toronto boudoir

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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4 things we learned by becoming boudoir photographers

Even though we have been shooting boudoir here and there for 10 years, it’s only 2 years ago that we decided to make it our main focus. Becoming full time boudoir photographers have taught some quite unexpected facts…

1) There is a huge therapeutic aspect to boudoir photography

Don’t get us wrong, of course we knew that having boudoir photos taken can help a lot of aspects in your life. But when we first opened, we were mainly focused on the physical part of it, like getting more comfortable in your own skin. We quickly noticed thanks to our clients sharing their stories with us that the impact was much much bigger than “just” that.

Like Marine, who told us her weight loss journey, or another Scandal mentionning being assaulted over a decade ago, who said she lost her own image and couldn’t really see herself anymore. Or Léa, who managed to regain her sense of femininity, Or the lovely lady who hit the reset button on her life, got a divorce, got a new partner and just wanted to celebrate life.

We have helped women winning their own self image back, deal with obstacles on a daily basis, get stronger, louder, prouder in our own little ways. And that’s incredibly rewarding.

 
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2) The snow ball effect

Little did we know that this very positive effect from above would spread all around... Until we received feedback from our clients after their photos, thanking us for giving them confidence to apply to their every day life. They’ve become more assertive, more determined and are not as scared of changes as they used to be. Even their posture have improved!

We now see it during every session: you pass the door slightly nervous, not sure what to do, you leave the shoot walking tall and proud, ready to conquer the world. The best part? It doesn’t just stop at the day of the shoot.

3) We have impacted ourselves by impacting others.

Or how we’ve impacted ourselves by impacting others. Ironically, while we are always the first one to encourage women to embrace their bodies, we were having our own struggles with ours. Without knowing, we started our own healing process by inspiring ourselves from YOU Scandals.

When we first opened Scandaleuse, we needed content for advertising purpose. A lot of our models have a clause in their contracts to forbid the use of their photos on any kind of support, which is pretty understandable. We needed content, so we took the decision to use ourselves to advertise.

And oh boy the life changing decision that was: we went from the shy first photos with as much coverage as possible to getting naked in the woods just for the hell of it.

 
Fact: I peed my pants before posting this one a year ago and almost chickened out. No, I want to print it for my living room.

Fact: I peed my pants before posting this one a year ago and almost chickened out. No, I want to print it for my living room.

 

If you had told us this a few years ago, we would have laughed at your face. Now we are like “I want my next shot to be in a busy street, wearing nothing but a trench coat”. Our perceptions of our own bodies have changed drastically and, just like you, the snow ball effect applied to us. Shaking the Earth to get what we want is definitely a skill added to our resume, and we have you to thank for that.

4) Turns out men also have body issues

The media don’t talk about it. You know, men are too strong to feel self conscious about their appearance bruh. The truth is, men can also feel crappy about the way they look, and can also benefit for some boudoir photos. 9 times out of 10, when men inquire with us, we can tell they fish for information, are tempted, but aren’t quite ready to say it out loud yet. Guess what gentlemen? We’re not going anywhere, so we will definitely be here when you’re ready to make the jump! In the meantime, you can read this. You’re welcome.

We never thought that being boudoir photographers would be so rewarding, on so many levels. We couldn’t be happier that you guys are allowing us to build our carrer out of it. You get stronger and so do we. And this will lead to newer, bigger projects…

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Gentlemen special: how to approach a boudoir photographer

Spoiler alert: boudoir photography isn’t exclusively for women contrary to what a lot of people may think. So yes, if you are a man, you can definitely want to also have nice intimate picture of yourself. However, we have noticed that you may need a teeny tiny bit of help to take the plunge.

Disclaimer: we will be very explicit in this blog post, we have no issues talking about anything openly and neither should you.

 
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You have every right to want a boudoir shoot.

Women are not the only ones who need some me-time and want to feel good about themselves. Male boudoir is becoming more and more popular and it is pretty awesome considering how great the outcome of a session is in self-confidence, self-love and handling new challenges positively.

The difference between boudoir, erotic and pornography

That is the first question you need to ask yourself: what are you looking for exactly?

We receive a lot of inquiries from men who seem to be mistaking boudoir, erotic and pornography. One point in common with the 3: they all involve nudity (partially or fully) & an intimate setting (unless you want to shoot outdoors like some of our Scandals!)

The background is very important in boudoir, since we create a whole concept to showcase sensuality in a subtle way.
Example: let’s pretend you are hanging out all sexy and cute in your living room.

Erotic involves more sensual and passionate outcome, with potentially implied sexual acts. Which we do. No close-up of genitals, no masturbation or penetration and what not.
Example: you’re arched on your bed with one end on your chest, the other one down on your private parts.

Pornography involves sexual acts (solo or not), with a lot of close-ups. Which is not what we personally do, just because it is not the message we want to focus on with Scandaleuse.

 
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Cut to the chase, there is nothing wrong in asking.

The amount of phone calls we get from hesitant men who don’t dare saying exactly what they are looking for. We have heard “I don’t want to scare you” so many times already: just say what you have in mind directly. If there is one thing that is safe to assume with boudoir photographers, is that we are not afraid to talk about sexuality.

