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How shifting your mindset can change your life

We are strong believers that a positive mindset is the key to happiness, whatever that word means to you. You might not realize it but the way you think impact any decisions you make in your life. Our fears, hopes, beliefs, any emotions we feel, positive or negative, change drastically our perspectives.

It is in the human nature to look for happiness, but we often don’t know how to reach it. This results in feeling lost or stuck in our own life. But what if we were telling you that any of us can live a successful and fulfilled life?

Would you believe us if we were to tell you that you are the only one who can decide to be happy?

 
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Get it right from the get-go

We are not saying it is an easy process, no one have their sh*t together and we are all faking it until we make it. But all you need are the good tools and practice.

  • Have goals, big or small.

Having concrete goals will give you the motivation to move forward in your future, and make you feel excited about taking decisions while pushing you to adapt your routine.

Once you've lined up these ideas, you need to learn to identify non-toxic from toxic goals. How? Ask yourself "why" you are aiming for that specific goal. Is it for yourself? Others? Is it too intense? Unachievable ? Is it compromising your health? Always remember to be your own measurement system instead of comparing yourself to others.

  • Implement positive thinking and statements:

Every time you catch yourself having a negative thought, acknowledge them by asking yourself WHY you are having negative thoughts and WHERE do they come from. Then, as trivial as it may sound, smile and twist it positively instead of making yourself feel worse:

"I am stupid… NO: I am smart!”

“I hate my acne… NO: I am beautiful!"

“I cannot do it… NO: I have been through worse than that, I am strong!"

The more you start making these statements, the more you will believe and see them. This is the power of manifestation, if you repeatedly keep saying negative things then those things are what will come to light. It works the same way for positive statements.

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Make it a habit while looking at yourself in the mirror (because it feels good to look at yourself right in the eyes):

I radiate beauty.  I radiate power. I radiate prosperity. I radiate love. I radiate light.

I am strong. I am confident. I will be successful.

I am beautiful. I have a great body. I love the way I look.

  • Learn to not be afraid to fail:

We all failed when we were kids, from the first step we took to all of the times we fell, it was part of our learning process. So failing as an adult is just as normal.

Failure means you keep learning, experimenting, progressing towards the life you are building, so instead of feeling ashamed we have to embrace it!

Grow, unlock other possibilities and achieve more than you could think!

  • Feel inspired not jealous:

Step away from negativity and jealousy by opening your mind, feeding your soul and surrounding yourself with like-minded people and people who are a few steps ahead of you too.

Keep learning, think about your goals, listen to yourself, learn to eliminate what doesn't work for you.

Just remember, you cannot compare yourself to others since you do not have the same life and aspirations.

There will always be parts of yourself that you are working on and you often think that "it will be better over there, and I will only be happy when…” but guess what?! Once you get over there, chances are you will face similar feelings of obstacles. Unless you break the cycle with everything we just told you.

Forgive yourself for making mistakes and take the pressure away by acknowledging that you are doing your best in every moment with the tools you have. That's how You will see a significant impact and change into your life.

Thank you @lianalewis and @edenalexwine for bringing your beautiful minds to this blog.

 
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You do you & I do Me!

Disclaimer: This blog contains sarcasm from a community of Scandals who doesn't give a damn when people try to bring them down. We will live our life the way we want it!

As you may know, we created a new project called "If I Had Listened” where women talk about a time they decided to trust their guts rather than listening to others. We realized too many of our Scandals were having (or have) a hard time starting new projects because of all the negative feedbacks they were getting from people around them.

Those behaviours will always happen because some people believe they know you better than you know yourself and will not hesitate to tell you the choices you have to make and how to live your life.

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Decide to not give a damn!

A few weeks ago, a classmate from trade school in France commented on one of my Instagram stories in which I was pole dancing, with a very thoughtful question:

“But why are you doing this? Showing your butts and everything? Really I don't understand…"

What a deep question and great way to develop a new conversation. I have to thanks this type of people because they make it really easy for me to use my french sarcasm!

So here I am, in my underwear, upside down on the pole, practicing one of the move we learnt. Then I got this message which blew my mind and reminded me of those school topics about philosophy and existential questions: Who are WE and why are we ALIVE?… So I asked myself, why am I doing what?

  • Why am I upside down on a pole?

  • Why am I half naked in my apartment?

