Thanks to Tess Holliday #effyourbeautystandards and love your body movement is a much needed growing trend across the country. I am so excited to be a part of this movement and help women love their bodies!
A lot of my clients are curvy girls, or as I like to say, real women. The number one request that I get from them is to make them slimmer. I’m always asked to cinch waists, slim arms, and remove double chins. My answer is always this- no. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that I won’t do it. I won’t do it because the photos won’t represent who they are. My job is to capture who you are! Not only the way you look but also your personality! You should love your body and embrace your body!
We live in the real world, and in the real world women come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Brooke Davis from One Tree Hill said it best- Zero is NOT a size. So I had an idea that for a Love Your Body Shoot with plus size and curvy women incorporating Tess Holliday’s motto. When I asked some friends their thoughts everyone loved it and pushed me to make it happen. A week later I put out a model call on my Facebook and Instagram pages and was overwhelmed by the response that I got. What started as a thought turned into a mini-movement and snowballed from there.
My good friend and hairdresser Brittany Melcher not only volunteered to model, but she also donated her time and talent to doing all the model’s hair and makeup for the day. Another one of the models, Brittney Cobb, who works with Brittany Melcher, also stayed after her shoot and helped with hair and makeup.
The Day Of
We started the day early, I mean like, 7:30 am early. I set up the shoot inside my house because it’s been so unbearably hot here in Memphis and I knew an outdoor day of shoots would probably kill every one of us. Hunter Leone posted a video on how to make backdrops so I made my own Three Nails Photography Style and set up the shoot in my foyer. We set out lots of yummy food, mimosas, wine, and listened to a kick ass playlist. Brittany did hair and makeup in my kitchen and we transformed my house into a studio. As an added touch our makeshift studio was complete with an adorable senior basset hound lounging around the kitchen in a diaper.
I told my models to bring clothes from their own wardrobes because I wanted them to feel comfortable and fierce. There were so many different looks throughout the day, from sweet and sassy to bold and in your face. One of the last models from the day, a friend of mine named Sarah Kelley, jammed the entire time to Meghan Trainor. I took her outside and we added a smoke bomb to some of her photos. Later that night I saw her husband posted a photo of her on Facebook bragging about how insanely beautiful his wife is. I smiled from ear to ear because I knew that Sarah felt it too.
I laughed so hard that day and went to bed that night on a high that I’d never felt before. We did something more than just play dress up and take photos. What we did was instill confidence in women who sometimes doubt themselves. We talked about our insecurities, what we love about ourselves, and how we want to change everyone’s view on the perfect body. We talked about how it’s time to have a positive body image movement.
When I got done with all of the edits and posted the photos on my Facebook I was absolutely overwhelmed at the amazing attention it received. One of my models, a fellow Memphis Photographer named Ashley, actually cried when she saw herself. What started as a thought turned into something amazing. The ripple effect hit so many women that I never even dreamed of reaching. I received so many positive messages from women who saw our #effyourbeautystandards shoot. They told me that they too have body issues and this just made them cry with happiness.
Check out some of the highlights from the day below.