Winnipeg photographer aims to show 'every body is a summer body'

Winnipeg photographer wants women to love their bodies no matter their shape, size or ability

Winnipeg Photographer Teri Hofford wants women to ditch pressure to be beach-body perfect

The Suns Out, Tums out billboard, featuring seven women in their bathing suits, overlooked Pembina Highway at Jubilee Avenue for a month. Photographer Teri Hofford hopes to keep the conversation going online via her Instagram account and Facebook page. (Scott Carnegie, Sugar Cube Entertainment)

If you're dreading the start of beach season because your body isn't beach-ready, Teri Hofford wants us all to get over it.

"Every body is a summer body," she said.

The Winnipeg-based photographer is on a mission of body positivity. She wants to help women in particular get past their body hang-ups. 

That's the philosophy behind Suns Out, Tums Out, a photography project and online campaign celebrating women of all sizes, shapes and abilities. Her project is also featured in a new, short video by Winnipeg filmmaker Scott Carnegie, created through CBC Manitoba's Creator Network, a storytelling project for freelance creators. 

Winnipeg Photographer Teri Hofford wants women to ditch pressure to be beach-body perfect. 3:58

Earlier this year, Hofford assembled seven women who modelled in their bathing suits for a studio photo shoot. One shot was posted on a billboard overlooking Pembina Highway at Jubilee Avenue. The Suns Out, Tums Out billboard came down in mid-June but Hofford hopes the message sticks and the conversation about body image and body representation continues. 

"My hope is with having these images out there that people will look and say, 'Oh she looks like me, and she looks amazing in a bathing suit so I also too can look amazing in a bathing suit,'" Hofford said. 

Hofford's Instagram account and Facebook page are also populated with portraits of women of all body types.  

Marlaine Myk, one of the billboard models, has struggled with self esteem and body image off and on her entire life, she says. 

Born with cerebral palsy, Myk says her disability, and being different, was especially difficult during her teen years.

Winnipeg women pose for photographer Teri Hofford's body positivity campaign, Suns Out, Tums Out. The campaign encourages women to accept their beach bodies unconditionally. (Scott Carnegie, Sugar Cube Entertainment )

When she was asked to participate in Hofford's photo shoot, Myk immediately came on board.

"Having this body positivity movement and hopefully representing people with disabilities just reminds people that, 'hey, our bodies may not look exactly like everybody else's but we're people with the same types of dreams and ambitions and desires like everybody else," said Myk. 

"We have, for very long been fed, one version of what we should look like as opposed to what we do look like," Hofford said. 

"We need to see tums more often of all different shapes and sizes of women so that it's not celebrated and it's not condemned, it just is." 

Winnipeg-based photographer Teri Hofford shoots model Marlaine Myk for the Suns Out, Tums Out body positivity campaign that celebrates all beach bodies. (Scott Carnegie, Sugar Cube Entertainment )