  • Why am I living in Canada?

  • Why do I define myself as a woman?

My brain started to think, too many interrogations, not that much time to answer… My mind couldn’t take it anymore. I finally replied to him with the answer that was the most appropriate to that question: "For the pain!”. I guess not everyone understand sarcasm:

"Pain?? What are you talking about? I am talking about this way you have to show your butt to everyone… What is the point? I just want to understand why you are doing this… Or the same with the videos where you film yourself and other things… Honestly I don't understand!”

 
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"… the way you show your butt to everyone…” I am not gonna lie, I had to take a deep breath to stay calm. I had three options: I could have let my anger out and tackled him with my words. I could have wasted my time by starting a debate on how we live in a sexist society where it is inappropriate for women to show their body but normal for men and how it is important to change mentality around that topic. Or just ignored him, which I did, because I knew that guy was only criticising instead of trying to really understand and change his way of thinking and beliefs. So I kept my cool, told him I would not go into details and wished him a good night.

What we learnt since we opened Scandaleuse is that if people refuse to understand, you will not make them change their mind, so what even bother. It will only create frustration on your side and a big waste of your time!

Deciding of your own life doesn't make you selfish

There is a big difference between not caring about others and not caring about what people think of your way of living, it does not make you selfish or pretentious if you decide to not give a damn. You know you cannot please everybody, you can LISTEN to what people have to say and acknowledge their thoughts and ideas but at the end YOU decide if you want to apply them. You want to wear only blue clothes, go for it. You don't want kids, nothing wrong with that. You want to work in the sex industry, you do you my friend (no pun intended - or maybe a little!).

To quote one of the biggest poet of all time (love ya Hi Fashion!):

I don't care if you don't like my hair
Because I know it's amazing
And I don't give a damn if you don't like my tan
Because I know it's amazing
I don't give two hoots if you don't like my boots
Because I know they're amazing
And I don't give a sh*t if you don't like my tits
Because I know they're amazing

What you do with your butt, how you dress, the way you live your life and who you decide to be concerns you and only you. Don't let others dictate who you are just because they believe it is the only and right way to be in our society.

 
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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, we decided to make it our main focus 3 years ago. Becoming full time boudoir photographers have taught us 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 wiN 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.

That's also why we also decided to now team up with a mindset consultant, so we can go deeper and help on the long run. In case you missed it, we are actually having a model call to try it out, you should check it out!

 
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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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It ain't about time, it is about priorities!

Scandals, we need to talk! We have a big nowadays' problem (well we have more than one: #zerowaste, #prayforsudan, we unfortunately could add more to the list) and this problem is called “I don't have the time". It sounds familiar, doesn't it? Isn't it a sentence we hear more and more when we try to meet with friends or create professional collaborations?

 
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The “I am too busy” symptom

Don’t get me wrong, with all of those life opportunities people are getting busier and it is fantastic. Travelling is easier, we have so many tools to realize our projects and ideas, even dating is one swipe away from being effortless. It will be a nonsense to not grab life by the balls! But unfortunately we have the tendency to use “I don't have the time” too often as an excuse instead of being straight forward and saying “No”.

As humans being time is all we have, life is only about the time we have left before it is too late. So it is not truly about the time, it is about priorities.

It is fine to not wanted to be part of whatever someone is offering you but remember, no mater the excuse you have, it is always better to be as honest as possible without hurting the person's feelings or ego. If you have time to watch Netflix, then you have time to do anything else (priorities my friend!). If it is too difficult for you to say “No”, you can always find alternatives:

  • This is not a priority for me.

  • Let me think about it and get back to you if I change my mind.

  • I don’t have the budget for it.

  • I would prefer to enjoy some me-time tonight.

But honestly, you don't even have to give an excuse, you can decline politely: “Thanks for thinking of me but I will pass” (with a friendly and cute emoji). After all, you don't owe anything to anyone.

 
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The importance of saying “NO”

Two things happen when people do not dare to decline:

  • They disappear, cut communication without telling you what was the problem. FYI, this is unacceptable, rude, unprofessional and happened to us too many times. We hope for you guys you will never get stood up and if it did happen to you, we are sorry cause it sucks!

  • They don't put the effort to do the work they are supposed to do, which creates delays and unnecessary stress.

