You know the type of art that is such a powerful mixture of emotion and detail and beauty that you literally ache inside as you endlessly stare? It’s as if you can’t get enough of that one piece yet your heart hungers to see more. And as you see more you begin to feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how just one individual can create something so magical and timeless, passionate and real. The type of work that causes you to lose yourself and all your worldly worries for as long as you allow your left-brain to feast.
These are the artists that are truly quite rare. The kind special enough to change the world in which we see it.
With the art of photography these truths are no different. I have found one such soul. A man whose work I ache over when viewing. A man whose work has challenged me to dig down deep and continue the discovery of who I really am. For the sake of myself and my family and of course for the art I am always striving to create.
His name is Jesh de Rox.
I have thought of the sheer joy it would be to have the opportunity to interview him, but just knew someone of that caliber would surely be too busy for someone such as myself. But, yet the feelings … the longing to connect did not die. And, since my confidence got a good kick from Jasmine Star and then again from the kindness of Sheye Rosemeyer I decided I would do it. Just ask, Jessica. You never know.
He said yes.
Dearest Jesh, I cannot begin to express what it means to me for you to take the time out to teach me a bit. I truly admire you and want you to know that not a moment of your time is being taken for granted.
Looking at your work one would think you were born with a camera, but everyone has a journey. Do you mind sharing a bit of how you got to a place in life where you were making photographs for a living?
thank you for your kindness, Jessica : )
i was blessed with a very supportive and loving family, and from a young age was encouraged in my artistic endeavors. like most kids, i wanted to be a 1000 different things, and have certainly been able to explore quite a few of them, lol.
i stumbled upon photography accidentally, it being a required part of an art course i was taking. i loved the immediacy of the medium. it might take me several days to finish a drawing or painting, but i could fill a book with photographs in the same amount of time.
i was also immediately drawn to the opportunity it presented to personally connect with people. i’ve been exploring the connections and interactions with people for as long as i can remember, and when i discovered i especially loved working with people in love, i decided to make a business to support my exploration.
How would you say you have evolved as the photographer you started out as to the photographer you are today?
too many ways to count, my friend. the most simply it can be put, perhaps, is the dawning realization that my photography stems from who i am, so instead of trying to change my photography, i learned that since i am the root of all i do, growth in me directly translates to growth in my work.
If you, today, were sitting over coffee with the photographer you were just starting out what would you say to him?
i would tell him to focus on loving the people in his life, that everything he ever wanted in life – business, personal, or otherwise – would be found there.
I feel as if most things in my business are always evolving with each month I’m in business (going on 18), but one thing that has always stayed consistent is my desire to provide a quality product and not be what I call a “factory photographer” (i.e. booking as many shoots as possible in any given month). Yet there’s still that fine line of doing what you love and feel as if you’re best at and paying the bills. What would you say to that?
it’s a part of the ever-present balance pervasive throughout all aspects of life. it is true that there are physical needs that simply must be met if one wants to enjoy a quality of life. that said, i believe those needs aren’t necessarily what they are commonly believed to be. a careful look at the allocation of person’s energies and priorities can sometimes yield discoveries that can increase efficiency and personal freedom, which as i said earlier, always directly translates into your work.
if you are free – you will create work with free all throughout it. the reverse is equally true. i have learned it is vital to explore what it is to be free in myself, and to continually make a space for myself to grow and change to whatever it is i will be.
the *single* best thing you can do for yourself, your family, your work and the world around you is commit to a life of self-discovery. just as a tiny oak seed is born complete with schematics for the leaf that will one day grow at the top of a tree, 40 ft in the air, you have everything you need already mapped inside you. and only you can bring it out.
Your website is to die for. How much of a role did you play in the dreaming up of such a fabulous site?
i used to be a graphic designer, and as such am pretty particular on how my work is presented. i designed the site myself and had a great friend of mine code it with his company Parade.
the concept of the site was to make it as personal an experience as possible.
How do you prepare for an engagement session you are photographing?
i don’t do much preparation. i like to live and work as presently as possible, and do little planning. i like what i do to be relevant to the moment i find myself in.
What type(s) of lighting do you use when shooting?
i have played with all kinds of lighting, but most usually greatly prefer natural light.
Your actions are truly stunning. They are my utmost favorites. (I use Memory of a Friend at some low level opacity on vast majority of my photos.) How did you become such a master of Photoshop?
thank you : ) as i said, i have some deep roots in the graphic design field where Photoshop was an often-visited friend. because i had so much practice with the program, it became a natural fit to enhance the expression in my images.
as to how,,, lol, nights and nights and nights of playing around. there are certainly ways to become more efficient in learning, but there is nothing that can completely replace the benefits of *practice* : )
What are some challenges you face in your career?
i am my career, i don’t think of it as limited to any one genre. i am alive, i have the capacity and ability to share and express that life and, omg i love doing that. whatever medium seems to best convey that expression is the one i will use. i am not locked to any one form.
i pay a lot of attention to what i feel inside, my ‘voice’, as some call it, and do my best to honor it. this leads to a lot of exploration, a lot of learning, a lot of journeying where the trails are rough, if there at all. this can be difficult sometimes.
exploration is rarely an efficient process, and not usually something that pays the bills immediately. it’s also risky and often a great deal of hard work. without it, however, so much worth experiencing is lost.
Who are some photographers/artists that inspire you?
i love the vision and drive of my friend Jerry Ghionis, the creative genius of my friend the Manifester, the intricate way Botticelli expressed beauty, the uncontrived wisdom of my son Prevail de Rox.
If you could only shoot with one camera body and one lens for the remainder of your career what would you choose?
whichever one was in my hands, to be honest. i regularly use the Canon 5D and the 24mm lens, and i find them to be wonderful tools.
And, just for fun … if you could do a photo shoot of any celebrity of your choice who would you most desire that to be?
i would love to shoot Owen Wilson. he has always intrigued me. another one would be Cate Blanchett.
Oh, I just adore you. Thank you for your kindness.
thank you for the opportunity!
lots of love,
jesh ; )
happy independence day!