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Crash Taylor Interviews Jesh de Rox


This month I welcome Jesh de Rox. Jesh is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Western Canada. His work is awesome, but most of all, he is somebody to listen to when it comes to establishing an emotional bond with your clients. As Jesh says, he provides experiential photography for people in love. I love the way he connects with his clients, it's what a lot more photographers should concentrate on. I'm constantly amazed at how many photographers concentrate on gear over learning what it takes to bring out the true emotion and love of their clients in front of the camera. Once you have mastered this, your photography will hit a whole new level. Mine did!

If you haven't already, you should definitely do whatever it takes to attend one of Jesh's workshops. They are highly acclaimed and definitely a life changing experience when it comes to unlocking, strengthening and growing the one who is responsible for your work: you. The workshops have helped many people grow artistically and personally. Enjoy the interview and I look forward to your comments.

NEWS - Jesh has just informed me that he will be hosting a workshop here in the UK (Manchester) on the 4th-6th May 2010. Full details here http://www.jeshderoxclients.com/MANCHESTER.jpg

Hi Jesh,

self-portrait

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

i'm an explorer, particularly fascinated with the invisible pieces of life.

Where is home?

i am based in Edmonton, Canada, but i carry home with me everywhere i go.

If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet where would you build your dream home?

in the sky. it'd be able to move at will, from slow speeds up to instantaneous. it'd be able to go underwater and into space, turn invisible and have the capability to move through solid matter undisturbed if need be.

What is your current state of mind before we continue with the interview?

peaceful.

Did you go to school to study photography?

no, not in the traditional sense.

How long have you been a photographer?

i began my exploration of the connection between people in love through photography in 2005.

What or who got you started in wedding photography?

the first few opportunities i had to take portraits of people getting married, i felt a peculiar and wonderful energy between them, and somehow it became caught in the image. that fascinated me. i decided to start a wedding photography business as a medium to explore this.

How would you describe your style?

experiential. this is a two-fold meaning. a) i want viewers not just to see my work, but to experience it, to be drawn into the movement of the moment like i was. b) it describes the state in which i work - losing my edges, my definitions, my labels, and interacting with the subject unbound and authentically - not creating, but discovering what is between us.

Do you have a few images you can share with us?

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What type of cameras do you shoot with?

i have canon 5d mk II's.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

probably the 35m 1.4. i like shooting wide, and the lens feels good.

What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot?

i usually prefer available light, and don't often take other equipment. i like to travel light & spare.

Can you describe how and when you use flash, video light, reflectors and natural light during a wedding?

typically, i use natural light through the entire wedding.

What is your favourite computer/editing accessory, other than your computer?

my iPhone. it's a lot like the heart: i use it to connect with the people i love. it stores information and images of everything that's most important to me in this world and it plays the most beautiful music. it's versatile, expandable and has a lot more capacity than i generally use it for.

How important is Photoshop in your final images?

post-processing can be a potentially beautiful avenue for artistic expression. some of my images are heavily touched, some very lightly. the most important thing to me is the communication of the image. if i feel that can be enhanced with Photoshop, i am glad to use it.

What is your most used Photoshop tool, plug-in, action set etc.?

i initially created the ColorShift action set for myself. i ended up releasing it to others after so many people asked about my post-processing techniques, and to help fund my Beloved project. Note from Crash - These actions are brilliant and highly recommended. Check them out here ColorShift actions and textures.

Are you a MAC or PC lover?

macs are simply beautifully designed. i believe environment is much more important than most people give it credit for. i like to surround myself with as many beautiful things as possible.

Do you plan on buying any new equipment and if so what do you have your eyes on?

not in the foreseeable future. i believe there is a big focus on new equipment because it seems like an easy fix: 'not excited about your work? must be the lens. or maybe a new camera.'

i think exploring is brilliant, and playing with new things is most always exciting, but at its root, inspiration is an internal issue.

i invest much more time and energy in discovering myself, who i am, and understanding how i experience life and what comes in between me and that experience. in so doing, i have learned things a million pounds worth of gadgetry never could have taught me.

