I finally found the offices of CityBeat magazine nestled in a narrow building on Race St. in downtown Cincinnati. It was my first time inside the grand central station of Cincinnati’s go-to publication for all things worth knowing about. I cautiously rode the elevator up to the fifth floor and was reminded once again of the charm of Cincinnati’s old architecture; and the fact that every single elevator scares the shit out of me.
Luckily, I wasn’t there to inspect elevators. I was there to meet with one of Cincinnati’s local photographers who has been bursting through the seams of this Midwestern metropolis with her edgy appeal and signature style.
As sweet and unassuming as one could be, Jesse Fox sits down across the table from me with her red/blonde, ombre dreads tucked under her fedora; showing off multiple piercings and tattoos behind her leopard print cross tee.
Jesse started her artistic journey in theater, her first love, but transitioned into the world of photography while in college for a more stable career path. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University (NKU), she has been submersed in her photography for the past 5 years and has been a photographer at CityBeat for a year and a half, and just opened her own studio in Northside.
Some highlights of her career thus far, “Photographing Brandon Phillips from the Cincinnati Reds. And also photographing Circa Survive, that was cool,” she says. Jesse also finds herself on the road a lot, having just returned from doing some shoots on LA. "I like the opportunity to travel and make new friends."
She uses her theatrical background in her photography, “Theatrical settings lend to emotion in my shoots. I think I have an expressive, dramatic flair with poses and lighting. I like people to be in character.”
Of Cincinnati she says, “There are many opportunities for artists here. There are a lot of places that cater to artists and art shows; galleries who help artists show and sell their work. A lot of people here have the ‘shop local’ mindset which is also nice and important.”
At first glance, Jesse may come across as a petite, demure artist but don’t be fooled! When she’s not behind the camera, you can find her up on stage as the lead singer of local Punk/Rock band, The Slippery Lips. “I know, that’s a little suggestive,” she said as we shared a laugh. Because yes, my mind went there; don’t pretend yours didn’t!
Check out Jesse’s website for information or to book a shoot.