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PROFESSIONAL LIFE 101 | 6 tips to create an amazing collaboration

Have you ever tried to organize a party, a dinner and people rsvp'd last minute or even not at all ? You pour your heart and soul into the planning but can’t organize it because you don’t know how many people are coming? This is just one of the many examples of massive frustration. But we have a solution for you.

 
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First of all I want to thanks those fantastic people who have worked with us and helped to achieve amazing partnerships. Thank you guys for your hard work and professionalism, You ROCK.

Sadly, this professionalism is actually quite hard to find. And it stops you from A: creating that awesome project you have in mind and B: having a solid team of people to do it.

Let's review the most common issues:

  • People disappear from the face of the Earth (while updating their instagram feed)

  • People reschedule all the time. (while sharing that awesome cat video on facebook)

  • People cancel last minute. Like when you're already there. (With a snap like "HANGING OUT WITH BAE LOL")

Conclusion: everything ends up sucking. Hard core.

I feel like some people don’t understand the challenge behind a “simple collaboration”. They don’t take it seriously or maybe they don’t even care and don't get me started on the unpaid side of things we deal with sometimes.

Whether you are one of these people or not, we have put together a list of advice you can apply to your daily life, here, take it, it's free and you will make friends.

HERE ARE 6 TIPS TO CREATE AWESOME COLLABORATIONS :

• it all started with... a great communication

Let's face it, being honest all day everyday is not in the human nature and can even be hurtful if you don’t use the good words. 

Don't worry though, for professional collaborations, it is actually not that hard. If you want your project to work, you need to know not only your expectations but also your team's. Honesty and communication from the very beginning will build the game plan. And if you have a solid game plan, you are very likely to get outstanding results.

Pro tip: Since we don’t know intimately the people we are gonna work with, it gives us a chance to stay objective and put our ego aside, yay!

• Don’t be afraid to say “NO” if you can’t do a project.

Apparently in this case, your team members gets a higher chance to get abducted by aliens before (or even in the middle sometimes) of the project you're working on. Joke aside, it's okay to be busy. If you already know you can't make it, just say no. Promise no one will hate you, we might actually respect you more and thus we will still share cookies with you.

 
When we work on a collaboration.

When we work on a collaboration.

 

• AN EXCELLENT ORGANIZATION is a must

If communication is the pillar in a project, organization is the white picket fence around it. The two basic skills are the following:

 1) Plan your trip in advance: Check how long it takes to go to the location, find if there are constructions on subway lines or roads, leave earlier than what GOOGLE or the GPS says. If you drive, be careful with rush hour time.

2) Come ready: Write a list (I have never been a big fan of lists but I found them very helpful, especially when I have a lot on my mind) and make sure you have everything you need before leaving.

• BE PROFESSIONAL (DUH). Even when no money is involved.

I care a lot about this point. I was telling you earlier that it’s hard to find people acting professionnal for unpaid projects. As photographers, we have worked for free a lot and we still do sometimes.  People have the feeling that if they don’t make money for their services when they do a project, there is no need to put effort on it. Wrong !!! If you chose to get on board for a collab for whatever reason, honor it. "Not Paid" doesn’t mean "Not Serious".

• BE INVOLVED. It's more fun and we ain't your mama.

Just because you didn’t start this collaboration doesn't mean you can’t be fully into it. Bring your ideas with you, new suggestions are always welcome.

Another good way to have fun in a project which is not yours, is to take initiatives. Talk to people, create contacts, ask if you can help with anything. When it’s your turn, don’t hesitate to give direction, you know what you have to do, you know your craft.

• LAST MINUTE CANCELLATION will result in a bloody nose.

Ahhh the famous last minute cancellation, a tricky subject! Life is full of surprises and sometimes, we have to deal with a change of plans. If for whatever reason you can'tmake it anymore (and it is actually a legit reason, not a "I didn't wake up this morning y'all"), don't forget other people are counting on you (looking straight at that hairstylist that didn't show up for our latest styled shoot.)

Here is what to do: either contact the project planner to advise him/her on your cancellation as soon as you know. It helps to deal with the damage control that follows.

Second, if unfortunately you have no other alternative than not showing up the day of the project, be a grown-up and find someone to replace you.

Now, you should be ready to fly from the nest, keep your pretty nose, and make new friends to create some new awesome projects. You're welcome.

