Meet Kirsten Anderson: Plus Size Lifestyle Photographer from Seattle


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Since starting my blog in 2016, I’ve worked with QUITE a few photographers.  As I’ve shared more blogging advice and taught classes on using Instagram for blogging, I get questions ALL OF THE TIME that boil down to, “What photographers do you recommend?”

SO, I thought it would be fun to share little interviews with the photogs I’ve worked with, along with insights on how *they* work and the kind of work they do.

First Up: Kirsten Anderson

I met Kirsten through Instagram, when my friend (and plus-size model) Andréa Campbell introduced us.  I’ve been traveling more frequently to Seattle to take care of my grandparents, and I wanted to do a blogger photoshoot in Seattle.

Kirsten is both an editorial and lifestyle photographer, meaning she takes photos for brands as well as taking photos for bloggers.  “I love to take dark street shots, but lately, I’ve loved meeting and working with influencers just starting out,” she says. “I try to match their personality to how I shoot and edit.”

Real talk:  I’ve really struggled working with photographers who *aren’t* experienced in working with bloggers, because they’re used to spending an hour taking photos in the same outfit!  Generally, I need around 5-7 good shots – which takes about 20 minutes.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here!  Let me share how our photoshoot in Seattle went, and give you the inside scoop on working with Kirsten.

Set Up The Shot

I took a ferry to Seattle, and met up with Kirsten at a Starbucks.  I had brought around 4 outfits (packed in a carryon bag!), and we reviewed the outfits together.  After seeing all of the COLOR I brought, she suggested we go to Capitol Hill to shoot.   Like all good photogs, Kirsten keeps a list of places to shoot in Seattle.

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“People spend more time planning a vacation than their life” is one of my favorite quotes. . It can be so tempting to stay reactive to your surroundings, instead of actively planning what you want to do. It’s easier to stay in a place of indecision and possibility, than plant your feet firmly and go after something. . But figuring out how to figure out a plan can be tough. “Make goals!!” People tell you. “Dream big!!” . Okay, but how do I actually do the dang thing I want to do? How do I make an action plan? . A Desire Map, Ideal Life Vision, Vision Board, etc, can all be helpful in figuring out what you want to do. The very first step is to give yourself SPACE to plan and ponder. Maybe it’s 3-4 hour block this weekend. The point is to set aside time during the day, so you’re not filled with existential dread at 3AM. . If you’re stuck on planning your career, I’ve just published a new video on how to create a “map,” that will help you get where you want to go. . Link in bio, ofc. . What are your big audacious dreams you’re somewhat embarrassed to share? Mine in the first comment. ???? . ????: @kandvisuals . #createeveryday #desiremap #visionboard #plussizeblog #paylessshoes #chaosmagick #pcoswarrior #alternativecurves #utahmodel #plusmodelmag #effyourbeautystandards

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Changing outfits as a blogger can get a little… awkward (or wild?).  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve changed behind a car, in a car or just kind of out in the open.  I usually wear a camisole so as not to scandalize folks.

Kirsten parked in a parking garage, so that’s where I changed!

Getting The Shot

There’s this magical moment when you’re shooting an outfit, where you’ve done enough poses to know you’ve #GotTheShot.  Taking modeling classes has really helped me play with different poses, so every photo isn’t me pulling a “Wonder Woman” with my hands on my hips.

From Kirsten:  “I love watching the person on the other side of my lens come alive with each *click* of the shutter. They’re trained to hear the *Click* and do a new pose.”

Changing Backgrounds

Kirsten was REALLY great at moving me around a location, to get different backgrounds.  She totally gets the need for 5-7 photos, and we worked well together.  She was also good at managing the traffic flow around me.  (Street photos can be weird, because generally there are people around trying to walk on the sidewalk – and I’m living my best ANTM life, lol).

Kirsten loves working with folks who aren’t afraid to try something new. “I work with bloggers, models, and Instagrammers who love to play with color and drama in their content. I also love it when my clients are willing to play a little and explore new areas they are not used to shooting in.”

Working with Kirsten

Here’s what you need to know about working with Kirsten:

  1. It takes time to edit!  “It costs money to buy equipment, shoot, and edit you. But the biggest piece I think that folks misunderstand if the time component. It takes time to go through and find the best shots. To really edit them; airbrush out your blemishes, fix your contours…these things take time.”
  2. Plan a Chat Pre-Photoshoot:  “I meet most of my clients either on Instagram or through word of mouth. We usually have a conversation about outfit types, mood, and color palettes they are looking for.”
  3. What do you charge? “I am working on a subscription model for bloggers. I haven’t finished the pricing structure but I should have it up on my website sometime this winter. It will be three tiers, with monthly pricing.”
  4. Anything else?  “When you are shooting with a photographer for the first time, just be yourself. The more comfortable you are, the better you will look in your photos. Generally, the more familiar you are with your photographer the better your photos look because you understand each other.”
You can follow Kirsten on her personal Instagram and her photography Insta!  Her website is here.  Thank you for a great shoot, Kirsten!!
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