As long as you are respectful, you can literally ask us anything. However, it is unnecessary to insist when we say no.

We have heard before “not even a little bit of sex?” when we said we do not photograph sexual acts. We respect everyone’s fantasies and fetishes -as long as is it consensual- but it is not our specialty and it will never be.

We don’t need any examples of what you or your private parts look like.

Surprinsingly, a few people seem to genuinely think we need a glimpse of what they actually look like before deciding to book a shoot or not. We don’t. We don’t book our clients depending on their looks, and especially not the looks of their genitals.

As for the ones who actually uses contacting us as an excuse to fulfill a fantasy, just know that...

We are not part of the fantasy

We are two women. And we are French. As silly as it may sound, it is a turn on to a lot of men. We were asked in a good chunck of the inquiries we received to be an actual part of the potential’s client fantasy.
Example: “can you dress sexy during the shoot so I can be turned on?“ Nope we won’t. We are artists and professionals before anything else and again, while we are very open minded, we are only here to capture you and give you beautiful photographs. Period.

Conclusion: you can talk to us freely as long as respect is applied. We are not here to judge you and it is always a pleasure to hear your ideas and try our best to make them come to life. Don’t be shy and reach out!

I stopped wearing bras and something cool happened

About a year and a half ago, I stopped wearing bras. Mostly because first: I don't have much to support and second: because bralettes became trendier and trendier. And guess what? I only got a positive outcome out of it.

Disclaimer: I am team small boobies. I don't have any back issues. If you do, you may want to try it slowly before burning all of your bras. Just saying.

 
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Put the stereotypes down and turn off the slut-shaming.

I started wearing a bra way before high school just to do like my friends and followed this vicious cycle for over a decade. People tend to think you are a tease if you walk around without one. Like your breasts are here to turn on people only and how dare you exposing them like that? Don't you see strangers can see your... your.... *whisper* nipples?!

NEWS FLASH: we all have nipples. Mind blown.

Between you and I, a few years ago, even I was slightly uncomfortable  when I noticed a woman not wearing a bra in a public place. Why? No freaking clue. Because, seriously, there are no reason to feel that way. I realize today how stupid it was but I guess I was conditioned to see strictly maintained breasts and BOOM, these ladies were't following "the rules". God they were right.

The best feeling in the world? Taking your bra off.

We all did it. You get home, you have this thing strapped around your torso and the minute you snap it off, you have such a good feeling of freedom that you can almost get a tiny orgasm. I did this for many years.

I remember reading more and more testimonials about how some women stopped wearing these very uncomfortable things and how no one died and the Earth kept on spinning.

It slowly made its way in my head and it hit me: why the hell am I even bothering wearing one if it's so uncomfortable to begin with? So one day, I bought... a bralette. I am not that brave (yet), the idea of walking around without anything at all still makes me uncomfortable. One step at the time.

Bralettes are LIFE my friend. They are cute, they are cheap and HOLY MOLY they are COMFORTABLE.

I can safely say now that I ditched my old painful bras for a sweet collection of these little things. And then, something quite unexpected happened...

 
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I actually started to like my boobs the way they are.

Truth is, I never really liked my girls until last year. My bras were actually a way to change their shape, hide them, lift them, you name it. Because of course, I only owned the push-ups, pretty thick, underwire bras. Again, I am team small boobies and the lifting is not an issue I need to worry about.

I was very self-conscious and wearing bralettes with absolutely no support or thickness made me see them the way they are on an every day basis. And I did better than getting used to them: I started actually liking them.

I have reading articles saying that if you wear a bra constantly, the shape of your breats is affected by it. Not wearing them allows your boobs to support themselves and they get in the shape they are supposed to be. To be honest, I don't even know if it's true, but I do believe it made a difference on me.

Don't get me wrong, I still like lingerie

I do think lingerie is awesome and can give you a boost towards your sexiness. I still have a couple of classics for when I want to spice things up and I will very likely get more. But it is not out of necessity anymore. It is because it makes me feed good.

Wanna try? Here are a few tips:

• You don't have to stop everything at once, every day. Start with a few hours or even one day a week when you are home, just to test the waters.
• Get a few bras without underwiring, or again, bralettes to help with the transition.
• Nipple conscious but ready to rock the no-bra? You can get those little pasties to hide your nipples until you are ready to... stop giving a f*ck.

I can't tell you the amount of tops I can't wear a bra with because of the design that I now own proudly. Free the boobies.

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We can improve your sex life.

It's getting hot in here (so hot!) …
Now that we all have this song stuck in our heads, tighten your seatbelts and hold on to your panties, we are going to talk about sex and how a boudoir session can actually help improving your sex life.

Sex should be good.

Thanks Captain Obvious.

Whether you are sexually active (or not), with a partner (or not) and you are just curious, we can assure you that sex definitively has some perks. If you do it right, with consent (always), with someone you can trust, it's one of the best adventures in life. For some, it comes easy - no pun intended - for others, the road is a little bumpy, and guess what? It's totally fine.

