toronto photographer

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.

 
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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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The Day I Said "F*** IT"

Not too long ago, I found an old diary of 13-year-old Juliette. Diary in which I wrote a table with my physical qualities and flaws. My flaws list was off the charts, ridiculously detailed and my quality one had one random item that I put just to write a little something there.

I used to dodge my reflection in the mirror. Maybe it sounds odd to you, after all, you have seen us pretty much half naked on our ads shamelessly and we say loud and clear how you should love and be proud of yourself.

But yeah, I used to dodge mirrors on a daily basis and I don't anymore. And you shouldn't either.

 
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Never good enough: The teenaged years b*llshit

I feel like everyone's complexes started when they were teenagers. Fanny's did too. Probably because kids can be total jerks with each other. I had never noticed that I had a bit of a belly, or that my chest was absolutely flat until some girls told me. Then, it just echoed and became a part of me.

So, of course, teenaged Juliette started random diets while feeling like crap. Did I lose weight? Yes I did. But I saw myself huge every single day for years. I hated my face as well , and had stupid side bangs trying to hide at least half of it. Which is ridiculous now I am thinking about it, seriously, if I could have looked like Cousin It, I would have.

I am very lucky that I am surrounded by a loving family and I felt confident talking to my parents about anything. Could have been much much darker.

Pretty much when I started being called "Fat".

Pretty much when I started being called "Fat".

The years went by, I was still feeling enormous. When I look at pictures at myself back then and I want to go back in time to shake younger me and tell her "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?".

When I was finally out for high school and went to Paris to study Photography (when I met Fanny!), it hit me: why am I making myself feel like that over some stupid comments from people I didn't even admire from years ago?

So I just decided to say "F*** It" and I gave myself a chance.

I gave myself a chance to first be okay with how I looked. Bit by bit. You can't just wake up one day and feel gorgeous after feeling the opposite for so long.

Then, instead of comparing myself to others and thinking they were a little evil because they looked so good, I started looking for inspiration in them. For fashion, makeup, attitude. I stopped thinking pretty girls were only a certain way and were part of a private secret group for beautiful girls only. I experimented different looks until I felt comfortable.

I also stopped focusing only on negative comments from a minority of people and realized that I was actually getting a lot of positive ones that I was thoroughly ignoring.

I took self-portraits. My face, my body. Just for myself at the beginning. Then it made me so proud that I showed them to others too. And even better, I started doing it for other people.

I have kept all of them to this day as a reminder for my dark times because, hey, I look freaking great and I should high five myself.

 
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Meanwhile, Fanny was doing it too. That's probably why when we sat down a few years ago to talk about what we could build together, we naturally went towards boudoir. To show you how good you look when you feel vulnerable. To show you how beautiful we see you. Yes you.

And Now?

Honesty time, I only started removing hair from my face only a couple of years ago. Old habits die hard. I am now fine with not wearing makeup outside, and I only put some when it makes me happy and not because "Ugh I have to, the people who are going to see me at Shoppers buying my toilet paper are gonna think I am ugly." Hell, I even stopped wearing those awful bras which make your boobs look bigger but are seriously so uncomfortable (side note: it actually helped me A LOT to cherish those boobies)

I noticed that I can see myself fat one day for whatever reason and not the next day, which just doesn't make sense. So I give myself slack when I don't feel good. It allows me to not hold on to it, and just let those bad thoughts leave as fast as they came. It's okay not to feel okay, you'll feel better tomorrow.

So if you feel crappy about yourself, I am giving you a virtual hug and I am telling you that everything is going to be okay. Don't let that win. Try Fanny's little exercise here and do not stay in the dark if it gets worse and worse. Seeking help is not something to be ashamed of.

And seriously, just book a boudoir session already, you'll see they are a great cure to throw your insecurities down the drain, where they belong.

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I had this constant fear preventing me from actually living. If I died tomorrow, what would be my regrets?

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 them all!

