Brittanny Taylor has an impressive body of work. In a relatively short amount of time, this Rhode Island based photographer has had her work published by the likes of Vogue.it, Elle.com, Vibe.com, Complex.com, and Billboard.com, to name a few. Her photos capture people of a variety of sizes, genders, and ethnicities, helping show the world that there’s space for everyone in fashion. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Brittanny to speak with her about life as a photographer on the east coast and the state of plus size people in fashion.
Brittanny, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Well, I’m from Providence Rhode Island, which is great because it allows me to travel to Boston and NYC with relative ease. I always say when you’re from Providence you have no excuse not to go visit cities like New York and Boston and experience everything they have to offer.
What’s the hardest thing about shooting in a busy city like New York?
The traffic. There’s just so many people driving and walking around, it can sometimes hold up a shoot.
People love to stop and look.
Seriously! [Laughing] Like you never saw a camera before? But I love shooting in New York. As a photographer, I love shooting characters, and New York is a character in and of itself. I don’t really take pictures of buildings, I love photographing trees and what’s happening on the streets. Sometimes I’ll stop random people on the street and ask them if they would want to pose for a picture.
How do you fit body positivity into your work?
Being a plus size girl myself, I see that the fashion industry is not accommodating to the plus size community — it’s like plus size people do not exist. That’s why it was refreshing when I started working with and shooting fashion vloggers. I get to shoot women of all shapes and sizes, from a variety of backgrounds who want to show off their personal style.
We know that many plus size people are self-conscious about having their picture taken. How do you overcome this when you’re doing a shoot?
It’s important to understand that we’re all vulnerable when we have our picture taken. Once you know that, then the goal is to just not care.
Just not care?
The moment I stopped caring when people took my picture, the more comfortable I got with having my picture taken. Our insecurities are not that big of a deal to other people. Most of the time, they don’t even notice them until we bring it up.
So, those things we don’t necessarily love about ourselves, most people won’t even notice that?
Exactly, that’s more your hang-up than theirs.
Why do you think so many brands continue to ignore the plus size community?
I think it comes down to familiarity. The average American woman is a size 16, but looking at the industry you wouldn’t know that. Most brands and photographers only carry clothing or shoot up to a size 8. That’s what they’re familiar with, and that’s where their comfort zone is — and many of them do not want to get out of that comfort zone.
Wow, that’s sad.
It is. It’s like brands are telling plus size people we are not worthy enough to shop at those stores and wear their clothes. It forces us into “plus size” stores.
It would be great if every store had a plus size or big and tall section. Just think how convenient it would be!
When you’re doing a shoot, do you have a specific goal in mind?
My end goal is to make sure that you feel comfortable and beautiful. When you’re in front of my camera, I will make you feel as beautiful as you’ve ever felt, just the way you are.