self-esteem

Take control of your self-image

Originally written for The Beach Psychotherapy in Toronto

We never see ourselves the way we really are. And that could be okay if we didn’t have a tendency to turn towards negative feelings about our own image. Let’s be real, rare are the people who don’t fall into self-criticism.

Three years ago when we started Scandaleuse Photography, we didn’t know how much we would help women struggling with their self-perception. Women that can’t stand looking in the mirror and end up avoiding them at all costs. Women who think they are never good enough or who got their self-respect stolen from them. Women who feel stuck, who lack the amazing feeling of accomplishment that gives you butterflies and the motivation to keep growing and improving.

Because the relationship you have with yourself starts on the physical aspect and can impact everything else in your life.

Your femininity is a source of positive energy you need to tap into.

 
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First things first: you are not alone. At least 1 out 5 Canadian women are not happy with the way they look. That is huge. There is a certain pressure society lays out for us that implies, or rather screams at us, that the definition of beauty is to be thin and flawless. Seeing this very day, It is very difficult not to compare yourself to these standards and feel miserable if you think you don’t match them.

You are your best ally and your worst enemy. Getting in touch with yourself is essential for a positive mind growth and it starts with celebrating your own kind of beauty and femininity, your way.

That’s right, your version of being feminine. Because there isn’t just one perfect way, you can twist it and morph it making it your own.

Let us tell you a little story. When we photographed Lea, she told us she refused to see herself as attractive. She could see it through her partners’ eyes, but couldn’t believe it from her own perspective. Through her session, she finally managed to see that she was beautiful with every aspect of her body. Things she had considered “flaws” such as, “her asymmetrical breasts, soft belly, cellulite and hair”

Sometimes you need to see yourself from another pair of eyes to ditch the distorted image you have of yourself.

If you have one day in which you feel even a tiny bit good about yourself, channel it 500% and use it as a constant strength. Because while we all have moments when we feel not so good about ourselves, we also have days when, hey, we’re actually okay. It could be as simple as having a good hair day or a little success like changed that light bulb that had been burnt out for months. Take this feeling, hold it tight and nurture the hell out of it.

Take Katie as an example, a lovely woman with a physical disability. She decided to not let this get it the way and to celebrate her true self. It started slowly, one step at a time with a better diet and focusing on improving her range of motion. She put herself on a good path, wanting to make of her goals come true: showing it to the world. That’s when she called us. She said it herself “I am ready to challenge what people expect. You are not invisible, you are worthy.”

 

If this speaks to you already, join us in our next event in Toronto!

 

What about when someone stole and damaged your self-love?

 
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This is Erica’s story. Erica suffered from the hatred of a man, a family member for years. While she managed to escape, it wasn’t without consequences: this experience completely destroyed her self-esteem. She told us she didn’t have control of her own image anymore. We met completely randomly and she gathered the courage to challenge herself with a boudoir session.

It wasn’t easy. We saw her shake, hesitate and even tear up but she did it. Posing in front of the lens made her realize that the qualities she was admiring in others were also part of her.

She was able to win back what she thought was gone forever and shout out to the whole world “I will never feel ashamed to be me anymore.”

This feeling of accomplishment is a great push to keep going, you end up craving it and you’ll do anything to keep creating and experiencing it.

The truth is: once you get the courage to show yourself and vulnerable in lingerie in front of “strangers”, you’re left with an empowering feeling of “I can do anything”.  Everyone needs to challenge themselves on different levels. It makes you want to keep going, it helps you grow and become more assertive, thus more confident. You end up creating a cycle of positive vibes which will lead you to move mountains.

Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend, because after all, YOU are your best friend. If there is one thing you need to take away from this post is that you only have one body and one mind; it’s YOURS to make use out of it.

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Do not let procrastination take over!

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

Starting 2019 with "Panache”

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

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

Hit me baby one more time

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

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

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

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

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

To make it short, I STOPPED LEARNING…

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Your brain is a muscle

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

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

The first step is to notice

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

The secret against laziness:

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

 
 

Use your brain!