If I had listened, I would never have become the woman I am today.

I am a stubborn person who has the unfortunate habit of listening to her intuition and taking risks. That's why I decided to write three situations when I chose to listen to myself rather than follow a logical path. Those ended up being the most decisive moments in my life.

 
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When I left the family home

I come from a family where work is more important than anything else. My mother found me my first job as a maid in a hotel at 15 years old and I stayed there for over 8 years.

All family discussions revolved around this hotel. I was so unhappy for so long, my life became more unbearable every day.

I was too afraid of my parents’ reaction if I were to leave that I had to find a way to avoid justifying myself. I had to leave my home.

I didn’t have much money or furniture other than what was in my room. In order to quickly raise funds for my project, I sold my car and shared a place with a friend. I moved out in February 1999 and in April 2000 I left my job. The year following this decision was even more difficult. I was working part-time in a clothing store, but, I was "FREE".

Free from the pressure of my parents, free from work that made me sick, but most importantly, free to do what I wanted to do and free to become everything I wanted. I never regretted this decision and my parents finally understood that I wanted other things in my life.

When I got my heart broken and lost a friend

Around the same time, I got my heart broken. I am aware now that it was mostly because of my fear, my low self-esteem and lack of experience. He didn’t only break my heart into a million pieces, but it also made me physically sick.

Fear was my biggest enemy. It prevented me from having a beautiful story to share and fulfilling this dream of having someone close to me, even for a moment.

To top it all off, I also lost a dear friend. A man who, the first night of his retirement, died of an aneurysm. He had worked all his life to support his family, whom he didn’t see very often because he was so dedicated to his job. The days before his death, he told me how eager he was to rest, to "cut wood" at his cottage, take time for his family, and so on. He didn’t even have the chance to live one of those moments because he died just before. It was a wake-up call.

I was Working non-stop, doing exactly what was expected of me and I had this constant fear preventing me from actually living. If I died tomorrow, what would be my regrets?

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I had way too many dreams to be yet fulfilled so I decided to take care of myself. I moved alone in my own apartment and I found a job that would allow me to achieve two of my three greatest dreams, sing and travel.

The third, finding my life partner is still a dream. The lifestyle choices I made so far haven't led me there yet, I hope to get there someday.

When I Left my roots, my family and my friends.

In my mid-30s, I felt like I was going around in circles. Even though I had been told that I had everything I needed to be happy, I felt the thirst for life

The anger that often gave me the boost I needed to move forward was getting stronger on a daily basis. It was time to make a decision and I decided to leave everything behind.

I left my family, my friends and my job aka financial safety net, just because I needed to see what was on the other side of the fence. It was tough, especially on the social aspect: at 35, you can’t create a social network as easily as in your 20's but, I didn’t give up and worked hard to build a life for myself. It's been 8 years since I left my roots and I have never regretted it.

Life challenges us every day but I like to create mine. It's weird isn’t it? It’s as if the events of everyday life were not enough for me.

People often think and plan their major life events such as their wedding or the birth of their child with a good idea of what they want. Me, I only know two things. The song at my funeral is going to be Franck Sinatra's "My Way" and my funeral epitaph will look like "Thanks my God, it's finally over, thank you for not waking me up."

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We don't have a studio.

We have several.

You would think that, when you are a boudoir photographer (or any portrait photographer), there is one thing you would need to establish yourself: a studio. Well Scandals, there is something you need to know about us (drumroll please): we don't have a studio. We actually have about 10 of them.

 
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Because, yes, my butt is comfortably sitting on my office chair in my apartment as we speak, on a Wednesday afternoon. Don't get me wrong, we did think about getting a studio, and to be honest, it is the ultimate goal when we find the perfect spot that would not ask for 5 kidneys as a down payment (welcome to Toronto baby!). But for now, we decided to focus on something much more important to us: how to make your boudoir experience different from everyone else's.

Your boudoir session is about you (yes mam!)

