Jordana Baker, Unraveled | An interview
Jordana Baker is a photographer and writer from Airdrie, Alberta. She writes about her experience as a bereaved parent and the importance of normalizing death. Her personal projects include Wisdom in the Broken which covers bereaved parents experiences and offering documentary sessions to families dealing with terminal diagnosis and disabilities. Jordana and her partner Adam are parents to Rachel (10) and Sarah, who died at the age of 3 after living with cancer.
For more inspiration from Jordana:
Here is Jordana, Unraveled…
What inspired your art?
Death. It is dramatic and obvious, but after Sarah’s death in 2014 my camera was a big part of what healed me. I spent hours going over every photo I had taken of my sweet girl, it gave my grief a focal point. In time creating photos that had real connection and deep meaning became a way to grieve with purpose.
What do you shoot with? Camera body and favorite lens?
I shoot with a Canon 4 Mark iv and primarily use my 35mm prime lense.
What other ways do you express your creativity?
I write about my experience with grief, anxiety and womxnhood through Instagram and on my website as well. In the past year I have been working on a personal project that incorporates writing, interviews, photography and video to give bereaved parents a place to talk about their grief.
How do you de-stress at the end of the day?
I tuck my 10 year old daughter into bed every night. I sit in her room giving her feet tickle rubs and listen to podcasts and playing Word Chums. It gets so quiet and no one interrupts me.
What kind of music do you listen to while editing?
I am a bit fanatical about playlists If you have Apple music become my friend, I share my playlists. They are amazing.
Sleeping At Last, Highasakite (they have a new album which is amazing), Overcoats, H.E.R., Janelle Monae, SKAAR, Leon, SYML. I will also always listen to Willie Nelson, Sinead O’Connor, Cat Power, Tanya Tucker, James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot.
What is your favorite book?
This is a bit more difficult to answer, but right now I am living for Mary Oliver anything. If you have never dipped your toes into her work, I suggest starting with “Wild Geese”, “Journey”, and “Love Sorrow”.
Name one movie that inspires you.
Bohemian Rhapsody. I bawled and it is beautiful.
How do you handle self-doubt or creative slumps?
Oh man. I try and do a photo shoot that is just for me. I love to do documentary photography, so I contact a family and ask if they are ok with me coming over. Usually I love the photos so much that it is all worth it. I also cry. I think sometimes we need to sit with the hard feelings for a bit and then when we are ready step forward again.
What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey?
It is difficult to stay true to my voice. In many ways I think I was lucky to have such a strong reason to take be a photographer because it has always been clear to me why I pick up a camera, Even with that structure behind me, comparison gets to me and I doubt if there is a place for my photography beyond my personal use.
Who is one of your favorite photographers?
Kirsten Lewis. I love her humor and honesty in her photographs. It is unpolished, yet straightforward in the best way.