Esthetic Lens Magazine | November 14, 2017

Jill Norton is an award-winning portrait photographer based in Evanston, Illinois. Since 2005, she has worked out of her natural light studio — as well as on location — capturing people being themselves in front of the camera. This is Jill’s forte’ — finding that lovely moment when the subject is at ease, in their natural state.

She has photographed everything from children and families to corporate events and headshots, from editorial photography to fashion, food, and architectural spaces. Her work has appeared in annual reports, packaging, advertising, and other forms of marketing and promotion.

The recipient of The Faces of Evanston Award, The Mayor’s Award for the Arts, and the 2017 People Love Us on Yelp Award, Jill is a long time member of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. She has also chaired The Evanston Arts Council and currently serves as Visual Communications Manager for Student Affairs Marketing at Northwestern University.

Jill lives in Evanston with her husband, the author, Jay Bonansinga .
1. What’s been keeping you up at night?

Editing. My least favorite thing about what I do. But it’s also the best feeling when I am finished and can see what I saw during the shoot. I shoot fast so I shoot a lot (way more than I should, but when I’m in a zone, it’s hard to stop). If I’m not up editing until the wee hours, I am thinking about how many edits I have left to do to stay on top of my deadlines for clients. There is nothing more satisfying, though, than finishing an edit, seeing the final product, and having a happy client.


2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?

Tom Petty at Wrigley Field. We were invited by friends to hang out at an apartment across from Wrigley since we didn’t have tickets. Not only could we hear him and his music perfectly & feel the energy of the crowd; we

also got to experience what could only be described as a perfect Chicago evening. Seeing the many other fans outside, sitting in chairs on the street singing along. We were next to a Chicago Firehouse; firemen and fans sharing the music and the moment together. It was so amazing at the time, but now it means so much more that we got to be there and hear Petty. The man seemed truly grateful to be there. It was so poignant hearing him playing our favorites, and reminding all of us how much his music touched all of our lives.

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?

Honestly, the most exciting thing I am working on is whatever I’m currently editing. Especially kids. This is my busy season with my clients doing family holiday photos, but I love going through my images and seeing the moments I captured in those faces. Sometimes I tear up seeing some of the images while I’m editing. I love what I do.