Welcome, Friends!

October 6, 2018

Welcome to my blog, friends!

I thought I would start off my first blog with why I love photography and how portraits became such a big part of my life.

Ever since I was little I have always loved photography. My parents bought me my very first camera when I was 9 years old; I used it all the time. I remember taking photos of my friends at school during recess or at parties. At home, I would take photos of my grandparents and siblings and our family pets. I always had a camera and I was lucky that I had a Mom who would print my images for me. To this day, I have tons of prints at home dating back to when I was 12 years old. I love looking back on them and remembering those times that I captured, as well as making prints for friends and giving them as gifts.

Finding my way back to film

Almost 5 years ago I picked up this old film camera I found in my closet. I loaded it with film and began a series where I would end up photographing 100 people in Toronto over the course of a year. The first 6 months, I only photographed 20 people, photographing the remaining 80 in the second half of the year. It was incredible.

I got to meet some awesome people and hang out with my friends while I took some portraits of them.  One of the lessons that came out of that project was learning to feel comfortable asking people to photograph them and learning not to feel nervous about taking a stranger’s photo.  The most important thing I learned was how to make my subjects feel at ease, which is something that I am told almost every time I photograph a stranger and it is the BEST compliment I could ever receive.

Then to now.

The very first person I ever photographed for my 100 Portraits series was Lorena Agolli, the owner of Sole Survivor.  I photographed her just after her very first winter when she opened her shop in Kensington Market.

I remember feeling really, really nervous; butterflies in my stomach and the sweatiest palms in February that you can imagine. Then, about a month ago, when I photographed her and the women who work in her shop, we re-created that same photo that she and I took together just 5 years ago (pictured above).

When I look at these two images side by side, I see how much Lo has grown, and how the years of owning a successful business have made her wiser.  It also made me think about how much I have learned and grown since I took that first photo to now. A lot of it was really hard…but mostly it was all really good.

I truly look forward to the many, many lessons I will continue to learn along the way.

Thanks so much for reading this!!

Jessica xo