For the makers, photograph-takers and small brand owners needing a visual shake up:
In a creative rut?
Exhausted by the trying and trying and trying and feeling like you aren't getting anywhere with your work?
Are you ready to uplevel your portfolio but don't know which direction to pursue?
You have been dreaming of a concept but don't know how to visually execute it?
Hello Art Making Days!
Art Making Days are for artists who want to bring more:
to their photographic images and body of work.
Recently, I took Instagram viewers on a behind the scenes video tour of how I created one of my most liked self-portraits. (It's the one above.) I explained how I used everyday household items, natural light and a non-existent budget to create a dramatic photograph that is moving me toward the grander ones I want to be hired for.
I did this because I want to show other artists that they too can create the visions they have held without a big budget and overwhelming production. And also, because it's not enough to just tell our dream people about our ideas -- we have to SHOW THEM what they can experience as a result of our services. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BUILD THE SPACE FOR THE DREAMS YOU WANT TO MEET WITH.
I want to help you create images that convey what's possible to your audience and customers when they work with or buy from you.
Are you ready to take your creative game to the next level and inspire your audience?
Sign up here.
On the weekend of July 27-28, 2019 I will be traveling to Santa Fe for a healing anniversary of two years, and visiting the friends and mentors that were there for me as I began this journey in August of 2017.
If you are on the mailing list for and attending the book signing of Briana Saussy’s new book Making Magic, a very special offering will be going out to those in Santa Fe attending the signing. Download an excerpt of the book by clicking on the book cover below!
If you are a healer, coach, creative or sensitive soul who is looking for an updated portrait for your website, author photo or legacy portrait, intimate sessions of portrait photography and artistry await us!
We can shoot in a casita, in the plaza, the botanical gardens or in the vast desert terrain. Dream far and wide. The location of your shoot will be determined by the chosen time and visual mood of your session.
If you would like to venture a bit further into the desert landscape for a session that is more fantastical, more in depth, more wild, where car and foot cannot take you, but a private plane can INQUIRE HERE.
Let’s fuel your fantasy!
There is a story behind this dress.
It is the dress I wore on the night of July 1, 2017 when my life as I knew it began to implode.
That night of July 1, 2017 was the first and last time I wore this dress and the first night of a series of events that month that would lead me to leave a toxic relationship and a dysfunctional chapter of ten years.
When I took these portraits last night, I did not realize at first, that today, July 1, 2019, and this dress, mark the two year anniversary of a new life unfolding.
As a survivor of abuse, I am extra sensitive to the energy of the garments I wear. Many pieces of my wardrobe carry stories with them, and some are difficult to let go of because that might mean I am also letting go pieces of my past and/or own self -- pieces that were once joyful or helped me survive spiritually during difficult times.
What do we do with the things we own and the parts of ourselves that are linked to trauma and pain but that we also love?
How do we acknowledge and heal the painful parts of our stories -- because those parts ARE a part of the whole story-- and move forward with parts that empower us?
We practice gentleness with ourselves. We practice patience with ourselves. We practice witnessing ourselves through methods like writing, selfies and self-portraiture, art making, telling our stories, and practicing ritual and ceremony that feels sacred to us. And, we meet with the parts of the self that want to come through now.
Earlier today, I was on a call with a beautiful author, poet and songwriter who also happens to abusive experiences in her past. We talked a lot about how survivors of abuse are labeled as...just that...survivors.
But what about the rest of our identities? the rest of our stories?
We are survivors but we are also thrivers and creators, leaders, business owners, executives, moms, sisters, daughters, and, and, and so much more than the trauma we have been through.
In all of the work I offer, my mission is to help women use their voices to tell their stories in a way that embraces and shares the whole of who they are and the powerful person they see themselves becoming - not just what they have been through. We don't need to be victims of our stories again.
I see something similar come up in my conversations with creatives too. We hold onto past criticism and 'guidance' from others that was deeply harmful to us and that holds hostage our creativity today.
How can we express our souls fully if we don't give our whole selves the room to come through? We can't.
The good thing?
Permission starts with you.
How do you want to tell your story?
*In addition to Make Your Mark this summer, I am also offering one-on-one creative coaching in 3-4 month commitments. If there is one thing I am an expert at creatively -- it's VOICE. Locating it. Unearthing it. Using it. And I'm here to help you find yours and express it with confidence. Our work together will help you develop your unique voice and style, find a subject matter that makes your heart skip a beat, and unearth your core WHY so that you feel a sense of purpose and excitement about the work you are making. Find out more on one-to-one creative coaching here.
Portrait Calendar Updates:
Mini sessions and full day media kit sessions available.
