Introducing Jakina Ado - Photographer, Journalist, & Entrepreneur

"I'm from Chicago, 773 is a local area code. I have always got this incredible feeling when I'm hearing or seeing something amazing for the first time, I always look around like "do you see this?" but I'm usually alone when the discovery happens, unless its at a concert!

When I started out as a writer I was always more nervous when I had to interview "celebrity" people. Sure its cool to say I met them but I hated having to ask the same things they've already been asked a million times and I found that I was more interested in people who were on the come up. I can relate and I can ask genuine questions.

So personally I've always loved paper,magazines, reading, writing, fashion, music and photography. I got into art a little later and would prefer someone more knowledgeable cover those stories but I definitely have an appreciation, its another form of storytelling which is what everything I want to do in this lifetime boils down to.

During college I started off majoring in photography but I soon started taking fashion merchandising classes. I was doing ok in photography but I felt like my teachers didn't like my work or felt like I wasn't trying and in general just didn't feel like I fit in the department. I wanted to be a fashion photographer but everyone else including the professors where into abstract fine art and pictures of barns and things. So after a while I dropped it, double majoring and working multiple jobs became to much.

I have always got this incredible
I have always got this incredible

Around this time I took a fashion class that included a trip to NYC, I had always wanted to go an imagined living there after college. On this trip we went to different fashion places like showrooms, Parsons, museums etc., but the best part for me was Fairchild Publications. It kind of changed my life and I think I started putting things together after that but I still wasn't thinking about starting my own magazine. That happen in my very last semester.

Maybe a year later I ended up getting a D in a major class and you have to have C or better to pass so I had to decide then if I was going to graduate on time and just get a general studies degree or add a year and finish what I started so I decided to stay another year, its not like I had a job lined up or anything.

To fill my time I took Journalism classes. I had taken a cool Magazine Management and Production class and loved it. What I didn't expect was to finally feel like I found my place but that's what the Journalism department did for me.

Meanwhile I was working jobs the whole time and some managerial changes were made at my main job that just caused an upset. I couldn't quit, definitely needed the money and the hours were the best on campus for me but so much nonsense was going on that I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be my own boss and then the proverbial light bulb went off. Duh! Start your own magazine. I could be my own boss, I could be a photographer, I could talk about fashion, I could write the stories I was interested in writing, work with other creative people etc. I was also working for the school newspaper so I saw daily how a newsroom ran, I have basic graphic design, html and layout skills.

I was in my last semester and I've been on this journey to figure it all out since. I have a pretty good idea of what all I need having interned and freelanced for some publications but the main thing is money and that I'm still working on lol."


"To eventually be print a quarterly print magazine. News stands would be great but I'd still be happy with a solid subscriber or online order base and being in the boxes in Downtown and Northside of Chicago.

The other side of that goal is that I'd like the printing to be done in house through my non-profit -but I won't get into that just yet.

I have some other ideas for it but 77three is all about up and coming or emerging artists. I just want to tell people about people and hope that when they read about how a musician like Lianne La Havas or artist like Hebru Brantly got where they are and how they're preparing to go further, that people who are still at the beginning of their journey or thinking about it or who are already where they want to be get inspiration and also I hope it sparks collaboration and just an open door to network. I personally consider myself like and old school A&R, I scout the talent and bring them to the people that can bring them to the masses. I want Def Jam offices and Scholastic publishing company to have issues of 77three lying around."


"I'm mostly inspired by peoples stories. I love photography for this reason, when you look at portraits I just wonder about their background and who they are. Sometimes I  don't wonder about the people and just like all the things that make up a photo or piece of art and that inspires me to be better at what I do. Stories are also just entertaining I love hearing friends tell me about situations, I love reading, I enjoy movies, I love fashion and music, and the emotion that can come from all these things. I get most of my ideas from things I've personally gone through and I stay motivated mostly from some unexplainable pull from my gut to just continue.

Even when I can't see how any of what I'm doing is coming together, even when I'm in dark moments, even when I haven't been productive for a few days in a row, even when I'm at work and hating that I'm there, even when I'm scared, I'm always thinking about what I'm trying to accomplish, I always have this picture in my mind that just won't go away, I guess that could be considered knowing your purpose and that's my main inspiration for everything."


"As far as starting a magazine do your research! I look at the media kits and mastheads of all my favorite magazines and even some I'm not particularly interested in, regularly. If you're still in college get a job at the school newspaper or at the very least take some class that teaches you how to write journalistically. And intern, no matter what age you are, intern, ask questions, pay attention to everyones role. I also think it would be a good idea to start a blog though the lines are blurred being a blogger and being a journalist are still two different things but if you can be consistent with a blog you're off to a good start."


My portfolio



Social Media

Instagram- @jakinaado and 77three_mag

Facebook- Jakina Ado Photography

Twitter- @JakinaAdo @77threeMagazine


and FarewellAdo

I'm also on ModelMayhem as Jakina Ado