toronto

We don't have a studio.

We have several.

You would think that, when you are a boudoir photographer (or any portrait photographer), there is one thing you would need to establish yourself: a studio. Well Scandals, there is something you need to know about us (drumroll please): we don't have a studio. We actually have about 10 of them.

 
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Because, yes, my butt is comfortably sitting on my office chair in my apartment as we speak, on a Wednesday afternoon. Don't get me wrong, we did think about getting a studio, and to be honest, it is the ultimate goal when we find the perfect spot that would not ask for 5 kidneys as a down payment (welcome to Toronto baby!). But for now, we decided to focus on something much more important to us: how to make your boudoir experience different from everyone else's.

Your boudoir session is about you (yes mam!)

This is the core of our business. We were soooo tired of seeing the same kind of boudoir photos non-stop online when we knew we can do so much more. Not all of you belong in those cutesy bed shots. If you are a Scandal like us, you can also belong on a rooftop during a busy night, overlooking the CN tower, or right in the middle of the woods in the early morning light with the sun kissing your skin.

Obviously, we can't only shoot outdoors. But instead of dealing with the same background over and over again, we decided to go the extra mile and make a list of awesome locations all around the city with complete different decor. You are a minimalist with scandinavian vibe? Boom, meet our all white modern loft just for you. You thrive through your rock'n'roll looks? Warmer and darker tones will likely suit you better.

Does it take time and patience? Ooooooh yes. Finding the good spots, visiting them, figuring out the fees involved with each, dealing with the landlords and availability… Trust me, it makes us sweat. But at the end of the day, we are here to build an experience around you.

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We are artists (no joke.)

Like many creative people, we need to renew ourselves all the time. Otherwise, we get bored and it kills our souls bit by bit. Seriously, put a good photographer is the same room for every single shoot and by the 5th one, she/he will be crawling on the floor asking for mercy. Having multiple options keeps us passionate and creative. And if we stay passionate and creative, you get an awesome shoot. Two birds one stone.

And who wouldn't want to change her/his office on a daily basis? We have seen so many amazing places that belong on a Pinterest board and we are over the moon to be able to bring them to you.

We are not doing boudoir just so you feel good for one day. We are doing it so it impacts you, gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when you think about it and so you remember it for the rest of your life.

Now... what are you waiting for?

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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Why you should challenge yourself with lingerie photos

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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5 tips for a successful first solo trip

As you guys know, last December one of the Scandaleuse boss ladies booked a flight to Costa Rica for her first solo trip. Let us tell you it was a blast… I can now say I actually prefer to travel by myself than with people, it was such an unforgettable experience!

It can be scary at first but like anything in life, if you have the desire to try then put your fears aside and do it!

 
 

When it comes to the topic of traveling solo, many fears appear mostly about safety. You hear it from the media, your friends and family: “It is unsafe to go travel by yourself!”. No it is not, but it can be if you are not careful. Here are few tips for a successful first solo trip:

Play it safe

As a first time you want to make sure you will enjoy it, especially if you are not an adventurous person. My suggestion is first to:

  • Choose a country which speak your language, not being able to communicate can make your trip a nightmare.

  • Don't go for too long, you don't have to leave for 3 weeks if you don't feel it (don't do like me neither, I made the mistake to go for only 5 days and that was way too short). I would suggest to go from one week to 10 days.

  • Make sure to stay close to civilization. One more time, if you are not adventurous chose the city over the wildness of nature. You want to make sure to have people around you in case of emergency.

  • You don't have to tell strangers you are traveling solo, especially as a woman. Pretend having friends or family with you if that can make you feel less like a target.

Don't act like a dummy

When you read about people's experience, you hear few nightmare stories that can be pretty scary. But most of the time bad things happened to people who put themselves in the worst situations. When you travel by yourself don’t take stupid risks, it is not worth it! Always have your ID with you, don't get wasted in the street or unsafe places and don't accept candies from strangers!

