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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!

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!

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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How to start your business: putting your fears aside

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

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

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

 
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THE REALITY

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

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

Is it the fear of failing?

Lack of experience or knowledge?

Not enough time or money?

Lack of support from your love ones?

Not having a strong project?

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

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

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

 
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Time and Money

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

Baby Steps

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

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

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

 
 

Coffee talk - Love and cultural differences

Ahhh l'amour, between the rendez-vous and the je-ne-sais-quoi floating in the air. What more can you ask for?! Being in love is wonderful. Being in love with someone who comes from a different country is even better!

Different countries or not: relationships are work.

Yes, being in love and living with someone is a great life experience but it can also be very difficult. You have to swallow your pride here and there, (I have to work on that one!), make some compromises, put your boundaries down... In a nutshell, you have to let go.

 

It was too tempting! - evil laugh

 

Two different cultures living together

Now that we set the vibe, try to picture your relationship with someone with whom you don't share the same language. Personally, I think that's the biggest obstacle, which is pretty ironic for someone who thinks communication is the key for a successful relationship! I have been with my partner Ivan for the past 3 years and I have to say that sometimes our communication is not the best.

Well nothing to be surprised about... I am French, he is Colombian and at home we speak English, which is not our first language. So you can imagine this creates misunderstandings, frustrations and fights. And the more we argue, the worse our English gets and the less we can express ourselves correctly. Which creates?... Frustration. It is a vicious circle!

Sometimes I wish we could just yell at each other in French and Spanish, like in those romantic comedies, with a dramatic music in the background. But that's not how it works and honestly, it would be way too chaotic. 

Bad words can get worse.

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The solution is quite simple: we have to be careful with the words we use (easy to say but not to apply!). I had never had to be on fleek with my vocabulary - not that I was using "paraglider" instead of "tomato" or "carpet" instead of "toilets" - but I never really cared to choose the exact words until I realized it can slightly change the meaning of your sentences.

Trust me when I say I learnt the lesson the hard way. When you speak in another language, you have a tendency to translate expressions from your mother-tongue without realizing the meaning can be quite different in another language. Believe it or not, some words can sound awful in English, but not so much in French, and vice versa.

Finding balance

(Juliette stole the keyboard)
There isn't only language difference. Habits & lifestyles are also big ones, especially when you live in your loved one's country. The good news? Getting accustomed to a different culture can actually bring out a better You.

If you know me, you likely see me as a hardass. And you're right. Well guess what? I was 10 times worse back in France. If I hadn't move to Canada, chances are I would have become a French version of The Devil Wears Prada. Dating a Canadian and living with him has taught me to chill the hell out (don't you dare laughing!). On the other end, I taught my partner to shake things up here and there in his everyday life. That's just one of many examples.
(keyboard is back with Fanny)

The double-culture treat

Leaving with someone from another country is a great way to open your mind to the world and change your way of seing things. You get VIP access to a new culture, which includes: food, music, history, fashion and a way to be even more sarcastic and joke about national clichés:

- Ivan: "French people are so weird, you guys shower with perfume. French shower is gross !"
- Me: "First, not true! Second, at least we don't sell drugs. Go ask Pablo Escobar if he had time to shower!"

Speaking of... food, this is also a big avantage (food aficionados: put your hands up!). Every time Ivan goes to Colombia or his family comes here, I always get some traditional delicacies. And that, my friends, is gold.

 
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Long term relationships are already pretty hard and while having your partner in crime from another country could be challenging, it also comes with rewards. Such as getting the opportunity to say that yes, blue cheese and wine together as a match made in heaven.

5 unusual inquiries we got for boudoir photography

I love my job. Being a boudoir photographer is a wonderful experience, we've met so many people with different personality and style. Some are very open minded, others a bit more shy. They worked with us because they need a boost of self confidence or just to treat themselves whether they are women, men or couples.

But sometimes, between all of those kind and awesome emails we receive, are hiding creepy and unusual requests. Some are hilarious, others are disturbing. Since we are starting to receive them quite often and have the feeling it is not going to stop, we decided to write about them. 