If there is one thing to know about sex in general, is that you need to feel comfortable in order to fully enjoy it.

 
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Our bodies and minds work a certain way, and usually if your mind isn't at ease, the rest won't follow. Especially for the ladies it seems (yay). Have you ever had your entire body wanting to seriously get intimate with a specific person and no matter what you do, it's like there is a "NO PASARAN" sign by your vagina? If so, you know what I am talking about. Conclusion: happy mind = happy sex time.

You come first

No pun intended, again.

We are going to let you in on a little secret here: to be fully comfortable with someone, you have to be comfortable with yourself first.

We have received many inquiries from women saying they are sexual beings and yet don't come off that way even though they want to. They see themselves in a way that they are not comfortable with, which leads to them feeling the opposite of sexy and thus, they never let go.

Spending your intimate time with your partner wondering if he/she finds you attractive is definitely counter productive. Especially since 99% of the time, your partner does find you extremely attractive, because hell, you probably wouldn't be sharing sheets if it wasn't the case. And honestly, life is way too short to think about turning the lights off of hiding any parts of your body during sexy time. Focusing your energy on something else will only be beneficial. (And if you are dealing with the last 1%, run, that guy/girl is a douche, doesn't deserve you and you don't want to be there.)

 
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What the hell does it have to do with boudoir then?

As boudoir photographers, we change the perception you have of your body. Yes mam. When do you get the chance to see your entire naked/half naked body from every angle? Never.

You only see yourself from one point of view and depending on your mood, that view can seem terrible because we all know we are our worst critics.

Trusting a professional and getting a chance to see your body the way it is, in beautiful setups, flattering poses and gorgeous light is a huge step towards self-acceptance. Of course, if you go with someone who is going to edit the hell out of you, it is kind of killing the purpose, which why we don't change bodies during our sessions as discussed here. The goal here is to see the real you. And to start loving it.

And then what?

Then, reality is hitting you in the face, in a very nice way, like a warm summer breeze.

Seeing your photos will trigger different very positive emotions such as "is that me?" "oh god I didn't think I could look like that" "I would have never thought of that". You will start seeing yourself completely differently, and you now have a little reminder (aka the photos) of how great you look when you are feeling down. Hell, I look at my photos here and there too!

From there, you can make peace with yourself. Suddenly, you don't want to turn the lights off. You feel like trying new lingerie from your wildest dreams. Your first reflex isn't to hide your breasts when you are with a partner. You are not dodging your reflection. You are letting go.

And guess what? Letting go leads to the best orgasms. Isn't it what we all want? Now go have fun.

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Things to know before your boudoir session

Maybe you've thought about doing a boudoir shoot.  Maybe you're about to get one done. Or maybe you went straight into "no" mode and decided that you would never be able to do it, because who would be crazy enough to get naked in front of a stranger? Buy me dinner first! Yet, like one of our lovely client said, "everyone should get the feeling of a boudoir session once in her/his life". She couldn't be more right.

 
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Whether you belong in one of the categories mentioned above or not, here is a list of things you should definitely know before booking a boudoir session (or any sort of shoot for that matter).

Being sexy is very versatile

We are conditioned to think that sexy is personified by a 5'8 woman, thin but with curves, likely with big breasts, super feminine. Wrong. I mean, you can be sexy with that list, of course. But you can also be sexy eating your cereal in the morning, with your hair still screaming "anarchy!", wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

Being sexy is about your attitude, not the way you look.

Have you ever met a confident, strong-minded women that isn't sexy in any way? No. We are tired of hearing "I am not sexy enough". There are no levels. The sexy etiquette is much better when it comes from yourself.

You don't need big breasts to go topless.

I would never forget when Fanny asked a client if she wanted some pictures topless and she whispered "I don't have boobs" and Fanny responded straight from the heart, loud and clear: "well neither do I, so what?". Spoiler alert, this lady got her topless photos and loves them.

It is the same for you if you have been gifted by mother nature on that side! Big breasts doesn't mean they should always be trapped in bras.

Hell, posing topless has even helped me to get rid of uncomfortable bras and actually to start loving my boobs just the way the are!

You don't have to look a certain way

Isn't it surprising? You don't have to be skinny, curvy, white, black, blue, tall, short for a shoot. You don't have to start a drastic diet before your shoot or lift a crazy amount of iron whereas you would never do it normally.

Do yourself a favor and buy some nice lingerie that will make you feel great with your current body.

It's okay to be nervous.

Posing in general in front of a photographer is hard, but doing it when you are in your birthday suit is worse. The first pictures will be awkward, even if you're Beyoncé. Then you warm up and boom: magic happens.

If you are having anxiety just of the thought of a session, ask a million questions to your photographers (aka us uh ? ;) ) before making any decisions. You are definitely allowed.

 
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Let go of Facetune, you'll thank us later.

We bumped into a very nice lady recently who told us she'd never do a boudoir shoot because she edits her own photos and couldn't publish one without doing so. She is making herself thinner, or adjusting whatever she doesn't like. This is exactly why she should do a boudoir session. To prove to herself that her natural body is beautiful. You don't need any sort of editing and if you think you do, we need to talk.