This is the core of our business. We were soooo tired of seeing the same kind of boudoir photos non-stop online when we knew we can do so much more. Not all of you belong in those cutesy bed shots. If you are a Scandal like us, you can also belong on a rooftop during a busy night, overlooking the CN tower, or right in the middle of the woods in the early morning light with the sun kissing your skin.

Obviously, we can't only shoot outdoors. But instead of dealing with the same background over and over again, we decided to go the extra mile and make a list of awesome locations all around the city with complete different decor. You are a minimalist with scandinavian vibe? Boom, meet our all white modern loft just for you. You thrive through your rock'n'roll looks? Warmer and darker tones will likely suit you better.

Does it take time and patience? Ooooooh yes. Finding the good spots, visiting them, figuring out the fees involved with each, dealing with the landlords and availability… Trust me, it makes us sweat. But at the end of the day, we are here to build an experience around you.

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We are artists (no joke.)

Like many creative people, we need to renew ourselves all the time. Otherwise, we get bored and it kills our souls bit by bit. Seriously, put a good photographer is the same room for every single shoot and by the 5th one, she/he will be crawling on the floor asking for mercy. Having multiple options keeps us passionate and creative. And if we stay passionate and creative, you get an awesome shoot. Two birds one stone.

And who wouldn't want to change her/his office on a daily basis? We have seen so many amazing places that belong on a Pinterest board and we are over the moon to be able to bring them to you.

We are not doing boudoir just so you feel good for one day. We are doing it so it impacts you, gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when you think about it and so you remember it for the rest of your life.

Now... what are you waiting for?

I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.

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 the first post here

If I had listened I wouldn’t have been able to find happiness and confidence within myself to truly love who I am.

I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.

 
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There are so many factors in society that contribute to my marginalization. I am a woman, I am from Jamaica, I am of mixed race.

Throughout my life, I have faced discrimination for all the above characteristics, all of which have thrown me off kilter, beat down my confidence, made me questions my identity and made me seriously doubt who I am.

I had times that were so dark and lonely that, unfortunately, only my damaged mind and broken heart were there to keep me company.

It wasn’t until I was able to work on myself, with help, that I was able to realize that it was the constant negative self-talk festering in my mind that was making me crumble into nothingness.

It took a really long time for me to accept that I had the power to be my biggest fan even if I were being my biggest roadblock.

I used to resent the people closest to me for not meeting my expectations and not being there to save me from my mind. But choosing to be in charge of my own outcomes and happiness as opposed to relying on others was the biggest contributing factor to reaching the self-acceptance and happiness that I am working towards today.

 
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I know that I will always be a work in progress and I totally accept that. However, I have now found beauty in my flaws and in my growth. I have stopped listening to the side of myself that constantly wants to hold me back from evolving as the beautiful human I am and I now place the ride or die version of Nathanielle at the forefront.

5 Things you can do to be more French

It’s Bastille day aka the Revolution day in France! Everyone is off work to go celebrate around fireworks, good food and good company. As you probably know already, we are both French from Paris (hi to our cousins for Québec!) and to celebrate our national holiday, we thought you could join us by developing a new French twist!

 
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Practice saying “APEROOOO!"

On a beautiful summer (or not) nights,it is not rare that we gather with our family and friends around some drinks and hors d’œuvres (this is how you spell it by the way) for a couple of hours before dinner. We called them “Apéro” and they are always filled with laughter and good vibes. It's about damn time we incorporate more of these in Canada!

Master the art of sarcasm

Not to brag, but we are pretty good at sarcasm and it makes us laugh a lot. It's also a powerful tool for a passive-aggressive comment you need to tell your foreign Aunt Jemma who asked to put sparkling water in her white wine. (don't do that.)

Ditch your top on the beach, it's summer.

Let your nipples see the world and enjoy the warmth of the sun.

