It's alright on the Plus side
Body positivism is very important to me. We live in a world where image is everything. People sacrifice a great deal to look "perfect". The right colour eyes, the right hair, breast size, lip size (or whatever arbitrary attribute is trending) can make or break reputations on social media. But who gets to decide what "perfect" is? Shouldn't perfect be subjective? can't we all be perfect in our differences?
That rather long winded preamble brings me to my topic for today. Plus size photography. I don't know that it exists as a specific genre of photography but lets just go with it okay? After a few years taking time away from photography, I began to slowly dip my toe back into the waters and discovered how much the plus size fashion industry had begun to gain traction. I was pleasantly surprised to see the scope of it all and began to research the key players, first globally (your Lane Bryant, Gabi Fresh, Ashley Graham and the like) then started zeroing in to see who and what was being awesome on this side of the ocean.
On Instagram ( the only social media platform besides Facebook that I can use like a competent adult) I came across one Katherine Henry, a plus size blogger, influencer and (role)model. Kat had tons of followers (a metric that I have yet to master) but that wasn't what struck me about her. Kat was always smiling. Every photo, every post, oozed with an enthusiasm that said "here I am world and screw you if you don't like it" The fact that she came up in Croydon was also a plus. I happened to be looking for gift ideas for my significant other and took a chance asking Kat about who made the best bra's for the busty lady in my life. I half expected to either get no reply or to be told to go jump off a bridge. To my surprise and eternal greatness, Kat gave me some very helpful advice and that was it.... no more communication.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, I'm at Victoria tube station going up the escalator and doing my people watching that I love doing and I spot Kat on the down escalator. I do nothing because I'm not a weirdo. But fate obviously was throwing me in front of Kat. A few days later, I answer a callout for photographers on an Instagram post to shoot some plus size models doing fashion and lifestyle. I happen to be free on the day in question and to cut a long story short, we agree to shoot. The day arrives and who is one of the models? none other than Kat herself. I introduce myself, we laugh about my request for advice on IG and the subsequent Kat sighting on the underground. The shoot turned out great and that was the beginning of a great working relationship and a greater friendship.
Since then, I've worked with Kat on a number of shoots and initiatives. That first shoot opened a door into the Plus size world that I've jumped through with great enthusiasm.
I've worked with a number of models in the plus size community and produced some really great work and made some great friends along the way.
I suppose the main take away from this rambling stream of consciousness is keep an eye out for the signs that are in front of you, take chances and make friends with Kat Henry.
Find out more about Kat and her plans at www.henryskat.co.uk