Plus size bodies in art: A boudoir & nude photo collaboration | Velvet Thyme

Plus size bodies in art: A boudoir & nude photo collaboration

The goal of this shoot was to contribute to the positive representation of plus size bodies in art photography. Helping to build on the currently smaller pool of aspirational images that are readily available online. Sadly, a quick comparative Google image search reveals a lower, less positive, representation of plus bodies in art nude photography.

The other goal was to have a seriously fun, crazy, creative and collaborative time creating art! 

Plus size depictions

In the lead up to this session me and my lovely collaborator Jessie had a lot of conversations about how plus size women are often depicted and how we could improve the landscape. Although there has been some great moves in recent years towards more inclusive representations of women, there still continues to be a huge amount of size discrimination and a very narrow idealised representation of how plus sized bodies ‘should’ look. 

While we were creating a mood board for the shoot, we found it much harder to find aspirational examples of plus bodies. Many photographs we encountered hid various so-called imperfections, were hyper airbrushed or did not depict the body as beautiful.  Our mood board instead had a lot of life drawings and renaissance artwork.

A true collaboration

Jessie was an amazing subject and collaborator, she has so much personality, passion and an incredible range of interests. As an artist herself, she was really enthusiastic to be involved. She was my partner in curation of her favourite photographs from the shoot, and another chapter of the shoot here. She selected photographs that she thought were beautiful, characterful, and bravely selected photos that challenged her personal comfort levels around representation of her body.  

Get two prolific creators together and you have to try ALL the things. Jessie is a costume and clothing designer and has an endless supply of beautiful fabrics. She turned up to a perfect sunrise with some of the most AMAZING things I have ever seen. During the shoot I learnt a lot about different types of fabrics. This was such a fun and playful session, Jessie is a born problem solver and whatever ideas I couldn’t quite get happening, she patiently looked at ways we might be able to realise them. Pegging up fabrics, suggesting different perspectives, throwing chiffon fabric in the air literally dozens of time to get ‘the shots’.

Beautiful character and shapes

In all shoots I aim to create beautiful photographs that reflect the subjects personality and attitude. I love photographing the bodies curves and accentuating the awesome lines and negative spaces. I am constantly being mindful of challenging representations of women and stereotypes of beauty because, unfortunately, the majority of images we see of women are still narrow. I’m passionate about continuing to evolve what I create, and focus on celebrating the uniqueness and breathtaking beauty in every body.

Jessie and I were both really happy with the breadth and diversity of photographs we created in this session. We hope that it will help contribute positively to the library of artistic photography of plus size bodies out there – please share.