Be prepared for the worse

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You do have to think about what can badly happens but without scaring yourself off. Just be prepared to any possibility:

  • Have a photocopy of your travel documents and a virtual copy accessible through your phone.

  • Know the closest hospital in each of your locations.

  • Have a plan B for transportation and accommodation.

  • Give all your trip's details to your emergency contact.

Solo travel is not only for men

Get that idea inside head, yes women can solo travel too, we just have to be a little bit more careful than men. Follow your guts, do not trust too much and do not make yourself vulnerable.

Don't have expectation

Stop thinking your trip is going to be perfect, because it will not and it is fine! You have to accept little flaws which are going to happen during your trip.

Organization and safety are the keys for a successful first solo trip. I am not saying you have to be a control freak and stay in your hotel the all time, but just the minimum of care for yourself. I can promise you your trip is going to be unforgettable.

Open yourself to people and you will make new friends from all over the world. I can promise you, you will not get bored during your trip and you will never be really alone. Now go travel and make it incredible!

 
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Is it wrong to want to feel sexy?

It is in our nature to want to be admired and respected. On top of that we want to look strong, confident and just beautiful in general and we are not scared to say it out loud. However, we don't really say out loud "HELLO I AM SEXY!" or we don't even dare thinking it. But what's so wrong with that?

 
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What does sexy even mean?

Some people would tell you straight up: you are "sexy" when people want to have sex with you. Period. And it's actually not entirely wrong since we have the tendency to qualify someone as sexy when they radiate a sensual feeling and a lot of time, it comes from a physical aspect.

We have met countless women and men saying "oh gosh, I am so NOT sexy" sometimes with a chuckle, sometimes blushing, sometimes with regrets in their voice.

We are in 2018 and the word sexy should and has a lot more different meanings. To us, being sexy is pretty much a way to say you are attractive and you have a little je-ne-sais-quoi.

And since being attractive is so suggestive, it means that no one will ever have the perfect definition of sexy, but it also means that everyone can actually be sexy in their own way.

That's a pretty good news, right?

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Throw away the clichés

Non-exhaustive list of sexy things according to the Scandaleuse Dictionary, 2017 edition by Capdevielle J. & Lelorrain F.

  • confidence

  • a woman's neck

  • ambition

  • nice hands

  • determination

  • kindness

  • heels

  • a smile/smeye

  • tattoos

  • and way more...

Is there any links between all of these? Not really. Maybe your partner finds you sexy when you're changing a lightbulb for that matter. Because being sexy does not fall into one and only one category. It is more a feeling, an attitude and not only the way you look.

Now that we've seen these, I can honestly say that I would definitely love to be seen as confident, ambitious, kind with nice hands, a tattoo while smiling. It brings me closer to the version of myself I want to be in my life and it makes me happy.

So if I follow this logic, I then want to feel attractive. And since all of these factors can also be considered sexy, it also means that I do want to feel sexy too, but in my own way.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

So no, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy.

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Because it makes you feel good. And when you feel good, you also do good things. And this makes you feel good too. You see the snowball effect of goodness here?

So why wouldn't you want to be sexy? 

We are getting further and further from the cliché of "sexy = trashy" that it is time to reappropriate the whole concept and turn it into something positive. off you go you sexy beast.

 

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How to build good habits

Do you remember few months ago when 2019 started, we were all super motivated with our new resolutions: I am gonna sleep more, drink less, eat healthier, buy less stuff, spend more time with my friends… How many of them are you still doing today? We all want to improve ourselves and set up goals to make our life better. So why is it so easy to give up?

 
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You can find so many tools on internet which tell you if you follow the steps it is going to work, like a magical recipe. Honestly those rules are not exact science and cannot work on everybody because we are all different. It is really important to find what works the best for you and to do so, you need to experience and educate yourself.

I am not really good at changing habits because I do not have a strong self-discipline but I love challenges. Here are few advice I can share with you, little tricks that have been working for me so far. But first of all grab a pen and a notebook, you have some writing to do!

