Flash: Meet Photographer Stanley Debas, an Interview by Plus Model Pippa

Flash: Meet Photographer Stanley Debas, an Interview by Plus Model Pippa

Stanley Debas is a NYC-based photographer whose commercial clients include Fubu, Just My Size and Kappa. His current portfolio is available at

[Pippa] How did you begin shooting plus models?

[Stanley] A while back I was assisting a photographer shooting Angelika, and I could see that he wasn’t ‘feeling’ this fabulous-looking woman, and she knew it too. Afterwards, I got her number and set up a shoot. She was signed with Ford at the time and her bookers loved our work together. Agents from Wilhelmina and Click also saw the images and had the same reaction. They all said that I have an eye for photographing plus-size models, and they really encouraged me.

[Pippa] Is there anything you enjoy when shooting plus models that you don’t find with regular models?

[Stanley] I enjoy everything about photographing women; but shooting plus is different to regular. When I am working with plus models, it is really exciting to push the concept or idea as far as I can. My enthusiasm makes the women feel sexy, and they can’t wait to see the pictures. Plus models are very spirited in both body and attitude – and it shows in the work!

[Pippa] All of the work on your website is fairly concept-driven…

[Stanley] Yes, I don’t like to shoot the same thing twice. Everything you see on my website is from my imagination and research; I spend a lot of time and money at the magazine stands! I try to show full figured women as their true selves – sexy, alive and as beautiful as God intended them.

[Pippa]How much collaboration do you do with the models for a test?

[Stanley] I have a meeting with the model and my team a week beforehand to come up with some ideas, and if the model likes the concept then I start scouting for the right locations. Seventy percent of my test process is production! I want to be involved in every aspect of the shoot including hair, make up and styling because I have a clear idea of the concept and how to translate that to the camera. It took me a while to get the right team together, but they know what my vision is, we respect each other, and they deliver 110%.

[Pippa] How do you feel about the gap between the imagery in your photos and how the industry usually portrays larger women?

[Stanley] I wish advertisers would open their minds and show women how beautiful and sexy they are. I hate it when you open a magazine and the only thing you see are ‘before and after’ wardrobe styling pictures – like weight loss ads. I am working on a personal project that is going to be amazing and beautiful, but at the same time… shocking to a lot of people because they just won’t expect to see plus women this way.

I feel so supported by all the beautiful models I have had the chance to work with, and also industry veterans like my good friend Catherine Schuller have really encouraged me to branch out and do interesting things. Keep checking my website – I load new images often, and still have plenty of ideas!!

Meet the Author, Pippa…

Pippa has been working as a plus model since 1994 and is currently residing in London. Besides working as a model, she has a background in graphic design and recently completed the editing of an art book on the world’s most renown yoga masters. She’s been to over 26 countries and doesn’t plan to stop wandering anytime soon.