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Photo Therapy

July 22, 2013

Recently, Angela wrote a post titled “Healing Through Photography” which brought me to a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. On reddit’s /r/bodyacceptance, we often get people who want to know how they can learn to accept their bodies. I give two bits of advice: Body Acceptance and Fat Acceptance blogs and books, and photo therapy. Being a model, I’m a huge advocate of photo therapy as it’s helped me immensely.

The first time I modeled for nude photos, I came face to face with my body portrayed as beautiful art. Since then, I’ve done a lot of nudes and I’ve had to learn to love my body again and again. I’m not suggesting everyone shoot nude, but what I am suggesting is that everyone take the time to have full-body photos done of themselves from multiple angles. Whether it’s a professional photographer (which I highly recommend) or a friend with a camera. Even if you hate the photos, keep them, stare at them, find all of the things you love about them.

I organize a meetup group called Triangle Fatties here in the triangle area of North Carolina. We have Fat Foto Shoots every other month. Sometimes we get the same people coming out again and again, and sometimes we get fresh faces, but we always get beautiful images that everyone loves. I’m proud of the fact that I’m helping men and women gain some self-esteem and giving them wonderful photos to cherish. Some people have even participated in The Fat Naked Art Project, which we’ve done through the same group. Most of these people have never had professional photos taken.

Photo therapy helps you discover yourself and your body in ways you may never have thought of before. It allows you an objective view of yourself (as objective as you can get anyway). I don’t try to make my subjects look thinner, which I believe is important. I started Fat Foto Shoots because so many fat people hate having their photo taken. They’ve shied away from the camera for years or decades, never having photos of themselves at important events or special times. I want to fix that. I hope that by taking the first step of having professional photos done, people can learn to love the camera again, and themselves.

Please don’t let the special moments in your life pass you by. Birthday parties, births, raising children, vacations, weddings, whatever it is… don’t be that person in 20 years looking back and realizing you have nothing to remember the good times. You don’t have to love your photos. You really don’t, but take them anyway. For your own sake and for the sake of the people who love you.

*All photos are copyright of Kolaya Photography

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2013 10:34 am

    I love this. The whole concept, the entire process….. thank you.

  2. Duckie permalink
    July 22, 2013 11:33 am

    very nice work!

  3. July 23, 2013 1:41 am

    My grandmother (whom I resemble more than a little bit) was determined not to let anyone take a photo of her. She died in 1974, leaving only two photos, one of them from 1928. I would give ANYTHING for more pictures of my beloved grandmother.

    That is the reason that I don’t shy away from the camera, even though I’m still not at peace with looking at the photos once they are made. I am going to take your advice, though, about looking at the photos and finding things that I like – great idea!

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