Hello there! Just wanted to give a brief description of who I am and how I relate to this macrocosm that is the plus size community. I have been a photographer for at least 15 years. I was getting professionally paid while I was still in high school to shoot various events, musicians and even real estate. Fashion photography and photographing musicians has always been my favorite part of the job.
At some point I “gave it up” to pursue something else. I suppose the romanticism surrounding it diminished as soon as I found out I couldn’t afford the school that I wanted to get into to study photography further. I traveled around Europe for a bit after high school and as soon as I got back to California I tried to think of the quickest way to (legally) make a dollar, so that I could continue traveling. So, I became a bartender and earned a degree in International Business.
I quickly got a second job because, it seems that is the only way to keep your head above water now-a-days, working at Sephora in the skincare department. While there I was often used as the face model when someone was getting certified to be a makeup artist. People would say things like “Hey, you should become a model!” There was just one very obvious flaw in their plan…I was, and have been since middle school, a solid size 12-14. Then a close friend of mine mentioned “Plus Size” modeling. I did a bit of research and this being a very small world, I ended up knowing a friend of a plus size model. I got her email address and reached out. To my surprise she replied very quickly, was helpful and led me to my first modeling agent. The following week they requested a meeting with me, so I showed up in my leather motorcycle jacket and beat up boots completely out of my element. I was offered a contract that day and was able to quit all of my jobs, after booking my first job with Forever 21.
Being a part of the “plus size” community is exciting. Especially to see its rate of growth happening before my eyes. I picked up the camera again because I believe I have a different point of view to offer this community. I would like to see even more diversity and even give an “edge” to these curvy women.
Follow Liz on Instagram @lizphoto and @lizestradaphoto and online at https://www.elizabeth.international/.