Photo by Ben Rollins

Photo by Ben Rollins

b. 1985, USA. Jessie is an Atlanta native, currently based in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Jessie graduated from Georgia College & State University in 2008. In 2011, she attended The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts in Paros, Greece. In 2016 she returned to The Aegean Center for a brief residency.

Jessie began shooting in 2006 during college—the same year my mother’s brain tumor recurred, causing her extreme physical handicaps and hinderances in communication and mental awareness. Unprompted, she began documenting her parents' struggle that continued a further seven years. Both she and her parents needed to be understood; she quickly saw the camera’s power to do that. Photography has a unique way of explaining people, places, stories, and struggles—which can bring justice or give a voice to the unheard.

That is why she's continued shooting since 2006—and why today she feels compelled to go to difficult places and share stories of those who are kind enough to let her into their lives. 

Currently, Jessie is on her second trip in Iraq shooting personal work as well as volunteering with a charity called The Refuge Initiative. She is documenting their work aiding the displaced in the region.