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

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Heidi, when strength meet kindness

Hello dear scandals,

We all feel how winter in Canada can be tough sometimes, the lack of heat and sun after few months starts to have a negative impact on our mood. So it can be a great idea to take few days out of the country: one of us went five days to Costa Rica and it was incredible. The goal of that short trip was to get away from Toronto and take some me-time… You guys know how hard workers we are and how it is difficult for us to disconnect from work. Well we have to confess, it was hard to not take the opportunity to do a boudoir shoot in paradise and work with a new lady… So we had to do it :)

We posted a message on a facebook group about a boudoir shoot idea and Heidi was one of the first to reply. Even though we did not know her, she was the one who stood out and we new from the start we wanted to shoot with her. What a meaningful encounter: her story was inspiring, we always love to hear about other business owner's experience and life. Plus she has an incredible personality, beauty… PERFECT COMBO!

 
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Meet Heidi

Everybody has a story, I think that’s one of the things I enjoy the most about meeting people in Costa Rica. Here we are in this little beautiful country, together, talking and forming friendships, discovering how much we have in common and yet we all have a different back story about what led us here.

Costa Rica, 5 years ago

I went there for the first time to celebrate my partner’s and my 50th birthdays.  We planned a double vacation – some skiing and boarding in Whistler for the first week, and then straight to Costa Rica to learn to surf. Tamarindo….such a neat place! My partner could already surf and had tried it in many other exotic locations, but this was a first for me and I don’t even skateboard or snowboard… Yikes! Well, I survived surf camp and could actually say I could surf afterwards!

That first trip led to another and another and another, at least twice a year, enjoying the beach, training every day, surfing and always pondering eventual retirement and speculating about what little business could be started here to fill a niche.

At first we thought about a coffee shop, or more specifically, a mobile coffee cart – because at that time there were only a couple in town. Needless to say in 5 years there are probably 14 now…. so that was a good pass!

How Gilliepops was born

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One thing that seemed to be lacking was treats of any sort that weren’t laden with sugar or milk and specifically cold frozen treats. Popsicles… Yes, that became the focus and ultimately Gilliepops was born, named after my late daughter, who passed away a few months after our first trip here.

Lots of brainstorming, creative thinking and marketing ideas, and in November 2017 I arrived in town with a bicycle, a cooler, my Vitamix and a couple of giant duffel bags filled with popsicles sticks, moulds, labels and packaging supplies. It was new and exciting, and at times very disappointing and stressful. I ate a lot of tuna and eggs that’s for sure but what an amazing experience! I even added gluten free baked goods to my repertoire and it seems the tourists and even locals can’t get enough of them. It’s awesome!!

Thanks to social media

Business here in Costa Rica is done differently that in North America.  It’s less formal and much of the communication is done either on Facebook or Whatsapp.

Because of the dependency on Facebook for business, I’m forced to check it daily and post often to encourage awareness of the availability of gluten free products here. This is when I saw Fanny's post about her visit to Tamarindo. I sent her a few suggestions, I think because I knew she was from Toronto. When she mentioned being a photographer and looking for someone to photograph while she was here, I jumped at the opportunity – there are almost no pictures of me here because I’m on my own. And what a beautiful place to be photographed.

Its been a couple of years since I’ve done a photo shoot and never when I wasn’t ready to compete (I’m a physique competitor), but I thought it would be nice to be captured as my regular self, my natural self, a little smoother and softer… tan lines and all…! The shoot was amazing – the view from the location we chose was so beautiful and the pictures she took are so flattering and beautiful.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met one of the Scandaleuse's team, the time we got to spend together talking an sharing our stories.

 
 

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"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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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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We have an empire of confident women to build.

When you are building a business, you need to figure out the big "WHY" you are doing it. It may sound simple at first, but putting it on paper and being able to explain it clearly takes a lot more work than you'd think. Our message wasn't clear enough.

 
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The Soul Story

If you follow us on Instagram & Facebook, you may have seen that we went to a workshop without any big expectations and it kinda shook us up. It was led by Odette Laurie, very interesting woman may we add, and she was talking about finding your soul story to explain your business. Hers was based on her painful family past and harsh moments. It made us question about ours.

We were encouraged to be strong and to not take crap from others.

By our families, who raised up right. Our parents believe we could be whoever we want to be and that we have what it takes to do so. They taught us not to give up, be creative, be kind and not be a doormat because of our gender.

We mentioned it in one of our first blog post back in the day, we have dealt with sexual harrassement. We have heard the "you shouldn't do this, you're a woman.". We have dealt with awful men grabbing us in the streets. I have personally spent an entire job interview with a man twice my age staring at my breasts the whole time, when I was 18. Or that other man that told me I must spend a lot of time on my knees as a French girl. I have heard "whore", "slut", "how much" so many times I can't even count anymore. Directed to myself, but also to others.

