College for Creative Studies: Photography

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Jessica Pierce

Forever 21

Staff Photographer

Jessica Pierce’s model will be comfy today. As staff photographer for Forever 21, Pierce works with a model and stylist to photograph dozens of outfits a day. And the rack in her studio — packed with pajama shorts, plush robes, sleep shirts and lounge sets — says this is pajama day.

Photography and fashion, says Pierce, “were always my thing.” The youngest of nine children — six of them girls — Pierce would snap the photos while her sisters tried on outfits from their mom’s closet. And when Pierce wasn’t behind the lens, inside the darkroom or at the studio, she was perfecting her own quirky sense of style.

“Now that I’m older,” says Pierce, “I gravitate toward comfort and my style’s a lot more relaxed. It’s hard to dress fashionably when you’re always bending and stretching to capture different angles, but I love to photograph others.”

It’s a good thing she does, since Pierce spends her days doing just that at this fashion-forward retail giant that’s constantly releasing new clothes and accessories. “Forever 21 sells beauty products, outfits, and accessories for women, men and little girls,” says Pierce.

“Never let society stop you,” Pierce says to those who are contemplating a career in photography. Pierce loves the work — the range of products, the creative expression and the company itself. “If you love photography, pursue it,” she says. “It will work out — whatever’s meant for you is for you.”