Bare Beauty Session: Katia



This is Katia. She was my first official Bare Beauty session. She met me at our house in Old Québec on a saturday morning in July and we walked up our street a ways until we found this perfect little ally between some neighbors homes where the light was soft and inviting, and we stayed there for the next hour just talking and clicking away.

She told me about when she struggled with some major insecurities as a teen/young adult, and how she found the strength within not only herself to move on from it, but from the people she chose to surround herself with.

Here are some excerpts from my interview with her.


BB: Ça fait combien de temps que tu travailles dans le monde de la mode?

How long have you been working in the fashion world?


K: Ça fait, depuis 2000. Je ne suis pas une artiste, mais j’aime le monde et la mode, alors, le commerce, ça a fait du sens.

Since 2000. I’m not an artist, but I love people and fashion, so commerce just made sense.


BB: Est-ce que tu portes du maquillage régulièrement?

Do you regularly wear makeup?


K:Non, peut-être plus quand j’étais plus jeune, comme pour faire Madonna ou Cyndi Lauper..

No. Maybe a little more when I was younger, but more for the Madonna, or Cyndi Lauper looks..


BB: Alors, plus comme pour un ‘statement’, pas tous les jours. Est-ce qu’il y’a quelque chose d’autre avec quoi tu t’es caché? La mode? Les vêtements?

So, more as a statement, not for every day. Was there something else though, that you hid behind? Fashion? Clothing?


K: Oui, exact. J’avais l’extravagance plus dans les vêtements que le maquillage. Même aujourd’hui, quand je sors, quand je rentre à quelque part, j’ai besoin de l’attention. Quand je rentre, il faut que ça fasse, BOOM! Même à New York, dernièrement, ça me fait tellement du bien, j’avais comme un gros chapeau, et je me promenais, crime, tout le monde disait, ‘eh, ton chapeau et vraiment hot.’ Et en plus, c’est à New York… Alors, oui, c’est ça, ma valorization. je l’ai trouvé vraiment dans les vêtements.

Yes, exactly. I was more extravagant in my clothing than makeup. Even now, when I go out, when I walk into a room, I need attention. When I walk in, it’s got to be like, BOOM! I was actually in New York City recently, and it made me so happy, I was wearing this huge hat, and my god, people kept stopping me on the streets telling me how cool my hat was. And that was in New York.. So, yeah, my validation, I found it more in clothing.


BB: Est-ce qu’il y’avait déjà eu un temps ou t’était comme pas alaise dans ta peau?

Was there ever a time where you really didn’t feel comfortable in your own skin?


K: Pour moi, dans le fond, c’est pas dans le maquillage que je me suis cacher .. On dirait, je me crème pas.. je ne mets pas de la crème. Check là, mes sourcils, ne sont même pas fait! On dirait que je suis une fille qui fait attention de qu’est-ce qu’elle mange, qui s’entraîne beaucoup. C’est que moi, j’avais les gros problèmes de comportements alimentaire, et ça durée des années.. même j’ai arrêté d’être menstruée pendant quatre ans. C’était un dur bout.. (de sortir de ça).

“For me, it wasn’t with makeup that I hid.. I mean, I don’t even use cream on my face at night. Check it, my eyebrows aren’t even done! I’m more of a girl who watches what she eats and pays attention to the things I put in my body. I work out a lot. No, for me, I had a very serious eating disorder, and it lasted for years. I didn’t eat. I mean, I actually went four years without my period. And it was really hard to get out of that.


BB: Comment est-ce que tu as sorti de ça? Comme, si t’avais un conseil à donner à une jeune fille, ou femme, ou n’importe qui, pour mieux s’aimer eux-mêmes, ça serait quoi?

How did you get out of that? Like, if you could give one piece of advice to a young girl, or a woman, or ANYONE on how to love yourself better, what would it be?


K: Moi, qu’est-ce que je trouve, c’est qu’il y’a l’entourage aussi.. Les amis, la famille. Et souvent c’est en rapport avec l’extérieur que tu te sens pas bien. Fait que, oui, il y’a un travail sur toi à faire, pour avoir la liberation. Voir, je suis très forte.. je suis capable de prendre beaucoup, mais j’ai une grande faiblesse aussi.. parce que je me suis laissé battre, je me suis laissé manipuler.. Et c’est sur que ça m’a vraiment battu. Mais je pense que c’est aussi le travail à l’intérieur que d’éliminer les gens qui sont un peu… les vampires. Si tu te sens pas bien en compagnie de quelqu’un, c’est pas juste toi.. il faut que tu t’écoutes.

Me, what I have found, it’s that there’s the entourage as well.. friends, family. And often, it’s because of what’s outside of you that you don’t feel well. I mean, yes, there is work to do on yourself, to have that (emotional) freedom. Look, I’m very strong. I am able to take on a lot, but I also have a huge weakness.. because I allowed myself to be abused, to be manipulated.. and of course that really damaged me. But, I think that its just as much the work on the inside as it is to eliminate the people (in your life) who are a little… like vampires. If you don’t feel good in the company of a person, it’s not just you. You have to listen to yourself.



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In 2004, Katia began her own Agency, Agence KA, that specializes in the representation of Canadian fashion designers who create and manufacture exclusively in Canada. She Currently represents ten designers, among them are Eve Gravel, Bodybag by Jude, and Annie 50. She travels across Canada for her work, and is in the process of expanding some of her designers’ brands into the US. She is originally from Québec City, but currently resides in Montréal, Quebec.


the first voice

I haven’t done much with the Bare Beauty Project recently. Life has been so busy between working in the salon, working on photo shoots, my time with the girls and Mathieu, and traveling to see friends and family, that I have sort of pushed it to the back burner.. And honestly, there has also been that little nasty voice who second guesses everything who had told me a few times that what I was doing was just part of a passing trend and that I was putting too much on my plate and that no one actually cared about what I was doing. Yeah, that voice.. what an asshole that voice is. But the flame is still there, it’s still burning. Every once in a while I would hear it, feel it, see it..  I knew it had not been extinguished.

This morning, as I was working on some photos over coffee, I received a text from a very old friend of mine, who also works in the beauty business. She sent me this video with a text saying, “I thought you would love this.. it brought me to tears.” She knows me well, and I sat listening to the words and watching the imagery as tears streamed from my eyes and I was reminded of why I started this project. The universe sent me a message. The flame got turned back up, and so I listened and I wrote this blog post with the intentions of sharing some dates when I plan to FINALLY schedule some Bare Beauty Sessions.

And then, as I was checking my calendar to decide on a couple of days that I would be available over the next month and a half, that voice started up again. It’s summer time, everyone is on vacation. You’re putting too much on your plate again. No one will come.

I didn’t post it.

Then, just about an hour ago, the universe spoke to me again. I  mean, one of my best friends literally called me up and made me listen to a webinar thing about listening to our first voices and the universe when it calls to us, and telling those secondary asshole voices to shut the eff up. The message couldn’t have been more clear.


I am now scheduling two dates for the Bare Beauty Sessions in Quebec and Connecticut. Read more about them here.

I will be shooting 30 minute sessions on Saturday July 26th in Quebec City at Brown’s Basin from 8:30 am – 2 pm.
Je serai au Bassin Brown à Québec le 26 Juillet de 8h30 – 14h pour faire les séances de 30 minutes. 

And on Saturday August 9th in Connecticut (location to be announced).

Sessions are on a donation basis, with the eventual goal to create a compilation of images and stories to help change the way we, and our children view themselves and others through real, raw photography and words.

If you or anyone you know is interested in participating in or learning more about this project, please contact me at or (860)930-8684