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Photojournalist  |  Director  |  Writer  |  New Hampshire Native  |  Emerson Alum  |  Chicago Local
Jesse Genito

At 11 years old, I fell in love with the candid work of Switchfoot's photographer, Andy Barron, and his garage sale camera (and little did I know that nearly a decade later, I'd be on the campus newspaper editorial staff with his sister-in-law!). I started my photography journey with a journalistic eye; from working on yearbooks and newspapers, to admiring photographers in war zones and documentaries. 

At 23 years old, I moved to Chicago, and my love for photography took a backseat to my exploration of comedy and writing. But when the 2020 pandemic hit, my performer friends and I all found ourselves unemployed and craving creativity. I set off on a project to take portraits of my friends at a safe distance, outside among all the interesting spots I'd discovered while taking my daily quarantine walks. For the first time, I put on my directorial hat and began growing my artistic eye--rather than being the fly on the wall. After much encouragement, it wasn't long before I turned my hobby into a business. 

Now at 28, I am my own boss. I focus on creative portraits, with special interest in fringe theater and queer performance. But the beautiful thing about portrait photography is getting to follow all the meandering interests of life without getting lost--I just have to remember to bring my camera.

Photo by Marina Williams

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