After you put some serious sunscreen on them though, you only have two, you gotta cherish them. It's such a great feeling to swim (almost or totally) naked. Remember?

Don't “pardon your French”

It's very freeing to swear here and there.

Really, try it. I mean, don't do it in front of your 6-year old nephew, pick your audience, but still. Don't bottle up those feelings that want to make you swear, embrace and express the, you’ll feel much better!

Start thinking that you know slightly better than everybody else.

Because… don’t you?! Yeah that's what we thought.

Now, you are all set to grab your glass of wine - the real glass please, put down that plastic cup - put your brie on the barbecue and dance on this! You're welcome!

 
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I was called a failed journalist and copywriter.

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.

If I had listened, I wouldn’t have founded Salty Woman.

I was called a failed journalist and copywriter, but I was just writing about the wrong subject matter.

 
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I grew up obsessed with Cosmopolitan magazines, desperate to work there one day. My dad said I was chasing fame because how many magazines are there for people to be an editor at? I didn’t have any awards in the category and no network of family or friends or mentors to tap into.

I went to New York and London chasing this dream and when I was finally in the Hearst office writing the Cosmo “look of the day” I realized this wasn’t the end for me.

I moved on to copywriting at some of the top creative ad agencies in Toronto, only to then quickly switch to strategy, taking a special focus on digital and social content. Eventually I built up my own department, my own team, and a whole new line of business working with influencers. I guess you could say I “made it” and all I wanted to do was step away from it all and bartend or something.

After years of fighting to get to where I was, it was the scariest thing telling my dad that I wanted to throw it all away.

It’s been a year since I walked away from my career in digital marketing. I’ve started bartending part-time, expanded the Salty Paloma business to add cocktail classes and bartending services for private parties and events, and freed up some time to dig deep into myself and find a new venture that spoke to my heart - Salty Woman.

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Salty Woman was born as a passion project to just meet a bunch of women I wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet in my daily life, hear their story and share it.

All I’ve ever wanted to do was tell the stories of women. The full story. Not just the good part, but every inch of it.

I think I really needed to hear it for myself and realize I wasn’t alone in my journey of not knowing where I am, who I am, or what to do. From then I couldn’t help but share the beauty of it all, and now I’ve committed to a monthly series involving an integrated workshop element and speakers. I’ve since then reached out to local non-profits and am working more closely with the Barbra Schlifer Clinic, that provides legal counsel for women survivors of domestic abuse.

They called me crazy for leaving my super successful, super respectable, super comfortably salaried full time job to bartend at 30 years old. Now I only work 4 days a week, never on Mondays, and I’ve never been happier. I spend a lot of my free time for myself, and that includes meeting a bunch of beautiful women in the city. I could do this all day for the rest of my life.

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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Is it wrong to want to feel sexy?

It is in our nature to want to be admired and respected. On top of that we want to look strong, confident and just beautiful in general and we are not scared to say it out loud. However, we don't really say out loud "HELLO I AM SEXY!" or we don't even dare thinking it. But what's so wrong with that?

 
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What does sexy even mean?

Some people would tell you straight up: you are "sexy" when people want to have sex with you. Period. And it's actually not entirely wrong since we have the tendency to qualify someone as sexy when they radiate a sensual feeling and a lot of time, it comes from a physical aspect.

We have met countless women and men saying "oh gosh, I am so NOT sexy" sometimes with a chuckle, sometimes blushing, sometimes with regrets in their voice.

We are in 2018 and the word sexy should and has a lot more different meanings. To us, being sexy is pretty much a way to say you are attractive and you have a little je-ne-sais-quoi.

And since being attractive is so suggestive, it means that no one will ever have the perfect definition of sexy, but it also means that everyone can actually be sexy in their own way.

That's a pretty good news, right?

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Throw away the clichés

Non-exhaustive list of sexy things according to the Scandaleuse Dictionary, 2017 edition by Capdevielle J. & Lelorrain F.

