The before-and-after weight loss update is a social media staple at this point.
A Canadian woman and her photographer friend have taken the medium one step further by adding hair, makeup, wardrobe, elaborate sets and digital post-production to the mix.
Beth Beard approached Blake Morrow to ask if he would take her picture before she underwent gastric bypass surgery, Morrow told Business Insider.
“I was immediately onboard and excited about the idea,” he said, “and in no time turned it into this giant series of dramatic imagery that was created. Beth and I brainstormed a bit, and then I went away and conceived and conceptualized the portraits, and then photographed, art directed, and composited them together.”
He and Beard have known each other for almost 10 years, he said, and share “a love for geeky pop culture stuff.” Morrow is active on Twitter and Instagram, and Beard is also a photographer in her own right.
The first round of photos were shot a few weeks before Beard’s surgery, Morrow said, while Morrow’s friends provided clothing, styling and makeup and hair for the concepts he’d devised. Two years later, after she’d lost 150 pounds, Morrow brought her in for the “after” photos.
He shot about 24 versions of Beth and ended up using 12 of the Beth personae for the portraits. It took four to five months just to select the portraits and make the composites. He added environments in Photoshop while compositing the before-and-after portraits, he said.
“Beth’s energy on set was great,” Morrow said. “She was the perfect muse to photograph. She was fearless and was able to take advantage of her theatre background to bring drama to the shoots.”
Morrow called Beard’s weight loss an “amazing” accomplishment.
“The portraits I created as ‘The Beth Project’ are my way of celebrating her accomplishment,” he said, “and hopefully putting something out there that encourages others to reach for their own personal best. Beth and I have already been hearing from people all over the world in the midst of their weight-loss journeys, or have been encouraged to start theirs after seeing the imagery.”
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