How I Started

Every photographer has their story of how they started. From the “artists” who say that they didn’t find photography because photography found them, to the photojournalists with a mission to change the world with their photos, everyone has their memoir of what motivates them to spend ridiculous amounts of money on gear and run around, obnoxiously snapping photos in people’s faces. Here’s mine.

Throughout junior high and high school, I used to draw and paint a lot, and I always thought photographers were just too lazy to draw. To an extent, that hasn’t changed. Plus, I was always more interested in sports and music than things like photography.

It all changed when I saw this American Express commercial — maybe you’ve seen it. It was this montage of objects arranged in a way that looked like faces, sad and happy. Something about that commercial clicked in my head and got me fascinated with video. In early 2010, I bought a Canon Vixia HF S100 to start out, but soon found myself taking more photos than video with it, so I bought a Nikon D3000 to go along with it. In June, 2010, I sold them both and bought a Canon EOS 7D, and was officially a “photographer.”

My next step as a photographer was moving to Seattle for college and working for a newspaper. I had a love-hate relationship with photojournalism, and struggled to find my own style while following the rules of a “good article photo.” Luckily, my photo editor gave me a lot of editorial shoots which allowed me to develop myself as more of a commercial and portrait photographer.

Now is probably a good time to tell you, I pretty much derived the first year of my photography from Joey L. He’s been such an inspiration and a huge influence in my work. He inspired me to branch out and shoot portraits in the streets and get out of my comfort zone. The only problem with that is that his influence was so big that I more or less just copied him. Eventually, I was able to purge him from my work and find my own style.

My year in Seattle was huge for me. I really matured, both as a person and a photographer. I got to shoot with a lot of interesting people on the street, and even go to a monastery and shoot with monks and lamas who didn’t speak English.

After University of Washington, I moved to Albuquerque to play music in a band, which I’m still doing. This band allows me to travel all over the country, which provides for some amazing photo opportunities. Traveling is such an interesting experience, though compromising to many other aspects of my life. Safe to say I probably won’t find a girlfriend who would put up with me being on the road three-fourths of the year.

And that pretty much brings me up to now. Playing music, traveling the country, shooting whatever looks interesting that day. It’s hard to find work that pays as well as it did in Seattle when I’m traveling so much. In order to keep busy, I’m working on a 365 Project to keep pushing myself as a photographer to work with what’s in front of me.

Make sure to keep up with what I’m doing online. Go like the Facebook Page, and follow me on Twitter.

Of course, for business inquiries, hit me up at jesse@jesserogers.net.

I’m hoping to do big things with my photography, and make it a long-lasting career. Your support means a lot to me, and I can’t stress that enough.

Hope to see you on the road sometime.

Jesse
http://jesserogers.net

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