Christine Simard is a photographer based in Montreal, QC. Her work mainly revolves around the harmony of soft and raw, and this is why she chooses to shoot most of her projects in 35 mm. Fervent defender of body positivity, she tries her best to pay tribute to the human body in its most natural form and in all its beauty.
How did the idea for the series come about?
My friend Laura and I got to know each other better when her and a bunch of other friends decided to start this collective called La Peste, a collective that I would soon be part of. These ladies (from the collective) had a big impact on how I see myself today and how I can be better with general body positivism. Laura herself amazes me with how she doesn’t care about what anybody has to say on her life choices, even more when it comes to her body, and this is why I asked her to be part of this project. I am amazed about how someone can love themselves so much and I just find it truly inspiring.
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
I feel like right now, even though there’s still some work to be done, we made a big step on how we perceive the ‘female’ body. The reason I’m putting female as a quote is that by saying so, I am also including trans women into this equation. I see a lot of young women today finally accepting their natural form and embracing it, I see women of colour stepping forward and demanding that we stop the white washing our society imposes us everyday as a beauty standard, I see trans women fighting for their rights and for acceptance, etc. I feel like if photographers would stop a second and think about how they might be choosing their models to stick to a certain beauty standard and just embrace the female body as it is, that’s how we can photograph it in a more powerful way. Work with your models, listen to them, be open. Be part of women’s empowerment!
What inspires you?
People’s determination and dreams.
How would you define beauty?
Beauty for me is not something solely physical and it has never been, it kind of goes beyond that. I don’t really know how to describe it but I’ve always noticed that I find all of the people I know beautiful. Sometimes I forget how my friends look like because I love them so much that the concept of physical beauty disappears. Only then do I take a second look at them and actually study their features. I guess that for me beauty is what other people make of it for themselves, how they turn it into their own thing and how they use it.
Film or digital?
Film for sure.
What makes you happy?
The incredible people I had the chance to meet during the past year, especially the girls from my collective. They have no idea how they helped me to become the person I am right now, even though I’m still not done working on myself. Also, cats and dogs.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently trying to work on a new project and hopefully publish it at some point, maybe an exhibition also, who knows? I procrastinated for so long and I decided that it was more than enough with putting things aside!