Meet Jacqueline Ashton – Toronto-based creative, model (+ future DJ)
Jackie was the photographer on one of our first shoots, in collaboration with Easy Period back in 2018. We reconnected this summer to share some of our new summer styles (like the Tie Dye Collection + grey Cami + Brief Set) to see how she’d interpret the pieces through her creative lens, along with the help of her friend, neighbour + fellow creative Magda Sokoloski.
Today on the Journal, Jackie tells us about her day at the park shooting with Magda + where she’s finding joy + creativity during COVID times.
How did you decide on the location of the shoot? Tell me about your day at the park!
Magda + I live close together in the east end [of Toronto]. We wanted to find somewhere close by that we could walk to. I like to find "non-distinct" locations, because I want anyone to look at the photo and be able to relate to it. We had this idea to shoot at sunset, with sky as the background + trees + flowers, because I like to include nature in my work. So we shot in Riverdale Park. I go there a lot so I knew we could get different skyline views in different spots as the sun started to set.
I sometimes get embarrassed about being "those people" doing a shoot that people are watching, but I was like – anything for the shot, who cares! Which was nice, and I really miss shooting because I haven't done it in so long. Magda's in my bubble, so we could shoot together, still distanced, but we're comfortable with each other.
After sunset, we started walking home and we went to this school yard that had ivy all over this fence. The sun was gone, so we shot with hard flash...I wanted an "American Apparel" vibe. Posing straight on, a little sensual, and I have the scrunchy so it's also a little innocent.
Me + Magda got together the next day + went through the selects in her backyard + had a BBQ after.
How are you staying connected with friends during social distancing/quarantine?
In the beginning it was just a lot of texts + FaceTime to stay connected. Now that things have opened up a bit, I have a new bike to get around, so a lot of park hangs + backyards with friends now, which is nice.
Are there any new joys that you’ve discovered during this time?
I did just get a puppy. I also got a new bike which is exciting. But honestly, [Lil' Kim, my dog], she's just my world. And whenever I'm out + sad or something, I'll just buy her a new toy – so she's spoiled. She's almost 5 months now. She's really the thing that brings me the most joy. Right now, being on social media, there's so much going on...in Toronto, in the US, the world – my joy at home is really my dog.
How have you been staying creative during this time – or are you not? What has that process been like?
At the beginning of quarantine, and up until now, I was really not motivated. I didn't know how to be creative, because a lot of my work – I love working with people, I love being up close + personal with my subjects that I shoot. It was difficult. I've slowly started shooting again, with distance in mind, and depending on how comfortable the person is...it depends, I'm still trying to figure it out.
I just started taking DJ classes. It's something I've wanted to do for so long. I played the piano when I was young, I used to be a dancer, so I've always been very tied to music. It's not what I do yet, but it's in the future. Like coming up, manifesting it, working on it.
Jackie in the Cami + Brief Set in new Athletique Grey
Some moments amongst the wildflowers, captured on Polaroid
Sunset caught on Polaroid
Jackie in the Tie Dye Tee in Sunrise
The city as her backdrop. Jackie wears the Tie Dye Tee + Brief + Scrunchie Set in Stormy – catching some final shots on the way home from the park
Photos by Magda Sokoloff / Creative Direction by Jacqueline + Magda