Bonus tips: practicing your posing is a great idea

When you're alone in your home, feel free to practice your posing. Blast your music, play around, see what you like, maybe you're happier with your left profile than the right, or your legs look great this certain way. No negative comments allowed.

So... shall we see you soon?

Hello, World!

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"You are morbidly obese" - Marine's Story.

We meet wonderful people all the time during our sessions. Each of you have a very specific story, and you are always so willing to share it with us, which we are extremely thankful for. We are not going to write a blog post today. We decided to let one of our most recent Scandals tell her story, in hope that it will help you if you need to.

• Version Originale Française Disponible dans la deuxième partie de l'article •

 
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“You are morbidly obese”
This is the sentence that changed my life. My name is Marine, I am 26 years old and I lost over 90 pounds.

This visit at the doctor's office changed my entire life. The word "morbidly" is pretty hard to hear when you still have your whole life ahead of you. But for some reason, here I was. It was iduring this split second when I finally decided to put my life back on tracks.

Everything started when my brother passed away when I was 13. That day, I lost a piece of my soul and  heart too. This is pretty much when the whole overweight phase happened: I was eating to compensate my loss. While I was at an age when you're supposed to start understanding your body and learning to love it, but my part, I just hated it.
Years came by, so did multiple diet plans... I am losing weight one day, gaining twice as more the next, until it hit me:

I am 25 years old and I weight over 220 pounds.

It was such a shock. I start seeing specialists who tell me that together, we can beat that obesity, that the secret is not drastic diets, it's a good BALANCE. Balance is what you eat, sure, but I also learned to exercise again (and trust me, that's not easy!). I also learned that indulging myself sometimes is not the end of the world. I just think they taught me how live properly again.

It took me two years to lose those 90 pounds.
Two years of doubts, tears, reassessment, anger... But also hope, self-acceptance and pride!

Boudoir photography, a rewarding challenge

While browsing online, I stumble upon one of my former highschool comrade's photography website. She and her partner take beautiful boudoir photographs and I jump on the occasion to ask if I could book a session during their trip to France.

I had a meeting with Juliette to discuss it. She was very welcoming and managed to make me feel comfortable right away. I am still having a hard time to accept myself, so taking pictures in which my body was the main focus was scaring me.

We had a chat, booked a date and worked on what atmosphere we would be going for and off we go!

The day of, I was super excited but also very nervous. Juliette started coaching with a smile right away which made me feel comfortable despite my non-experience in this field whatsoever. The session flew by and the woman I have been wanting started showing up bit by bit.

This session gave me a chance to appreciate my new body, but also to accept it. I felt sexy for the first time ever, and I never thought I would feel that way.

There is still a long way until I accept my new self completely, but this session gave me confidence I never thought I had.

So thank you so much ladies for this moment. I hope that I will be able to do it again one day and I know it will be with Scandaleuse.

 
 
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« Vous êtes en obésité morbide… »
Voici la phrase qui a changé ma vie. Je suis Marine j’ai 26 ans et j’ai perdu plus de 40kg.

Ce jour chez le docteur qui a changé ma vie. Le mot morbide c’est plutôt dur surtout quand on a encore toute sa vie devant soi. Et pourtant j’en étais là… C’est à ce moment là que j’ai décidé de prendre, enfin, ma vie en main.

Tout à commencer lorsque mon frère est décédé alors que j’avais 13 ans. Ce jour-là j’ai perdu une partie de mon âme, de mon cœur aussi. Mon surpoids est arrivé à ce moment, je mangeais pour compenser ce vide. L’adolescence c’est le moment où notre corps se réveille, on l’apprivoise, on commence à l’aimer. Moi je l’ai toujours détesté.
Les années passent, les régimes s’accumulent… Je perds des kilos, j’en reprends souvent le double et puis un jour je me réveille…

J’ai 25 ans et je fais plus de 100kg.

Là c’est le choc. Je vais voir des spécialistes qui me disent qu’ensemble on peut vaincre cette obésité, que le secret c’est de ne pas faire de régime mais l’EQUILIBRE. Équilibre de la nourriture oui, mais pas seulement: j’ai appris à faire du sport (et c’est pas facile!), j’ai appris que se faire plaisir de temps en temps ce n’était pas la fin du monde, bref je pense que j’ai réappris à vivre.

Il m’a fallu 2 ans pour en arriver à ces -40kg.
Deux ans de doutes, de pleurs, de remise en question, de crises de colère… Mais aussi d’espoir, d’acceptation et de fierté !

La photo boudoir, un challenge enrichissant

Et un jour, je tombe sur le site d’une ancienne camarade de lycée qui fait des photos boudoir magnifiques avec son associée, je saute sur l’occasion et lui demande si c’est possible lors d’un passage en France de faire une séance.

Juliette est tout de suite très accueillante et me met en confiance. J’ai toujours du mal à m’accepter alors prendre des photos où mon corps le centre de l’attention me fait un peu peur.

On discute, on pose une date, on voit ensemble la direction que les photos vont prendre et nous y voilà !