Santa Fe, NM July 20-21st
San Francisco, CA / September 21-22nd
Moab + Salt Lake, UT / September 28-29th
Denver/Boulder available now through September
Paris, France / October 12-13th
San Francisco/Monterey / April
Santa Fe / May
Since it’s April 1st and this story is from the April 1st issue of @people I thought it was appropriate to finally mention this printing publicly. Thank you Esmé for having me on your team. Thank you @flownash for choosing my work to accompany this story.
This piece is especially significant to me for a number of personal reasons and I’m so proud of Esmé for her commitment to her work and community, voice and self. She inspires me to keep going no matter the tired, the rejection, or even the wins because there are always more of both ahead. The wins fuel my belief and momentum. The rejections keep me from entering relationships that are not for my highest good.
March was life changing. In both wins and challenges. It roared like a lioness and left me and my broken car in a snowbank on a mountain pass (thankfully not down the hill.)
I used to pray that this year could please, please, please be easier than last. And It’s not. It’s more learning and growing. So, instead of facing what I don’t know with fear, I’m leaning into the unanswered questions with curiosity. How do I figure this out so that I can move ever closer to my dreams?
So, April, Ready to act The Fool? As my favorite tarot reader and amazing astrologer and design client @thetarotlady says, “The cards tell a story, but you write the ending,” so this April Fool’s I’m going to jump into all I dream for life and not think twice about it.
*Order Esmé Weijun Wang’s lated work, “The Collected Schizophrenias” online or at your LOCAL BOOKSTORE — my favorite bookstores in the west are Back of Beyond Books in MOAB, UT and The Boulder Bookstore in BOULDER, CO.
*Florence Nash, photo editor for People Magazine.
Yesterday, I got to add the @nytimes to my @esmewwang shrine. It’s been an incredible honor to watch Esmés work bloom over the years and to be able to discuss life, art and the entrepreneurial journey with her. I keep her story in my back pocket for those moments when I think maybe I should give up. DO NOT JACQUELYN. DO NOT GIVE UP THE DREAM. So grateful to be a part of the journey. Go grab her new book The Collected Schizophrenias. Photos by JT. @oprahmagazine @poetswritersinc @elleusa@graywolfpress
Work about town in the Jan/Feb 2019 print edition of Poets & Writers, Vol. 47 Issue No.1, featuring Esmé Weijun Wang with portrait images we took in her home earlier this year. Having known E and her style for quite some time, I knew that her love of vintage garments was a must to feature in this shoot. We experimented with 5 looks from formal to casual and our favorites? A sophisticated yet cozy blush pink dress and cardigan w/fur and a spring green silk top with patterned head wrap (which you can see on Esmé’s new website this spring.)
Wang is listed on the Best of Young US Novelists 2017 and a 2018 winner of the Whiting Award in Nonfiction. Her new work, “The Collected Schizophrenias” comes out in February 2019.
“...my work serves the woman who also 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.”
(The above is an excerpt from my piece for the November 2018 Freedom Seekers’ Collective Series. The below is a repost of the latest digital GAZETTE — my online newsletter that goes out via email. Sign up for it here.)
On Cyber Monday (and Tuesday), amongst the frenzy of digital discounts,
I chose not to send out sale reminders.
Nor final sale reminders.
Nor final, final sale reminders.
And definitely not the final, final this is THE LAST TIME YOU WILL EVER SEE THIS BARGAIN YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO GET ANOTHER DEAL ON LIFE EVER AGAIN THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! reminders.
...posted a piece about being unapologetic.
Including: not following the online marketing rules of 2018. [Which far too often capitalize off of your fears of scarcity and not being enough.]
(But also, who has the energy to be sorry for something you don't need to be sorry about when the stress of the winter holidays is ENOUGH? I dare you to stop apologizing for at least one thing this season.)
So, I wrote about all the things I will no longer apologize for -- which originally started in the spring of 2017 as a clapback at my abusive relationship...and eventually turned into my MO.
Being unapologetic is a part of my definition of what it means to live a life of freedom. And it was for the Freedom Seekers’ Collective Series, produced by Sophy Dale, that I wrote this piece on being unapologetic about spending my energy on only what feels aligned within.
In this series, thirty, very brave, women creative entrepreneurs write about what freedom feels and looks like in both their personal lives and in their businesses. You might be surprised at what they have to say. Their visions of freedom are definitely not what most of the internet is trying to sell to you.
It's honest and full of what is rarely discussed publicly on the creative + entrepreneurial path, because we are taught to talk about the rewards as a way to inspire/go big/give hope —rarely do we talk about the roads we traveled to get there — all the scary parts, all the times we questioned whether we were making the right turns and going in the right direction.
But like the search for happiness, I’m not so sure freedom is a thing we can find outside of ourselves. It's not something we can buy or buy into. It’s something we build. And maybe, being unapologetic about ourselves is the cornerstone of that building.