  • confidence

  • a woman's neck

  • ambition

  • nice hands

  • determination

  • kindness

  • heels

  • a smile/smeye

  • tattoos

  • and way more...

Is there any links between all of these? Not really. Maybe your partner finds you sexy when you're changing a lightbulb for that matter. Because being sexy does not fall into one and only one category. It is more a feeling, an attitude and not only the way you look.

Now that we've seen these, I can honestly say that I would definitely love to be seen as confident, ambitious, kind with nice hands, a tattoo while smiling. It brings me closer to the version of myself I want to be in my life and it makes me happy.

So if I follow this logic, I then want to feel attractive. And since all of these factors can also be considered sexy, it also means that I do want to feel sexy too, but in my own way.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

So no, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy.

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Because it makes you feel good. And when you feel good, you also do good things. And this makes you feel good too. You see the snowball effect of goodness here?

So why wouldn't you want to be sexy? 

We are getting further and further from the cliché of "sexy = trashy" that it is time to reappropriate the whole concept and turn it into something positive. off you go you sexy beast.

 

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The real motive behind Boudoir Photography

Ah. Pretty boudoir photos. Well that’s nice. You get them done and forget about them within a couple of months right? What if I tell you that it’s actually false? What if I add we can connect getting your shit together and boudoir photography together? Alright let’s get to it.

Disclaimer: while I am going to focus on women because – well - I am one, the following does apply to anybody.

 
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Everything and everyone else comes first.

If you are a caring human being, chances are your own well-being is not #1 on your priority list. Your family, your kid, your partner, your business, your problems, you name it, probably are. Congratulations, you are a decent person and we need more people like you!

However, it doesn’t mean your own self-care should be forgotten. After all, you do read it on Instagram every day, with a perfect woman doing an incredible yoga pose at sunset hashtagging #NamasteBitches

And this perfect lady isn’t actually wrong. The reality is that, by putting people or things before you every day, all the time, you will burn out.

You will end up walking around with a little rain cloud over your head, wondering who you are, what the meaning of life is and how the hell you get out of this.

We can assure you that you’re gonna have one day during which you will feel the urge to slam doors as hard as you can because you’re not supposed to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders but you are trying anyway.

Why is this bad for you? Because you need to be at peace with yourself to basically function and do great things. How can you if you don’t take time to…. take time?

Easier said than done, right? Actually, no it doesn’t have to be.

Why are so many women struggling with this to begin with?

Simple answer: we are naturally nurturing. But most importantly, we are expected to be (the ability to be mothers and also the fact that we actually give a crap about what’s around us and all that). You are expected to be relied on and quite frankly, chances are you will be considered selfish if you dared announcing loud and clear “screw it, it’s me time today!”. How dare you, since your primary function is to take care of someone?

So, what do we do? We restrain ourselves from doing what we really want to do. It doesn’t have to be something big like moving to Argentina but even little pleasures in life that could do us some good.

Do we even deserve to do this?

During a panel we went to last week, someone said that women constantly undervalue themselves and it is a sad but true fact. On top of taking care of people and their things, we also think that we are not good enough. Probably because we are constantly reminded that we can always do more. So why would we reward ourselves with some “me-time” to begin with?

If you think this way, this is the moment when you take a seat, grab the tea we’re giving you, look at us right in the eye while we tell you “you are doing the best you can, you are awesome and you deserve a break.”

What does our boudoir work have to do with any of this?

 
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Creating gorgeous art with your sexy self isn’t the main motive behind Scandaleuse. We wanted to create an experience around our photography work. A safe space in which you can let go, think about you, and more importantly: reconnect with yourself.

For a short amount of time in your busy schedule, you are a priority.

Boudoir is one of the only fields in which you can be your true self without hiding behind anything and even better: without being judged.

