself a tea or coffee and sit comfortably… Get close.... Closer..... A tiny bit more.... Ready?

 
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Boudoir photography is not only for women! (MIND BLOWN)

When we were brainstorming before launching Scandaleuse Photography, we were, of course,  targeting women but we realized boudoir could also be open to men. So we asked ourselves, how can we include those gentlemen who would also love having their pictures taken in a more intimate way?

Most of the guys don’t want to do a boudoir session because it seems to be too feminine and we can’t blame them. With the amount of sensual photos with women, we can imagine it is hard for men to project themselves into it. Plus, most of the time they don’t even know why they could/would potentially do one.

The most common reason for women to take the first step towards boudoir photography is to get a confidence boost. But could it be the same for men?

In order to get some answers, we went straight to the source and asked men if they think media and fashion industry’s beauty standards affect the way they see themselves.

And we got very interesting answers:

“Guys struggle with self image quite a bit too but because we aren't (openly) judged on it as much as women, it's more of a quiet struggle. Then again, the amount of guys I know with back problems and knee braces... relocated hair and inevitable "dad bod" is further down the wish list... the older guys get, the more they just want their body to work like it used to!” - MIKE

“Media and fashion has an enormous influence on how men see their bodies. That even starts in childhood - look at all the comic books, where every superhero is muscular hunky macho man, with strong facial features and sulky expressions. Toys like 'Action Man' and similar also portray certain image of the man. When you grow up, popular image of the movies or cartoons or commercials is of a boy who is athlete, again certain physique attributed to that. Men probably would book to boost their confidence. Also, if they already looking good, to have a 'confirmation' of their looks. I think young guys, pre-married would do that, because everyone knows that when you settle and age, body changes.” - DARIUS

“One thing I've recognized that they amplify is race; if you are a white male things are a lot easier for you regarding you being able to portray yourself as a sex symbol VS a man of middle eastern/Asian/African background.
Think about it. How many Brown or Oriental guys do you see on advertisements for Nautica or Lacoste? Or leading superhero in a comic or story? The answer is NONE.
Though I acknowledge the use of minorities is slowly increasing throughout Hollywood & media, the only time you MIGHT see them is when they are used for endorsements in the sports industry.
Media almost never supports that there are good hardworking men who have tattoos & piercings. The media usually portrays them to be 'waste of time punks' or individuals who will most likely engage in criminal activity.There are many reasons a man may do a boudoir shoot. He may want to explore his sexuality by seeing the reaction of his peers, he may simply just want to try something creatively different and or possibly to boost his self esteem.
Most men may do it with their companion but it is rare for them to do it on their own. I think the reason for this boils down to the concept of masculinity. Men think that they will be frowned upon as an attention seeker or classified as gay if they do something different or out of the ordinary.”
- LUKE

 
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so why should you do a shoot? You heard the gentlemen:

BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE: Women are not the only ones who suffer from beauty standards imposed by media and the fashion industry. While it is very obvious for women, it seems to be a very different approach for men: they can’t even talk about it. A man is supposed to behave the way he looks: don't cry, don't complain, 'suck it up', don't show emotions and so on. Men always want to and are mostly rigged to display masculinity or dominance. Apparently you cannot really fight much against it or you would look weak.
Well we disagree with that. Gender blurring is something new in our time but as time goes forward it will change and become more relaxed and work in everybody’s favor.

FOR YOUR PARTNER: if ladies can do it, guys also can. Why not change your routine and try a new experience for your partner. Imagine the happiness on your lover’s face when he or she will see the beautiful and sensual photographs of yourself. It is such a thoughtful gift to offer to your loved one and a unique way to surprise him/her. Trust us it will be a hit!

And if you don’t feel doing it by yourself, then go for a couple boudoir session, it will spice up your relationship...

IMMORTALIZE YOUR TATTOOS: It's very likely you are keeping your tattoos for a very long time, if not your entire life. But we all know tattoos don’t stay the same. With time they change shape, they fade away, the lines get blurrier, they evolved the same way your body does. They get older as we do. So why not kill two birds with one stone and take this opportunity to keep a beautiful memory of your fresh tattoos and enjoy the experience of a photoshoot!

FITNESS AND WORK OUT: Either you practice a martial art, spend lots of time at the gym or get ready for a triathlon, the amount of effort and work you spend on your body should be rewarded. Having body goals is hard but amazing and keeping track of those changes is also a great motivation for the future. If you did it once then you can do it again...