 
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Mesdames et messieurs, here is our top 5 of the weirdest inquiries we got in a year:

N°5 : The dick pic guy

If there is something intriguing with Boudoir and men, is that most of the gentlemen who contact us for a boudoir shoot want to do something more erotic. And this is fine with us, why not if it is a serious project. But the disturbing part is that they believe we need to see their pee-pee so we can accept their request. So time to time we receive photographs of big Willy and the twins with a very non flattering angle and lighting, of course, pictures we never asked for. 

Gentlemen please, let me tell you something: HELL NO, WE DON'T NEED THOSE! It was very tempting to add a moustache and a hat on this photograph and send it back to that particuliar client. If you really want to show us your joystick, at least do it in an artistic way...

 
 

N°4 : The pink blouse guy

This man contacted us a little while ago, he wanted to do a boudoir shoot for his future husband. His idea was to lay down on a bed made of Kleenex - FIRST RED FLAG. He was also looking for a wedding photographer but didn't want to tell us the day of the wedding - SECOND RED FLAG. The icing on the cake was when he asked us to wear pink blouses for the first planning meeting. Because "the first impression is super important" for him.

Yeah man sure! Do you want us to wear a french maid outfit so we can clean your discourtesy off your face?  We nicely told him we would not do it, so he decided to go with another photographer (apparently).

N° 3 : The "I like humiliation" guy

This one is pretty recent. Few day ago we received an email from a guy who lost a bet and had to do a boudoir shoot, wearing high heels, sexy dress, lingerie and/or be nude. Had to walk like a model and be shoot in some very embarrassing poses, for his humiliation and women amusement. We told him boudoir photography is an art and we work only with people who see it as a serious project.

But we could provide some headshots for professional purpose if he was interested. You have to see business opportunity everywhere right?! 

 
 

N° 2 : The "you need to wear sexy clothes so I can feel turned on" guy

Ooooh man, our first weird inquiry. This married man sent us an email because he was looking to do a couple boudoir shoot with his wife. They have been married for 20 years and they were looking to spice up their relationship. We were pretty happy about it since, at that time, we didn't get a lot of couples interested by a session. So he started to explain what he wanted, sent us example of videos and pictures (remember the dick pic story previously, well those were the beginning). His wife had apparently a big and sexual appetite and they were looking for erotic photography. We explained to him this is not the type of service we offer but we could give them sensual pictures.

We were not against working with them, they wanted to celebrate the love they have for each other by trying a new experience.

Unfortunately he crossed the line when he asked us to dress up very sexy during the shoot so he can be more excited. Now that I think about it, I am happy we didn't go forward with this inquiry: this couple were the lions, we were the gazelles. 

N° 1: The "let's redo American Pie" guy

And the winner is... (actually my little favourite, probably because I watch all of the American Pie movies)
Once upon a time in Toronto town, a man who loved his mom a lot decided to treat her with a boudoir shoot. Such a sweet and thoughtful gentleman who was open minded enough to offer this experience as a gift. Or so we thought.


We replied to this guy to get more details about his request. Why not right?! Maybe his mom asked him to book the shoot for her or maybe it was a gift for his parents' wedding anniversary.

Oh no, it wasn't a fairytale, just a crazy idea: some pictures taken of his mom and his best-friend having sex. The story never said if it was a spam or a serious request. 

My friends, let me remind you that even if we are photographers whose main goal is to highlight sensuality in everybody, it doesn't mean we get sexual pleasure out of it. So keep your pants on, we are not part of your fantaisies, don't plan to be and will never ever touch your purple-helmeted warrior of love.  

 
 

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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Scandaleuse gave up on meat

Bonjour bonjour our vegetarian, vegan and meat lover scandals.

For those who eat meat, have you ever asked yourself what life is like for people who gave it up? Have you ever been curious about how they can still be healthy? Have you ever heard this little voice in your head saying: “come one…Try it, you might love it!”? I'm sure you know what I am talking about…

 
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Well ladies & gentlemen get ready, Scandaleuse will demystify all of the meatless urban legends!

Why and when?

