A Brilliant Photographer Courageously Documents Her Amazing Body Transformation


Julia Kozerski just changed my life. Recently I’ve seen her work profiled on a few different sites and everyone is wow-ing over this series of iPhone pictures she took over the course of a year documenting her dramatic 160 lb. weight loss. What’s interesting about this collection of photos (dubbed Changing Room) is that they represent the most basic form of self-portraiture. Her skill and bravery as a photographer shines through most in another project (which also documents her experience with weight-loss), titled Half. In the gallery above, we have some of the photos from Changing Room. And inside there are more images from Half, some of which are NSFW. Prepare to be kind of blown away.

First, check out a excerpt from Julia’s statement about her two projects:

Following my wedding in July 2009, I decided to make a series of changes to my lifestyle in order to lose weight. During the year that followed, I successfully lost over 160 pounds. Throughout this time I was also working towards my BFA in photography at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD.) Utilizing self-portraiture, I explored my physical and emotional experiences, subsequently developing my long-term photographic project entitled “Half.”

Both in front of the lens and not, I struggled to come to terms with my changing body. As the weight came off, the shape of my body shifted dramatically and the monumental task of maintaining a well-fitting wardrobe ensued. I felt lost, not understanding the person looking back at me in the mirror. My physique was always in a state of flux and, in an attempt to strike a balance between how I felt and how I looked, I ventured out to stores on a daily basis, piling my arms full of clothing of all shapes and sizes. There was no method to my madness and I subsequently spent hours within the confines of store dressing rooms trying to “find” myself. Purely for personal reference, I used my iPhone to document these endeavors…

Upon reflection and retrospection, these photographs have been released as, the now titled series, “Changing Room.” They serve an important role breaching the divide between the public and the private and offering a raw, uncensored, and unrestricted “behind-the-scenes” look of my personal experience. These images not only compliment those in “Half” but also connect to the more universal themes of body-image and self-exploration that I continue to investigate in my complete body of work.

Images from Julia Kozerski’s Half (you can view the entire series here):

Okay, now you absolutely must visit Julia Kozerski’s website. The way that I’m showcasing these photos simply does not do justice to the series; you’ll have a completely different experience on her page. She’s also got lots of other work, including a collection I really loved called 14 Million Minutes.

I’d love to hear what you guys think of the photos! Inspirational? Instense? Amazing? All of the above plus a million other things? Overall, I just can’t get over the stark honesty that seems to come through in her work. There are so many other interesting things going on here, but I just keep thinking that the images are so naked and seemingly objective– even as they are so personal– I just love it. Looking forward to hearing everyone else’s thoughts!


  • Amélie

    What is she wearing on her arm on the Iphone pictures ?

    • Shannon

      Amélie, good question! I have no clue, lol. Maybe something that has to do with her weight loss program? Not sure.

    • Ella

      @Amelie and Shannon
      It’s called the bodybugg. It’s a calorie management system. It helped her lose the weight.

    • Shannon

      Ella, thanks for the clarification! That makes a lot of sense.

  • Ella

    I learned about Julia a few weeks ago. They did a piece about her on NPR. Her photos are so moving and very raw. As a women who has a little extra and still struggles with my appearance, I find what she’s doing to be so brave! It makes me want to strip down and celebrate my body even with its flaws.

    • Shannon

      Ella, I like that she presents a certain balance in her work; she shows the amazing pay-off from hard work and all the happiness that might come with it, but there’s also an emotional struggle throughout that really gets conveyed. Like I said, I just think it’s so honest. She’s amazing.

  • Rebecca

    I am inspired by these so much more than the reality show weight loss we are used to seeing. I find myself wanting to explain why they were so powerful and at a loss for words. Thank you for sharing. Her website is a must-see.

    • Shannon

      Rebecca, glad you enjoyed the post and that you went to her website! I’m still exploring her other blogs; she really is something else.

      I agree with you about these images v. glamorized versions of weight loss that we’re used to seeing. She took a completely different approach in ‘Half,’ but I like that ‘Changing Room’ still appeals to our desire to just see a seemingly immediate transformation. Thanks for commenting Rebecca!