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Entrepreneur life - The importance of taking a break

Our summer, while pretty amazing, is also a bit overwhelming. Our shoots, a business trip to France to organize, the boudoir and wedding editing a bridal show to get ready for, a lot of new scandals to meet and our upcoming, it is keeping us busy. And you know us, we do not plan to stop there!

With everything on our plates, we have less time to take care of ourselves. It feels like our bodies are taking a hit, our aerial silks level is in a free fall, we are hairier than Chewbacca and our dinners are mostly made of pasta and cheese... It is time to take some me-time!

 
 

Working for yourself: Beauty and the beast

The positif side

We all dream to enjoy our life and have fun while the money magically appears in our bank account. If you want to be able to follow your own schedule, make your ideas come to life and take a vacation whenever you want... Well you wanna be your own boss. In other terms, you want to create something on your own and be free financially. I believe working for yourself gives you more chances to get to that goal rather than working for a company other than yours.

The side effect

But this need of freedom requires A LOT OF WORK. This is why, as an entrepreneur, it is very difficult to take the liberty of having a 9 to 5 schedule. Especially for us, Juliette and I live together and work together from home. Our personal and professional life is all mixed up so it is quite difficult to have a regular schedule (and it is not something we truly want). But in this case you have to be careful this lifestyle does not become more of a curse than a blessing. Without realizing it, you start working everyday from early morning to late night, think about work almost all the time, forget to take days off and eventually you burn out. 

Even though you love what you do, being all the time in a business mode is stressful and ends up by being a poisoned gift.

How to find the perfect balance

 
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Force yourself to chill the hell out.

You and only you can decide to take a break from work. Feeling overwhelmed and being too stressed out will eventually make you weak and sick. Trust us, you will be more productive if your body and spirit are fully rested.

Day off is your ally

If you cannot or don't feel like taking some vacation, then take at least one day off per week. For at least one day, do not think about work, do not open your emails, do not connect on your social media. Instead spend time with your loved ones, go in the nature, cook or bake, watch some movies or tv shows, catch up with friends, paint, read, make love... Those little pleasure are super important if you want to be healthy and happy.

Not everything is urgent

Our biggest problem? Thinking every tasks needs to be done as soon as possible. The truth is, when you actually look at your to-do list, a lot of things can wait an extra 12 hours before getting done. Don't get us wrong, we don't encourage you to procrastinate, just to prioritize what is actually on a strict deadline and give yourself a breather for your other duties.

Ask for help

If it is too difficult for you to disconnect from work, then ask a friend or family to help you with this task. People will be more than happy to spend time with you and be here to remind you today is your day!

One of our solutions? Borrow your friend cottage for three days in Tiny Ontario, buy two bottles of wine, cheese and dessert, get naked and enjoy the weather

Our three days break was very relaxing even though it wasn't 100% work-free. But it is a beginning and we remind ourselves everyday that... a lot of things are actually not that urgent.

Luck should not be an excuse

A lot of people around us seem to be amazed by the life and experiences Juliette and I are living. The traveling, the photoshoots and happiness seem to be impressive and people truly enjoy it. We have never received so many compliments and love from friends, family, clients and strangers since we have left France. “You guys are lucky” they say…

Luck has nothing to do with it

When I was living in London, during a cold winter evening, I was talking to a friend from photography school online. He was asking questions about my life in London and was telling me his dream was to go to Australia but felt a bit lost and scared about this idea. I remember him telling me: “you are so lucky for leaving Paris, I wish I could do the same but you know my english is pretty bad and living in another country is expensive”. So I told him we weren’t lucky, we just kicked our own butts and took the decision to leave. Don't imagine everything was perfect, when we arrived in London: our English was pretty bad, we didn’t have a job and only a few savings.

 
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We could have found every excuses to not go to England because yes it was scary but we decided not to listen to our negative thoughts and booked our ride.

In 6 years, we have achieved a lot in our lives, both professionally and personally, we have met a lot of wonderful people who helped us make our dreams come true and build our businesses. But this has nothing to do with luck! We work hard, we take risks, we get out of our comfort zone, we stress, we cry but most of the time we have fun. You know what the most important of all is? We love what we do and it is so worth it!

Stop stopping yourself

We all have excuses and fears, obstacles we put in front of ourselves but there is something easy to understand: if you want, you can.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying every dream is easy to realize, most of them require knowledge, money, strength, time and surrounding yourself with the right people. I know we are all born with different spoons in our mouth, we don't have the same financial situation and definitely we don't have all the same life benefits but living the life you dream of IS POSSIBLE

We have wonderful tools such as internet and libraries that are full of information to help us take the first step towards our projects, learn and discover by ourselves. And if you don’t know or if you can’t do, ask people around you for help; you will be surprised to see you are not alone. People will be happy to help you!