It is important to see any relationship as a win-win situation. Being honest and telling someone "No" will save you a lot of headaches, plus you will not waste the time of your interlocutor who is probably trying to plan things around YOUR schedule to make his/her project comes to life. If this person is ready to make time for you then you have to do the same…

Not rushing your decision to be part of it or not will help to avoid any negative issues. Take a couple of days to think about it, you do not have to give an answer right away! See if you want/can actually be part of a project or event. If it is for a professional collaboration for example, ask yourself what you can bring to this new business relationship and how does it benefit you.

Commitment is a virtue

If you commit to something avoid changing your mind in the middle of the road, unless you have a very good and honest excuse. The lack of motivation should not make you run away from your responsibilities!

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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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Should I do it with my partner?

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

 
 

What is couple boudoir?

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

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

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

Soft, romantic, sensual or erotic?

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

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

Clothing wise

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

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

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

What do people say?

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

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

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

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How people's words can have an impact on your mind and body

Language is a powerful tool which brings people together and help understand each other. But unfortunately it can easily be transformed and used as a weapon. Since humans have the tendency to criticize others (because it is apparently easier than giving a compliment), this weapon put in mischievous hands can be extremely painful. It is really difficult to know the impact our words can have on others but is it so difficult to be more careful and taking the time to be aware of it?

 
 

I can say I am pretty confident with my body but it wasn't always the case, especially in middle school. I am glad I choose to go to photography school as it helped me to become self-confident.

I wish sometimes I could be curvier, taller, have thicker wrists, get more tan, have a beautiful skin… but this is my body and I cannot change it, so I decided to cherish it because it is precious and I now don’t give a freaking damn about people's critics.

 
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When your “supposed-friends” show their true colors

I always been really thin: tiny body, tiny bones, boobies which are still hiding from the world (still looking for them!) and for a long time I was ashamed of that. Of course people liked to remind me of it:

-“You look like a garden gnome hahaha!”

- “I should not talk about that in front of you, you are like what… 14?!” (I am 19 dude but thanks-what an ass!")

- “Are you not ashamed of not having boobs?”

- “Are you sure you don't suffer from anorexia?”

… I could keep going on and on.

Most of those awful sentences came from friends or people I knew and every time they broke me into thousand pieces. Until a classmate told me the worst one “your mom should be sooo ashamed for giving birth to an anorexic girl. What an embarrassment!!”.

That sentence was the last one I let putting me down: F**k that! Never again I will let words break me.

Relax, it was just a joke!

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The famous: “I was joking!”… I am pretty sure we all went through that and maybe we did it too without realizing it can be painful for our interlocutor. Do not get me wrong, as a french person I love sarcasm and bad humour that makes me laugh even though it is directed towards my body or my intelligence. Lets take my family as a an example, I saw partners or parents with their kids, pocking each other and making jokes about the way they look, their personality: "Don't take it badly, it was just a joke!” they say.

Yes it was probably… a joke but for some reason that day, those words sticked to your mind. Maybe it wasn’t the first time you heard those words or maybe you were already having a bad day and was feeling a bit down. When a loved one reminds you several time per week “how flat you are”, “how curvy you are”, “how sometimes you can be stupid", even if they say it with a touch of humour, you ended up believing those words and not in yourself anymore.

Yes jokes are funny but do not forget also to tell your loved ones every day how much you love them, how strong and smart they are and how successful they will be.

“Et mademoiselle, t’es bonne, tu baises?”

Disclaimer: Ladies and gents caution, coarse language coming.

Translation: “Yo miss, you're hot, wanna f**k?” (no kidding, I heard those words in the street).

I never really had any problem since I moved to Canada and I wish I could tell you the same for France but I would be lying. You see, France is like Tinder's nightmares in real life. A lot of men have the bad habit to harass women in the street and we heard them all. From “I am gonna eat that ass!", "B**ch I am talking to you!”, “Nice legs, at what time do they open?!"… to “I am gonna rape you!”, when you are victim of street harassment for years, it gets very easy to stress about the idea of going out by yourself. And they say apparently french women are very difficult to approach… - Cough - Really? I wonder why!

The worst sentence a guy told me in Canada was “You're gonna get in trouble with this body!”, I am not gonna lie it scared the crap out of me (I was walking in a very quiet street with nobody else around) but I played it cool and thanked the guy for his “compliment”. At some point he left after wishing me to have a great day.

