During a website review with some fellow photographers this last week, this question was raised.
Some fellow women at the meeting felt they were larger than the women on my website and thought that reflected their ability to look and feel as beautiful as the women in my portfolio.
It took me some time to decide how I would approach this and I think I've finally come to a reasonable answer, hence this blog post!
Not one of the women on my website are models.
They are women living their normal lives just like you or I.
Also, all of the women in my portfolio had come to me with insecurities about themselves before hand.
I started thinking about the "lack of big women" in my photos and that's when I realized a few things...
1. There are "big" women, they just don't look that way because of my ability to pose them correctly or their self found confidence during the shoot.
2. I haven't photographed many "big" women to show case diversity.
3. The only woman on my site that would be considered "big" was the ONLY woman that had zero insecurities and had THE MOST confidence during our shoot.
This subject got me thinking about a lot of different things!
My goal is to help women love their bodies, as they are and love themselves, are they are.
To make the assumption that only "big" women need help with insecurities is leaving out all of the other women that don't fit into this category. It also promotes body shaming in a way that most don't see in our every day lives.
All women are body shamed and all women have insecurities.
I can only talk from my own self image and the women that I've photographed that are seemingly "perfect."
As for me, I am 5'3" ish and 115 lbs ish. That might seem "perfect" to some women, that might seem "perfect" to some men. Let me tell you though, I don't feel perfect! I am constantly told that "I'm too skinny" "I need to gain weight" "You're so skinny, you don't have to worry about anything!" And all of those comments seep their way into my subconscious making me feel that I can't be accepted by certain women or groups of people.
That is the whole point of my career!
No one needs approval from other women, no one needs approval from men, the only thing you need is the approval from yourself and I can't tell you how easily obtainable that is if you're willing to let go of others expectations!
I've found that the thinner and more "beautiful" you are the more insecurities you have!
For me to say that only "big" women need my services would be me saying that I only cater to women that society feels needs a confidence boost; in reality ALL women need a confidence boost!
Another thing about this topic that got me thinking was how "bigger" women felt that I couldn't photograph them based on the fact that I don't have "big" women on my website.
Not only is this totally not true, but reflects more on how they view themselves more than my photographic abilities or willingness to photograph "big" women!
(yes, I keep putting big in parentheses because everyone has a different view on what big is!)
The reason why you don't look like the women on my website is simply because you aren't the women on my website! All of these women viewed themselves as average, fine, nothing special women until they found their glow during one of my photo sessions!
This glow is for any shape, size, color or confidence level. This experience is for every woman that ever was and I invite all of you to join me in this journey!
Fat, skinny, ugly, pretty, old, young, perfect skin, stretch marks, tattoos, conservative or flashy. This is an experience for you. I'm challenging you to drop the labels that have been given to you by society and start owning your individuality and your unique beauty!
I mean it.