Featured story by : Cindy Smith

It happens to the best of us: We wake up one morning, look in the mirror and can’t help but analyze the wrinkles creased on our forehead, the stretch marks spread across our stomach or the cellulite gathered on our thighs. It’s human nature—we all have insecurities regarding our appearance. But what if we embraced and celebrated these imperfections that make us who we are instead of hiding them?

This is the mission behind Nuovo Artistic Photography, a high-concept photography studio that focuses on inclusivity, body positivity and self-acceptance. Catherine Théoret, president and co-founder of Nuovo, believes that every woman (and man) who walks into the studio should feel empowered and exude confidence when posing in front of the camera.

“For me, it’s like a mission to do this, and I believe every woman should try this experience to feel beautiful in their skin,” says Théoret. “It’s important that everyone can have the power to try it—to have this luxurious experience and feel like a queen.”

Nuovo’s award-winning technique accentuates a person’s natural beauty by illuminating their figure with carefully positioned arrays of lights. Sometimes the client will be photographed semi-nude with a silk sheet covering them. While some people may feel apprehensive about the process, the Nuovo experience is intended to make them feel comfortable and beautiful in their skin.

“People come in [and] we sit down and take the time to communicate because it’s essential to develop trust first,” explains Théoret. “People need to feel liberated—to be open about their insecurities, their body and why they’re doing this. We need to understand all of this for the shoot.”

There are many different reasons why clients will inquire about Nuovo’s services, from celebrating achievements and milestones to wanting to see their body in a new light. Since the company encounters a broad range of clientele, it has developed poses that complement all kinds of features and body types, and a team member performs them alongside the client.

“The way we do photography is completely different from photography in fashion, for example,” says Théoret. “The goal is to create an emotional reaction from the guest and motivate the team to capture their natural beauty.”

In today’s society, where so many companies and brands profit from pressuring women to change or harshly judge their appearance, Nuovo’s goal is to do the opposite. It encourages clients to embrace their natural stretch marks and imperfections rather than edit or change them. And sometimes the release of these feelings of self-doubt and insecurity will be accompanied by tears of joy.

“It’s almost like we crush something inside the client and they feel so light,” says Théoret. “People come with fear, nervousness and anxiety; they don’t sleep all night. But there’s no reason for [this] because when they arrive, [they’re met by] a team who understand.”

The creative team at Nuovo play a vital role in creating a comfortable and safe space where people can freely reveal their true selves. The staff is made up of women exclusively—“at the moment,” adds Théoret—and choosing them is a significant part of Théoret’s job. Instead of looking for the perfect resumé, she opts to go with her intuition when choosing the best candidate.

“It’s important to do an interview. I’m connecting with people and seeking a good vibe and energy. If I don’t have that right away, it will not work for us,” Théoret explains. “Personality means everything. It’s important to be open-minded, have experience in life and be confident. After that, it’s easy to learn the rest.”

Another unique aspect of the experience is that clients get to see their unedited photos immediately after their shoot—and they are often pleasantly surprised by the breathtaking results.

“We pride ourselves in showing the photos to the client directly after the photo shoot, with no editing,” says Théoret. “They are proud of what they used to be insecure about and [often] start crying.”

Nuovo offers hair and makeup services and some retouching options for photos. However, clients are encouraged to embrace their natural selves—preserving their unique beauty and authenticity—rather than relying on heavy editing.

“That’s them—their natural selves—and everything about them is beautiful,” says Théoret. “We make guests feel valued. [And] we make sure every woman in the company feels that way too. We are excited to see our growing impact through our labour of love.”

Moving forward, Théoret will be announcing partnerships with body-positive influencers. She aims to spread the message that anyone, regardless of their age, race, gender or background, can partake in this emotional, inspiring and life-changing experience.

“Everyone deserves to feel confident in their skin, and our team at Nuovo will continue fighting the good fight to prove that,” Théoret proudly states.


KO Media newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.