About a year ago, Juliette and I decided to stop eating meat. But we didn’t do it at the same time (believe it or not, sometimes we do take our decisions separately, we are not always Thomson & Thompson).

 
 

Juliette was first. She started decreasing the amount of meat in her diet, after reading a few blog posts about how it is not necessary. She tried it for a couple of weeks and now and she doesn’t want to go back!

Concerning my experience, it was an article on a french online magazine called “Mademoizelle” that was the trigger. It was about the founder who stopped eating meat right away after watching Cowspiracy.

Two days later, here I was, in front of my computer, with my pasta dish and my boyfriend Ivan, watching this famous documentary. Let me tell you, we both got slapped in the face big time! We looked at each other and knew we had to stop eating meat. All we cared about (sustainability, deforestation & global warming) was right in front of us and we were able to change things starting with our plates.

The decision was easy to make but educating our brain wasn't…

How?

While it is not complicated to give meat up, it is not easy either. It takes time, knowledge and willpower. Our brain is a little evil, it can make you crave something you don’t need and this is the toughest part!

I never really ate a lot of meat except things that people don't enjoy such as liver, veal tongue, duck gizzards and of course chicken, ham, prosciutto... (well I am gonna stop here cause now I am craving Italian ham!). But truly, when you are strong enough to fight for what you care about and you can see your actions lead to results, this is a damn good reward!

Take your time, you don’t need to stop meat or animal proteins in one day. Start with beef because it is the worst for our planet, then remove the chicken. And please don’t listen to those people who try to rush you. Like in politics, they can be too extreme.

If you are thinking of becoming vegetarian, pescetarian or vegan, you need to know why. You need to have a solid reason to be able to go through it. Is it because you want to be healthier? Do you care about animal cruelty? Do you want to change the way we act on our beautiful planet? Finding your own purpose will make it much easier.

If you feel ready or want to satisfy your curiosity, check the Cowspiracy website (they have lots of great articles, videos and tips) and of course watch it. For those who are worried about seeing blood and disgusting slaughterhouse scenes, don’t worry you won't. This documentary is full of datas, interviews & facts but no awful footage.

 
 

 Meatless urban LEGENDs:

-Did you force your partner to give up on meat? Yes totally. Every night I handcuff Ivan at the bed, feed him with broccoli and order him to call me his Green Mama!

 -You don’t eat meat! How can you be so healthy? I grow this magical plant on my balcony which is perfect for baking little muffins. It gives me wings and makes me indestructible! No let’s be serious, I just make sure to replace all of the animal proteins I don’t eat by a plant-based diet. And I still eat a bit of fish, eggs and cheese.

-Ok you eat fish but don’t you know it is also animal cruelty, fish have feelings! Yes you are right but my first reason in this choice was not animal cruelty, it was sustainability. I never wanted to think about animals suffering in slaughterhouses when I was eating meat. But since I stopped, I now care about it.

I am not against hunters, farmers or meat itself. I am against industrialization, big factories and against all of this waste of energy we consume to produce meat. Oh and also palm oil, but this will be an other topic.

-No meat? Cooking must be sooo boring!!! I am actually having more fun than before. I love transforming regular meal into vegetarian/vegan ones. You have so many way to be creative while cooking. And I feel lucky to live in Toronto because Canada has lot of options for non-meat eaters.

 -I am a man, a real one, I will never stop meat! Good for you my friend… but you’re right we never know... A vagina could grow between your legs if you become vegetarian! Starting a plant-based diet or just being careful with your consumption is not gonna make you less of a man. Lots of male athletes for example don’t eat animal products, does it mean they lost their testicles on the road? Of course not!

I have a friend who told me once “Fanny I will never ever give up on meat, I love it so much!!”, then guess what: he doesn’t eat meat anymore. Please gentlemen, don’t let your fears stopping you from trying. I promise you will still look handsome.

-I truly don’t give a damn of our planet! Well no comment but one day you will change your mind…

Voilà folks, it was just an introduction. We promise to write an other article with more details, tips, advice and recipes (but only if you have been good followers, Green Mama is watching you!)

 With love.

Fanny