 
 

are YOU coming to The Scandaleuse Soirée?

We are launching our first soirée ever on November 13th for a new service we are launching. Come party with us!

Male Boudoir - Can we talk about it?

We have a secret to reveal... But before we start telling you about it, have some popcorn ready, make yourself a tea or coffee and sit comfortably… Get close.... Closer..... A tiny bit more.... Ready?

 
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Boudoir photography is not only for women! (MIND BLOWN)

When we were brainstorming before launching Scandaleuse Photography, we were, of course,  targeting women but we realized boudoir could also be open to men. So we asked ourselves, how can we include those gentlemen who would also love having their pictures taken in a more intimate way?

Most of the guys don’t want to do a boudoir session because it seems to be too feminine and we can’t blame them. With the amount of sensual photos with women, we can imagine it is hard for men to project themselves into it. Plus, most of the time they don’t even know why they could/would potentially do one.

The most common reason for women to take the first step towards boudoir photography is to get a confidence boost. But could it be the same for men?

In order to get some answers, we went straight to the source and asked men if they think media and fashion industry’s beauty standards affect the way they see themselves.

And we got very interesting answers:

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Guys struggle with self image quite a bit too but because we aren't (openly) judged on it as much as women, it's more of a quiet struggle. Then again, the amount of guys I know with back problems and knee braces... relocated hair and inevitable "dad bod" is further down the wish list... the older guys get, the more they just want their body to work like it used to!” - MIKE

Media and fashion has an enormous influence on how men see their bodies. That even starts in childhood - look at all the comic books, where every superhero is muscular hunky macho man, with strong facial features and sulky expressions. Toys like 'Action Man' and similar also portray certain image of the man. When you grow up, popular image of the movies or cartoons or commercials is of a boy who is athlete, again certain physique attributed to that. Men probably would book to boost their confidence. Also, if they already looking good, to have a 'confirmation' of their looks. I think young guys, pre-married would do that, because everyone knows that when you settle and age, body changes.” - DARIUS

“One thing I've recognized that they amplify is race; if you are a white male things are a lot easier for you regarding you being able to portray yourself as a sex symbol VS a man of middle eastern/Asian/African background.
Think about it. How many Brown or Oriental guys do you see on advertisements for Nautica or Lacoste? Or leading superhero in a comic or story? The answer is NONE.
Though I acknowledge the use of minorities is slowly increasing throughout Hollywood & media, the only time you MIGHT see them is when they are used for endorsements in the sports industry.
Media almost never supports that there are good hardworking men who have tattoos & piercings. The media usually portrays them to be 'waste of time punks' or individuals who will most likely engage in criminal activity.There are many reasons a man may do a boudoir shoot.
He may want to explore his sexuality by seeing the reaction of his peers, he may simply just want to try something creatively different and or possibly to boost his self esteem.
Most men may do it with their companion but it is rare for them to do it on their own. I think the reason for this boils down to the concept of masculinity.
Men think that they will be frowned upon as an attention seeker or classified as gay if they do something different or out of the ordinary.- LUKE

 
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so why should you do a shoot? You heard the gentlemen:

BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE: Women are not the only ones who suffer from beauty standards imposed by media and the fashion industry. While it is very obvious for women, it seems to be a very different approach for men: they can’t even talk about it. A man is supposed to behave the way he looks: don't cry, don't complain, 'suck it up', don't show emotions and so on. Men always want to and are mostly rigged to display masculinity or dominance. Apparently you cannot really fight much against it or you would look weak.
Well we disagree with that. Gender blurring is something new in our time but as time goes forward it will change and become more relaxed and work in everybody’s favor.

FOR YOUR PARTNER: if ladies can do it, guys also can. Why not change your routine and try a new experience for your partner. Imagine the happiness on your lover’s face when he or she will see the beautiful and sensual photographs of yourself. It is such a thoughtful gift to offer to your loved one and a unique way to surprise him/her. Trust us it will be a hit!

And if you don’t feel doing it by yourself, then go for a couple boudoir session, it will spice up your relationship...

IMMORTALIZE YOUR TATTOOS: It's very likely you are keeping your tattoos for a very long time, if not your entire life. But we all know tattoos don’t stay the same. With time they change shape, they fade away, the lines get blurrier, they evolved the same way your body does. They get older as we do. So why not kill two birds with one stone and take this opportunity to keep a beautiful memory of your fresh tattoos and enjoy the experience of a photoshoot!

