JESS MANN

What do you like and dislike most about shooting fashion?

There definitely is not anything I dislike about shooting. And so far, the thing I like best is making people feel beautiful.

1

“Girl on Fire” Model: Vicky Dee

Describe how you were feeling during this photograph session.

I was quite nervous because it was the first time I had organized a whole team for a photo shoot, so I really felt the pressure to come out with some great images. I feel like I succeeded. It was also a first time shooting with an agency represented model.

2 Model: Janna D. Clothing: Melanie Wrobel. HMUA: Amber Hobbs

Do you find yourself candidly shooting, why or why not?

SONY DSCD.O.A. Live at the Republik. Calgary, AB 2010

When I’m shooting a band performing, it’s entirely candid. If anything about it was planned I’m sure it would just look awkward. I love candids because the moments are real. You can bring the viewer all the way in. When I’m shooting concepts I always have a handful of shots I know I want to get in order to tell the story, and then I’ll do some portraits to show hair and makeup work and the outfit, but it will always be very posed. With concepts and fashion it’s hard to get candid shots because of the nature of the shoot, so I will usually sneak them in during the prep work while we are all chatting.

Walk us through the creative process of “Fairy tales that Never Were”.

4 Model: Jen Schultz

In 2010 I was working two jobs and just barely getting by. One day I was riding the bus from one job to the other, feeling sorry for myself and generally hating my life and I thought about all the lies you get fed as a little girls through television, movies and the media. We get fed this kind of bullshit standardized outline of life. Your born, you go to school, you meet a boy in school and eventually you get married and have kids and a house and a fence and happily ever after, but here I was 22 or 23 at the time, broke, starving, working two jobs to support myself and my boyfriend, no high school diploma. And then this image just popped into my head, if Snow White had never found the dwarfes in the woods, or if Cinderella had never met prince charming at the ball, and so on and so forth. My friend Jen has helped me bring three parts of this series to life so far, and modeled for this shot.

What kinds of emotions if any do you want your work to convey? Why?

5

“Vermillion”

I definitely always want to send a positive message, but many of my concept ideas come from dark places. They all come from some kind of hard time I was going through, or just negative feelings I had bottled up inside. Yearnings and wishes and pipe dreams. Being creative is always how I’ve dealt with such feelings. So I always hope that someone will see my photos and think to themselves “I’m not the only one. There’s others out there, like me, who are dealing with bad times, and were going to get through it and be better, stronger people at the end of it”.

Is your work subjective?

SONY DSC Larry and his flask live at the Pyramid Cabaret. Winnipeg, MB 2012

Yes and no. You won’t really find any opinions within my work but I definitely have a lot of who I am and the things I have seen and felt incorporated into my work. I just try to bring you into the moment with me.

Photos: Jess Mann Β  Β Interview: Kathleen Cerrer

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