The importance of writing things down

Writing down ideas, goals or projects is primordial for their realization. But I am not talking about using a sticky note or paper sheet you are gonna lose, I am talking about a notebook or journal you can have easily access to, to read them whenever you need.

I was like you when my friend told me for the first time to write my goals down, very sceptical: “What does it change? I do not need to put those on a piece of paper, everything is in my brain!”. And you see, that is the tricky part because those are just thoughts, nothing specific. Writing them down will help you to visualize them to make it more real. It will also help you prioritize on what you should focus on, instead of having it all mix up because you have to much going on in your brain and taking the risk to forget half of them.

Motivation

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This is the first step and most importante part. You need to have a strong motivation otherwise it is going to be very difficult to achieve. Once you wrote down the bad habits you want to change or new ones you want to add to your life, ask yourself why and write the reason. Let say you want to lose weight, what is the reason? is it because your actual weight makes you get tired real fast and you don't like not being in shape? or is it because someone told you you look too curvy?

Are you doing it for yourself or just because it is what you are “supposed” to do? Changing just to please someone else or to do the same thing as others will not help.

Recently, I decided to change my morning routine which was having breakfast in front of a tv show. There is nothing wrong with that until I realized it made me start my day tired and not really motivated. If I read, listen to music or work while having breakfast, it makes me start my day with way more energy than watching tv on my sofa.

Is it realistic

The second step is to make sure you can actually achieve them, otherwise let me tell you it is a waste of time and it might break your motivation, when you realize you cannot be successful at it. If they are unrealistic but you really really want to make them happen, then find a solution to the problem (even though it means changing other part of your lifestyle):

One of my goal is to wakeup everyday at 6.30am because I want to watch the sunrise and have more time for myself during the day. Unfortunately I do not sleep well so waking up early when you had only few hours of sleep was too difficult. I had to find first a solution to sleep better: 10 min of meditation before going to bed works like magic. Since meditation is new to me I really have to force myself to practice daily, so I can sleep better and wake up earlier. Do you see what I mean? You might have sometimes to create a habit to be able to work on another one.

Consistency & Self-Discipline

And of course the last step and most difficult one: daily routine! Consistency is the key to set up any new habits, you HAVE to do them everyday so it can become natural. Of course at the beginning you will forget or be too lazy but do not give up. Force yourself even if you are not motivated to do it and stop looking for excuses. You will be tempting to go against those good habits you are setting up, just don't. Temptation is like a bad craving, but it goes away after few minutes… You are stronger than your brain! If not, trick yourself:

When I want to wake up early I put my phone far away from my bed so I have to get out of my bed to turn off the alarm. If I leave my phone close to me so it reachable from my bed, I turn off the alarme and fall back asleep.

Organization and scheduling

I found out planning your day in advance helps a lot to make some of your new habits a success. You do not to be as organized as business man but just scheduling your day when you wake up will have a huge impact on your routine.

So what about you Scandals, any tricks to add?

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4 more reasons to try the boudoir experience

The main question we get when explaining our work is “why would someone do a boudoir shoot to begin with?”. You may already do the most common answers we wrote here, but since we like being extra, here are 4 more reasons why you should take the leap!

 
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A travel reward

This one is definitively a cool idea. We got an email a month and a half ago from the sexy Vanessa saying she was coming in Toronto and wanted to have her photos taken in her Airbnb with the view on the CN Tower. She travels a lot and her goal is to get a boudoir shoot every time she is in a new city. We were so honoured she chose us for Toronto. It was her first boudoir session and she did a wonderful job at letting go. The pictures are stunning and we can't wait to work with her again.

 
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Birthday Girl

Few days ago we had the great pleasure to photograph - for the fourth time - the lovely Liana. She contacted us because she wanted to treat herself with a little boudoir shoot in the Graffiti Alley, to celebrate her 36th birthday. Such an awesome idea! We love her personality, she is always smiling, kind and so confident, we couldn't say no.