CHALLENGE YOURSELF: We don’t say it enough, STOP thinking of other people's opinions. No, it is not because you pose half naked in front of a camera that it will change your sexuality. Who cares of what people think. If you feel attracted by a boudoir shoot, you will find your own reason to do it! After all, this is the most important.

Doing a boudoir shoot with a man is another way of exploring sensual photography. For photographers, it is a good exercise and a great way to redefine our creativity. The consultation, the lighting, posing and editing is different from women's sessions.

Even if we do not work the same way with men and women, it doesn’t mean boudoir photography is not accessible for you gentlemen.

DARE TO STAND OUT!

 
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How photography can change the way you see yourself

Today I wanted to write about me, myself and I. It can sound a bit pretentious but this is not the point of this article. I am going to share with you a part of my life that was pretty difficult with a life experience that happened 8 years ago. 

Believe it or not, it’s not because I have a Boudoir photography business that I always felt in harmony with my body. Let’s go back in time and see how photography helped me to feel more self-confident.

 
When you are 15 years old and you look like 11!

When you are 15 years old and you look like 11!

 

Middle school was rough

If there is a period of my life where I don’t want to go back, it is definitively middle school. I hated it, even if I met one of my best friend then, I don’t have lots of good memories. You are still young, but yet old enough to care about other people's opinions. It was pretty much when my self-esteem went "hasta la vista baby!".

When I was a teenager, I was very thin. Too thin. Some people told me I was anorexic (you know how children can be mean!). I come from a tiny little family and I took everything from my mom side: small boobies, not tall, thin bones. We could have been a lilliputian family (the only interloper is my butt, my mom got it too, I truly don’t know where it comes from!). I was and I am still a pretty short person but on the top of it I had buck teeth. Not because I was sucking my thumb, no I wanted more than that, I was sucking 3 of my fingers (at the same time!). Then of course I got braces at the age of 15.

When you are in your teenager phase, you are way more vulnerable and you take all of the negativity from others as if it was the truth. Even if I never felt ugly, I had no self-esteem for several years because of all of the tough teasing I got from others.

Apprenticeship, the beginning of freedom

Long story short, middle school sucked and I was happy it ended. What hapepned after? Well, before we start, just know that, in France, you have 3 options after middle school: you either go to high school, university or apprenticeship. I went for the last one because I wanted to learn a profession and get a paycheck. It works like this: first you need to find the field where you wanna work in, second you find a business ready to hire you and then a school who teaches the profession you choose.

I have done 7 years of apprenticeship (2 years of dog grooming, 2 years of sales and 3 years of photography) and every year was one more step towards freedom and self-development.

 
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The time I won back my self-esteem

When I started my first year of photography school, I was still a bit shy. My arms were often crossed and my shoulders were tense. I remember my classmates telling me to relax and put my shoulders down.

When you learn photography, you also have to learn how to pose. It is very important to understand how modelling works if you want to be able to guide your model in a better way. The first times as a model was tough for me. I felt awkward, stupid. It was so not natural and I was afraid of smiling. Then there is a moment, you decide to take it as a game, an experience that happens few times in a life. After a few times, you start to relax, smile more naturally, pose by yourself and you take off your clothes more easily.

For me it was pure freedom, especially when I saw the results on the screen. I was like: “oh man, I look gorgeous, is that me?!”

The final step of my self-confidence goal, was to pose fully naked, which I did! Trust me, once you put down your vulnerability and your clothes, you feel ready to dance naked in the street!

As a photographer, it has been a while since I met someone who loves 100% of his/her body.  Even me, sometimes I catch myself thinking that I would like to change a physical part of my body. But what is the point of those thoughts?

 
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Here is a good exercise

Find a mirror where you can see yourself, from your head to your feet. Go naked and look at every centimeters of your body, even your intimate parts. Start to think about what you like in yourself, don’t let negative thoughts coming through.

Then everyday you are facing a mirror, take 5/10 min to think about the parts of your body you don’t like and for each of those, start telling yourself out loud that you are beautiful, those parts are awesome, it is not a big deal to have something physically different, that it doesn’t change the fact you are strong, smart, sexy and pretty. It sounds silly and ridiculous but trust me it does work if you work on it daily. Telling yourself something positive everyday will help your brain to believe in it.

And you, what is your story?

With love,

 
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