Toute excitée mais aussi nerveuse, me voilà devant l’objectif ! Juliette est tout de suite très souriante et douce et me permet de me mettre à l’aise malgré mes maladresses de débutante. La séance passe super rapidement et je fais ressortir peu à peu la femme que j’ai envie d’être.

Cette séance m’a vraiment permis de me mettre en phase avec mon nouveau corps mais aussi de commencer à m’accepter comme je suis. Je me suis sentie sexy chose qui ne m’était jamais arrivée avant!

Le chemin sera encore long avant une acceptation totale de cette nouvelle image de moi, mais cette séance m’a vraiment donné une confiance en moi que je n’aurais jamais pensé avoir!

Alors merci merci merci à vous pour ce moment. J’espère qu’un jour j’aurais l’occasion de repasser sous l’objectif, et ce jour-là, je sais que cela sera avec Scandaleuse Photography!

 

Thank you so much Marine for sharing your story. Boudoir photography is not only about getting pretty pictures. It's also about facing your body, challenge yourself to see it through's someone else's eyes.

contrary to what you may think, it is accessible to all shapes, sizes & genders. Don't be scared of jumping in, we can guarantee you will feel like a queen (or king).

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The Day I Said "F*** IT"

For the first time in 5 years, I went back to my parents' house last month. I took a trip down Nostalgia Lane and went through boxes with my old stuff. I came across an old diary of 13-year-old Juliette, in which I wrote a table with my physical qualities and flaws. As you can probably imagine, my flaws list was off the charts and my quality one had one random item.

I used to dodge my reflection in the mirror. Maybe it sounds odd to you, after all, you have seen us pretty much half naked on our ads shamelessly and we say loud and clear how you should love and be proud of yourself.

But yeah, I used to dodge mirrors on a daily basis and I don't anymore. And you shouldn't either.

 
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From teenaged years b*llshit to confused young adult.

I feel like everyone's complexes started when they were teenagers. Fanny's did too. Probably because kids can be total jerks with each other. I had never noticed that I had a bit of a belly, or that my chest was absolutely flat until some girls told me. Then, it just echoed and became a part of me.

So, of course, teenaged Juliette started random diets while feeling like crap. Did I lose weight? Yes I did. But I saw myself huge every single day for years. I hated my face as well , and had stupid side bangs trying to hide at least half of it. Which is ridiculous now I am thinking about it, seriously, if I could have looked like Cousin It, I would have.

I am very lucky that I am surrounded by a loving family and I felt confident talking to my parents about anything. Could have been much much darker.

Pretty much when I started being called "Fat".

Pretty much when I started being called "Fat".

The years went by, I was still feeling enormous. When I look at pictures at myself back then and I want to go back in time to shake younger me and tell her "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?".

When I was finally out for high school and went to Paris to study Photography (when I met Fanny!), it hit me: why am I making myself feel like that over some stupid comments from people I didn't even admire from years ago?

So I just decided to say "F*** It" and I gave myself a chance.

I gave myself a chance to first be okay with how I looked. Bit by bit. You can't just wake up one day and feel gorgeous after feeling the opposite for so long.

Then, instead of comparing myself to others and thinking they were a little evil because they looked so good, I started looking for inspiration in them. For fashion, makeup, attitude. I stopped thinking pretty girls were only a certain way and were part of a private secret group for beautiful girls only. I experimented different looks until I felt comfortable.

I also stopped focusing only on negative comments from a minority of people and realized that I was actually getting a lot of positive ones that I was thoroughly ignoring.

I took self-portraits. My face, my body. Just for myself at the beginning. Then it made me so proud that I showed them to others too. And even better, I started doing it for other people.

I have kept all of them to this day as a reminder for my dark times because, hey, I look freaking great and I should high five myself.

 
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Parallely, Fanny was doing it too. That's probably why when we sat down a few years ago to talk about what we could build together, we naturally went towards boudoir. To show you how good you look when you feel vulnerable. To show you how beautiful we see you. Yes you.

And Now?

Honesty time, I only started removing hair from my face last year. Old habits die hard. I am now fine with not wearing makeup outside, and I only put some when it makes me happy and not because "Ugh I have to, the people who are going to see me at Shoppers buying my toilet paper are gonna think I am ugly." Hell, I even stopped wearing those awful bras which make your boobs look bigger but are seriously so uncomfortable (side note: it actually helped me A LOT to cherish those boobies)

I noticed that I can see myself fat one day for whatever reason and not the next day, which just doesn't make sense. So I give myself slack when I don't feel good. It allows me to not hold on to it, and just let those bad thoughts leave as fast as they came. It's okay not to feel okay, you'll feel better tomorrow.

So if you feel crappy about yourself, I am giving you a virtual hug and I am telling you that everything is going to be okay. Don't let that win. Try Fanny's little exercise here and do not stay in the dark if it gets worse and worse. Seeking help is not something to be ashamed of.

And seriously, just book a boudoir session already, you'll see they are a great cure to throw your insecurities down the drain, where they belong.

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Makeup or not makeup?

