sensuality

First it hurts, then it changes you.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion. Read more on the blog!

If I had listened to the thoughts of doubt and negativity in my head, I would have never had the courage to reinvent my life.

There’s something to be said about being forced to move on from a relationship that I knew wasn’t working and gaining the courage to start a whole new life that wasn’t in my plans.   

 
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I started the journey of self reinvention at the age of 39 shortly after I received my walking papers from my ex wife. I didn’t move on gracefully.  The relationship hadn’t been working for a long time really so it shouldn’t have been a surprise.  On the outside it looked like I had it all; the great career, a large home, fancy car - the works. But, inside I was empty and unfulfilled. The scariest part was leaving behind this comfortable life that I had built. Would I ever find love again at my age? How was I going to start over as I approached midlife?

A few months into my newly single life I left the pitty party behind and began to refocus on myself. I now had the chance to  live a more authentic existence and I vowed that I would get it right this time around.

What did this mean? Happiness. I was no longer going to do things or be with anyone that would make me unhappy. It was time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

 
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At the age of 40 I left my high paying corporate job to do something that filled my heart rather than my pockets. I tried new things. I took better care of myself mentally and physically. I travelled on my own. I met the love of my life while on vacation and moved to another province to be with her. I went back to school to learn new skills and another language. A baby soon followed at the age of 42.

I now have a supportive partner who is in love with me and is proud to be by my side. I have my own business doing something that I love. I speak another language and I'm a proud mom of a 2.5 year old daughter that dances like nobody's watching. She's magic. My life is magic. Midlife is magic.

There is this saying that I love and it says “First it hurts, then it changes you.” It’s amazing how allowing yourself to feel and own the pain of hurt or disappointment can change your life for the better.

I’m now a 45 year old sex positive, body positive, queer woman who is living her best life. I celebrate my perfectly imperfect body because it can move and I’m healthy. I nurtured and birthed another human being with 42 year old eggs. How magical and awesome is that? 

Because the process of life reinvention has made me a more courageous and confident person, I decided to start a blog. The goal of this blog is to empower and inspire other midlife moms who feel like they’re undesirable, lost and losing time to rediscover and reinvent themselves. Just like I did.

I once thought that I was too old to start over. I soon realized that even if I had only one day left on this earth, I’d rather spend it happy than with sadness and regret.

People like to say that life is short. It’s really not. Life is long and at midlife you have so much life to live. Why live the rest of your life unhappy when you can live everyday celebrating it?

If I had listened to the negative thoughts in my head that told me I was too old to start over again, I would have never had the courage to reinvent my life for the better. Tackling the fear of the uncomfortable is what lead me to the bliss.

 
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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?

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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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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5 unusual inquiries we got for boudoir photography

I love my job. Being a boudoir photographer is a wonderful experience, we've met so many people with different personality and style. Some are very open minded, others a bit more shy. They worked with us because they need a boost of self confidence or just to treat themselves whether they are women, men or couples.

But sometimes, between all of those kind and awesome emails we receive, are hiding creepy and unusual requests. Some are hilarious, others are disturbing. Since we are starting to receive them quite often and have the feeling it is not going to stop, we decided to write about them. 

 
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Mesdames et messieurs, here is our top 5 of the weirdest inquiries we got in a year:

N°5 : The dick pic guy

If there is something intriguing with Boudoir and men, is that most of the gentlemen who contact us for a boudoir shoot want to do something more erotic. And this is fine with us, why not if it is a serious project. But the disturbing part is that they believe we need to see their pee-pee so we can accept their request. So time to time we receive photographs of big Willy and the twins with a very non flattering angle and lighting, of course, pictures we never asked for. 

Gentlemen please, let me tell you something: HELL NO, WE DON'T NEED THOSE! It was very tempting to add a moustache and a hat on this photograph and send it back to that particuliar client. If you really want to show us your joystick, at least do it in an artistic way...

 
 

N°4 : The pink blouse guy

This man contacted us a little while ago, he wanted to do a boudoir shoot for his future husband. His idea was to lay down on a bed made of Kleenex - FIRST RED FLAG. He was also looking for a wedding photographer but didn't want to tell us the day of the wedding - SECOND RED FLAG. The icing on the cake was when he asked us to wear pink blouses for the first planning meeting. Because "the first impression is super important" for him.