If you have been sitting on the edge of a decision that you know in your heart leads to your vision of freedom for your own life — read all thirty pieces from this series. There will be an answer you are looking for. And, I promise you, you won't be sold anything other than the idea to define freedom for yourself.
And to not be damn sorry about any of it.
My deepest gratitudes to all of you that are new here (and have been following! my work.) I am floored by the letters of the heart you have been sending, the requests for prints, and the compliments of this work. As of this posting, this Self-Portrait and “Dear Woman” letter has received over 6,500 likes on Girl Gaze. I took this self-portrait on a very unexpected and magical trip to Nashville during May of 2018. I began composing pieces of the letter in June of 2017, completing it this spring with snippets of original texts from my Love. (“Did you know that loving you is like making art?” Yeah, I have to give him credit for that one.)
This letter and photograph document a time in my life when I started to reclaim my spirit and creativity. It is a reminder to stay faithful in my intuition, courage and path. I hope it can offer some of this and more to you too.
I am looking into making both prints and Dear Woman notecards of this photograph. Sign up here for updates and/or keep an eye out on this blog. If you would like to make a request for a print please contact me here.
In the meantime,
No. 7 - I Will Not Apologize
is up and ready for download. This edition of the series was inspired by the “Dear Woman” letter that accompanies the image above.
Many of us have been conditioned to perform quietly, exist within molds, play small, and accept ceilings and limits that go against our inner values, integrity and dreams. And then, when we challenge these codes we are taught to apologize. Our intuition is minimized, and we are gaslighted and manipulated into believing that our worth is determined by others. But when you stop apologizing for being who you are and what you need, you are vocalizing your boundaries and reclaiming yourself in the process.
“"Yesterday, we had the follow-up call for the #ManifestingPatriarchy class and the conversation there had me thinking about the ways I’ve contorted myself to try to fit into the standards and expectations that are placed on the shoulders of black girls and womxn. The ways that I’ve actively worked to make myself physically and energetically smaller. How often I’ve made unconscious choices about how I’m willing to show up in a space depending who’s in the room. How I stopped dancing around the same time I started becoming desirable to older boys and men and my body was no longer a safe place to be and partner with, but something to protect and hide." — @andrearanaej captured by @jacquelyntierney #girlgaze”
Girl Gaze: Closing the gender gap one job at a time.
Esmé Weijun Wang @esmewwang shared this stunning preview of her new website by Chelsea Dyer Studio @chelseydyerstudio yesterday. I am floored at the weaving of talent and beauty. Thank you E for allowing me to enter into this collaborative space with you. I adore you. Thank you Chelsea Dyer for bringing it all together!
For those in need of images for your websites and author/creative representation photos in 2019, I will be on the East Coast (in New York) and crossing the states in February, meeting with San Francisco the last weekend in March and settling in the canyons again into fall of 2019.
Find all updated calendar dates and contact for setting up a session here.
In Best of #PhotoVOGUE again this week.
I am always blown away by this acceptance because the talent on that platform is incredible. As I scroll through the portfolios I find myself asking, “how did they do it??” –meaning, lighting and the posing and the sets within the images of the other photographers. They are incredible, and I feel challenged in my artistry and technical skills. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be in a space like PhotoVOGUE that supports the growth of diverse artists across the globe. And, the photo selection process allows me to see what is and is not working in my work.
When I picked up a camera two years ago, I was at a point in my life when my internal foundation was cracking and I was forced to make a sharp pivot in who I was working with and the type of work I was doing. Until that point I had stopped creating for myself for six years.
In April of 2016, I went on a solo trip to Japan to revive my relationship with me AND to come home seeing differently. That trip changed my life. I attended a workshop run by Beth Kirby and Haruka Sakaguchi, and my interest in portrait photography was launched. (I had been painting portraits — and modeled for artists— years prior.)
So, it was in that summer of 2016 I continued taking portraits of a few friends. In 2017, I started receiving photo commissions here and there from long term friends and clients. And in 2018, there was small but very visible growth in my business as my vision, WHY and confidence in my choices gained considerable strength. I’m excited to see how 2019 develops.
In today’s digital age, so many artists put pressure on themselves to race out of the gates, to meet success early in their careers, but sometimes, the slow burn makes for better magic.
The slow burn gives us time to become the Master artist that we want to be.
I believe that the true artists will make their work no matter how their work is received. They need to make their work because it is how they breathe. I make this work because I wouldn’t be living — just existing — without it, and because it’s the way I am able to give experiences of beauty and healing to other women. ♥️
This was a repost from Instagram
Welcome to my new website. I think, I might actually, write blog posts. Created for the women professionals and artists I serve.
A blend of art, interview, visuals, news and quality content. None of that one-size-fits-all regurgitated online marketing stuff.
Work that is curated from and rooted in the heart. Purely from the heart. No filters.
Written for the community.