#shutterfest2016, Part 2 ~ The Search For the Plus Size Model

As you guys know, I love to photograph women of all shapes and sizes.  I think it’s important for us as photographers to have experience working with every body type, and photos in our portfolio to show with larger women.  When I did my photo shoot with Michael at Ash Imagery, I was VERY nervous, because all the photos on his web site and social media are of thin, pretty women.  I felt like I didn’t belong, that I was too fat, and I worried my photos would turn out horrible.  It was extremely intimidating, and that made me even more aware of how women could feel while looking at my portfolio.

I do have a wide variety of women in my portfolio.  In fact, when I started shooting boudoir a few years ago, I put a call out on Facebook for full-figured women to model for me, and I’m so glad I did!  Not only did I learn a lot about how to pose them, but I gave these women the gift of confidence.  For me, it’s more rewarding to work with larger women, because they sometimes need help seeing their own beauty.  Also, it’s not much of a challenge to photograph a thin, fit woman, a woman that looks good in every outfit and every pose.  In fact, every once in a while, if I feel like my boudoir portfolio has a lot of thin women, I’ll put out a call for full-figured ladies and do a shoot to add variety back into the mix.

At Shutterfest, I had a hard time finding a plus-sized model.  I put a call out on the Shutterfest Facebook group, and I got a response from the beautiful Mimi Hood, but because she was only one of four plus-sized models, she was booked up.  I connected with her and she helped me search for more plus-sized girls.  Jessica White was all, “I volunteer as tribute!!!”  So I had an AWESOME time working with them on Friday.  Just wait until the photos come back…  These girls are FIERCE!

I was disappointed that Shutterfest didn’t have more plus-sized models, so I posted in the group that we need more next year, and I got a lot of support by other attendees.  Then the director of the conference posted, “I hate to break it to you guys, but there were a ton of plus sized models there.”

Say what??  “There were 4,” I said.  “To clarify, I mean size 16 or larger.”

I was informed that plus-size in the fashion world is a size eight or larger.  A SIZE EIGHT!  Well, slap my butt and call me “Fatty,” because I’m a size TEN!  This was really jarring to me.  I was also upset at the fact that it was hard for the plus-sized models to pair up with photographers.  The larger girls kept getting passed over.  Photographers would arrive to pick up their model, and say no, they didn’t want her, they wanted a thin model.  That’s a major bummer for the plus-sized model.  How do you think that made them feel?  In addition, we are going to come home and work with regular people.  Our clients aren’t models.  Very few of my clients are smaller than a size 10.  Don’t these photographers want to learn how to serve regular clients best? Shutterfest is the perfect platform to learn new things, but the best thing about it is that you get to come home with an entirely new portfolio!  Why would photographers want to come home with a portfolio of ALL thin women?

Anyway, I’m so glad I got to work with Mimi and Jessica.  My new portfolio will be packed with variety, both in type of photography and size of model.  I can’t wait to get my film back!!!

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April 6, 2016

Plus size is size 8?!?! I haven't been a size 8 since I was 19 and all those pics that I have, people thought I was sick because I looked so skinny...they need to reevaluate their "plus" sizes...lol. I would never ever want too be a size 8 again...14-16, yes...but not an 8.

April 6, 2016

Kudos to you for knowing what plus size is!!

Wendy lujan
April 7, 2016

My daughter. Salena Alvarado. Would be a beautiful plus size model

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