Portrait Work + Writing
I always tell folks, the camera saved me. It saved me from myself and it saved me during the first year of my healing from an abusive 10 year chapter. And being in front of the camera? That’s helped me heal a decades-long fractured relationship to my body and to my spirit. The camera and the work I do with it has also helped other women give witness to themselves when face to face with their most difficult adversities.
Photography is more than a job or a hobby to me. It is the way I breathe. It is life force energy. It is my craft and artistry. And, when you and I get together we become collaborators.
With this Camera,
We create more than memories: we create legacies.
I believe that our bodies, our spirits, our souls, which run deep currents of survival, courage, pain and perseverance -- deserve witnessing and listening -- especially to heal. I believe in showing images of the true self, without airbrushing the stories and strength embedded in the landscape of our physical selves. May we honor all the parts of our journey that have lead us to who we are today. I believe in declaring what we want for our hearts and bodies and not feeling guilt or shame about it -- liberating ourselves from years of environmental conditioning.
Therefore, my work serves the woman who is ready to embody more love and show up more fully in her relationship with herself; who is done measuring her self worth by whether or not she fits the societal molds designed to keep her small; who stands in integrity and follows her truth even if it means going against one’s upbringing and/or social conditioning; the woman who speaks up for marginalized communities and is willing to trade in her privileges in order to help others rise; the woman who holds others accountable for their actions and doesn't quiet herself when she has something to say; the woman who is anchored in her OWN values and follows her heart when she needs to pivot or make a change; the woman who writes the script of her life and doesn’t need anyone else’s permission to follow it; and the woman who lives her definition of freedom and doesn’t apologize for any of it.
She is a lover and powerhouse in her heart and soul, and she wants to document this time in her life when she is taking total control and ownership of all her bodies and her voice.
And so, it is through intimate circles, workshops, portraiture and one-to-one conversation where I share tools with women to help them enter into more loving relationships with themselves, their confidence and their artistry, so that they can fully step into who they are and who they are meant to be. Sign up for workshop and studio location updates here.
I have two ongoing personal projects where I examine the relationship oneself has with power.
In my documentary project "Breaking Points" I explore three themes of the domestic abuse journey through visual and written storytelling in partnership with DA survivors themselves: first red flags, breaking points, and pieces of the self reclaimed. I ask why one stayed, why one left, and how personal power is being taken back. This project was inspired by my own healing journey with domestic abuse.
In "The Hunters and the Hunted" I document my time in the intercoastal swampland of North Carolina as the only woman living with and caring for nearly 300 male hunters during the winter. I observe the relationship between life, death, and our power(lessness) over nature.
I've been an artist all my life. I still remember receiving my very first box of PRISMA colored pencils in elementary school (it was the 150 set, and yes, they are still arranged in the exact color order in which they came —and I’m in my 30’s). I started printmaking at the age of 13, and taking design courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology the next year. In my undergraduate studies I concentrated on etching, silkscreen, letterpress and the printing of wallpaper. My work then transitioned into a split between abstract painting and figurative painting at the Art Students League in NYC while studying decorative arts history at the Cooper Hewitt Museum.
In 2010, I put my personal practice down for six years to concentrate on studies in the sacred and energetic arts (including reiki, astrology, cartomancy, mediumship, rootwork, numerology and feng shui), and did not pick it back up again until 2016, when I scheduled myself a solo trip to Japan to learn portrait and lifestyle photography. The lifestyle stuff I discarded, but the portrait work made my creative heart pump again. I haven’t stopped photographing since.
I hold a Master's degree in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with Parsons The New School; Majoring in German 18th Century Palatial Interior Architecture with a Minor concentration in Roman Landscapes, 1485-1650. Undergraduate studies were completed at the University of Queensland and Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University with a Printmaking Concentration.
I served as a community caretaker in Briana Saussy's Miracle Tree Sessions and Spinning Gold, both year-long intensives that focus on the history and practice of rootwork, ritual, and self sovereignty.
I have traveled to nearly 30 countries and all 50 states. I've enjoyed the meals of more street vendors and Michelin-starred chefs than I can count. I've been an artist all my life: printmaker, painter, graphic designer, photographer; I've trained at numerous schools, in addition to those where I received my formal education, including the Fashion Institute of Technology, The Art Student's League in New York City and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. My external hard drive is filled with online courses, classes and folders dedicated to learning: art, business and the sacred + energetic arts. In fact, when I took a six year hiatus from any art making, you could find me divining and bundling mugwort for a long list of healing clients.
Off-duty pleasures in life include:
Studying plant magic and garden history, listening to as many audiobooks as I can, flying over the western canyons with my Love, indulging in an Italian spread for lunch, and endless browsing of designer vintage, Prada and Chanel preferred.
"Through the healing medicine of portraiture, sacred energetic practices and embodiment workshops Jacquelyn guides women on journeys of self-discovery and transformation back home to their voices, confidence and and bodies."
"With a stellium in my first house/scorpio, I am most intrigued by how we see ourselves, how we want to be seen, and how we actually show up in the world. My work is inspired by the transformation that occurs within and outside of us as we redefine and reclaim who we are in age, love and collected experiences; and therefore, it best serves those who are ready to show up in their relationships with themselves. With a lifelong training in the sacred, fine and healing arts I am able to create environments and experiences that facilitate and cultivate radical presence in the body and the reclamation of self. Through the healing medicine of portrait photography, sacred energetic practices and embodiment workshops, my clients, women on journeys of self-discovery and transformation, are guided back home to their voices, divine feminine power and bodies untamed; thus giving themselves the space to call in their creativity, love and dreams to the fullest."