Tess Johnson is a full time professional photographer specializing in pageantry portraits for the Miss Universe Organization, Boudoir, and Fashion and beauty Portraits in Portland, ME. She sees approximately 100 plus clients a year. She is also a fledgling jewelry designer and mother to two beautiful boys, 17 and 3.
Top 3 achievements:
1) Working with survivors of breast cancer as the official photographer for the Miss Pink Pageant held yearly in Danvers Massachusetts. As the photographer I photograph the pageant itself and then I work one on one with the winner of the pageant in a full beauty session in my studio. It’s truly one of the most rewarding things in my life. 2) Recently being published in one of the largest photography magazines in the country. To be recognized by one’s peers is amazing, and to be recognized for boudoir as a vehicle for empowering women is even more special. 3) Opening my studio in 2009 and running a full time photography business while raising my sons has been a challenge and rewarding in itself.
Do you have a website?
Graduated from Chelmsford High School in 1990 and attended 3 years of collage majoring in nursing, I became a make-up artist shortly after the birth of my first son. I am a self taught makeup artist and photographer.
I am the proud mother of a 17 year old boy and a 3 year old boy. My oldest son is gifted in music and writing and my youngest is a comedian but a brilliant little mastermind as well.
As a makeup artist I contributed to a published book called Turning Heads: Portraits of Grace, Inspiration, and Possibilities. A full color coffee table book featuring women who have lost their hair during treatment for cancer. Working with these brave women was amazing and forever stayed in my heart. More recently as a photographer I became involved in the Miss Pink Pageant created and run by Ashley Herron Schultz, a former Miss Maine Teen USA titleholder and truly amazing young woman in her own right. The women in the pageant are all surviving breast cancer and have the chance togged dressed up, hair and makeup, and photo shoot with me- all to celebrate their lives and their fight. The winner comes to my studio in Maine to work with me one on one to create the ultimate beauty portrait session.
Breast cancer and ovarian cancer platforms have always struck a chord with me. With education and openness about self exams, getting yearly check-ups, and being your own strongest health advocate; we can stop breast cancer from spreading and increase patient survival rates.
Do you have any interest in politics?
I have absolutely no interest in politics. I believe in acting locally to create global changes. Philanthropy and charity starts in the home, change and revolution begins with your neighbors.
What’s your dream job?
I have my dream job! I could not ask for a more incredible area of work. I get to be my own boss, be home for my son, be creative on a daily basis… did I mention being my own boss? The challenge is that you are responsible for you as an entrepreneur, if the job doesn’t get done, the only you have to blame is yourself. On the flip side of that, the rewards are just that much sweeter when great things happen.
Who is your favorite role model?
Oddly enough, I do not actually have any role models. There are women that I appreciate and see as inspirational and strong but I don’t have one role model that I can say has been an influence in my life.
Ten years from now where do you see yourself?
Ten years from now I see myself living on a small farm on the coast of Maine where my youngest son will have stability and live a sustainable life. I would love to have enough land to grow our own produce, flowers, and have a few smaller animals. Ideally I would love to have my studio close to my home so that I don’t have to be far from family. But I also see myself traveling frequently on photo assignments for the fashion and pageant industry. I guess you could say I want the best of both worlds.
Do you have any pets?
We have one dog, Lily. A rescue we adopted almost 5 years ago. She is truly the worlds most amazing dog and attracts more attention that any dog I have ever seen. She’s only 12 pounds but looks like a black lab, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) wants to know where she came from and where can they get one.