A PHOTOGRAPHER is hoping to raise awareness of the connection between body image and mental health by creating a calendar featuring local women.

Nicole Vogwill photographed 11 women for the calendar to raise money and awareness of the charity Mind.

The 23-year-old, who lives in Settrington, said: “I’d been wanting to do a project that highlighted everybody for a long while, something that took away all the usual glamour and glitz and focused on the person in front of my camera.

“When I realised the effect photography has on people, on how they feel about themselves, whether it be negative or positive, it gave me a better understanding of how body image and mental health are connected, so I decided to not only follow through with this project, but to raise money and awareness for Mind in the process.”

Nicole, who runs Nicola Jane Photography, said: “I put out a post in my Facebook community for women and had interest within minutes. The ladies went through an informal application process and gave me their reasons for wanting to be involved. These varied from wanting to help others, to their own body image concerns.”

Nicole said the photoshoot took place last month. “It was an amazing atmosphere, each and every one of the ladies there rooted each other on as they took their turn in front of the camera, it was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever seen from a group of women,” she said.

“I know that I can never make someone fall in love with themselves entirely, but to help women see they are enough, they can wear that bikini and not care what others think, it doesn’t matter how big or small your clothes are, as long as you’re happy and healthy. That’s why I do what I do.”

Nicole said that thanks to business sponsors, including The Workhouse Gym and Decorators Of Distinction, 100 per cent of the calendar sales would go to Mind.

The calendars will be available to view at Nicole’s first Boudoir exhibition tomorrow (Thursday), from 7pm to 9pm, at No.46 Bar, Malton.

It is an open, free event (over 18s only) with a golden envelope lucky dip to raise additional funds for Mind. For more information, go to nicolejanephotography.com