In late 2007, author and activist Terri Jean turned her career towards photography. Self-taught since her teen years, Jean captured precious images of friends and family for years before deciding to turn pro.
In 2008, Jean was engaged in various photographic projects to boost her portfolio. A former Bulimic, she opted to use the girl-next-door model type for her work, thumbing her nose at the accepted industry standard of the 5'10", size 0, emaciated waif.
Naming her modeling troupe “The Eye Candy Girls” - Terri Jean accepted women of all shapes, ages, sizes, colors, and personal styles (or “flavors,” as she puts it) to represent her work. The Eye Candy Girls make public appearances dressed in retro styles, mostly as curvy pin ups from the 50's, as well as in print ads and photographic art projects. Their motto, “Every woman should FEEL delicious” also relates to Jean’s Femme Photo Series, where she transforms every day women into bombshells during photo shoots at her studio, in the client’s home, on location, or during Femme Fatale Photo Parties.
In 2009 Jean moved her small Athens, Ohio studio to her current location at 31 Public Square in Nelsonville, Ohio. With more than 4,800 square feet to work with, Terri Jean has space to exhibit work, hold workshops, host Ladies Night Parties, sell her artwork and the work of other women in her the Sul Galleria Giftshop.
Her studio, located in the rear of the shop, is filled with retro furniture, a large assortment of props, a large wardrobe, costumes, a beautiful bedroom set for boudoir photos, and lots of backgrounds and set options.
To achieve Jean’s style, she prefers to treat each photo shoot as a theater production. She
creates a backdrop, arranges furniture when needed, adds props, and uses lighting to cause the necessary atmosphere and special effects. Her best-known studio work are her retro Pin-Up and Old Hollywood glamour shots, plus her soft, seductive bedroom boudoir series.
Outside of the studio, Terri Jean has gained a reputation for Shadowing - a signature style developed by her within the area. Shadowing is a process where she closely follows children and families while they play in a field, relate to each other at the beach, or interact at a playground. Jean captures the private moments of her clients, creating elegant, magazine-style editorial stories of the days events. Clients then have an option to have shadowing story books written up by Mz Jean, who’s first book, 365 Days of Walking the Red Road (Adams Media Corp. 2003) has sold more than 32,000 copies.
In 2010 Terri Jean founded the pro-“real body” media movement - T.R.A.M.P.S. (True
Representation and Media Portrayal Sisterhood) - to continue and strengthen her opposition to the unrealistic and unhealthy standards that are considered “the norm” by Hollywood, the media, and today’s fashion industry.
Furthering her mission, the photo project “Marilyn & Me” was open for exhibit on July 26th, 2010. Jean photographed 84 volunteers from her community representing women of various size, colors, ages, and personal styles as Marilyn Monroe. Her goal wasn’t to match the photos up perfectly, rather to capture the essence of the moment of the photograph. Marilyn Monroe was chosen as the exhibit’s focus because of her iconic status as one of the most beautiful women of all time, and because, according to today’s standards, the curvy beauty would be considered a fuller-figured actress.
Terri Jean is currently working on several more female-empowerment projects. To keep up-to-date, add her (terrijean)on Facebook and visit her website at terrijean.com
“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”