Please gentlemen, think twice before hitting on a girl and watch your language!

When people make your day

Fortunately, a lot of people have the ability to cheer your day up with hilarious and unforgettable compliments and honestly those are the ones that counts. So for you and exclusively, here are the best ones people ever told us:

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- “You have very nice collarbones!”

- “Your hair smell like sex!”

- “If I have to compare you as a car, you will be a Porsche”

- “Wohh, where did you get those eyes from?!”

- “If we take my friend's legs, this table as my body and my face, would you love me?”

What about you? What is the best/worst/unforgettable compliment someone ever gave you?

Heidi, when strength meet kindness

Hello dear scandals,

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

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

 
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Meet Heidi

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

Costa Rica, 5 years ago

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

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

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

How Gilliepops was born

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

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

Thanks to social media

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

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

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

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

 
 

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Dealing with trauma via boudoir photography

A few months ago, we flew back to our home country, France, to do one of our Boudoir Bash in Paris. We met a lot of wonderful Frenchies there, including the exquisite Nora. The first time we talked with her on Skype, she opened up right away about her motivations to do a shoot and her story moved us.

 
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Having someone telling you about her past is quite emotional and this is why we love being boudoir photographers. It gives us the opportunity to work and help people to win back their confidence and even better, their self-love.

We are no therapists but we know that in some cases, photography can help heal consequences of a traumatic event such as abuse, assault, harassment and other traumas who have left you confused about who you can see yourself.

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My name is Nora, this is my story…

“Let's start talking about my fear… I know, pretty unusual for people who know me!

My biggest fear is actually one of my family member, so it makes it really complicated to move forward, to liberate myself from this situation. Even though I haven't seen this person in years, I know that, deep inside, we might see each other again.

Yes, I grew up but I still have that fear to see his face, the way he looked at me, or even worse, to awake those bitter memories of his physical and psychological hits.

All of those years by his side can be summed up with tears and this feeling of helplessness against a man way stronger than me. To me, it sounds like a trivial story, so I tell myself “there is probably worse stories than mine.”

I grew up surrounded with machismo & the “alpha male” spirit. One day I had no other choice but to escape this life. I gathered up my strength and I left. I needed to get away as far as I could from this person, this source of fear. It was love that helped me to take this first step and put a temporary "band-aid” on what was haunting me.

Inevitably, the consequences of this sitution with this member of my family remove completement all of my self-esteem.

Being constantly put down during the first decade of your life makes you forgetting about who you are very quickly. However, time goes by and we try to rebuild ourselves after all, even if we have to put our loved ones aside.

I do not have this person in my life anymore. I have been with someone who listens to me and understands my past, who pushes me to thrive as much as I want for the past few years.

With time and maybe without noticing it, I was attracted by those women who are self-confident and whom by art, politic and culture were able to accept themselves the way they are. This is how I had the idea to use boudoir photography as a way to heal myself.

 
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The Boudoir Shoot

What an unforgettable experience! A moment of peace where I was able to forget about my problems, all of my "flaws” and more importantly, my demons. It was just a magical therapy!

Posing in front of the lens made me realize that the qualities I was admiring in others were also part of me. I was able to win back what I thought was gone forever and shout out to the whole world “I will never feel ashamed to be myself anymore.

This magical moment had a real positive impact on my life and I don't want to stop here as I have more ideas to keep feeling unstoppable. I have to say it would have been much harder without Fanny and Juliette's help.

“I am beautiful”

Thank you to the man who I have been sharing my life for the past 5 years, it is because of him I am still thriving!


FRENCH VERSION

Je m’appelle Nora, voici mon histoire

Commençons par parler de ma peur, chose inhabituelle pour ceux qui me connaissent je sais.

Ma première peur, la plus grande, est un membre de ma famille. C'est donc compliqué de s'en défaire, de s'émanciper, car même si je ne l'ai pas vu depuis de nombreuses années, je sais qu'au fond de moi nous nous reverrons un jour sûrement.

Oui, j'ai beau avoir grandi, j'ai toujours cette hantise de revoir son visage, son regard et surtout de réveiller amèrement les souvenirs de ses coups tant psychologiques que physiques.

