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"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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Eyes sparkling and heart racing - How boudoir pushes your limits

Boudoir photography is definitively an art, a beautiful way to use light, framing and background composition to highlight the human body. But it also has a therapeutic purpose. Most of the women who finally dare to book their boudoir shoot are usually looking for more than a regular portrait session.

 
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Why does it create such a great feeling?

When was the last time you actually looked at yourself naked or even in your underwear? And I mean, reaaaally look at yourself, not a quick glimpse before hopping in the shower? Rare are the people actually doing it, us included.

The human body, especially the woman one is taboo. Nobody at school teaches us to truly love ourselves the way we are. If anything, we are taught to hide it and sometimes in the worst cases, to be ashamed of it. Only a minority of people know every inches of their body even for the parts that are the most intimate.

On top of that, we focus so much on its physical aspect that we tend to forget our bodies are shells that actually makes us human beings to begin with. And that is something to cherish and treat well.

Being able to see your body from different angles, posed beautifully in a stunning environment, surrounded by a warm light is a rare opportunity you shouldn't pass on. Hell, even from the back, because seriously, we never get to see ourselves from the back! (unless you can twist your head 360 degrees but in this case, we need to talk)

It is not just about getting pretty photos.

Truth is, when you sign up for a shoot, you will get way more than that.

You will learn to push your limits, put your boundaries down. And this will make you stronger not only in your own head but also on a physical aspect.

You will be standing straighter. you will start having a better posture. you will walk with more confidence.

Because you managed to push yourself through a quite challenging adventure, your everyday life is taking its benefits too.

We are not saying that based on our own beliefs. We are saying it because we saw it. We've had a chance to work again with some of our past Scandals and the difference between the first and second shoot was drastic. The beautiful intimated women we saw became these strong-minded, ready to own it, supermodels. They were posing themselves so confidently that even us were blown away.

 
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It is perfectly normal to feel nervous

You guessed it, a boudoir shoot is full of various feelings. While it is an extremely positive experience, it does make you face some of your fears For example: the fear of being judged, not good enough, or being in an unknown situation. Most of our clients are a little anxious before the big day because they do not know what to expect and they are out of their comfort zone. 

But like every challenges, it gives you these butterflies of excitement we all love so much. The little butterflies that make us grow and take on even more challenges.

And then the magic happens

The hardest part is taking the initiative to book. After this steps, the fun stuff officially begins. You can go shopping for new lingerie or use outfits you wore only once. You can brainstorm makeup & hair ideas with our makeup artist who is going to take care of you. If you are also doing it for someone, you can even imagine the joy of this special someone, when he/she will see your photos.

When the session is finally here, our favourite part begins: the changes in our client's attitude.

From the moment, they pass the door until the time they leave: they are two different people. They start with the usual shyness, feeling a little intimated, probably doubting themselves. Some of them have the face of "what did I get myself into?". But after an hour, here they are, walking around like the world is their oyster, ready for topless and full nude. Free the nipples in all its glory!

eyes sparkling and heart racing.

The after shoot is usually the best with the big reveal. It's when you can finally see & choose your photographs. This is the moment when everything comes together. The before booking thoughts, the getting ready, the actual shooting... And this is when you realize how stunning you are and how much you are killing it. This is when we see you letting go  and taking it all in with a laugh, huge smiles and sometimes a couple of tears. .

It can be quite a feeling of freedom and surprise and it is for sure a wonderful experience! the real question now is: are you ready to start your boudoir journey?

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You can let your hair be.

Get ready for this universal truth: we all have hair. Everywhere. And you've probably heard at least once in your life "you should remove it", "it's gross", "why do you care?" "all natural baby!" "Aren't French people hairy anyway?"(oh wait, that one is for us eheh). It's time to unleash the truth.

We get asked quite often by our clients, men & women, if they have to shave or not before their shoot. So here it is:

 
 

Is it better to be shaved/waxed entirely before your boudoir session (or anything in life for that matter)?

No. Hair or no hair, it doesn't make one single difference. It's that simple. And if people are telling you the opposite, don't work with them. And it is because of a very simple reason:

the decisions concerning YOUR body belongs to YOU and you ONLY.

And that goes for everything concerning your body: tattoos, hair colour, piercings, you name it.

 
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Why are you doing it to begin with?

Here is the second gigantic tip that will help you for the rest of your life:

These decisions you just took about your body? They have to be based on your opinion, not others.

Meaning that if you choose to get waxed every 3 weeks or not, it should be because it makes you feel great that way and not because you feel like you HAVE to do it.

Story time: a few months ago, we had a wonderful photo shoot with Léa Castor in Paris. She stopped removing her hair a couple of years ago now, because she realized that she wasn't really doing it for her, but for her lover at the time. She said that she wanted to start loving her hair the way it actually is, even though it is quite difficult, not because she thinks it looks ugly but because of the society. She felt like people will juge and criticize her.

When we first talked about her session, we really wanted to showcase and do close-ups of her hair to tell the world "hey see, it's not bad at all!" but it turns out that we just focused on her like we always do. And guess what?

No one actually noticed her hair and for the few photos where you could actually see it, it just looked great. not "eeeew" like some people can think. Isn't this super cool?!

So what if we just stop caring about what other people think and start taking care of our hair the way WE want to?

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Don't be embarrassed about your hair

When people ask us if they should get waxed or not, there is always a weird feeling of shame flying in the air, like it's such a nasty little secret.

Truth is: if someone is judging you or giving you attitude because of hair and any other aspects of your body, you are not the problem, they are

Isn't it about time for people to be able to treat their bodies the way they want to and say it loud and clear without feeling embarrassed?

A little recap for the road:

  • Decisions about your body are only yours to make
  • Don't let others influence these decisions.
  • You don't have to wax/shave entirely if you don't want to.
  • There is no reason to feel gross, ashamed, embarrassed about your hair. It's actually pretty useful to protect your body but that's another story.

So hair or no hair, if you feel comfortable and happy, it's all that matters. You will look beautiful either way.

PS: From what we've seen and our experience: French people are definitely hairier than Canadians and honestly, we don't care.