I remember the anger for these specific moments. What I didn't realize, is that this turned into so much more. It turned into Scandaleuse.

Don't get us wrong, yes, we are all about body-positivity like 100% of boudoir photography studios in the city. It's a given to us. But we don't want to limit ourselves to just that.

We want to make women feel free.

It is absolutely killing us that some women are still stopping themselves from doing something because it's frown-upon. It makes me so angry when I hear "I could never do that, no one would respect me/take me seriously". They will, if you make them.

I just want to give you a hug if that thought has crossed your mind before. And encourage you to change that thought by "Screw them. I want to do this and I will go for it. I don't owe sh*t to anyone" , because guess what? You don't. For real.

 
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We want to make women feel badass.

Because being free is awesome, but not enough. We want to make YOU feel like you can conquer that freaking mountain in front of you. Because we KNOW you can. If you are already doing it, we want to encourage you to keep going until you've reached your goal. And then find a new goal because a powerful woman like you does not stop there.

We want to bring up the "good hair days"

Don't go, I'll explain: you hear/read a lot about bad hair days. And by that, I mean when someone you know woke up on the wrong side of the bed, when nothing is going well and everything sucks. We don't talk enough about the days when you get up one morning and you feel like it's gonna be a good one. You feel gorgeous, you have a great smile on, you are ready to rock your day. This is exactly the feeling we give you with our boudoir photography. Let me tell you, your inner Beyonce is about to shine!

 
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You deserve to be confident. You have every right to express yourself by any way your wish. It's already in you whether you know it or not. We chose to express it by boudoir photography. Now that you know everything, just one more thing: We're game if you are.

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Work for me but for free - Part 1

We all love to get things for free, right? Such a great feeling! And with Juliette, we hope (in a close future) we will have enough income to be able to accept no-budget projects, but in the meantime we do need to make a living out of photography.

Photography services can look pricey, especially when you are not aware of the amount of work and expenses involved in taking a simple picture. While we love when our clients don’t try to lower our rates, we can also understand when they do. Let us explain:

 
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Photography gear is our biggest investment.

Camera, lenses and studio lights all together can cost the same price as a car:

Cameras = $3000 to $5000
Lense= $600 to $2000
External flash= $600 to $1000
Studio lights= $2000

This is just an average, you can find even more expensive material such as Hasselblad cameras who can be around $15000 (oh the ultimate goal!). You can also add more money for all of the other little accessories such as hard drives, memory cards, filters, tripods, extra batteries…

On top of this, you need to include the repair cost. I fixed my camera and two lenses 6 months ago and the total cost was over $1500.

Don't forget the computer stuff.

Computers are a very important investment for photographers. Except the photoshoot itself, everything happens digitally nowadays: editing, pictures delivery, payment and even customer service. Unfortunately you cannot be a professional photographer without a computer anymore. In order to provide a wonderful and artistic work, we have to invest in great equipment. Since Juliette and I travel a lot (Hello from Rome & Paris!), we needed to invest in a light laptop and each of us paid around $1300.

Let’s not forget about internet. It's a must in our industry and it needs to be fast, so boom, more $$$!

We have to get around.

As photographers, we love to shoot in different places so we need an easy way to travel. When we do not have to carry a lot of equipment and we are not going far, we use public transportation, otherwise we drive. It is more expenses to add on our side: cost of the car, gas, repairs, insurance + the time we spend on the road.

Where we shoot also needs $$$.

As you may already know, a part of our boudoir experience is to shoot in beautiful lofts in Toronto and GTA and we do not rend those places for free. The cost for those type of location can be expensive for us: $100/200 per hour. The price to pay to offer the variety and the quality we do.

Let's not forget...

There is a very simple fact that applies to any person who work for her/himself: if you don’t work you are not paid! Which means, we can’t afford to be sick or take a day off for example. We both work every single day because every little actions we make leads to find new customers and develop our businesses (did you know we do weddings too?), especially since we opened less than a year ago. This hard work also has a cost we need to cover in our pricing.

We are sparing you the taxes and insurance involved in this whole bill too, but yep, there are here too.

 
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This is only the material side of our investment, see you in January for the creative one. Yes our awesomeness has a price too (big smiley face).

With Love.

 
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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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