My love for photography began when I received a Poloriod camera for my 8th birthday. From that point on, I've always had a camera. While living in Fiji, and then traveling through Europe, England, and the USA, I documented travels and started appreciating the art of photographing people, places and nature. I am forever grateful for the days of film before the days of digital photography in understanding both these art forms and how they can influence each other, work together, and work separately.
Later while living on Kauai, Hawaii, I entered the Miss Kauai contest and won the "Miss Photogenic" award. The prize was a photoshoot with respected photographer Blaine Michioka (rainbowphotokauai.com) and his wife for a modeling portfolio. We had a couple more shoots for their photography work. From this experience I had a glimpse of what photographing people both in nature and with studio lighting involves. Blaine won best Kodak worldwide photo award with an image of me from these sessions. In later years I was on set with underwater photographer Howard Schatz (howardschatz.com) while he photographed my sister, model and actress Shawnee Free Jones, underwater. I learned a lot watching him and drew inspiration from his creativity and from helping out with props.
I was an official photographer at the Indian music school that I attended for 17 years... shooting numerous concerts, doing portraits for musicians, shooting album art work for my teacher Maestro Ali Akbar Khan (Aliakbarkhan.com) and working with his wife Mary Khan, documenting and scanning old photographs for the schools archives and library.
Later I apprenticed to and assisted photographer Adam Latham (adamlathamphotography.com) in Los Angeles. I will forever appreciate and depend upon all of his instruction and expertise in all areas of photography, lighting, gear, photo editing, and processing. One of my favorite adventures was assisting Adam while he photographed the band Phoenix at The Hollywood Bowel with cameras in multiple places and experiencing my two favorite things... music and photography in this archetypal and (in my opinion) sacred place. Also during this time I had my own studio where I did a lot of portrait photography, boudoir and glamour, fashion and many musicians both in live shows, on the road, and studio promotional work. I also learned a lot from my oldest sister, Io Free Jones about graphic design and layout. She created my "guitar lady" logo and album design for album "Hansa".
Some of my photo work includes - Live shows - Tom Petty, Joe Cocker, ZZ Top, The Doubbie Brothers, Greg Alman, Blackberry Smoke, Imagine Dragons, Tom Odell, and many more. And for both concerts and portrai sessions, musicians Jack Irons, Rusty Anderson, Steve Ferrone, Mickey Hart, Alain Johannis, Kenneth Brian, Lara Johnson, Rain Phoenix, Nadia Ford, Iron Tom, Nick Milo, Big O'L Nasty Getdown, and many more.
In recent years I had the wonderful experience of photographing, editing and creating ads for the legendary guitar maker James Trussart (jamestrussart.com) at his workshop in Echo park Los Angeles.
This led to one of my favorite jobs assisting, editing, and retouching the photography work of Lisa Johnson (immortalaxes.com) for her books Immortal Axes and 108 Rockstar Guitars. I love her style and all she brings to the documentation and beautiful portrayal of these historic guitars.
Currently I'm offering portrait and boudoir photography sessions as well as online classes and workshops on Photography for Women (coming soon).
"In all the colors of light and dark, and all the changes in eternity, a photograph can hold a moment, a person, a feeling, a wish, and carry it across time and space to remember life and keep history true. When I photograph you, I see you as light and darkness, combined in your unique and human ways. The camera and I like to disappear, so you feel free to be as you are, or wish to be. " TFJ
I grew up on a small island in Fiji called Naitauba, in the ashram of Adi Da Samraj, where I studied ballet, yoga, and Indian singing and chanting. At the age of 17, I left to study Indian Classical music with Maestro Ali Akbar Khan at his college in Marin, California. I soon became very dedicated to the intricacies of Indian Classical music and stayed for many years becoming one of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan's advanced students, eventually performing and teaching.
While at The Ali Akbar College, I also toured with UK-based ariel dance company "Fidget Feet" singing and dancing suspended in the sky from a crane above crowds of thousands. We performed in many countries including Ireland, England, Italy, Fiji, and across the United States. Through out my travels I was blessed to collaborated with artists from a variety of genres including Loop Guru, Talvin Singh, Jack Irons, Alex Gibson, Facing East, Nick Milo, Gawain Mathews, and Sammy Chand.
Nominated by Talvin Singh as a brilliant new artist with a crossover style of Indian Classical, folk, and pop, my music has appeared on TV and radio around the world and was featured on So You Think You Can Dance. One of the projects dearest to my heart was recording vocals for the movie "Sold" directed by Jeffrey Brown. All that he brought to this project was profoundly inspiring and moving.
Another favorite project was writing and recording my album "Hansa" ... A collection of ancient Indian prayers and poems set to original music using a variety of Western and Eastern instruments, arrangements, and production. Recorded and produced by Gawain Mathews (Mickey Hart, Ben Lee, Zion I, Ben Leinbach, Tim Hockenberry, Lara Johnston) and me.
My previous album "Sounds Alone" was the result of a creative collaboration with producer Alex Gibson (Art of Peace, Stuart Davis, and David Lee Roth). These songs are colorful and bright, full of hope and sincerity. Sounds Alone features the talents of Jack Irons (Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pearl Jam) Nick Milo (Tower Of Power, Joe Cocker) Sean Hurley (John Mayer, Annie Lennox) David Levita (Rod Stuart, Alanis Morissette) Zac Rae (Gnarls Barkley, Fiona Apple) and Blair Sinta (Annie Lennox, Alanis Morissette). Recorded at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California.
In my early 20's I recorded an album called "Traditional Chants In Praise Of Da Love-Ananda" with producer and musician Louie Rozier. This is a collection of Sanskrit prayers that I sang in the ashram since early childhood. It was made for others to sing along with and to participate together in pujas.
I also have a collaborative album called "Ishta Da" with my youngest sister, Naamleela Free Jones (naamleelafreejones.com) that we wrote together and she produced and recorded in her studio on Naitauba, Fiji.
My newest album "Threads" combines the Indian training and influence with a love for Poetry and storytelling. These are songs of love, lost and found and secrets whispered through melodies with a 60's style production. Recorded by Gawain Mathews, Tamarind and Chris Fletcher. And Mixed by Adam Munoz with direction from Jeffrey Woods at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, Ca.
Some say my aesthetic and qualities could be compared to artists such as Emiliana Torrini, Norah Jones, and Sheila Chandra, with a hint of Leonard Cohen in the lyrics.
"I like lyrics that have many meanings while still painting a very clear picture. I love writing that you can read over and over and find new meaning at different times for different reasons. Sometimes words and melodies just appear and I'm grateful to be there to catch them. Other times I work hard to clearly express exactly what I wish to say."
My music has been described by Karl Anderson of Global Recording Artists as, "Hauntingly Beautiful, sung with the voice of an angel. A mesmerizing sound that will soothe your soul and lift your spirit toward the light in the universe." Paul Liberatore of the Marin Independent Journal says, "Exotic and yet accessible, different from anything I've heard before."
I'm currently offering online chanting and "Music as Prayer" classes and workshops (coming soon). And I'm working on a new album of prayers in both English and Sanskrit.