Lesley Pedraza started her career as a fashion model in Paris, Milan, Hamburg, Zurich and New York, appearing in top magazines, on the runway and in print ads for many famous names: Yves St Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Missoni, Pierre Cardin, Hermes, Issey Miyake, Thierry Mugler, Victoria’s Secret, Playtex, Bali, Revlon, Wella etc.
As former competitive synchronized swimmer in her youth, the 5’11” beauty’s long-time struggle to maintain an increasingly unrealistic body weight for modeling gave her pause. Her NY and LA agents suggested that she try the burgeoning Plus Size market and in short order she rose to the top of the L.A. plus figure industry. Suddenly, every physical “liability” to her previous career as a top model became an asset. She found it a relief and a joy to represent the average North American woman as a size 14-16 model.
She realized that her contemporaries were having difficulties acquiring the images they needed for their portfolios. Photographers did not seem to take the time or energy to show the plus size woman in her best light. Drawing on an entire working lifetime in front of the camera, she picked up a camera herself, and started taking pictures.
Another opportunity presented itself during this time and Lesley spent 10 years as a model agent, at LA Models and with her own agency, and then as a commercial agent.
All of Lesley’s experiences in fashion have combined to create her artistic point of view, and her dedication to bring out the best in each person she photographs. Lesley Pedraza strongly believes that the beauty of each person is unique, something to be admired and appreciated: there is beauty in every shape, size, and at every age. It is her great pleasure and privilege as a photographer to coach and inspire confidence in each of her subjects in order to capture their best beauty.
Check out her website at www.lesleypedraza.com!