Of course it may feel awkward at first. But by embracing your vulnerability and turning it into a strength, you will be able to grow and tame (or rediscover) your confidence. And then what? You make a powerful tool out of it and use it in your everyday life. Other people’s judgments won’t matter as much, you will trust yourself a lot more to make bigger decisions and it will be easier for you to take on new challenges and succed at them. All of these can only lead to even more positives adventures.

Don’t underestimate the power of taking time to yourself. We all need to disconnect from our “duties” and reconnect with ourselves. Are we the only way to get some quality time with yourself? Of course not. We are just one of the long-term effective ones.

 

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IUD: the life saver

Disclaimer: Just like our birth control blog post, I am talking about my own experience and feedback in this post. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered as legal advice. You should seek appropriate counsel for your own situation.

I asked to have an IUD inserted when I was 18. I am now 27 and on my second one. Over the years, I have seen many women that were never offered that option and barely know what it was. If you are looking for a hormone-free alternative for your birth control, I gotcha.

 
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Ok, what’s the IUD in the first place?

First of all, IUD stands for Intrauterine Device. It is a birth control system, and just like its name says, it is a little device inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy to prevent pregnancy. You have two options available for you: one is made of copper and hormone-free, the other one sends progesterone hormones. I personally have the hormone-free one.

How the copper IUD (hormone free) works:
The IUD releases copper ions into your cervix. Copper makes your uterus a pretty hostile environment for sperm. Your cervix begins to produce a thick mucus that sperm can't navigate navigate through to get to your egg.

Now that you know, you and I are about to become very close….

When the pill drives you crazy.

I was on the pill for a little bit over 2 years and after a while, I noticed some side effects: my mood was changing drastically, I was crying for no reason and just wanted to lie down on train tracks. My libido had decided to run away to Mexico, having sex was painful (#litteraldryspell).

Long story short, I realized it wasn’t normal and it sucked balls.

I knew a bit about the IUD from sex-ed in school, and when I did my research, I found out there was a hormone-free version that lasted for 5 freaking years, so my mind went “BINGPOT!” (Brooklyn 99 fans will know). I booked an appointment with my gynecologist at the time, and off I went.

 
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“But you’re so young/haven’t had children yet!”

Not gonna lie, in order to get this IUD, I had to go through small obstacles with my doc. The first myth was that you need to have had children in order to get an IUD inserted. I heard it was because it could make you sterile. WRONG. It was maybe true 45 years ago, but definitely not nowadays, and absolutely not with the copper one.

The second obstacle was concerning my age, which honestly has nothing to do with it. As long as you are sexually active, you can definitely have an IUD.

My doctor insisted that I try the micro pill, which has fewer hormones and is to be taken exactly at the same time everyday (#superconvenient). I tried it, didn’t do anything, I went back to the office and said “that’s it”. And hallelujah, we did it.

Let’s do it!

First of, you will have to be off the pill (slowly and with your doctor’s recommendations! You don’t stop the pill one day to the other like Fanny said here) . Since I had tried another pill variation with less hormones, I transitioned slowly into no birth control at all.

Then, you will get a blood test done. It is to see if everything is fine with you, if there is a chance for your body to reject the IUD, because yes, it is rare but it can happen.

Once you are in the clear, you will have to wait for your period to get the IUD inserted.

The insertion

The good news? It lasts for 2 minutes. The bad news? It sucks.

 
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I am sorry to be blunt, but it is painful (and I like to think I have a fairly good pain tolerence), especially when you are on your period, it’s already not a fun time. If you have had a pap test done before, it starts like this and the boom sharp pain and it’s over. You are left with a device in your body and very likely some cramps for the rest of the day.

I am going to be real with you, in my opinion, the pain is worth it. A few minutes of pain for more than 5 years of peace? Sign me up. Actually I already did, I am on my second IUD.

The Pros and some advice for you, my fellow uterus owners

PROS:

  • You will be good for between 5 to 10 years depending on the brand you use for your IUD. FREEDOM.

  • You won’t have nasty hormones injected in your body and we all know that hormones from birth control are not your friends, girlfriend.