Tout ce temps à se côtoyer durant toutes ces années se résume aux pleurs ainsi qu'à un sentiment d'impuissance face à un homme bien plus fort que moi. Mon histoire me parait banale et je me dis alors "qu'il y a certainement pire que moi".

J'ai donc grandi dans ce contexte de machisme, du "male alpha" à la maison. Un jour j'ai eu la force de m'enfuir loin de cette vie, je n'avais plus le choix, il fallait mettre une réelle distance avec ce qui incarnait cette peur, une rencontre amoureuse m'a confortée évidemment dans cette démarche. Ce qui m'a permis de mettre dans un premier temps une sorte de "pansement" sur ce mal qui me poursuivait. Fatalement, ces déboires familiaux, dû à cet individu principalement, m'ont enlevé toute estime de moi.

Être constamment rabaissé durant vos premières décennies de vie vous font "très vite" oublier qui vous êtes, mais le temps passe et on tente malgré tout de se construire même si cela implique de (se) priver (de) ses proches.

Je ne partage plus ma vie avec cette personne avec qui j'étais partie à l'époque. Depuis quelques années je suis avec quelqu'un qui m'encourage à m'épanouir comme je l'entends, il a particulièrement su m'écouter et me comprendre. Inconsciemment peut-être, je me suis doucement intéressée à ces femmes qui s'assumaient, s'acceptaient au travers de diverses façons (art/politique/culture). L'idée d'accepter mon image et de faire un shooting photo m'est alors venu.

La séance Boudoir

Une expérience inoubliable ! Un moment où j'ai oublié tous mes soucis, tous mes (potentiels) défauts et surtout, tous mes démons ! Ce fût ni plus ni moins une thérapie magique.

En se prêtant au "jeu de l'objectif", j'ai pu constater que ce que je pouvais admirer chez les autres, je pouvais aussi l'apprécier et le retrouver chez moi. Je pense avoir, presque malgré moi, crié aux monde entier "je suis moi et n'en aurais certainement plus honte !".

Ce moment "magique" m'a réellement fait du bien, m'a donné d'autres idées encore et rien de tout ça n'aurait été si parfait sans Fanny et Juliette.

" Je suis belle "

Un énorme merci à l'homme qui partage ma vie depuis plus de 5 ans, grâce à lui je grandis encore!

"You're Pretty For a Girl in a Wheelchair"

Last September we received an email from an incredible and gorgeous woman who push her boundaries and decided to talk to us about her disability. She wanted to use boudoir photography as a gift for her 35th birthday, a way to celebrate and treat herself.

 
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What a beautiful soul!

What a pleasure to receive her email and read about how self-confident and proud of herself she was! Katie is for sure an inspiration and we were really happy when she agreed to share her story. She made her disability a strength in every aspects of her life and we cannot wait to do another shoot with her.

Meet Katie

“I wanted to have a photo shoot to celebrate me finding beauty within my own body.

It took me a while to reach self-acceptance. In high school, I remember there was always this pressure society laid out for us that implied that the definition of beauty was to be thin and flawless. I was also a teenager with a physical disability.

I remember being at a mall, shopping with my friends and someone saying to me “You are very pretty, for a girl in a wheelchair”. It really got me to thinking that not only does my physical features go against social norms but so does my disability.

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Have we built up such an image in our heads about the ideal look of beauty that we can’t think outside the box?

Why is there a box in the first place?

Why is my attractiveness contingent on the status of my abilities?

Years pass, my body changes, as naturally as a woman’s body would do. I started to carry myself with more confidence as time went by. I made a decision a few times along the way to choose a healthier eating lifestyle.  My weight fluctuated here and there, but I continued to maintain a positive image of myself and I chose to become more active.

As a young woman with a physical disability, exercising routines had to be modified. I started including weekly swimming sessions, seeing a physiotherapist to see how I could optimize increasing my range of motion, and I use a hand bicycle three times a week. In addition to exercise, I found and implemented a diet that suited me, personally. I was able to eat healthy and still eat the foods I enjoy.

Now that I was on a good path, it was time to focus on pampering myself.  Display to the world, how I am feeling on the inside.

“Yes, as a curvy woman with a disability,

I embrace and celebrate my sexuality.”

But I wasn’t always brave enough to share it openly on such a public platform. I am ready to challenge what people expect.

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

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

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

“You are not invisible! You are worthy!” 

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

 
 

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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!