About Jennifer Toole

Photographer.

To Be a Woman

Cricket is an 18-year-old beauty Queen from a small town outside of Ottawa.  Her first experience with pageantry was the heartfelt, charity-oriented, supportive experience of a hometown pageant which she won.  This brought her to compete in the Top Model of Canada pageant which she then won.  After winning, the first thing said to her from the judges was “You better lose a bunch of weight if you want to get an agent.”  Cricket quickly became disenchanted with the modelling industry.  On her way to Egypt to compete in the Top Model of the World pageant she stopped by my studio to shave her head and do a photoshoot/interview for Herself.com via Caitlin Stasey.  Cricket’s plan was to wear a wig to all her fittings leading up to the pageant so not to be disqualified and although nervous, managed to get through the lead up without incident.  Cricket revealed her shaved head at the Top Model of the World and needless-to-say, she didn’t win.  Her interview and photos were published on Herself.com to hopefully inspire women to love themselves as they are. I shot this video throughout the head shaving process which became a rebellious ritual of sorts. Cricket wrote the accompanying poem to give voice to her actions. I found it to be raw and of a high quality. I hope you enjoy it too. xo

The Wall Street Journal #dontwait

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It isn’t everyday in the advertising world you find yourself on a set run by exceptional women executing relevant and inspiring creative for a brand you believe in. I had the opportunity to take part in such an experience on the production team for “Good Things Come to Those Who Don’t Wait,” the new campaign for The Wall Street Journal targeting their most burgeoning online subscriber demographic; young women. The spot follows an ambitious woman running from birth to opening her own business, stopping for no one, letting no one get in her way. It is an inspiring message directed by industry DP legend, Ellen Kuras. Kuras shot Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Requiem for a Dream and more recently the last few episodes of Ozark. She is a total badass and a new hero of mine. This was a job that left me totally inspired and feeling blessed. Take a look at the final product:

 

Cricket.Herself

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This is Cricket, the 18-year-old beauty queen who stopped off at my studio to shave her head en route to represent Canada in the Top Model of the World pageant in Egypt. The photos were shot on 120mm film and are published with Cricket’s full interview on Herself.com. Take a peek! xo

What does the word ‘woman’ mean to you?

The word woman to me means strong. Regardless of the sex assigned to you at birth, your ethnicity, your race, your religion, your sexuality, you are fighting a systemic pull. Of course, the factors stated above can make this pull stronger, and the battle harder. There’s the trickle-down effect of ingrained systemic misogyny, leftover from the fights fought by women before us, and the alive and thriving oppression that we have not yet tackled. We’re all fighting. And it’s important to help each other in our battles. It is especially crucial for woman born with privileges (e.g. white, cis) to assist our sisters in their more heavily-rooted battles.

 

Venice Beach Snapshots

Being lucky enough to call Venice Beach my home for for the past couple of months opened my eyes to another side of the idyllic landscape one encounters as a tourist. When the marine wall rolls in and covers the beach in its thick fog the place looks post-apocalyptic. There is a solid group of local characters who hit the strip every day carrying Christ’s cross (with the help of a wheel – cheating, no?), practicing energy healing, fishing, skating, flexing, training pigeons, collecting cans, sharing religion, selling reggae cds, selling flowers, and much, much more. It is first come, first serve and there is no fee to set up a booth on the Venice boardwalk and sell your wares as long as you are selling original artworks. This limitation creates an economy of creativity amongst the many homeless who live on the beach. It is not a bad life. Eclectic to be sure. Here is a little collection of snapshots I took on 35mm film during my stay. xo

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