I finally feel I have mastered my Crash-Art workflow, can you briefly describe for the readers your photographic workflow after a wedding?

a) i back up my work in three separate places, one off-site.

b) i edit in, which is to say, i only choose images that speak to me to add to my clients' Collection.

c) i don't show unedited work for the same reason directors don't edit only part of a movie. every final image is individually worked in PS to some degree, with the purpose of creating a unified body of work that conveys a clear, powerful communication. i've designed a tool named WorldMix that helps me do this efficiently (it's currently in development with my intention to release it to everyone).

d) i meet my clients eight to twelve weeks after the wedding for their Premiere. this is the first time they see their images, and the time we choose how to present their Collection.

How do you feel about cropping an image?

as i've said, the communication of the image is primary to me. if this is helped by cropping, i am glad to. i actually enjoy finding new crops of images, looking for things i didn't see the first time through.

I choose photographers for these interviews because their work inspires me. What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such amazing imagery?

there is nothing more valuable, incredible or fascinating to me on this earth than the human heart. when you take a moment to consider all of the best moments of your life, you find it always plays a vital role.

the ability we have to feel moved by the gift & expressions of other people or the universe around us, the ability we have to move them in return,,, these are our single greatest gifts, providing the impetus for everything meaningful in our lives.

i love being around that kind of energy, and have spent my life learning how to invite it to come out and play,,,

words do no justice to express how much i have been affected by this endeavour.

What has been your most memorable assignment and why?

i am more focused on the internal, invisible worlds than the outer ones, my friend, they are the root of everything we see with our physical eyes. the truth is that most every time i work i follow what i see to its root and end up in the same mysterious place,,, wherever the heart is, wherever movement comes from,,, as i said, it is difficult to describe, much easier felt.

our languages have not yet evolved enough to encapsulate the complexities and intricacies of that place. i believe this is the purpose of artists: to add pieces to that collective language - the one that describes what is most important.

looking at a tree, your mind can separate each branch or leaf and individually measure or comment on it, but such separation is virtual. the truth is, as long as they are alive, they will always lead back to that same connected place.

talking about individual sessions is kind of like talking about individual leaves for me. when everything flows, we end up in this incredible shared place. this is what is part of what is so fascinating to me about the process, and why i have such a strong drive to continue exploration. how can all of these seemingly separate people be doors that lead back to the same place?

If you could shoot a wedding with another photographer who would it be and why?

Elliott Erwitt. his work has magnificent movement. i love being near people who have achieved that level of movement in their work because it denotes a high level of internal movement.

as i spoke of, our greatest gift is this ability to share from this authentic inner state,,, being near that kind of inner movement, unlocks you, quickens you.

technique? it's language, semantics - an important part of the process of communication, but not the living part. tell me what moves you, what sets you on fire, tell me why. or show me. that i will grow from more than anything else you can say or do.

How many weddings do you shoot a year?

normally, i accept only 10 weddings a year.

Do you have an assistant/2nd shooter that accompanies you on wedding assignments?

i often go alone. i love to get lost in what i'm doing, immersed, and i like as few distractions as possible. i have shot weddings with people before who work similarly, and this is a wonderful experience.

How many images do you average per wedding and how many do you usually present to your clients?

i often shoot around 1000 images on a wedding, and will narrow those down to the top 400 or so.

Where would be your dream destination wedding?

i'd love to experience a Sufi wedding in 13th century Persia with the poet Rumi officiating.

How do you make the bride and groom, bridal party etc… feel relaxed in front of your camera?

whatever i ask of the people i work with i have to be willing to give first. if i ask them to give me the most precious thing they have - the truth about themselves - i have to give it first myself.

i come to each session open, incredibly honoured to be with such rare creatures. out of six billion, no two are like these two.

we respond dynamically to the way we are treated, and we are treated based upon how we are seen, so, in the end, our entire life experience is directly rooted in our vision.

