Meet Body Positive Artist, Shoog McDaniel (NSFW)

Shoog McDaniel is a Southern queer and non-binary* artist and fat activist living in Florida.  Shoog hosted a meet up in plus BKLYN a few months ago, and we loved the energy and insights they brought.

Shoog is preparing for their West Coast Tour, so we thought now would be a great time share their work with the plus BKLYN community!

*Confused what we mean by non-binary?  Check out this resource.

All photos copyrighted by Shoog McDaniel.  

PBK:  Hey, Shoog!  Thank you for taking the time for this interview.  Your work is incredible, and we're excited to learn more about you and your process!

SM:  Glad to be here.

Shoog McDaniel Bodies Like Oceans

PBK:  When did you start using photography as a medium?  What drew you to photographs?

Social awkwardness. Photography was a way for me to be able to share space and hang out with friends without having to be a complete participant. I was able to observe and document. Photo documentation is something that I have been interested in for a long time, and I found great joy in producing snapshots that captured tender and hilarious moments, and being able to show those to my friends. Photography gave me a role socially which I felt I had lacked for years, it made me feel valuable.

Person with long hair with foliage placed


PBK:  I love the tenderness and humor in your work.  What relationship do you have (or not have) with the viewer of your work?

SM:  When I first started photographing people it was mostly close friends. For the last few years, I photograph more strangers than people I know! I feel honored to able to make connections and build trust with people in a short period of time, this is often aided by having some kind of common ground, usually fatness or queerness.

Plus size body nude from behind

PBK:  What does your artistic process look like?  Do you arrange shots mentally before shooting, or is it more of a “found objects” type of process?

SM:  I rarely s spend a lot of time setting up shoots, it has happened maybe like three times where I have a vision that I want to make come true. Usually it’s a very organic and collaborative process with the model. I am very directive during shoots if the person is into that, and I will just tell people how to stand or what feeling or emotion I want them to experience for a photo and then will try to tweak it to make sure the lighting looks good and the shapes and colors look nice.

I love using random pieces of nature to incorporate into the shoot. I really want the feeling that people get from my photos to be that that this could really happen, that it is not set up- that it is just something that could spontaneously occur. I want to highlight natural magic.

Art photograph of person underwater

PBK:  You’re going on tour!  Woot! Where are you going, and why did you pick these cities?

SM: Yes! I will be in the Pacific Northwest for a couple months! I’m headed to Portland for the first few weeks of August and then up to Seattle for the second two!

Shoog McDaniel Art

After that I may go north to Canada or south to the bay, not determined yet! Portland has always been a real hub for fat activism and last summer I went and was able to do a whole bunch of really awesome photoshoots! I’m hoping to do a bunch this time as well!

Shoog McDaniel Art

PBK:  How does a photoshoot with you work?  What can someone expect to happen as they work with you?

SM: Usually when we meet up to shoot, we will have kind of talked about ideas before hand. I really like to hang out and just chat for like five or 10 minutes just to get used to each other and then I take some warm-up photos… Just to get the person used to the camera. Just snapping a few photos as we are talking. And then I might suggest that we move to a different location and it just depends on how the person feels and we can go from there!

Shoog McDaniel Art

A lot of people that want their photos taken want nude photos, and so usually we kind of start clothes and make our way down to nothing. I have been told that I am reassuring and easy to work with, and I really get excited when I take good images and like to share them immediately!

Shoog McDaniel Art - Child in dress by Stream

PBK:  Can you share pricing for photoshoots?  Sometimes folks are too shy to ask.

SD: My rates are sliding scale, $200-350 an hour- based on what you can pay. For Trans women and QTBIPOC(Queer and Trans- Black, Indigenous, People of Color) folks, sliding scale starts at $0.

 

$100 non-refundable deposit is due upon booking the date, and the rest on the day of the shoot. You will receive at least 50 unedited photos emailed to you within days after the shoot. Because I don’t edit my photos, I give you a whole bunch instead. It is fine for you to edit them as you see fit and post whatever you want. I only ask that you give me credit when posting on social media and don’t sell the images.

If you'd like to book a shoot, or are interested in learning more, please fill out this form.

2 people looking down at camera, one is in yellow heels

PBK:  Love that you do sliding scale!  What's on the horizon for you?  

SD:  Just that I am excited to take my work to the next level, I would like to start having art shows or maybe work on a book of fat bodies! If anyone knows of anyone looking to publish or sponsor something like this let me know!

You can follow Shoog on Instagram and Facebook

Do you love Shoog's art? Be sure to share this post on social media  so other folks can learn about their work!


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