Yeah man sure! Do you want us to wear a french maid outfit so we can clean your discourtesy off your face?  We nicely told him we would not do it, so he decided to go with another photographer (apparently).

N° 3 : The "I like humiliation" guy

This one is pretty recent. Few day ago we received an email from a guy who lost a bet and had to do a boudoir shoot, wearing high heels, sexy dress, lingerie and/or be nude. Had to walk like a model and be shoot in some very embarrassing poses, for his humiliation and women amusement. We told him boudoir photography is an art and we work only with people who see it as a serious project.

But we could provide some headshots for professional purpose if he was interested. You have to see business opportunity everywhere right?! 

 
 

N° 2 : The "you need to wear sexy clothes so I can feel turned on" guy

Ooooh man, our first weird inquiry. This married man sent us an email because he was looking to do a couple boudoir shoot with his wife. They have been married for 20 years and they were looking to spice up their relationship. We were pretty happy about it since, at that time, we didn't get a lot of couples interested by a session. So he started to explain what he wanted, sent us example of videos and pictures (remember the dick pic story previously, well those were the beginning). His wife had apparently a big and sexual appetite and they were looking for erotic photography. We explained to him this is not the type of service we offer but we could give them sensual pictures.

We were not against working with them, they wanted to celebrate the love they have for each other by trying a new experience.

Unfortunately he crossed the line when he asked us to dress up very sexy during the shoot so he can be more excited. Now that I think about it, I am happy we didn't go forward with this inquiry: this couple were the lions, we were the gazelles. 

N° 1: The "let's redo American Pie" guy

And the winner is... (actually my little favourite, probably because I watch all of the American Pie movies)
Once upon a time in Toronto town, a man who loved his mom a lot decided to treat her with a boudoir shoot. Such a sweet and thoughtful gentleman who was open minded enough to offer this experience as a gift. Or so we thought.


We replied to this guy to get more details about his request. Why not right?! Maybe his mom asked him to book the shoot for her or maybe it was a gift for his parents' wedding anniversary.

Oh no, it wasn't a fairytale, just a crazy idea: some pictures taken of his mom and his best-friend having sex. The story never said if it was a spam or a serious request. 

My friends, let me remind you that even if we are photographers whose main goal is to highlight sensuality in everybody, it doesn't mean we get sexual pleasure out of it. So keep your pants on, we are not part of your fantaisies, don't plan to be and will never ever touch your purple-helmeted warrior of love.  

 
 

We can never be too careful: Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography is such a great experience to try at least once in your life. It is the best way to get intimate and sensual photographs of yourself. It's a great exercise to feel more comfortable with your body and posture, as well as putting your boundaries down for a moment in front of a stranger.

Since this type of photo shoot is closer to sensuality or eroticism than a regular headshot session, it sadly has the tendency to attract ill-intentioned people who use boudoir photography as an excuse to assault women. This is why it is important to be careful when you book your session.

It is sad that we have to take so many precautions but this is the kind of world we live in. And we will tell you everything you need to know so it never happens to you!

 
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You have less risks with female photographers.

I am sorry gentlemen I am not saying you are all the same, I know a lot of male photographers are very respectful to women. The goal of this post is not to put every men in the same basket, I just want women to feel comfortable when they're about to stand in lingerie or naked in front of photographers.

I have been working in the photography industry for 10 years and I have never heard stories of women assaulting their clients. Unfortunately, it seems to happen with some men and I am not only talking about the relationship between male photographers and women clients: 9 times out of 10, when we get an inquiry from a man, they turned out sketchy. For example, some have asked us to dress up sexy so they can feel turned on during the shoot. We have never gotten any bad emails from women.

Professionals are a go-to

We didn't spend years to learn our craft just to have a piece of paper to look pretty on a wall. Photography is a real career and doesn't only require to press the trigger.

So please, I am begging you, hire professional photographers who have a proper website, social media and reviews. Stop going on Kijiji or Craiglist to find the person who will take intimate pictures of yourself in his basement. This is how problems start most of the time!

 
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Safety first

It is really easy with the internet to pretend to be someone else. As mentioned above, some men uses "boudoir" photography to get closer to women and get them to pose them naked in very sexualized poses. Sometimes, it doesn't go any further that just bad taste, but in other cases, nightmares have happened with women getting assaulted.

