Blake Morrow
May 11, 2015 02:55 PM

Before and after weight-loss photos are nothing new – but photographer Blake Morrow and his subject Beth Beard have changed the game with their photo series “The Beth Project.”

Morrow photographed his longtime friend in different pop culture scenarios before her gastric bypass surgery in 2012 and two years later, after Beard, 41, had lost 150 lbs. He then Photoshopped the pictures so “before Beth” was interacting with “after Beth.”

Blake Morrow

“The portraits I created are my way of celebrating her accomplishment,” Morrow tells PEOPLE. “And both of us had hoped that the collection of images would encourage and inspire others to commit to change in their own lives, and what that means for them.”

Blake Morrow

With a theater background, Beard had no problem recreating the characters in the series – from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

“I’m really proud of her committing to the imagery, and allowing herself to be seen in both flattering and not-so-flattering angles,” says the Canadian artist. “It’s very human, and we can all relate. None of us are perfect, after all.”

Blake Morrow

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And even though Morrow says Beard “can move faster and is much more active,” post-surgery, he also describes her as “fearless” before she had the procedure.

Blake Morrow

“She’s never been shy,” he says. “And her confidence has always been there, no matter what size.”

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