Have you ever had anything go wrong at a wedding and if so, how did you handle it?

right and wrong are matters of perspective. when i face unexpected challenges, i try to stay open and alert. this gives me the best chance of seeing whatever it is i can do that would be the most beneficial. my options are limited to the degree with which i'm investing my energy in being upset with what's happened.

What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?

i believe it's letting go of all the preconceived notions that we bring to the day, especially after having shot a lot. the people you work with are unique and individual and deserve to be seen that way, but it's challenging for the mind which often prefers the well-treaded paths to the hard work it can be to explore the unpredictable unknown.

What do you think of the wedding photography industry at the moment and where do you see it in 5 years from now?

i think it's in a beautiful state of growth. we're seeing a huge and unprecedented influx of people into the industry which some experts are predicting could as much as double the total number of photographers over the next three years.

i believe it's going to become increasingly important to those who want to thrive to be able to develop and express their unique voice and vision in their work.

i also see huge potential for photographers who continue exploring in the direction of inviting incredible client experience. the work i've been doing in the Beloved sessions, interacting authentically with those who commission me, has led to several thrilling and unexpected side affects, which have increasingly become focus of my work.

i believe it is possible a new genre of photography could emerge, focusing on the celebration, strengthening and renewal of relationship between people. photographers deliver a product whose purpose is to remind people of what is most important to them. when that service is provided at the shoot itself,,, a powerful combination of factors collide to create something truly beautiful.

i am told frequently by the people i work with that their experience with me enabled them to grow closer. some have described it as 'finding' each other again. quite a powerful thing to be able to offer people, with benefits that far outreach what size wall-print they order.

at the end of the day, photography is conversation. it's up to you to decide the kind of conversation you want to have.

many people are caught up in 'fake conversations' because we practice them so often. their images portray those same insincere relationships. i think we have a beautiful opportunity to give something more.

i believe that the future of photography exists in the frontiers of the human heart, and the ones brave enough to explore it.

A wedding photographer who inspires you?

i am more inspired by people rather than photographers. as a man, Jerry Ghionis has honed himself into a brilliant, generous human being with an acute sense of aesthetic and fashion. all of that naturally comes through his images. his personal dedication and drive to pursue what he believes in is greatly inspiring to me.

all of the great artists i have met are very much their work. a fact that has not been lost on me.

It’s almost that time of year for a Jesh de Rox family portrait. Is there any photographer out there that you would be stoked to say – he/she took my portrait?

i would be intrigued to see myself through the eyes of Avedon. a striking vision.

A website and/or blog you visit often?

Twitter. a simple & beautiful tool.

The first photographer that comes to your mind and why?

you. because you invited me to be interviewed.

The last workshop or seminar you attended and why?

i attended Jerry Ghionis's seminar in Nashville, which will probably have been the sixth or seventh time i've seen him speak. as i mentioned, he is a person of deep movement, so everything he does will carry that movement in it. it is a blessing to be around such people, and especially to be able to call them friend.

Do you have any workshops planned?

yes. i'm currently on a world tour with my life {as an artform} workshop, visiting over 22 cities. i'll be in Manchester this May 4-6 and in Hamburg May 10-12 which represent my only European workshop offerings this year.

life {as an artform} is about the most important factor in both your business and your work: you.

participants of the workshop experience dynamic growth in their artistic, professional and personal lives that they would not have believed possible. even self-described skeptics,,, sometimes them particularly.

it continues to humble and amaze me, and i'm absolutely honoured to be a part of it. Workshop details here Enlighten workshops

What photographic organizations do you belong to?

i'm a member of WPPI, PPA, PPOC & DWF, and have met beautiful friends through each.

One way you market Jesh de Rox Photography?

word of mouth is by far my primary form of marketing. the trust relationships i build with the people i work with and the experience i provide them with are priceless in the continued thriving of my business.

