Plus size fashion may have gone mainstream, but while credit is often given to big names such as Ashley Graham and brands who have jumped on the bandwagon, the movement has largely benefited from the efforts of people working behind the scenes. These include plus size photographers who have managed to take the wheel to share their unique visions within a world that had previously excluded them.

As these heroes do their work behind the lens, they are also shaping the industry that they are in. Plus size fashion, after all, is about challenging the limitations of what women, regardless of size, can do.

With more brands adopting this ethos across the world, more and more high-profile models, designers, photographers and brands are speaking out about the importance of inclusivity and empowering women with the clothes they have been denied for many years. Size inclusive brand Woman Within has gained mainstream notoriety for their jeans as well as the other collections they feature. The brand explains that women of all sizes should be free to wear whatever they want and they shouldn’t have to consider wearing ill-fitting clothes. This perfectly encapsulates what plus size fashion is – distilling our notions of beauty, and taking away socially-ingrained biases that get in the way.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the plus size photographers that breaking new ground on a daily basis.

Suma Jane Dark

 

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I was going through my old shoots and found this photo I took forever ago of @katanafatale. Such a babe! 💕

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While this Portland-based artist has become known for her size-positive representations through her models, a lot of her work is focused on collective empowerment. In an interview with Ravishly, she said, “Things are getting better for representation, but the engine of that movement is and has always been our own communities and celebrating and demanding respect and autonomy for each other.”

This artistic awareness is reflected in her overall process and can be seen in her designs. There is certain eclecticism in her colour palettes, and this comes from the so-called ‘communal’ process that she utilizes.

Alongside her models, she shares design stories, lays the accessories and clothes out on a table, and collectively decide what pieces to include in the shoot. This process is unique in the fashion world for its deliberate political intent.

 

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“Dark Eyes in the dark Looking for what? Yours Anything yours, anything ours All I own I don’t want, can’t be sold.” – Basia Bulat . . Leaving Chicago. I ran into my costar from one of the personal traumas that is always replaying like a movie in the back of my mind- whenever I’m in Chicago, especially. . . I was standing in the rain, in the cold- it doesn’t bother me, I spent years in Chicago without heat. They turned a corner like they do in so many of my dreams, but unlike the conciliatory ghost that has come to feel random and mostly harmless, they were real and just the sight of them flooded all of the memories back. Our eyes met and immediately I ducked under a table. They looked back over their shoulder like they weren’t sure if they’d seen me or not. I stayed crouching in the rain until they finally went inside. . . They hadn’t seen me. Not the real me. They’d seen their memory of a girl who was so afraid of herself that she had to drive 100 mph in any direction to outrun her thoughts in the middle of the night. They’d seen their memory of a girl who apologized *to her assaulter* for “being mad” about “ruining the evening”. . . They never got to know the creature that I am now who walks between worlds and holds their vulnerabilities and their strengths in the same hand. What I love and what I hate about myself both give me courage now. They never got to know the realized version of me. . . Luckily, now I mostly think of Chicago as a place full of family and friends that I cherish with all of my heart. I even got to see @misscattywompass and @mechanicshopfemme! But running into that person was really hard and sad, especially given all that’s going on with the Kavanaugh hearings. . . Here’s my free advice to men- If you’re not hurting from hearing everyone’s accounts of the ways they’ve been harmed by rape culture, you are purposefully keeping your heart closed. There is something inside of you that needs to be examined and healed and dealt with. Nobody is going around looking for this kind of pain or bending the truth to get a taste of it. Nobody. . . . . . #metoo #believesurvivors #believewomen #plussizelife #plussizeblogger #darkaesthetic

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@gettheshovel during our shoot last summer looking heavenly in makeup by @bethanytate 💫💫💫

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Image credit: Suma Jane Dark / Instagram

Rochelle Brockington

Also known as Rochelle Brock or Fat Leopard, this young Brooklyn-based talent has already worked with big names such as Pop Up Plus model Essie Golden. Most of her work features urban youth in high-contrast and playful clothes and colours. While she became known for her plus-size models, her oeuvre is varied, many of which offer glimpses into the city’s diverse culture.

Plus Size Photographers Changing the Game in Fashion Photography

Image Credit: The Curvy Fashionista

Plus Size Photographers Changing the Game in Fashion Photography

Image Credit: The Curvy Fashionista

Plus Size Photographers Changing the Game in Fashion Photography

Image Credit: The Curvy Fashionista

Plus Size Photographers Changing the Game in Fashion Photography

Image Credit: The Curvy Fashionista

Nikki Gomez

Plus Size Photographers Changing the Game in Fashion Photography

Image credit: curlynikki.com

Nikki Gomez used to be a model. She was actually part of TLC’s Big Sexy but eventually moved on to plus size modelling under Saks Fifth Avenue, Monif C, and others. Today, she has found love in photography and focuses on plus size fashion shoots. Her work often features plus size women in haute couture apparel. Much of her portraiture work has vivid colours, with the size of the models taking centre stage.

 

Plus Size Photographers Changing the Game in Fashion Photography

Image credit: thenikkigomez.com

Plus Size Photographers Changing the Game in Fashion Photography

Image credit: thenikkigomez.com

Anastasia Garcia

 

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We’ve been brainwashed into thinking beauty looks one way…. that women are suppose to look one way. We believed it when they told us, bought whatever they were selling, and harbored deep rooted beliefs that they were right… we weren’t enough. We hated ourselves, and felt flawed simply for existing in our skins. We went to war with our bodies, and taught our daughters to do the same… and their daughters…. and their daughters. We passed on the language for self doubt, and the knowledge that a woman’s worth could defined by her appearance…so beautiful at all costs. And I just want to say…. It’s a trap! Don’t fall for it! You are beautiful, You are worthy, and your body is a blessing, and a gift. Every peak, valley, rolling hill, dimple, mark, squishy spot…. Every part is beautiful. Life imparts markings upon us. Our bodies change and grow to reflect the steps we’ve taken.. the places we’ve walked. Every crevasse is sacred. Every roll, and mark divine. Love each one the way a lover would. Kiss your arms, and love your tummy. And most importantly remember… you are a divine being. A beautiful soul, inhabiting your skin. So let’s change the way we view ourselves, and not teach our daughters the same destructive patterns. Instead let’s teach them that beauty has no bounds. No limitations. And that our worth ought to be defined by our ability to love others, and ourselves. **** My shot of @thesabinakarlsson for @straightcurvefilm #snappedbyanastasia #straightcurvefilm

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Image credit: Anastasia Garcia / Instagram

The New York City-based photographer Anastasia Garcia shared on Vice, “Because I’ve always understood that imagery is powerful, and by creating high-end fashion images of plus-size women, over time I could shift people’s perspective.”

This is what Garcia has tried to lobby for in her long career in plus size fashion photography. In 2014, she shared that plus size fashion was a non-entity and wasn’t taken seriously by the fashion world. However, as the plus size movement gathered steam and her Instagram (@anastasiagphoto) began to rake in thousands of followers, she has become one of plus size fashion’s most respected voices.

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