THIS IS JACQUELINE.
A SELF TAUGHT PHOTOGRAPHER, A MODEL, A CREATIVE COLLABORATOR AND MUSIC ENTHUSIAST. JACQUELINE WILL BRING A VARIETY OF BEAUTY, INSPIRATION AND JOY TO YOUR LIFE.
Hi Jacqueline! You’ve photographed some of our amazing Muse Series, but how does it feel to be on the other end of everything?
I like being in front of the lens as it’s a different type of energy and I think it helps me become more aware of my body and how I move. I grew up as a dancer and in the last year I’ve taken acting classes. So naturally I think performing and being in front of a camera has been something I’m drawn to as well as photography.
How would you describe what you do – and who you are?
I have a lot of different passions, interests and goals which make answering this question difficult sometimes. Right now, I’d say I’m a self taught photographer, a model, a creative collaborator and music enthusiast. I also love travelling and working with other creative like minded people.
As a photographer, how would you describe your style? What’s your favourite topic/subject to shoot?
I feel like I’m navigating what my style is to be honest and trying to work more on developing a stronger aesthetic. For the most part I’ve been shooting lifestyle and portraits. I tend to focus on capturing diverse female subjects displaying intimate moments of femininity, confidence and natural beauty. I definitely love working with women, shooting friends and people who inspire me. I find that the synergy is always best when I know the subject personally or their work whether they are a musician, actor or a model or just a friend. That connection helps a lot.
As a creative, do you ever feel a form of imposter syndrome when working on shoots? How do you overcome this fear?
Definitely and unfortunately I’d say I experience imposter syndrome way too often for my liking.. It does go away with time and more experience but I’ve done jobs where I was shaking in my boots because I just didn’t understand why I was there. But then I have to just remind myself that I’m there for a reason and whoever I’m working with wouldn't have hired me if they didn’t want to work with me. It’s that simple really but takes getting used to and building up your confidence.
Last year, you and Quinn Rockliff curated an art show, Still Life, which was also a fundraiser for SisteringTO. Where did the idea come from?
Quinn approached me a few months before the show in early December and asked if I wanted to curate an art show with her which I was super down to do and have always been interested in curating. I think it’s important to support the community whether it be by donating your time, money or second hand donations when you can so we decided to make the art show a fundraiser for Sistering. Sistering is a multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated women and trans people in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed. With the help of everyone who attended Still Life from the opening night to the end of the few days the show was on we collectively raised $2250 as well as 8 large boxes of tangible donations of winter wear and hygiene products for those women in need.
What was your favourite part of the process of curating an art show?
I found curating to ultimately be a lot of sorting logistics and creative problem solving. We actually didn’t have any funding for the show which was difficult but made us really put all of our resources together. I loved being able to meet and work with the artists who were involved because they’re all so unique and talented. But for sure my favourite part of the process had to be seeing the final show obviously. The opening night was so special as we had such a huge turn out which felt incredible to be supported like that. Being able to see all these people who showed up to help us in supporting the arts community while also supporting Sistering was really great.
You’ve also worked with platforms such as CBC and Vice - do you have a favourite project you've worked on?
Actually one of my favourite projects I’ve worked on so far was a zine I made called A Good Thing published by Successful Press that came out this past July. The zine was a collection of my photography, writing and scanned dried flowers which I had pressed from a bouquet by Carmel Floral. That was also the first time I had shared my writing which I’ve always been insecure about. The zine means a lot to me as was inspired by my father who passed away in 2018 and it was also more than creating work to showcase on just social media. I wanted to create something that was tangible and I worked alongside Grayson who runs Successful Press to create a really special piece of work that’s dear to my heart!
We saw you curated a playlist for the Toronto Star, what’s your go-to song that’s always on your photoshoot playlists?
I love music and making playlists. Right now, if I were to make a playlist for a shoot my top five songs to add would be Yessirskiii by Lil Uzi Vert, Company by Don Toliver and Verify by Jacquees, Savage Anthem by PartyNextDoor and Soul Sista by Bilal and Raphel Saadiq.
While working is great, it’s equally important to take a step back and relax. What does your self-care routine look like?
I love a good face mask - my top two to use are the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mask and the Origins Charcoal mask. If it’s a special occasion then I love going to Body Blitz for a massage and using their water circuit amenities.
Does your photography work motivate you in times of stress? How do you stay grounded and self-aware when you’re overwhelmed by life?
I have a hard time managing stress. I’m still trying to figure out the best ways to cope with it but I find yoga or stretching helps me stay more in touch with my body and mind. Maybe one day I’ll start meditating but I’m not there just yet.
What would you consider your greatest accomplishments?
My greatest accomplishment to date would probably be a recent job I’ve done which was taking stills for a diaper commercial called All Good that is an exclusive Walmart product. It’s only released in the US at the moment but my photos are on billboards which is so exciting!
When do you feel most empowered?
I feel most empowered when I’m surrounded by my friends. They’re so important to me and are my chosen family. I can really be myself without the fear of judgement or being self-conscious.
Which physical attributes do you love the most?
I used to be embarrassed by my huge smile but now it’s my favourite physical attribute and I love my big eyes!
Photography by Magdalena Sokoloski