Do you advertise? If so where?

no.

How important is an awesome website for your business?

i believe a strong web presence is vital in this day and age. the more true to self the website, the better match you'll have with the clients it attracts.

If not a photographer, I would have liked to be a marine biologist studying the great white shark. What would you have been?

i am an artist, an explorer, a dreamer and a lover. the particular form those are expressed in is of lesser importance to me.

I realize that each great photographer has a particular penchant or love for photographing a particular subject whether it be nature, portraits, sea or landscapes, shadow and light, etc. as a result I would love to have you talk about and share whatever images you feel appropriate of your own private obsession in the magical world of photography.

to tell the truth, all of my work is personal work. i don't do it any other way. life is too short to waste it doing things you're not wild about.

my current focus is my Beloved project, which as i mentioned earlier is a movement aimed at the celebration and renewal of relationship, especially between couples who have been together for some time.

when people fall in love, they are number one in priority. everything else is shoved aside for them. as they are together longer, the way they see each other changes. what once was magical becomes ordinary, commonplace. this leads to a dramatic shift in the way they treat each other.

but it's not their innate value that changes, rather it's that they each become blind to it. the work that i do isn't about creation so much as removing what is in the way. my work in these sessions has continued to produce intriguing results. it is my hope that others will take from what i have gathered so far and forge ahead.

i believe if couples were given a regular opportunity to re-see each other, re-experience the one they fell in love with, quality of life in the relationship would dynamically improve. and of course, the relationships closest to us have more affect on us than any other factor in our life.

i don't think it's far-fetched to say that if such a genre were established, and thousands of photographers around the world were offering such services, there would be a far-reaching, world-wide affect.

to my findings from the Beloved projects are one of the areas we explore in the life {as an artform} workshops.

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When I was 2nd shooting I was picking everybody’s brain, I still am actually. That’s why I love these interviews so much. Every interview I learn something that makes me a better photographer. What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue wedding photography?

find people whose work moves you and be willing to give them as much as you want to get from them. work hard to develop your business around who you are, not what is popular or trendy.

learning to become authentic is the single greatest thing you can do for yourself and your business. this is at the same time a very simple thing and a very complex one.

another way to describe it is inner alignment. you will know you are on key when people and circumstances important to your growth are drawn to you just at the right moment. when, as your foot touches the ground, you become suddenly aware your foot was always supposed to be in this specific place in this specific moment.

Is there anything you would have done differently during your photographic career?

no. i have learned as much or more from 'failing' as i have from 'succeeding'.

Name a photographer you would like to take a portrait of?

James Natchewey. i think he'd have a lot of incredible stories in him.

If you could be invisible for one day with your camera...

i would throw away the camera and spend an entire day revelling in how incredible it is to be invisible.

I’ve learned the most from…

spending time with people whom i admire, individuals who have become living expressions of the movement within them.

What talent would you most like to have?

the ability to love is the greatest talent i can imagine. i'm working hard at it.

Something you’re still learning?

to maintain control of my free will instead of becoming reactive during challenging circumstances.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

this is a question answered many ways. ultimately everything i love is a beautiful piece and expression of the one great Love.

What is your greatest fear?

i don't have one as such. something i seek to be constantly vigilant of is to not let blindness of the mind steal from my awareness what is most precious and important to me.

Something that is overrated?

'success'.

Something you’re saving up for?

my dream home. the aforementioned sky one.

What item do you wish you had designed?

the hoodie. what a gift to leave to the world.

If you could have lunch with anyone who is famous who would it be?

Hans Zimmer.

Where you'll find me on a Friday night at 9 p.m.?

depends what timezone i'm in, lol 😉

Your favourite film (movie) of all time?

5-way tie: eternal sunshine of the spotless mind / amelie / gladiator / avatar / zoolander

Who would play you in a film (movie) of your life?

robert downey jr. love that guy.

First thing you would do if you won the lottery?

give it to people who needed it more than i.

