It is inevitable that at some point when asked to do a shoot with someone, I am also asked to fix a myriad of perceived problems. The biggest request is can I make them look smaller. I hear all the time, I want to work with you, I love your work, but I’m too fat to be shot professionally. Since I’ve been that women many times before, let me answer you as plainly as I can. Yes, I can make you look smaller, will I? No baby, I won’t, and let me tell you why. I am not a graphic artist, I am a professional photographer, so I’m not going to completely change what I see in my lens. I can’t do that level of disservice to you. What I can do is clean up tiny imperfections like blemishes,lighting, fixing stray hairs and accentuate the natural beauty you were blessed with. Photographers understand tricks like hair and makeup artists do. We understand how certain lighting can make you look older, harsher and how to soften that and how extending your neck like a turtle can straighten out those extra chins you think you have. We also understand that angles are everything! If you are anything like me, seeing photos that friends tag you in can cause massive panic leaving you wondering how many people saw it before you could untag it, then reduces you to this anxiety laden hot mess doubting your value in everything. You are the person I look for to shoot, the one who doesn’t want to look me in the eye, the one who is lacking in confidence, because in the right hands, with the right encouragement, you will blossom like never before. Have you ever looked at an old picture and thought that you wish you could be as fat as you thought you were in that picture? That’s why I say don’t wait, the time to capture the essence of who you are is right now. In a year, you might get some weight off, but you might develop other problems that photoshop can’t fix such as a broken heart. It’s funny how most people can find something beautiful in just about every person they see, but they are struck down with blindness when it comes to their own image. You do understand that your biggest critic is who is looking back at you in the mirror, right? Here is a harsh truth for you beautiful person, life will not wait for you to get thin enough and honestly, you will never get thin enough. I lost almost 200 pounds and still wasn’t thin enough and wouldn’t have felt thin enough until I erased myself. It is a terrible tragedy to think that if something happens to me, the only thing that my loved ones will have to remember me by is pictures I took of other people. Back in the 1990’s I lived in Europe and I traveled all over Germany and spent time in Paris France. I did some pretty amazing things and on those days when I just feel too fat to exist, I remind myself that I hiked the longest waterfalls in Germany, these legs that I criticize every day have wandered every inch of The Louvre in Paris. These hands that I think are turning into my mother’s have been raised in worship in Notre Dame Cathedral. These eyes that hide behind glasses watched the sun set in the Alps on a winter’s night. Don’t hate your body, it’s just the vessel you were born in to travel this amazing planet you inhabit. What you should love, what I love is the look in your eye that tells me you have a story, the smile that enters the room before you do, the laughter I will get when I turn on disco music and dance with you, twirling you around in my studio reminding you that you are brilliance personnified. You are magnificent, you are worthy, you are valued. That is what I will capture in my lens, that is what your loved ones will see. Your body doesn’t define you, it only helps you wander this earth discovering the beauty that is out there. The magic is waiting, just outside of your comfort zone, get moving darlin’ – Kate