travel

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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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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Do not let procrastination take over!

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

Starting 2019 with "Panache”

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

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

Hit me baby one more time

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

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

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

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

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

To make it short, I STOPPED LEARNING…

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Your brain is a muscle

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

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

The first step is to notice

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

The secret against laziness:

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

 
 

Use your brain!

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

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Heidi, when strength meet kindness

Hello dear scandals,

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

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

 
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Meet Heidi

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

Costa Rica, 5 years ago

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

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

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

How Gilliepops was born

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

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

Thanks to social media

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

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

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

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

 
 

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Paris & Lyon: Our first business trip

What a trip! We are back from France where we met 17 new Scandals! Since we could not take all of you in our suitcases to show you our home country, we decided to bring our business trip to you.

Make yourself a nice hot chocolate and enjoy the show:

 
 

Two busy weeks

Let me tell you: we had a blast and were very busy. In 14 days, we traveled for 20 hours, worked in two cities, drank few glasses (or bottles you will never know…) of red and white wine, had a lot of cheese, pastries, well, awesome food in general. We photographed 34 nipples and 17 butts, had to keep working on blog, vlog and social media. I will skip the number of time we packed and unpacked our suitcases but I can tell you we now mastering the art of folding clothes, in a way we can have room for more food (call us for our folding workshops!). And on top of that we were able to spend a bit of time with friends and family. We felt like Wonder Women and sadly time flew a bit too fast.

17 new and different personalities

 What made the experience even better was the fact that those new scandals were all different from each other. They were all creative with their outfits and ideas: they brought masks, small lights, colourful lingerie and were all happy to experience nude photography. They had different styles and personalities but they were all similar in one thing: they were bold enough to put their boundaries down for their first boudoir shoot.

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Thank you to our french ladies and gentleman for trusting us and trying for the first time the boudoir experience. You guys were really amazing, badass and fun to work with!

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Work for me but for free - meet the artists

Sometimes I dream that I can take pictures of people for free everyday. Just for the beauty of helping them express their sexyness. All they have to do is take their clothes off and together, we create beauty and sensuality (I am still talking about boudoir photography - oh you naughty minds!)

But then reality comes back and reminds me it’s not possible yet.

 
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A few weeks ago, the business women in us were explaining why we can’t work for free.

Today, it's time for the sequel and we decided to let our artistic side speaks.

Once upon a time…

In the wonderful world of Edith Piaf, the baguette and delicious cheese, two young ladies named Juliette & Fanny signed up in a photography school located on the north side of Paris in the dark forest who was full of trolls, gremlins and angry dragons. Fortunately, Juliette and Fanny surrounded themselves with lovely people who became good friends and all together they were able to study in a joyous and relaxed atmosphere (with some drama like in every fairy tales). For 3 years, they used their time and some gold coins to pay for their education and developed their creativity, knowledge and sense of humor.

 
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It was time to leave the castle…

Our two lovely companions always wanted to discover the world and become international photographers. So they decided to get on board the Hogwarts Express with a first stop in London and a few other ones such as Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Rome, Prague...

Hand in hand they worked as photographers, they built their skills with different photography studios, had a good amount of mentors and worked on many projects and photoshoots to become better and better at their craft.

But something was missing, in their heart Fanny and Juliette were aiming for freedom. They knew they were the only ones who can make things change so they used their magic wands (and their brains) to create Scandaleuse Photography boudoir & weddings and finally made one of their dreams come true.

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And they lived happily ever after...

There are a lot of pages to add to their story and trust me, getting married and having a lot of children is not the happy ending here.

It is all of these years of travel, people we have met and the time we invested in our profession that makes us the professionals we are today. You are not paying only for a photoshoot but investing for great quality, creativity, knowledge and the security of working with two serious ladies who can give you the photographs you are dreaming of.

Boudoir photography puts our vulnerability down and taking your clothes off in front of strangers can be a difficult exercise. Going with a photographer you trust and can reveal your personality to is a must. And this is what we have now been working on for over 8 years.

With love,

 
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Let's talk about 2017

Well Scandals, we are living the last few weeks of 2017. We don't know about you, but this year was full of adventures for us (as I am currently writing this blog post in Prague, aka my big latest adventure of the year in 2017).

I absolutely love reading other people's feedback on their year and for the first time ever, Scandaleuse is doing it too.

 
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Firstly, we opened.

Well yeah, it's kinda of the biggest one this year: we gathered our courage and opened Scandaleuse in April 2017. Fanny got her immigration paperwork done, I quit my full-time job and, from the Toronto Public Library, the website went live for the first time. A dream we worked so hard on finally came true. We collaborated with three awesome talents we can't thank enough: our illustrator Deanna Colosimo, our videographer James at Prcptn and our animator Jonathan Delgado.

We have successfully built amazing projects

Show Us Your Tats was our first photography project for tattooed people, in which we met, photographed & interviewed wonderful people. Thank you Mike, Betty, Liana, Kyle and Amber for getting on board.

We then worked on The Boudoir Circus with Jamie Holmes with 13 wonderful ladies who blew us away with their aerial abilities. We cannot wait to have another one in 2018!

The first Boudoir Bash was born and sold out in a matter of weeks, with 5 amazing women we are very thankful we met. We have another Boudoir Bash on January 20th and we are hoping for an even better turn out! (by the way, we have 4 spots left, contact us if you want one!)

We had a fantastic Model Call with two gorgeous women to immortalize a fantastic location in Hamilton at The 45 Wellington Project.

We spoke in public for the first time ever

Fanny and I stood in front of a group of strangers to talk about self confidence & boudoir photography, first at the Oasis and then at Good For Her. It was rocky, we stuttered, laughed, felt awkward and waaaaay out of our comfort zone but what an incredible experience that was! It made us grow in confidence 3000 faster than usual.

We opened to weddings

After working on so many weddings for other people, we opened our own wedding division with Scandaleuse! We now have a few amazing couples for 2018 and we can't wait to get more! (Pssst, our wedding instagram is here. Just saying!)

We got published

Again in Hamilton, with a team that took months to gather, we got published for a half lingerie, half bridal shoot in the mud by a waterfall!

We traveled to cities we've always wanted to see, and that for an entire month.

Airplanes hopping, walking so many kilometers we can even count, tried to speak 4 different languages, and are now back home with our loved ones in France. 

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We saw 54 pairs of butts and counting, did five shoots around the world in Costa Rica, Lisbon, Rome, Prague, Bordeaux (and Paris will be the first 2018 shoot!), posted 257 times on Instagram (double that on Facebook) and wrote 37 blog posts.

And for that, we thank YOU. (And you. And youuuuuu. Love Actually reference.)

To more shoots, more boobs and butts and weddings!

What's your biggest accomplishment in 2017? We want to know everything. Sending you a lot of love for these last few weeks this year. Take care.

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