A whole year has passed since I came back to Australia from a 6-month adventure of living and travelling in the USA. When people ask me where was my favourite place, it’s literally impossible to give just one answer… I went to SO MANY INCREDIBLE PLACES! (In fact, my full photo journal is right here). But the one place that incomparably stole my heart was Portland, Oregon.
I haven’t watched Portlandia, but from what I understand of it, that show kind of put Portland on the (TV?) map. And then there was the legalisation of that sweet, sweet Mary Jane. I reckon Aussies also know about PDX for that reason!
But for me, the intangible essence of awesome was created by the incredible people who I had struck up internet friendships with over the previous couple of years, and whom I finally got to chill and chat with IRL. It was actually life changing.
Portland is home to an awe-inspiring hub of creatives and is (what I believe to be) the fat fashion capital of America. The sense of community and talent oozing from that place causes me to miss it (and daydream about someday living there) on the regular.
One of these amazing creatives is the deliciously delightful Beth Olson of Beth Olson Creative. We connected over social media (bless you, interwebz) and began to formulate a photoshoot theme for when I was in town.
It was a match made in dark, moody heaven, as we both saw it as an opportunity to experiment outside of our respective comfort zones. Our concept was a modern interpretation of a femme fatale… We wanted to create something that was strong and sexy, but without being traditionally hyper-sexualised and overtly femme. Beth had specific lighting ideas that she wanted to experiment with, and we struck up a collab Pinterest board that became quickly saturated with teddy girls and Lauren Bacalls (both actual and modern-day interpretations of…).
The day was also a personal experience of growth because I was backpacking at the time, so I didn’t have much with me in the way of clothes – especially around our theme. So we put the call out to local fat babes and holy heck did they deliver!
Not only was it so beautiful and heartwarming to have an abundance of garments offered to borrow, but also quite challenging to just chill and trust that other people would have clothes to fit my body. I think this is an experience that doesn’t often happen for fats, and that particular feeling of nervousness and anxiety is something that thin people probably don’t have.
Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me. Believe it or not, when I sat down to draft this post, I was just going to write an intro paragraph and let the images do the talking. I guess I just can’t help myself… an image is worth 1000 words, but so is 1000 words! 😉
The incredible team that worked on this shoot, and whom I have endless love and respect for:
Photography: Beth Olson – Beth Olson Creative
Hair: Courtney Gomia – Curltivator
Makeup: Psykhe Lafferty – Mesu Visual Images