 
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There is a famous quote I have heard once which has helped me a lot to understand the power of “I Can” (I wonder how long it would have taken me to quit my waitress job and open my own boudoir photography business if I had not heard it):

"if you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs."

the "GYST": Get Your Stuff Done

The first step is the most difficult to take but once you start working on your project, it will get easier, especially if you got a proper organization:

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  • Find your goal
  • Plan step by step how to make it successful.
  • Make the steps to do so accessible and specific. It will sounds unreachable otherwise.
  • Invest or find investors to help you financially
  • Educate yourself on the knowledge you are missing to achieve your goal. (PS: Libraries in Toronto are free. Just saying.)
  • Or build a team of people who know how to do what you don't
  • Spend time on your project. Kiss the procrastination goodbye.
  • And most important: DON'T GIVE UP!

What's the most important here is to remember that no one is going to do anything for you. You are the only one who can move things up for your own happiness and future. The good news is that it's a lot more accessible than you would think. Now roll-up your sleeves and build your mini-empire!

With Love,

 
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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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How photography can change the way you see yourself

Today I wanted to write about me, myself and I. It can sound a bit pretentious but this is not the point of this article. I am going to share with you a part of my life that was pretty difficult with a life experience that happened 8 years ago. 

Believe it or not, it’s not because I have a Boudoir photography business that I always felt in harmony with my body. Let’s go back in time and see how photography helped me to feel more self-confident.

 
When you are 15 years old and you look like 11!

When you are 15 years old and you look like 11!

 

Middle school was rough

If there is a period of my life where I don’t want to go back, it is definitively middle school. I hated it, even if I met one of my best friend then, I don’t have lots of good memories. You are still young, but yet old enough to care about other people's opinions. It was pretty much when my self-esteem went "hasta la vista baby!".

When I was a teenager, I was very thin. Too thin. Some people told me I was anorexic (you know how children can be mean!). I come from a tiny little family and I took everything from my mom side: small boobies, not tall, thin bones. We could have been a lilliputian family (the only interloper is my butt, my mom got it too, I truly don’t know where it comes from!). I was and I am still a pretty short person but on the top of it I had buck teeth. Not because I was sucking my thumb, no I wanted more than that, I was sucking 3 of my fingers (at the same time!). Then of course I got braces at the age of 15.

When you are in your teenager phase, you are way more vulnerable and you take all of the negativity from others as if it was the truth. Even if I never felt ugly, I had no self-esteem for several years because of all of the tough teasing I got from others.

Apprenticeship, the beginning of freedom

Long story short, middle school sucked and I was happy it ended. What hapepned after? Well, before we start, just know that, in France, you have 3 options after middle school: you either go to high school, university or apprenticeship. I went for the last one because I wanted to learn a profession and get a paycheck. It works like this: first you need to find the field where you wanna work in, second you find a business ready to hire you and then a school who teaches the profession you choose.

I have done 7 years of apprenticeship (2 years of dog grooming, 2 years of sales and 3 years of photography) and every year was one more step towards freedom and self-development.

 
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The time I won back my self-esteem

When I started my first year of photography school, I was still a bit shy. My arms were often crossed and my shoulders were tense. I remember my classmates telling me to relax and put my shoulders down.

When you learn photography, you also have to learn how to pose. It is very important to understand how modelling works if you want to be able to guide your model in a better way. The first times as a model was tough for me. I felt awkward, stupid. It was so not natural and I was afraid of smiling. Then there is a moment, you decide to take it as a game, an experience that happens few times in a life. After a few times, you start to relax, smile more naturally, pose by yourself and you take off your clothes more easily.

For me it was pure freedom, especially when I saw the results on the screen. I was like: “oh man, I look gorgeous, is that me?!”

The final step of my self-confidence goal, was to pose fully naked, which I did! Trust me, once you put down your vulnerability and your clothes, you feel ready to dance naked in the street!

As a photographer, it has been a while since I met someone who loves 100% of his/her body.  Even me, sometimes I catch myself thinking that I would like to change a physical part of my body. But what is the point of those thoughts?

 
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Here is a good exercise

Find a mirror where you can see yourself, from your head to your feet. Go naked and look at every centimeters of your body, even your intimate parts. Start to think about what you like in yourself, don’t let negative thoughts coming through.

Then everyday you are facing a mirror, take 5/10 min to think about the parts of your body you don’t like and for each of those, start telling yourself out loud that you are beautiful, those parts are awesome, it is not a big deal to have something physically different, that it doesn’t change the fact you are strong, smart, sexy and pretty. It sounds silly and ridiculous but trust me it does work if you work on it daily. Telling yourself something positive everyday will help your brain to believe in it.

And you, what is your story?

With love,

 
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