A native of Boston, MA – “Photography chose Itaysha Jordan” her sophomore year of high school. Birthed to creative parents, she was exposed to the improvisational skills of musicianship and fine art. Her father, a professional musician, and her mother, an attendee of Boston University (painting), each contributed to Itaysha’s love affair with creative work. Encouraged to take a photography course, by her high school mentor, David Prifti, she began shooting her friends and family. These early experiments established both her editorial eye and her penchant for portraiture she is well known for today.
After a brief stint in Atlanta, Itaysha returned to her New England roots and earned a BA in Visual Arts from Pine Manor College. Determined to author some of the iconic images held within glossy fashion magazines, she moved to New York in 2005 and founded ITAYSHA JORDAN STUDIOS.
Possessing a distinctive cache of traditional photography skills, Ms. Jordan seamlessly fuses her expertise with the tools of the digital world. Her work is exceptional in its ability to connect with the needs of her varied client base, while maintaining her soulful creative vision. Having shot emergent talent from the modeling industry, as well as notables from the entertainment world, Itaysha continues to expand the boundaries of fashion and beauty photography. By inserting elements of Art history and (Popular) Culture, she is inspired by the strengths of her subjects, and successfully captures moments that stretch beyond the expected. This has consequently captured the attention of such iconic figures as Iman. Both a collaborator and a visionary, Ms. Jordan is committed to the growing movement of multiculturalism in the commercial art realm.
“I’ve always been attracted to the idea of fantasy- a creative space that is constructed entirely from the mind. The world of Fashion and Beauty is a wonderful place to experiment with that…”- Itaysha Jordan, 2009
Visual Artist, Image Maker and Creative Director are titles that best describe me. I produce imagery to express my ideals and use photography as my medium.
My photography is a direct reflection of my personality; bold and passionate yet tempered and introspective. My images afford me, as well as the viewer, an opportunity to explore the fragile relationship between power and vulnerability. My goal, as an artist, is always to illustrate the delicate balance between these two things and to highlight the irony that beauty, in all its forms, is the one trait common to them both.
My creative process usually starts with a historical reference. Then I think about the emotion I want to portray. I infuse what I see as an archetypal “hero’s journey” through my subjects, which is my personal experience each time I lift my camera to shoot. I use a simple lighting setup detailing shape, light, color and pattern. I then shoot in a storytelling, editorial format – producing a series of pictures that support the chosen theme. Although I received formal darkroom training, I now shoot digitally and use the computer as my digital darkroom.
One of the more consistent components in my work is the presence of women of the African diaspora. This is by design. I feel it is my responsibility to portray women of color in a multidimensional way. I have a responsibility to show this woman, because I am this woman. This is what drives me. I purposefully create these visuals as a sociopolitical statement meant to encourage more opportunity for women of color, both in front of and behind the camera.
Ultimately, my goal is to create timeless, iconic images. In doing so, I will not only be paying homage to the great artists who came before me and laid the solid foundation on which I stand today, but I will also be offering a fresh viewpoint to the world. I aspire to create a body of work that will serve as a platform to promote the beautifully diverse, but painfully underrepresented.
I would like my legacy to embody a transformative quality. I believe I am an innovator in my chosen craft. That places me in the unique position of being able to leave the world with images, the likes of which they have never seen before. It also presents me with the honor, and responsibility, to inspire future generations of visual artists.