We always tell our Scandals to put more makeup than usual for their boudoir shoot. The reason behind this is because, on our sensors, it doesn't look as intense as you would think. Lighting, lenses, angles and so on can change makeup very dramatically! The ideal goal would be to get a makeup artist and guess what... we have one for you. Let us introduce you to Nicola.

 
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Hi, who are you?

Hi! I’m Nicola but everyone calls me Nic.  I’m relatively new to the makeup scene on a professional level but have tons of experience on and off camera, as a model and makeup/hair artist.  I studied makeup and hair styling at Sheridan College but looking back I always found myself getting involved in projects that required hair and makeup!  I love what I do and with every job comes a new and fun experience I get to share with the person in my chair!

How long have you been a makeup artist/hairstylist for?

I started out working in amateur theatre five years ago and over the past few years have started experimenting with different photographers and creative people to develop my style and techniques.

Why you should makeup for your boudoir shoot - Scandaleuse Photography Toronto

Why would you recommend our clients to have their makeup done professionally?

Having a makeup artist on board for your shoot adds all the more fun to the experience! It's one less thing to worry about and having someone who is experienced with all ethnicities, ages, and various looks, like myself, will help create your desired look with ease!  It adds a little something more to the photo too, because these aren't your typical day-to-day photos your makeup shouldn't be either! This is your time to relax and get pampered.

What makeup advice can you give to our next Scandal?

A flawless makeup application starts before you touch any makeup to the face.  Taking care of your skin not only helps you get the most out of your makeup but it will help delay wrinkles and other signs of aging! And the best products aren't always the most expensive ones; don’t be afraid to grab those drugstore products!

Is there anything a model should do before getting pampered by you?

For hair, it’s typically best if the hair hasn’t been washed in the past 24hrs.  Clean hair is stripped of all of its natural oils which actually help with the styling process! Skin prep is always appreciated but not necessary, the only thing I would recommend is washing and moisturizing your face the night before.

What about the gentlemen?

Same ways for guys! Hair is easier to style if it hasn’t been washed in the past 24hrs.  With that being said if you typically style your hair with product, wash it out the night before your shoot and try to come with no product in your hair.  Let your stylist know how you like to typically style your hair as well, we want to enhance who you are and bring any of your “must have products”! Don’t be scared of makeup! It washes off I promise and I always have makeup remover if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your shoot with makeup on. All the guys on fitness magazines and fashion magazines have tons of makeup on! It can look super natural and just enhance your best features!

Last word for the road?

Never be afraid to ask questions and ALWAYS let your artist know prior to the session if you have an allergies or sensitivities to products.  Lastly, it’s all about having fun & I’ll do everything I can to make sure both you and I are enjoying our time together and that you feel fantastic on camera!

You can book your pampering sesison with Nicola with any of our packages!

 
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Behind-the-scenes | Fitness shoot or the other version of men boudoir

You may have heard that boudoir is essentially for women. It's girly, it's always the same pitch, and no men can relate to that. To be honest, everytime we mention we are boudoir photographers to a man, we are likely to get two reactions: either the "can I come to your shoot to see naked woman ha-ha-ha" or they just tune off. Well my friend, sit back down, because boudoir can definitely be for men, in a way you did not expect!

 
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When we have an idea, it sticks until we do something with it.

A few months ago, we decided to see how we can also target our gentlemen. We had the tattoo project that was very helpful for that but we also wanted to explore another angle: the fitness industry.

Now don't get us wrong, we know fitness is not only for men! Sending love to all of our fellow fitgirls out there! But it is true that you are likely to pick a man's interest with boudoir, by using the fitness way.

So there was the idea. Then we needed a model.

Interesting fact, we had our model in front of our eyes all along. He actually taught us a crash course of kickboxing last year (that we would love to do again by the way!). All it took was:

"Hi Kevin, can we take pictures of you boxing? "
"Yeah, do you want me sweaty?"

Needless to say, you had us a "sweaty" Kevin.

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Here we were, roadtriping to... Whitby, Ontario.

At the Muay Thai Whitby gym. We took our beloved lighting studio kit and started building the softboxes while Kevin was destroying the hell of that punch bag. We built a dark atmosphere based on the gym and used a lot of chalk powder for a more dramatic effect. We. Had. So. Much Fun. 

 
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If you have been around for a little while, you probably know right now that we have a constant need to renew ourselves and try different things. It was a challenge for us to deal not only with a man, but also in a different vibe and lighting. We mostly shoot in natural light, and using our lights reminded me how much I miss being able to spend time working on specific lighting. This is a different set of skills that we don;t use enough.

Last words: Gentlemen...

Keep an open mind. There are millions of ways to highlight you as well, especially with us. it's not just because boudoir sounds like it is female-oriented only that it actually is.

Feeling badass should be for everyone.

 

Show us Your Tats - Amber

Amber is one of our most badass shoots so far! Kind, beautiful and adventurous, both Fanny and I were over the moon especially when she said: "I can get in the water if you guys want!" when we were in that gorgeous secret spot in Etobicoke. Needless to say she made the day to all of the random walkers that day.

 
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Oh well hello, who are you?

Hello! I’m Amber - I’m a tattoo artist with Chronic Ink in Toronto.

