About Rachel


Rachel is a proud Iowan, born in Waterloo and bred in Iowa City. She attended the University of Iowa where she received her B.A. in Spanish and Linguistics with a TEFL emphasis, all the while working tirelessly as a photographer and photo editor for the independent university newspaper, The Daily Iowan.

After graduating, she photographed/photo-edited/freelanced for Little Village magazine, the Corridor Business JournalThe Hawk EyeThe Press-Citizen, and The Des Moines Register. Rachel also worked as an assistant for a couple years for VII Photo's Danny Wilcox Frazier, a documentary photographer based in Iowa City. For Danny, she processed and scanned negatives and toned digital images, and assisted on editorial shoots.

Rachel received her MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University (May 2018) and was selected as the 2018-19 William G. Gedney intern at the Archive of Documentary Arts at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Since graduating, she has taught at Duke University and Guilford College and worked on long-term personal projects.

Last year, Rachel was featured in an interview with Jess T. Dugan on Strange Fire Collective, was selected as a regional artist for the Durham installation of Photoville's The Fence. She also attended the Eddie Adams Workshop (XXXI) in October 2018. In 2019, she was selected as a winner of the Magenta Flash Forward competition, and began her freelance career writing and photographing a piece about the growth of women’s wrestling at the high school level for ESPN the Magazine.

She can be reached by email at rachjessen@gmail.com and by phone at 319.329.4314—she'd love to work for/collaborate with you. Feel free to follow her on Instagram @rcjessen.