So here we are, 10:30 am downtown Toronto and there she was, holding tons of balloons, wearing heart-shaped glasses and her hot pink outfit. Of course, we picked the only day when the weather was coldish, but that was fine, she is a pretty badass woman to begin with. As usual we did not have to pose her, as a burlesque dancer she already knows how to play with her body. We had never shot in the Graffiti Alley and the photos turned out great (as colourful as her personality)

Morality of the story: birthdays are important and we should all treat ourselves with a little boudoir shoot!

 
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Fabulous at 50

It breaks our heart when we hear women saying they would love to try boudoir but don't because they think they are too old. We will never stop saying it: you do not need to have a particular age or body shape to treat yourself. Why would you stop yourself because of what the society says or tries to make you believe. Just do you!

And this is what three of our recent clients did. They were brave enough to kick the standards in their faces and think only about themselves. They are powerful women who decided to enjoy being 50 and celebrate it instead of letting negatives thoughts about getting older dictates how they should feel.

We cannot show you their beautiful faces because of privacy purpose but they rocked their sessions. It was a beautiful encounter, they are such a great inspiration for us all.

Before becoming a bride

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We are always over the moon when we received inquiries from brides to be for a boudoir session. A wedding is such a big step and can be overwhelming, so taking some time for yourself to relax is a must. Plus the future partners are always pleased to see the final pictures.

This is what Sarah did few weeks ago and she was stunning. Such a beauty who was not scared to show her scars. She brought so many outfits, it was hard to pick the best ones, so we did most of them! We went for a modern vibe because bridal boudoir doesn't have to be classic, even if white lingerie is also gorgeous, it can be way more creative.

as you can see, there are many opportunities to do a boudoir shoot. We have a lot More adventures coming up and we can't wait to share them with you.

Important note: It is not because most of our clients are women, that you gentlemen can't treat yourself too. Remember, boudoir photography is not only open to women!

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Should I do it with my partner?

You may not think about it when you have someone in your life but photography is a great tool to spice up your relationship. Indeed, couple sessions are not only for engagements and weddings!

 
 

What is couple boudoir?

This is our little favorite at Scandaleuse Photography. We love taking pictures of couples getting naked… Ok I see what you have in mind my friends and no, we do not do porn. Voyons! We just take pictures of couples with or without clothes on them.

Joke aside, boudoir photography for couple is a fun way to change your routine and try a new experience with your partner. It develops trust and communication; and brings you to another level of intimacy.

Love is powerful and should be immortalized. We enjoy taking intimate pictures of couples, to see those true smiles and sparkling eyes that shows this special bound two people share together.

Soft, romantic, sensual or erotic?

Most of the clients who have never done a boudoir session before are afraid of the final photos, especially if they have to show some skin. And when you talk about boudoir photography for couples, lots of people have a negative image and assimilate it to pornography. This is people's biggest concern and it is totally understandable.

While Juliette & I enjoy working on nude photography, it is way more important for us that our customers feel comfortable in front of our cameras. This is why we let couples decide in which direction they want to go. We have been working with various personalities and each session has been different from the one before. We go with the flow: most people start softly and if they get more comfortable, the vibe changes.

Clothing wise

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I often say that boudoir is like a streap-tease: you start with the most clothes on, and then you take them off one by one. Sometimes, you can end up with nothing else than your birthday suit.

It's very likely you booked your shoot to show some skin. This is the difference between boudoir and a regular photoshoot. But it doesn’t mean you have to go for a total nudity, it is truly up to you.

And you know what is the best part of doing a boudoir session with your significant other? You can use his/her hands to cover what you don’t wanna show. Isn’t it beautiful!

What do people say?

And because words are powerful, we wanted to share with you how one of our couple experienced their first boudoir photography session:

“We were both a little nervous because we had never done anything like this before but we were more excited because this photoshoot would be a celebration of our love as we were celebrating out 25th wedding anniversary. Our experience from start to finish was amazing. It was really fun and we can’t believe how quickly the time flew. I was a little self-conscious about my body but by the end of the shoot I felt relaxed and unjudged and ended up almost nude - feeling like for the first time I could really embrace my body and expose my inner goddess.”

