Obesity project's World Press prize for Holcombe Rogus photographer

Somerset County Gazette: One of Abbie Trayler-Smith's images from her powerful project on obesity. One of Abbie Trayler-Smith's images from her powerful project on obesity.

A PHOTOGRAPHER has won an award for her work highlighting the on-going battle against childhood obesity.

Abbie Trayler-Smith’s ‘Big O’ project scooped a World Press Photo Award for a powerful portrait showing insecurity in teenagers dealing with weight problems.

Now, the 36-year-old is looking for more young people to come forward and tell their story through art.

Abbie, of Holcombe Rogus, near Wellington, said: “The Big O is an intimate study in photographs and text of the children behind the obesity statistics that are shaking the core of contemporary British society.

“My aim with this work is to show how complicated and nuanced the subject of childhood obesity is and to tap into the wider youthful experiences of insecurity and the disquiet that so many of us – fat or not – went through with our own bodies and self-image during those formative and insecure teenage years.

“I am working towards producing an exhibition of photographs on the subject that show the person beyond their size, and supporting book with media coverage, which I hope will result in a wider discussion about obesity and what can and should be done to help those who battle it.”

Abbie’s photo of a young blonde girl battling obesity won 2nd Prize Staged Portraits at the awards. Some of her previous work has also appeared in magazines and the Daily Telegraph.

To help with her quest to beat the stigma attached to obesity, Abbie is looking to get in the minds of boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 17.

She said: “I like to work in a collaborative way and this is a story close to my heart. I was an obese teenager so I understand the sensitivities more than most and it is important to me that this subject be tackled with empathy.”

For more information about the project, parents can contact Abbie on 07977-456911 or aphotograph@gmail.com

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