Jess Hong: Empowerment Through Storytelling


I am Jess! Ottawa brand strategist and website designer helping ambitious service-based businesses grow with confidence through meaningful design. I'm the type of gal that use one too many exclamation mark in my emails and can only have one cup of coffee a day. Weird, I know. If you ever want to chat any thing biz, branding, or well - life, feel free to reach out!










It’s the third week of our Women’s History Month Series! Thank you so much for returning for another week of celebrating the incredible woman I’ve worked with and how she empowers through storytelling

Along with our previous highlights of the last two weeks, Empowerment Through Financial Literacy and Empowerment Through Community, our goal for this month is to highlight the diverse ways women can inspire and empower each other! 

For our third instalment of this series, we will be highlighting Jess, the entrepreneur and photographer behind Maiora Studios, a family & wedding photography business that offers a deeply human-centred and personalized approach to capturing treasured moments for families to be cherished for generations to come

3 Words to Describe Jess 


At her core, Jess is a storyteller capturing fleeting memories and breathing life into moments that document the story, traditions, and legacies of families. Through the art of heirloom photography, Jess empowers by preserving cherished family memories that can be passed on for generations to come.

While storytelling may not come to mind immediately when you think of empowerment, knowing the stories and legacies of your family is essential in nourishing identity and sense of self, and is another unique way empowerment takes shape.


From her aesthetic eye to ingenuity in her photography experiences, Jess infuses a creative and artistic touch into every aspect of her sessions. Through a documentary, candid approach, Jess prioritizes authenticity over perfection, emphasizing the beauty of real-life moments over staged poses. She empowers her clients by honouring their family’s authenticity and creating a visual narrative that reflects their love, laughter, and bond.


Jess is incredibly intuitive and thoughtful when it comes to making her clients feel safe, comfortable, and taken care of from start to finish at her photography sessions!

Before the session, Jess offers access to her exclusive client closet while also helping scout photo locations and brainstorm fun, family-friendly activities to ensure each session reflects the uniqueness and personality of the family.

During the session, Jess fosters a playful, supportive, and natural atmosphere by guiding families to pose authentically while engaging with children. She knows all the tricks for easing tension and finding that full range of emotion during a comfortable, lengthy session for your family!

After the session, Jess deliver a generous gallery of 100+ edited images that captured the heartfelt moments and genuine connections that tell the story of the family’s love and bond. She also offers album curation guidance & fun suggestions for future sessions!

Jess’s Journey and Milestones 

Jess’ love and admiration for photography and story-telling initially began as a child, when she discovered her family photo albums with pictures her grandfather had taken as an amateur photographer years and years before. In this discovery, even as a child, she immediately understood the power photography had by instilling a connection to her family history, in a way, bridging the past and the future together by keeping memories alive. 

Flash forward to growing her creative business as a photographer and becoming a new mother in 2020, Jess, along with so many parents who had children during pandemic years missed the opportunity to capture her pregnancy and first memories with her newborn daughter.

This time in her life not only deepened her love and admiration for photography as an art form but showed her how these photos connect through generations — and “tell stories that will be treasured forever and become family heirlooms that stand the test of time.”

Jess ultimately wanted to provide an approach to photography that was equal parts intentional, candid, and stress-free. By offering a personalized experience that focuses on candid shots and genuine interactions within the family, Jess empowers growing families to see the beauty in their everyday lives amongst the chaos.

How Jess Empowers Through Storytelling

→ Curated Photography Experiences

With her family photography packages, Jess offers a personalized, candid, relaxing approach that prioritizes connection & quality time. She encourages kids to play naturally and parents to interact authentically with their children, without feeling pressured to perform for the camera.

Rather than offering one-and-done mini sessions that capture a brief moment in your family’s story, Jess offers an experience that are 1-2 hours long over the span of months and even years, allowing families to grow and be documented in a way that helps families create a visual narrative of their journey together.

Through Jess’ heirloom photography experiences, she aims to capture the essence of each family dynamic in its purest form while ensuring each gallery is infused with care, intention, and authenticity that tell their story, preserving moments that they will treasure for years to come.

→ At-Home Studio 

Aside from offering location scouting, Jess finds creative ways to empower her clients in every aspect of the photoshoot experience, including inviting them to her at-home studio! The studio is a blank canvas that can be tailored to her client’s vision and was intentionally designed to provide a space for families and expecting mothers to feel nurtured, safe, and comfortable to be their most authentic selves.

→ Client Closet 

Jess has curated an incredibly chic collection of dresses that her clients can have access to for their photoshoot, whether it be maternity, family outing, engagement, or date night! Dresses are all one-size for a size-inclusive approach, designed to empower expecting mothers & women so they feel safe, comfortable, beautiful, and taken care of throughout sessions. 

Our Takeaway 

Jess’s work at Maiora Studios ultimately teaches us the power of storytelling and the empowerment that comes from knowing who and where we come from. 

Understanding our family’s legacies and histories through heirloom photography not only empowers us but also informs us about what shapes our identity, fostering a sense of connection to our family’s past through captured memories and moments.

Another takeaway from Jess is the necessity of staying true to your core values and designing your business to offer services that feel aligned to you — even if it is going against industry norms or possibly deterring some prospective clients!

While mini sessions are trendy and popular amongst photographers, these brief and often rushed sessions do not aligned with Jess’ approach and can lack the opportunity for meaningful interactions and genuine expressions to naturally occur. Honest storytelling requires time and depth to unfold, allowing for genuine connections to emerge and authentic moments to be captured.

As a business owner, when you know the value of your services and respect your own boundaries, your dream clients who see the the pricelessness of your services are sure to flock to you! 

I am so grateful to have been a part of Jess’s rebrand, and being present to witness her brand bloom into the beautiful business that is Maiora Studios. 

Working alongside this creative business woman and storyteller has been nothing short of inspiring. If you’d like to keep up with all things Maiora Studios, make sure to follow Jess on Instagram, and check out her newly launched branding & website


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