Photography is like a game, as a model don’t take too seriously. Have fun, enjoy this experience, after all, it is not something you will do everyday.  You willbe surprised about how comfortable you will feel and that is even better when when you share it with someone you love.

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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!

"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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Scandaleuse-Photography-Boudoir-toronto-blog-women-men-disability-erotic-nude

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

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

“You are not invisible! You are worthy!” 

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

 
 

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Sexy Christmas Cookies

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

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

 
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The recipe

For 6 people / 15 cookies

 

Ingredients:

• 250g of Flour

• 100g of Sugar

• 65g of Apple Sauce

• 65g of Melted Butter

• 1 Egg

• Orange Blossom or Rose Water

• Decorating gels

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

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

 
 

• Preheat the oven at 180°C/360°F.

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

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

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

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

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

JOYEUX NOËL!

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How to plan a successful business trip

Having the freedom to work in other countries is our main goal. We work hard to be able to fly Scandaleuse Photography all over the place and meet international Scandals. This business trip in Paris was our first one and we do not plan to stop here! 

So why don’t we do it more often? Well it takes a lot of time, organization and it is kind of tiring. Those business trip are wonderful but far from being a vacation…

 
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Do you like the idea of a business trip? Here is what we learned from our first one:

Organization is key

Tip #1: If there is one thing for sure, a business trip has to be planned a good year in advance.

What are you looking to get out of this trip? When are you leaving? When are you coming back? Where will you stay? Do you speak the language from the country you’re going to? There are too many factors to take in consideration, so it cannot be done last minute. Plus, the earlier you start planning, the cheapest your travel tickets will be!

The first step is to make a second business plan (#entrepreneursnightmare). You need to know exactly what is your goal: have a clear idea of what you are looking for in this business trip. What is your strategy?

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Find the perfect city

Tip #2: Picking a city you are familiar with already helps.

Once you know your goal, you need to figure out which city is the most appropriate for your business trip. Look for the country first: do you want to stay where you live so you do not have to travel much or do you prefer a little adventure across the ocean? In both cases, if you go back to a city you have already been to, it will feel less overwhelming. You will know the areas where to stay, maybe even a few people you can crash at. Don’t forget about the language spoken there, we are both bilingual in French, so it made our lives a lot easier.

Find clients

Tip #3: be smart on social media and the world is your oyster.

Remember, you start on a new territory where people probably never heard about you. Do not expect to have clients throwing themselves at your business and begging to give you their money, you will have to reach to those people. As mentioned previously, social media is a great way to get in touch with potential customers, it will be your best asset in this new adventure. If you are not sure where to start, you can create a survey on social media and see where you have the most chance to get clients, who knows, your followers may be located in one specific area.

Don't kid yourself, making profits is a priority

Tip #4 : You have to do some serious budgeting, don't take this slightly. While you are away, you will be unable to book anything in your home town for a certain amount of time. You wouldn't want to come back home penny less, right?

Even though traveling for business is fantastic, it will involve some important costs. Accommodation, food, transportation, and you will want to enjoy yourself a bit too there. It won't be a vacation, you will not have the time to really rest and enjoy it fully from a tourist perspective. Just like working from your own country, you need to make money out of any projects you work on. I am not talking only about enough money to reimburse your trip but actual profits! Hours will be long, the planning above will take a lot of time, and you have to eat. (I don't know about you, but I like food, eating is nice and my rent ain't gonna pay itself).

Bonus: Jet lag can kick you hard.

Tip #5: Avoid travelling when there is a time change.

We never thought it would be so difficult to adapt ourself after 2 time changes. When we arrived to our home country, there was already a difference of +6 hours with Toronto, then a couple of days later France changed time. The same pattern happened again when we came back to Canada… Second time change! It knocked us out and took us 2 weeks to get back to normal.

You now have the good recipe to start planning a solid business trip. Good luck! As far as we are concerned, we will focus on Canada for a bit, before aiming for another european country.

 
 

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