One year ago Elara posed for the Pantheon Project, and she recently came back to do it again. At the time of her shoot, she was more than ten kilograms heavier than she’d ever been before, a result of antidepressant medication. Normally 52kg, she was 64kg for the shoot. I asked her why she wanted to do it again.

I LOVED my Pantheon photos, but I desperately wanted to see what they’d be if I hadn’t been so much heavier than I normally am. I 100% needed the antidepressants at the time, and I was so ok with the side-effects because they kept me alive.

From the Pantheon Project shoot, this is Elara last year.

Not long after the shoot, her weight started to bother her, and she reasoned that this was a good sign.

I kinda was like ‘if the weight is more of a concern than my mental health now, that’s probably a good indicator of my improvement’

A full year after the Pantheon Project, and almost a full year off the medication, she wanted to see what progress she’d made, in her flexibility, her muscle mass, and her weight loss.

To me, it was more than just my body’s progress, it shows my mental progress too, because I’ve been off the meds for so long and that’s reflected in some of the changes visible in my body.

This is Elara this year. More flexible and stronger in body and mind.

I asked her what she thought of the two images.

I’m not the same person I was when we did that first shoot. All these past issues with the PTSD have become so much more prominent, but I can still take risks, safe ones. My mental health is so much stronger, my body is so much stronger, and my flexibility is so much stronger.

It is unquestionably one of the greatest perks of this job, working with so many incredible people, each on their own journey. Being able to help document and prove their progress is very rewarding. I’m so glad to have helped Elara see the incredible improvement she’s made.