Abbie Trayler-Smith has been photographing Shannon for the past 12 years, after hearing her read a poem at the launch of a health website for young people. The London-based photographer says her ongoing project, The Big O, is an attempt to “challenge what it means to be ‘fat’”.
“It’s more important now than ever to try and understand the real lives behind the statistics,” she explains. “How we talk about it matters, because it affects how we all feel about the issue and the people affected by it.”
Trayler-Smith’s images of Shannon are disarmingly honest, capturing her in unguarded, unedited moments of contemplation as well as joy. They’re collected together in Trayler-Smith’s first photobook, Kiss It!, which was announced in 2022.