How did you end up pursuing a career as a tattoo artist?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I started getting tattoos with Chronic Ink after discovering them online, and fell in love with the studio, the people, and their dedication to art. I originally went to school to do concept art for video games, but after deciding it wasn’t the right path for me, I decided to explore my other options - tattooing was next on the list of ideas, and I knew exactly where to go. Chronic Ink agreed to take me on as an apprentice, and with the help of their artists and other staff, taught me to tattoo!

How would you define your style?

I love drawing pretty things, and that absolutely extends to my tattooing. I do a lot of animals, florals, and other natural things. I’ve really gotten into the neo-traditional style lately, so I’m trying to take my tattoo work in that direction.

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What are some of the most memorable anecdotes from your job you could share with us?

Every day I get to meet new people and learn about their lives - it’s amazing! I have clients from all different backgrounds and walks of life - I even got to tattoo an Olympic silver medalist once. I love hearing peoples’ stories behind their pieces, especially when it’s something deeply meaningful to them, that I can help turn into a piece of art that will stay with them forever.

One of the things I specialize in is scar coverups. I understand what it’s like to be self conscious of something on your body, and it’s so meaningful to me that I can help people feel more confident by using my art.

Can an artist refuse to do a specific request?

Absolutely. We can turn down anything we are morally opposed to, that won’t age well, or that we don’t believe we are the right artist for. Sometimes finding the right artist for your piece is a bit of a process, and especially at a shop the size of ours, you might end up talking to several before we find the right one for the job. We want to make sure your piece is the best it can be!

We all love to get better and push our limits. What would be your next challenge as a tattoo artist?

I want to start doing more pieces with multiple subjects. A few flowers or an object on their own are great, but it gets more challenging when you try to fit several different subjects together into one cohesive piece. As the work I do gets bigger, the more I’ll have to do this, and I welcome the challenge!

 
 

Let's talk tattoos

Oh boy! I just tried to count, and I THINK the current number is 24. I have a sleeve in progress that’s several different pieces done at different times blended together, so it’s hard to decide if I should count them as separate pieces or one big piece.

Most of my pieces were done by other artists at Chronic Ink. A lot of them were done by apprentices - I love being able to offer myself as a canvas to other artists who are learning. Some of them were done by artists who were apprenticing there long before I was - it’s amazing seeing how far their work has come since I first met them!

Let me try to list everyone:
Marilyn Nguyen, Livia Tsang, Neil Tavares, Evan Yu, Katie Willson, Karen Ng, CJ, Frank Carrilho, Monika Boo, ‘Big Mac’ Mackenzie, Laurel Winston, and two tattoos that I’ve gotten in the week or so after we did this shoot by Tegan Rush and Sebastian Camargo - the tattooing never stops when you work at a tattoo shop!

 
 

Could you give us details behind your most meaningful tattoos?

Honestly? Most of my tattoos don’t have a lot of meaning behind them. I have a quote from my favourite movie, my house from a wizard school LARP I went to, and a whole lot of stuff that I just enjoy visually. Everyone gets tattoos for different reasons - I put them on my body like one would put art on their wall. Just because it looks nice!

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to get a tattoo done, what would it be?

Give your artist as much creative freedom as you’re comfortable with. I understand that it’s sometimes hard to relinquish control - especially when it’s a piece with a lot of meaning that’s going to be on your body forever. I guarantee that you’ll get a better piece in the end if you give your artist a bit of wiggle room, though.

 

Find Amber

Check out the shop’s instagram at @chronicink! We have so many incredible artists that encompass all styles of tattooing, and they’re some of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met.

Her instagram to see her beautiful work.

Show Us Your Tats - Liana

We bumped into Liana's instagram profile completely randomly and our hearts skipped a bit when we saw her beautiful elephant piece on her thigh. One "hi-hello-please-model-for-us" later, we were talking about going to Chinatown for something edgy, neons lights and rock'n'roll. Liana is a brave soul. She walked around half-naked in public places for a solid two-hours.

 
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Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Liana Lewis, I’m a Toronto based dancer, singer and actor. Originally from Calgary, Alberta . The arts have always been a big part of my life

Let's talk tattoos

I have 11 tattoos. My first tattoo is the one on my back. Two dance figures on a turntable they represent the urban and contemporary styles of dance, I identify with both.
My “Believe” tattoo and the one behind my ear which says LiLi with the Trident from the Barbados flag were done by Jay McKay at Adrenaline - he now has his own shop Unique Ink in Barrie, ON.
The “Believe” a simple reminder to never loss hope, that whatever I set out to do is possible. The one behind my ear is my family nickname it also represents my Bajan heritage. If all of my ink had to speak for me, they would tell the story of who I am, what I love or how I move in the world. It would reveal inner beauty, strength, love, empowerment, authenticity and the importance of music, dance and family. Those are the things that make me me.

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The “Elephant” and “Love Conquers All” was do by Alanna Mule at Adrenaline, she now has her own shop Bellwoods Tattoo. I love what elephants represent: strength, loyalty, power, patience, good luck, pride, happiness, reliability, confidence and wisdom. There's many other symbolic meanings, I found those qualities I identify with the most. I had it shooting musical notes because music has been a big part of my life, even before I was born.

