Hey! I'm Jenni - a queer + nonbinary neurodivergent photographer based in San Jose, CA. I know how vital authentic, diverse representation is for the queer community; I didn't feel comfortable coming out until my early 20s because I didn't see any femme lesbians or nonbinary people in the world. I felt like I needed to pretend to be someone I wasn't because it seemed that people like me couldn't thrive.
When you feel different and alone, the power of seeing someone like you living a successful, happy, healthy life in mainstream media empowers you to be your true self.
Imagine this: the confidence transformation of Queer Eye, the storytelling and campiness of Vogue photoshoots, and the self-love boost of Mr. Rogers... combined into a luxury experience that impacts not only the nominee AND the community at large.
This is The Queer Soul Experience: each nominee will collaborate with me to tell their story and celebrate where they are in their life's journey with a multi-look, multi-location editorial photoshoot that visually captures their authentic self. Then, they'll get to literally lend their voice to their story by being the guest of honor on an episode of The Queer Soul Spotlight podcast - sharing their coming out story, giving advice to lgbtq+ people at the beginning of their self acceptance journey, and chatting about queer joy, self care, and community building. Finally, the best photos from their gallery will be combined with their podcast episode in a publication via my photography site - the gallery, podcast, and publication are the ultimate trifecta of celebrating and honoring THEM! (The love and validation on social media are nice, too).
In addition to the nominee transforming their sense of self, the broader community is impacted too! LGBTQ+ people who interact with the photos, podcast, and publication will see that there are infinite ways to be queer. They'll finally get the representation we are desperate for, especially when we live in a world (and a country) where simply existing proudly as queer people is being criminalized. Cisgender and straight people are included, too - they will get to see the incredibly diverse lgbtq+ community being humanized in a way that transcends labels and stereotypes. My hope is that once I reach a certain number of nominees, I will be able to find representation to take their photos, stories, and podcast episodes (via QR code) and publish it all as a book!
Putting together a luxury experience like this isn't free. Paying fairly for my time, the hair and makeup artists (most of whom are queer themselves!), renting studio spaces and locations, garments, florals, and whatever else the nominee dreams up for themselves will not be accessible to everyone. In fact, the nominees who will get the most out of this experience - and make the most impact on others - are often the people who can afford it the least. The minorities within the minorities (two-spirit people, disabled queer people, trans women of color, etc.) are also the communities that have the least access to livable wages, resources, and representation in mainstream media.
That's where YOU come in. For every $3500 donated, I will be able to provide The Queer Soul Experience to a nominee who can't afford it for FREE. My first goal is $10,500 - three nominees.
Especially with all the homophobic and transphobic laws being put in place all over the US, I know how it can feel like there's nothing we can do to fight a power this big as individuals. Donating even $20 to this fund can make a huge difference. Your money will be going directly to lgbtq+ people, creating the representation and empowerment we need to transform ourselves, our country, and the world!
Ready to be part of this groundbreaking new offer? Donate today!
Thank you so much for believing in the incredible lgbtq+ community and me.