Marking my return to photojournalistic roots, I pitched my first piece to VICE Media headquarters in Toronto in 2016 after seeing a news segment on Michelle DuBarry, LGBTQ Icon and worlds oldest performing drag queen. Rather than Michelle's age, I wanted to explore the history of drag in Canada and more specifically through DuBarry's experience touring as a drag queen in 1950s Canada as well as get her thoughts on drag in today. When the piece was green lit, I got the rare opportunity to spend three days with DuBarry in her home and at a charity event for a Q&A and photo session . See the piece here
Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, one of New York's most prestigious and revolutionary dance companies made their Toronto stop at the Sony Centre where I had the rare chance to spend a rehearsal with principal dancers Rachel McLaren and Yannick LeBrun dancing to a rendition of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." Photographs were featured in Live in Limbo (Toronto).
Photographing underground performers for the last 7 years from Vancouver to New York stages some featured performers are Perle Noire (NYC, Dita Von Teese's 'Strip, Strip Hooray'), Lola Frost (Vancouver, BHOF Winner 2016), Roxi D'Lite (Detroit, Miss Exotic Dance Winner). Shows include Toronto's notorious Reveal Me, The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, Kitty Nights (Toronto & Vancouver) and the infamous Slipper Room in New York City.
Photographing Robert Lepage's directorial Cirque debut TOTEM marked Jess' first experience shooting the renowned Cirque Du Soleil in 2014. Since then she's also photographed the ethereal VAREKAI where she was invited to shoot rehearsals backstage, followed by the avatar-inspired TORUK.
From icons to up and comers and a particular love for photographing women in music, this album features Courtney Love, Shirley Manson, Lauryn Hill, St.Vincent, Laura Marling, ColdSpecks, Jully Black and more. Publications include Beatroute (Vancouver), Exlcaim!, Live in Limbo and AMBY (Toronto).
This month Jess' images of performers like Lola Frost and Perle Noire appear the controversial Melbourne-based publication, Archer Magazine, which explores gender and identity globally. The 'Glitter Underground' feature is a collaboration between Jess and her twin sister, Alexis, who image curates for the magazine. Get your copy of the magazine here! Also available at Barnes & Noble in the US and at independent bookstores in NYC, London, San Francisco, Chicago and LA.
Photographed for VICE Media, Jess' portrait of LGBTQ legend, icon and activist Michelle DuBarry was featured at the Bargehouse Gallery in London's South Bank, making her debut overseas. The exhibition entitled 'Age Does Not Matter' explored the meaning of age through stories and imagery. The gallery curator discovered the piece and reached out to Jess for a Q&A with her about her thoughts on aging and requested to two portraits from this series to exhibit. Jess' work in mural sized prints were hung head-to toe and featured in the promo for the exhibit here!