"Music is a second language to my heart." - Mara Arps
 
 

“Rose” tattoo - by Janice at Chronic Ink.

The lips with “be your own kind of beautiful” written in lipstick by Rags at Black Cloud Tattoos. It’s a dedication to my Love Letters Cabaret family, the lips is our logo we’re all about “poom poom power” empowerment. Being your own kind of beautiful is what poom poom power means to me.
The sternum and finger tattoos are by Prairie Koo at Ink and Water Tattoo. Both pieces are his own designs. I was looking for new ink inspiration when I came across Sara Golish (a Toronto based artist)  "Moon Dust" series, the "Black Gold" print it spoke to me. To me she represents strength, uniqueness, inner beauty and empowerment. She reminded me a lot of myself especially the persona I take on Petra "Queen of the Nile" with Love Letters Cabaret. This was done by Roumen Kirinov at Toronto Ink.

The tribal piece on my right thigh was created and done by Petra Hlavackova in Berlin at Toe Loop Tattoo. I just love her work, happen to be in Berlin at the same time, was very happy to be able to get some ink done by her. Such a beautiful spirit. And her name is Petra which is also the name of my alter ego, it was very serendipitous.

What was the time and budget allocated for each piece?

The smaller pieces were around $100-150, The rest was from $200-500

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Is there something you wish you had known before getting tattooed?

Not really, I waited till I was really ready and knew exactly what I wanted. I did lots of research on artist and shops making sure I had the right person for each piece.

Any reactions from your immediate circle?

My friends love my ink and aren’t surprised with how I now use ink as another way to express myself. Both my parents said once I'm 18 it's your own body you can do whatever you please with it. They don't disapprove or are unhappy they just come from a time where tattoos were sorta taboo, they don't get it. I know my dad secretly loves the one behind my ear.

The Deets

Alanna Mule - Bellwoods Tattoo - 104 Ossington Ave www.bellwoodstattoo.com | @alannamule @BellwoodsTattoo

Prairie Koo - Ink & Water Tattoo - 1303 Bloor St West www.inkandwatertattoo.ca | @release852_inkandwatertattoo @inkandwatertattoo

Rags - Black Cloud Tattoos - 276 Carlaw Ave Unit 209 www.blackcloudtattoos.com | @blackcloudtattoos

Janice - Chronic Ink - 252 Eglinton Ave E | www.chronicinktattoo.com@soso_ink @chronicink

Roumen Kirinkkov www.roumenkirinkov.com - Toronto Ink - 580 ½ Danforth Rd | www.torontoink.com | @roumenkirinkov @torontoink

Petra Hlavackova www.petrattattoo.com | @petratattoo | www.toe-loop-berlin.de | @toe_loop_tattoo_berlin

 

Find Liana:

Instagram | Facebook | Love Letters Cabaret

Will be performing in the Toronto Fringe Festival (July 5-16)

 
 

Our Boudoir Approach - Between sexual harassment and body shaming

Scandaleuse was born over coffee in Toronto. When Fanny and I first discussed the concept of shooting boudoir, we were surprised at the positive reception from our friends and family. If anyone was going do it, we realized, it was going to be the two of us.

 
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Let's face it, human bodies have always been fascinating, and risqué. Whether it was in the 1920's in Paris where it was forbidden but secretly exciting, or in the 70's to encourage women's femininity, we have always photographed people showing skin. There are no rules, no average, no limits.

When starting Scandaleuse, our main goal was (and still is!) to provide a high quality session in which our models, women or men, would feel completely themselves. No disguise, no theme, just beautiful people in beautiful places. Where did this thing start you may wonder? While we don't have a straight answer, we do have a few pointers.

As simple and juvenile as it may sound : body shaming sucks. Come to think of it, we spend so much time comparing or underestimating ourselves. Beauty standards will always be here unless we break them. You should feel comfortable in your own skin. After all, you only have one. Who's to say that if you are not a size 0, you are not beautiful? Who can tell you what to wear and what not to wear to fit in society? As far as we know, there are no fashion gods, only people with strong beliefs that don't always make sense.

Shooting boudoir photography is our way to contribute to stop body shaming, one shoot at the time.

 
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Here comes our second but just as important trigger to what we are doing today. Growing up in France and living quite a bit of time in Paris, we can officially say that being girls over there is not the nicest feeling on Earth.

Take Paris for example: all of our friends, ourselves included, have suffered from sexual harassment while minding our own business. Between daily insults (or physical assaults in the worst cases), all of us have wondered if this skirt was too short, or if this outfit showed too much skin even if we felt comfortable right before passing the front door.

Once we set foot in London and in Toronto, we realized that this kind of behaviour was not okay and far away from the norm. We have never been bothered by anyone walking down the street in Toronto in 4 years (and still counting!).

That being said, we are happy to say that we took something good out of this nasty behaviour: promoting women. Showing off their bodies by giving them the respect they deserve and make them feel beautiful.

Don't worry gentlemen, we got your covered too. Wellnot "covered" per se. You get the idea!

We are game if you are.