“Women are our most miraculous muses, an enchanted intangibility that encourages all art.” Musician, Writer and Artist – CeeLo Green
Some artists have only one muse that ignites their creative fire and inspires their art. With my photography, I allow each project have its own unique expression. Each client or each model becomes my muse and helps me channel of my artistic vision. With my most recent project, Jet Set Summer, plus-sized model Maggie Judge not only served as my muse, but she inspired and impressed me with her amazing personal story. To fully grasp the power behind the pictures, I wanted to share a look into the life of a model and offer a small glimpse into the life of Maggie.
To be a model, you have to bring confidence and a willingness to be vulnerable.
As a photographer, I have worked with some outstanding models and heard incredible stories. I have seen first hand what it takes to be successful and recognize those models who will not make the cut. The life of a model is no easy road. As a professional model, you must have both a beautiful face and a marketable look. You have to have the confidence to handle critiques from designers, agents, and the industry. You have to be flexible when being directed by photographers, dressed by designers and stylists, and styled by makeup artists and hair professionals. You have to be able to tap into a wide array of emotions through silent acting to bring the right level of energy to the shoot. You have to understand your body and how your body looks on camera, be it sitting, standing, walking, and everything in between. You have to have an arsenal of diverse facial expressions so that you can bring variety to the images. On top of everything, you must be professional, poised and polished as your reputation can make or break you in the business. The fashion and beauty industry can be tough and capricious. The standards are high and the challenges are great. These standards are even higher for the plus size model.
The plus size modeling industry is the fastest growing sector of the modeling industry.
The fashion and beauty industry is expanding its narrow view of beauty and welcoming in models of diverse looks and sizes to my great pleasure. I love working with women across all walks of life and all ages. I’m so glad to see the fashion and beauty industry finally recognizing what so many of us have known all along – women of all sizes and shapes can be beautiful! Plus size models are working the runway, posing in catalogs, killing it in magazine editorials and dominating commercial advertisements for some of the world’s biggest brands and designers. Models like Maggie are breaking down doors and captivating the world with their beauty and their confidence.
For a plus size model, confidence is a non-negotiable.
Throughout my career, I have worked with models across the spectrum from straight-sized to plus-sized. To my initial surprise, I found that plus-sized models bring a greater level of personal confidence and body awareness. Where many straight-sized models were self-critical and resistant to adapting for the camera, fuller-figured models were open-minded and flexible. Plus sized models love the skin they are in, have fun being bold while being willing to be vulnerable in ways that a traditional model often fears. There is an unshakable confidence that comes from understanding and loving your body. For Jet Set Summer, Maggie brought confidence and she inspired me to play with color, sassy attitude and subtle sophistication.
Maggie Judge – A supermodel, superhero and a super mom
I could not be happier with the images that Maggie and I created together. As I said at the beginning, she was not just my muse for the shoot, but inspired me on a personal level. Maggie has a truly remarkable beauty and she understands how to use her curves to her advantage. That said, what makes her truly outstanding resonates from who she is as a person. Maggie only recently delved into the world of modeling. Before jumping headfirst into the waters of the fashion world, she spent her days giving care to those in need. As a registered nurse, Maggie combines her kind heart and her medical expertise to help the sick and the injured. That ability to connect with others and to tap into empathy and compassion certainly benefits her modeling career. Maggie doesn’t just focus on being beautiful or looking great. She took time to understand the overall vision for our shoot, listened carefully to my on set direction, and worked in tandem with me to accomplish the goal of a fabulously vibrant project. I have no doubt that her great bedside manner as a health care professional is similar to her positivity on set. If her intelligence and her compassion were not inspiring enough, Maggie ups the ante with her role as a super mom. Maggie is the mother of four, beautiful, strong and smart young ladies. In our shoot consultation, Maggie brought one of her lovely little ladies along and I got to see her what a nurturing and caring role model she is for her daughters. Maggie is preaching the gospel of self-confidence and showing her daughters that if you can dream it, you can be it. As a father of two, I have a deep respect for parents who go the extra mile to raise self-reliant, intelligent and determined children. Maggie is nothing short of super.
Jet Set Summer – A fabulous, luxurious and vibrant celebration of summer.
In Jet Set Summer, I wanted to create a collection of images that celebrated the joy, the heat and the sensuality of summer. Together with my stylist Kari, Maggie and I curated four varied looks and frolicked poolside in the early morning light. In the images, we have the soft sensuality of black lace and soft makeup that highlights all Maggie’s natural beauty. To highlight Maggie’s fashionista side, we shot her in a stripped bikini, amazing wide leg trousers and sky-high platforms. For a dash of glamour and sophistication, Maggie wore an amazing emerald one-piece bathing suit courtesy of Fashion Nova Curve, fabulous jewels and metallic slides to complete the look. In a nod to her ‘girl next door’ sweetness, we dressed Maggie in a sassy white bikini and cut off denim shorts. And, no girl next-door living in Texas would be complete without a cowboy hat. I love the images we created together and am so happy I got the chance to work with Maggie. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do!
I was taught to always say thanks!
I cannot produce the art I love so much without the help of some truly amazing people. Please check out our amazing team below and show them some love!
Thank you, as always, to my producer and style coach, Kari Schoeffler. You can see her handy work on almost all of my shoots and you can hear some of her thoughts on our blog Paraluxe. http://www.jeremypierson.com/blog/shopping-for-your-photo-shoot-style-repot/ You can follow Kari on Instagram here.