In this issue we want to introduce you to photographer, Sita Mae Edwards, the genius behind this month’s cover!
[Maddy] You are well known for your artistic images and unique eye, when did you begin to pursue a career in photography? [Sita] I first picked up the camera two years ago, under the tutelage of Jason Fassnacht, a Northern Californian painter and art photographer. Being mentored by him honed my inclination to pursue photography not just as a set of technical skills, but as an art. [Maddy] What was your inspiration for the cover shot? [Sita] This was truly a team effort, and it was inspired by the gown that Suzanne brought to the shoot. Jo Williams’ beautiful hair styling and Marlene G’s classic makeup brought together the dreamy, vintage mood that we all agreed the dress required. [Maddy] Have you always worked with Plus Models? [Sita] Right from the get-go I wanted subjects who are outside the photographic norm. Plus models and full-figured people generally are near and dear to my heart because I am a big woman myself. Growing up I almost never saw images of people who looked like me who were represented in a beautiful, positive way. As a photographer I seek to contribute to changing that. [Maddy] Is there a difference in the way you shoot curvier girls? [Sita] There are the little tricks that everyone uses – emphasizing the jaw line, exaggerating the waist, etc. But other than that, I think the major difference is that I have so much enthusiasm for working with plus models that I’m always really tickled to be photographing them. I haven’t shot a plus model yet who wasn’t a total delight to work with, and a genuinely sweet human being. How awesome is that? [Maddy] What do you believe makes a good model? [Sita] Genetics, of course. Beyond the obvious, though, I am interested in character and personality. The ability to emote effectively is of tremendous importance to me. It isn’t difficult to take a pretty picture of a pretty girl. But a compelling photograph of a fascinating woman requires…a fascinating woman. As a society we want our models to represent what we aspire to be – beautiful, confident, sexy, and intriguing. A good model creates that illusion when she steps in front of the camera. It’s a very specific kind of acting. [Maddy] Can you give aspiring photographers any advice? [Sita] In truth am still an aspiring photographer myself, so I can’t speak from the vantage point of wisdom and success and considerable time and service. I can say that in my experience, the great joy in photography comes not from conforming to what other people want and expect, but from doing what moves and inspires you. That’s easy to forget, and important to remember.