  • Once it is inserted, you don’t have to worry about a thing. I personaly have mine checked every year to make sure it hasn’t moved and in 8 years, it never did.

  • No need to have an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a pill, no freak out when you are not home and forgot your birth control, no fear of running out and not being able to get a prescription.

  • Its efficiency rate is 99%, woot woot!

  • Way cheaper alternative than the pill too. I paid my IUD around $145 for 10 years. Boom.

Besides the short pain, I really don’t have cons. Yep.

Advice:

  • Don’t go alone to your insertion appointment. It ain’t a day in the park, you may feel a bit dizzy and it is definitely not recommended to drive afterwards and also….

  • Take a day off so you can chill afterwards. I spent my afternoon in a hot bath after my insertion.

  • You will go back on your real period. While you are on the pill, you don’t have real period per se and having your “real ones” can be painful. I always had cramps even while on the pill and a mild endometriosis, so I was already on the sucker team so it didn’t change much.

  • It doesn’t protect you against the STDs. If you are having multiple partners, you still have to wear condoms until you all get tested.


Hope this helps ladies. Remember, you are the only one that can choose your birth control plan. And you are allowed to try different options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

VIDEO | Safety first!

New concept alert!

This is our first video from a new series we will be developing around here. Since we can’t never emphasize enough about how safety is the first thing you should ever consider while booking a boudoir photoshoot, we turned it into an informative video for you!

The Unstoppable Project

Here it is. One of our most nurtured projects is finally seeing the light of day! Let’s welcome: The Unstoppable Project.

 

Because every woman deserves to be herself loud and clear. Special thanks to Florent Magere who created this awesome music and Jonathan Delgado for animating the tag lines for us!

 

Don’t feel like reading? You can watch the making-of video!

What’s that now?

Scandaleuse is in its second year now and one of its main purpose is to encourage women to be openly proud of themselves and to stop caring about other people’s opinion in their everyday lives. About a year ago, Fanny and I started to hear multiple sentences which just didn’t sit well in our minds.

“I could never show those, I am a lawyer”
”I love these but my family/friends/husband/boyfriend would totally disapprove, I don’t want to make them upset”
”People are going to think I am a slut”

We are advocates of the “no hell given” movement. We truly believe you should be able to do whatever you want and whatever makes you happy. It is safe to say that absolutely all of our clients leave their boudoir experience with us feeling happy, confident, strong and determined to make their world their oyster. Some share their photos right away, after a slight hesitation, others cannot go pass the potential judgement from others.

The sad truth? as women, we work a lot harder to build a strong reputation. And There is a risk of being taken less seriously from coworkers, friends, family members if some of these pictures were to see the light of day.

And that’s killing us. Why sharing photos of you in a boudoir set up, in which you feel fantastic and beautiful, should have an impact on anything else in your life? There is nothing wrong with those photos; it is the people who are too narrow-minded who create the actual problem.

So we gathered our little army of Scandals…

All from different backgrounds, different paths and careers. All badass in their own way. Women who decided to say “screw it”. Women as determined as we are to stop the hypersexualisation of the female body.

We don’t know about you, but when we see these women, we don’t doubt their abilities to keep rocking their lives because we just saw them half naked. If anything, we applaud them for owning who their really are.

 
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Becky is still a kick-ass business owner, Caitlin is still a qualified environmentalist, Victoria is still a talented goldsmith and Sonia’s talent as a super mom is still off the charts.

Now remember: Showing your true self should complement your image, not compromise it.

Watch our making-of below!

 

Before we end it here, let us go against the comment we know we will get…

”Yeah but you don’t need to put yourself outhere naked to prove that, ugh, there are other ways”

Yep, you’re right. But we are boudoir photographers so we use our skills and our work to defend a matter that we care about. If your talent is to bake cookies, you are welcome to start your own campaign with pastries. Just make sure you share it with us! Bisous, bye!