Jin Zhao

Jin Zhao

About the Artist

Jin is a Chinese born photographer based in Chicago, IL.


I met Julissa in 2012 while photographing workers and their families for Make the Road New York—an organization dedicated to empowering immigrant communities. Julissa and I worked closely together, she helped me arrange photoshoots and translations. At the time she was five or six months pregnant, and had a full workload. When I asked her if I could photograph her for Showing, she said yes. On the day of the shoot, I followed her as she went about her daily tasks. That day, she had a community meeting with workers in Queens. Frankly, when we spoke, she didn’t talk much about her pregnancy. She was mostly excited to talk about her work, which she loved.  It made me realize that pregnancy in the workplace is completely natural part of a working woman’s life.

Julissa had a natural beauty and radiance that could illuminate any room. Because I was shooting in the daytime, I used only natural light; I wanted to capture the authenticity of her working environment as much as possible. But in the end, it was her confidence and gracefulness that brought the images to life.



2012, © Jin Zhao


Grandma from Tea Farmers of Yunnan

2016, © Jin Zhao


As a photographer I’m interested in capturing ordinary people in particular situations—especially people in idiosyncratic lines of work. I’ve photographed jazz musicians in New York, tea farmers in China, and magicians in Chicago. Work is essential to a person’s identity. Using work as a lens, I am able to capture my subject in a context that is both intimate and public.


Mother and Son from Tea Farmers of Yunnan

2016, © Jin Zhao


Lunch Break from Tea farmers of Yunnan

2016, © Jin Zhao


Buma from Tea Farmers of Yunnan

2016, © Jin Zhao


The Enchanting Night of Taxco III

2015, © Jin Zhao


Lionel Loueke at the Jazz Gallery from Unchromed: Jazz NYC

2012, © Jin Zhao


Marc Cary at the Blue Note from Unchromed: Jazz NYC

2012, © Jin Zhao


John McNeil at Tea Lounge from Unchromed: Jazz NYC

2011, © Jin Zhao


Atlantans I

2013, © Jin Zhao


Atlantans II

2014, © Jin Zhao


Atlantans III

2012, © Jin Zhao


Atlantans IV

2014, © Jin Zhao