Blake Morrow is a Toronto-based photographer and illustrator. A couple of years ago, his friend Beth went to him with an interesting request.
"She came to me before she had gastric-bypass surgery asking if I’d do a portrait of her, combining a before-and-after vibe," he told BuzzFeed.
When she told him her idea, Morrow had a vision of how to capture it.
"I was immediately obsessed with the idea," Morrow said. "I love before-and-after stuff — be it home re-dos or weight loss comparisons. Creating this imagery with Beth was a chance to add to that lore, but to try something different."
Thus The Beth Project was born, a photo showcase of Beth before and after her surgery depicted through pop culture references.
He said the inspiration for the photos came from Beth's and his commons interests, with both of them being "sci-fi geeks."
The project was two years in the making, and shows Beth's weight loss of 150 pounds in different playful scenarios referencing pop culture events.
Morrow says Photoshop was used, but that he didn't alter Beth's body shape: "I was determined to use it in a way that would encourage and inspire people while being true to the heart of my subject."
He added that the main goal was to capture what makes Beth unique. "Some of the images are dramatic and theatrical, while others go for a gritty photo-realistic vibe, but they're all about Beth being herself, even while taking on characters to play."
The best part of the whole project, he said, was his subject. "I was honored that Beth was so open and willing to be herself while taking on these character scenarios to act through in front of my lens."