This is why it is important to meet your photographer face to face in a public place, a proper photography studio or at least on skype (actually this rule should apply in our every day life, we can never be too careful!).

We personally always, always, always meet our potential clients before starting anything. We have refunded a deposit because we did not feel safe. Plus it is pretty nice to talk about your photo shoot around a cup of coffee and pastry, isn't it?!

Also, know that you should be allowed to bring someone with you. If the photographer says no, leave, it's a red flag.

Last but not least: we know pricing is a big factor when choosing your photographer and it is why some women go for cheap photography services without thinking of the risks behind. Don't you think it will be better to postpone the shoot to save up what you need and get breathtaking photographs of yourself and a proper boudoir experience?

Do your own research

The good thing with internet is you can track people to see if they are serious and professional.

  • Read the reviews people leave on google, forum and other websites. It will give you a good overview of the person and the company.
  • Don't hesitate to ask questions to your photographer and tell her/him if you feel anxious. Your photographer should care about your feelings and do his/her best to reassure you. If the photographer doesn't really reply to your questions, keep them unclear or doesn't explain to you how the session will go, then go with someone else.

Trust your instinct

Either you go with a female or male photographer, there is one think you should always do: FOLLOW YOUR GUT!! 

The human body is very powerful for this and we are most of the time able to feel when something or someone is wrong.

If you have a bad feeling about the person who is going to do your photo shoot, don't go through with it.

 
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The recap:

• Avoid Kijiji or Craiglist.
• Always meet with your photographer(s)
• Check the company's reputation with reviews or referrals.
• Have a contract signed and the details of the session laid out before the day of. Everything has to be crystal clear.
• Bring someone with you or let someone know where you will be and when you'll be done.

Stay awesome but more importantly: stay safe.

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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:

“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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Once upon a time, Boudoir Photography...

Dear Little Scandals,

First thing first, thank YOU for stopping by and taking the time to be involved in our project ! We are so grateful to have you around our baby, as it grows to become strong & confident.

In this blog post, we will talk about you ladies, because Boudoir was only for women in its history. But at Scandaleuse Photography we welcome everyone, even men. So gentlemen, you are also invited to take off your shirt ! 

That being said, Boudoir sounds like a very fancy word, but what is it exactly ? (I promise, it’s not gonna be boring !)

Boudoir: The Origins (like superheroes!)

A Boudoir was a woman's private sitting room or salon in a furnished accommodation, in aristocratic families. It was a sign of femininity and social conformity as a woman.

Nobody will be surprised to read that the term derives from the French verb "Bouder" which means "to sulk". Long story short, it was a room dedicated for sulking in.  (allez la France, la révolution, et la baguette)

Thanks to the Marquis De Sade and his book “Philosophy in the Bedroom”, the Boudoirs turned into sulphurous and scandalous rooms, where women could speak privately. It was characterized in literary and cultural studies as erotic and as a metaphor of  womens' bodies.  Boudoir is generally understood as a site for secret pleasures and libertinage. Naughty you!!!

Side Note:  Boudoir is also a biscuit you eat with Champagne. Shhh, that’s how we like it...

BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY : The early days

Over the years, Boudoir became a photography style and started celebrating the beauty, femininity and freedom of women. It has been featuring intimate, sensual, and sometimes erotic images of its subjects.

 
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The nude or sexualized female form has been a theme of photography since as early as 1840 but it was in the 1920s that Boudoir photography began to take shape as an art form. Photographers, like Albert Arthur Allen, took images of women who posed in romantic ways against ornate backdrops or furniture.

But Boudoir photography was still illegal in the 1920s and photographers were often arrested or heavily fined for taking the photos.

IT didn't stop anyone:

1950s, the “pinup girls” became famous in the Boudoir world. They wore nylons, stilettos and elegant elbow-length gloves. These girls even played with androgyny, wearing bow-ties and top hats along with their corsets and stockings.

By the 1970s, the female figure began being recognized as a significant form of sexual liberation and a new revolution in Boudoir. 

Unfortunately, much of society still had a difficult time acknowledging Boudoir as a tasteful genre, even if these photos were artistic and no way considered pornographic amongst the art world.

In the next few decades, Boudoir photography became very popular and broke free of women’s boundaries. It was (and it still is !) an excellent romantic gift for a lover or a self-present to please yourself.

Now go and bring out your sexy goddess

 
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