FITNESS AND WORK OUT: Either you practice a martial art, spend lots of time at the gym or get ready for a triathlon, the amount of effort and work you spend on your body should be rewarded. Having body goals is hard but amazing and keeping track of those changes is also a great motivation for the future. If you did it once then you can do it again...

CHALLENGE YOURSELF: We don’t say it enough, STOP thinking of other people's opinions. No, it is not because you pose half naked in front of a camera that it will change your sexuality. Who cares of what people think. If you feel attracted by a boudoir shoot, you will find your own reason to do it! After all, this is the most important.

Doing a boudoir shoot with a man is another way of exploring sensual photography. For photographers, it is a good exercise and a great way to redefine our creativity. The consultation, the lighting, posing and editing is different from women's sessions.

Even if we do not work the same way with men and women, it doesn’t mean boudoir photography is not accessible for you gentlemen.

DARE TO STAND OUT!

 
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Don't Change My Body.

Boudoir photography is the one kind that automatically must involve tons of editing. It should make sense: we are capturing such intimate photos, in a society where Photoshop is the norm and filters are a go-to before posting anything online. 

 
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You should have a six-pack. But with curves if you are a woman. You can't be too fat or too skinny. Boobs are a must. Your butt is not big enough. Since the beginning of time, we have been dictated what looks "good". It has an impact on all of us. Some follow, some proudly say they don't. Apps are created to change your body with the tip of your fingers. It's in our everyday life.

If you remember well, we briefly mentioned in our boudoir approach article that we opened Scandaleuse also to fight against beauty standards and body-shaming. No one should have to suffer because the way they look. We want to show our Scandals the way they are in real life.

But we do edit them.

We see you coming: "oh my goodness how dare you?! You're like all "let's be yourself and ride a unicorn" and now you openly say you edit your clients?"
It is such a thin line between adjusting/removing a little something and changing a person during the editing process. Let's say that if people won't be able to recognize you on your pictures, whatever you are thinking of editing shouldn't be tweaked.

Our editing motto: "We take out what's temporary".

Now what does this means? Everything that you weren't born with, that's gonna fade over time, or that is caused by a specific pose, can be edited out, unless said otherwise.

Are you going to keep your pimples, bruises or uneven makeup? Nope.
A pose you like involved putting your arm super close to your chest, hence making it bigger than in real life? We can adjust it. It's not the way your arm look normally.
Your underwear was a little low on your waist, causing an imaginary roll? That's out too.
Our lighting is intensifying cellulite that you wouldn't really see in real life? We smoothen it.

 
Editing in boudoir photography - Scandaleuse - Toronto
Editing in boudoir photography - Scandaleuse - Toronto
 

There are things that we remove in case the client asks.

Again, you cannot come to us asking to make you thinner/curvier. If this is what you are looking for, we are not the girls for you. We are not plastic surgeons and don't intend to be.

However, if for example you have some stretch marks from after your pregnancy that's really making you feel like crap, we can smoothen them. 

Scars are a slightly different story. A lot of people, myself included, consider scars being a part of yourself. Our models have some. Some are very dominant, some aren't. No one has ever asked to have them removed in post for now. Would we do it if we were asked? Of course.

So yes, we do edit our clients. Just not in the way you would think. We have had to refuse inquiries in the past from people who were not really looking for pictures of themselves, but of someone they hope they could be. There is nothing we can do for you then, the work has to come from you first. We are here to celebrate you, not change you.

Now go hug yourself.

 
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You are who you surround yourself with

Wilferd Arlan Peterson once said: “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.

 
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Energies are contagious

Relationships are precious as belonging and feeling loved is one of the most important need for humans. We make room in our big hearts to welcome new people while we are still keeping old friends in, we give time to so many different personalities than sometimes on the road, we start feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Everyday we cross path with so many diverse people without realizing their energies affect us in different ways, wether they are positive or negative.

Did it ever happen to you that you were full of joy until someone with a negative vibe enter the room and steal that happiness away from you? Yet that person did not physically took it from you with her/his bare hand but it feels like it! Energies are contagious, so it can be really tiring for the mind to deal with negative ones.

Letting go of a relationship

They said who we surround ourselves with, we become… And they are right. Our life is too important to through away the opportunity of becoming who we want to be and having the life we deserve because we are making the mistake of spending time with people who don't share the same values or don't bring anything positive in our life. Fortunately we can take the decision to sort out our relationships, choose who we want to spend quality time with!

