relationship

It ain't about time, it is about priorities!

Scandals, we need to talk! We have a big nowadays' problem (well we have more than one: #zerowaste, #prayforsudan, we unfortunately could add more to the list) and this problem is called “I don't have the time". It sounds familiar, doesn't it? Isn't it a sentence we hear more and more when we try to meet with friends or create professional collaborations?

 
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The “I am too busy” symptom

Don’t get me wrong, with all of those life opportunities people are getting busier and it is fantastic. Travelling is easier, we have so many tools to realize our projects and ideas, even dating is one swipe away from being effortless. It will be a nonsense to not grab life by the balls! But unfortunately we have the tendency to use “I don't have the time” too often as an excuse instead of being straight forward and saying “No”.

As humans being time is all we have, life is only about the time we have left before it is too late. So it is not truly about the time, it is about priorities.

It is fine to not wanted to be part of whatever someone is offering you but remember, no mater the excuse you have, it is always better to be as honest as possible without hurting the person's feelings or ego. If you have time to watch Netflix, then you have time to do anything else (priorities my friend!). If it is too difficult for you to say “No”, you can always find alternatives:

  • This is not a priority for me.

  • Let me think about it and get back to you if I change my mind.

  • I don’t have the budget for it.

  • I would prefer to enjoy some me-time tonight.

But honestly, you don't even have to give an excuse, you can decline politely: “Thanks for thinking of me but I will pass” (with a friendly and cute emoji). After all, you don't owe anything to anyone.

 
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The importance of saying “NO”

Two things happen when people do not dare to decline:

  • They disappear, cut communication without telling you what was the problem. FYI, this is unacceptable, rude, unprofessional and happened to us too many times. We hope for you guys you will never get stood up and if it did happen to you, we are sorry cause it sucks!

  • They don't put the effort to do the work they are supposed to do, which creates delays and unnecessary stress.

It is important to see any relationship as a win-win situation. Being honest and telling someone "No" will save you a lot of headaches, plus you will not waste the time of your interlocutor who is probably trying to plan things around YOUR schedule to make his/her project comes to life. If this person is ready to make time for you then you have to do the same…

Not rushing your decision to be part of it or not will help to avoid any negative issues. Take a couple of days to think about it, you do not have to give an answer right away! See if you want/can actually be part of a project or event. If it is for a professional collaboration for example, ask yourself what you can bring to this new business relationship and how does it benefit you.

Commitment is a virtue

If you commit to something avoid changing your mind in the middle of the road, unless you have a very good and honest excuse. The lack of motivation should not make you run away from your responsibilities!

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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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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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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.

Being best friend with another photographer

As you may know Juliette and I met in photography school in Paris in 2009 and we've never left each other since. And we now have two businesses together. Our friendship is strong and based on communication and trust. She is the cheese on my pasta and I am the sugar in her coffee… We complete each other.

Surprisingly, being both photographers has never been an issue in our friendship. Probably because we have rules that were set up naturally and we never break them.

 
2014 baby!

2014 baby!

 

Here are the secrets for a healthy relationship with people you love and who are in the same field as you are:

Don’t sell your service to your friend’s contact

I will say this is the most important rule we have. Juliette and I have some friends in common but also our own ones and we never consider them as potential clients, without each other's approval.

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A year ago one of Juliette’s friend contacted me to ask if I could give him a quote for portrait photography to promote his new music band. My ego was at a top level and it was of course a great opportunity to make money and develop my portfolio. But I would have never accepted it without talking to Juliette about it and see if she is ok with that, regarding the fact that he was a friend of hers. Of course she didn’t mind because as an artist you have to understand that sometimes people would prefer to go with another style than yours.

Think of your friend for a job you can’t do

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If a client requires your services but for some reasons you are not available, always think about your friend. With Juliette we know each other professionalism & talent, and if one of us can’t take a photography job, we always ask the other if she can take it, even if we know plenty of other photographers.

We also try to give each other work by selling each other as a second shooter or assistant on different photoshoots.

Avoid jealousy to avoid competition

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Sometime when I talk about my relationship with Juliette it seems to be all pink, happy and easy but we are both human and like every human, we can have negative emotions coming up to the surface. Truth is: it can be difficult to stay out the competition state of mind wehn your friend does the same job as you. Don’t let bitterness develops: don’t be jealous of your friend’ success, instead be happy and learn from it. Work on your own goals and if you are missing some knowledge on a topic to go further, don’t feel ashamed or stupid to ask people around you for some help.

If you let frustration growing in you, it will destroy everything in your life, starting with your relationship with others.

Being friend with another photographer is also lots of fun and the opportunity to create and work together on different shoots. We know how being a photographer can be tough sometimes, so we support each other and can complain about the same difficulties (we know that you know french people love to complain!)

We have been close friends for the past 8 years and of course having lots in common helps a lot, but there are no magical tricks. Like everything else if you want it to be successful, you need to work hard. Juliette and I have spent a lot of time together, we are there for each other even in the worst moments, we talked about everything, even when it's bad.

Now go hug your friends and built a stronger relationship with them!

Love,

Fanny & Juliette

 
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