Last year we went to a workshop about femininity and the speaker said something I will always remember, she made us do an exercise that changed my all relationship: “Close your eyes, look at your life, think of all of the things you have accomplished and scanned them out. How do they make you feel?” I thought about Scandaleuse, my life in Canada, my family, my friends and my relationship with my partner at that time. All of them felt fantastic except for the last one. I felt sad, stressed, had knots in my stomach… it was at that moment I took the decision to stop that long term relationship I was in. He wasn't a bad guy and I was really in love but something wasn’t working anymore and love wasn't enough to fix it. So I had to take the hardest decision of my life and I don’t regret it.

 
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You need to know yourself first!

  • Visualize the life you want and find people who share the same values.

  • Listen to your guts and feel how people around you make you feel.

  • You feel something is wrong, identify the cause.

  • Talk to the person about how you feel.

  • Look for a solution but don't hesitate to check out if you feel like it.

It is such a difficult step but 100% needed if you feel that relationship is bringing you down, whether it comes from a good friend, a lover or a family member. When it comes to your feelings and happiness, you have the right to be selfish. It does not matter if the person is nice or depressed, if you are in love or staying because it is convenient, you cannot let the fear or guilt dictate your needs. It is time to think about how you want to feel!

 
 

Coffee Talk - Living far Away

A little bit more than 6 years ago, Juliette and I took the decision to leave France to move to another country. Canada was not the first choice but you guys know that already (if you don't, you can find the story on how we met, here for part one and here for part two). Even though living away from your home country can be difficult sometimes, it was the best decision we ever took!

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Why did we decide to change country?

We both knew for a long time we will not do our life in France as it never really felt like Home. Don't get us wrong, France is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage and a delicious cuisine. But the mentality is not the best. It is not in our culture to be welcoming or supportive with each others, especially in the business industry or between women. There are a lot of competition and jealousy.

Since our goal was to open a photography business, we also knew how difficult it was to do it in France as there are a lot of rules to follow for administration and the market for photography is really competitive. Launching Scandaleuse in Toronto was a piece of cake!

What did we learn since we moved away?

  • Living far away make you realize how much your family is important

The most difficult part is being far away from our families. We made the “selfish” choice to chase the life we want at the expense of not spending time with our loved ones and missing out precious moments. We all know the quote that says: “We don’t choose our family… blablabla” but we have the tendency to forget that family is important. It is really easy to forget because of the drama and tension present in every family… Sometimes you just need to walk away to realize how much you care and love them.

Every choices we make in life have consequences. Be aware of it but stick to your desires, trust your guts, make the choices for yourself and do not have regrets because at the end your family just wants you to be happy!

(What if they are not happy and don't understand?… Well this gives you an other good reason to be selfish)

 
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  • Living far away opens your mind

Being photographers give us the freedom to work and travel everywhere in the world. We believe travels feed your soul and warm up your heart but it is when you live in another country that your mind truly opens. You see the world with new eyes and don’t have other choice than getting out of your comfort zone if you want to adapt to that new culture. And since you are building new routines and put yourself out, you are more open to meet new people and extend your list of friends.

  • It takes a lot of courage

It might not seem like it but taking the action to live in another country is BALLZY! Moving away usually means starting from zero and learning a new language, new skills and a new culture. Not everyone has the luxury or the will to start over, so If you ever did it you should be very proud of yourself. If this is on your bucket list or you get the opportunity to try this experience then don't think twice, even if it is scary. Sometimes this is the little push you need to become the best version of yourself and live the life you want.

Now go live your life, whatever that means to you. For us, it was switching countries: Is Canada our Home? Yes. Do we regrets leaving France? No. So thank you Canadians for being so welcoming and humans, you make us wanna stay here a little bit longer ❤️

 
 



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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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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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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How to build good habits

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

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

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

The importance of writing things down

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

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

Motivation

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

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

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

Is it realistic

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

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

Consistency & Self-Discipline

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

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

Organization and scheduling

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

So what about you Scandals, any tricks to add?

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4 more reasons to try the boudoir experience

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

 
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A travel reward

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

 
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Birthday Girl

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

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

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

 
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Fabulous at 50

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

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

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

Before becoming a bride

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

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

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

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

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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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