Which five words would your friends use to describe you?

not sure. just asked a friend, who said: 'creative. loving. genuine. intelligent. hot.' not all words i would have chosen, lol, but there you go (for instance, i would have gone with ridiculously-good-looking. does that count as one word?).

What ambition have you not yet achieved?

i would love to see a world class orchestra perform in concert.

What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?

the same thing i am now: living a deeply joyful life surrounded with people i love and respect, working hard to bring my dreams from one world to the next, falling, getting back up again, stronger and wiser.

And the last question, if you had one wish…

it would be that those who read these words become vitally aware of the precious gift they are - the potential of which they have not yet begun to imagine - and their grand role in this great connective body that we are. that they would become brilliantly inspired to take whatever journey they must take to give that gift to the ones who have always been and are even now waiting for it.

Oh one more, if someone said ‘how can I be the next Jesh de Rox?’ What would you say?

answered literally, i would say it is of course a wiser thing to become the next you.

answered figuratively, i would say that everything it is possible to achieve is valueless without joy. follow joy more than achievements. it will lead you to the root of life, and bring you to everything it is important for you to discover.

Your readers can find out more about me:

Website: http://www.JeshdeRox.com/Enlighten (use the code 'crash' to save 15%)

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JeshdeRox

Journal: http://jeshderoxweddings.blogspot.com/

  • Brilliantly inventive work. More favourite photographer of all time is still Elliot Erwitt. Love that shot with the guys legs and the girl on the staircase!


  • Awesome, but then again,.. he is Canadian!
    My favourite photo... the tent in the mall. Brilliant.
    All the photos are amazing though. Good find Crash!


  • Love this guys work for a while..stumbled on his site via Jerry Ghionis.
    Fantastic WOW images I Love the veil shot the best but they all shine...
    Great interview Crash


  • Absolutely stunning imagery and beautiful post production. Crash this is such a great resource, look forward to reading more interviews


  • Crash, there aren't enough words in my head to thank you for all you do. When I get an email with a new interview I can't wait to get here to take a look. But I have to absolutely say this one thing about Jesh's tutorials for his actions and please forgive me for saying this but if it didn't affect me to the degree it did, I would say nothing. His voice. This breathy, whispery voice drove me absolutely out of my mind. I couldn't concentrate on watching the video because of my irritation with trying to hear what the hell he was saying. I absolutely adore dogs and puppies but I think if I were to hear his voice for one more minute I would have wanted to kill puppies with a hammer. He should absolutely NOT be voicing over his own tutorials and there is no way in hell that I am the only one affected by it. Just want to say thank you to YOU, for the posts, the interviews, and the work. It's a great part of my day to be here.


  • Longtime fan of Jesh. His work is brilliant and his soul is as beautifully authentic as they come. Thank you for a great interview Crash.


  • Great interview Crash... love the 'beloved 4' image and reading about Jesh's approach to life/work... nice and liberating :)


  • Lovely mind set and philosophy. I've been a fan of Jeshs' work for a few years now - very cool images, from a very cool phtography mind.


  • Nice guy and beautiful images. Thanks Crash. Going to check out the actions now.


  • Awesome, inspirational & inventive.... love the post processing style.... textures really are great IF you know what you're doing & this guy does.

    keep it coming

    Andy


  • Amazing work. I love the post production, very original and creative. Another great interview. x


  • Nice interview - the kid knows his business, for sure.


  • WOW. I was introduced to your site by Jasmine Star and I couldn't be more thrilled! This post was soooo inspiring and helpful. I'm looking forward to reading more from your interviews. THANK YOU!!


  • [...] remember being moved by the interview he did with Crash Taylor a few months ago, and even copied a portion of a quote to print out for my office.  He seemed to [...]


  • This interview reminds me of critique sessions in art school. What a hugely inflated ego this man has! Perhaps the biggest megalomaniac I've ever encountered. I mean please who buys this crap?
    Do good work, please yourself and your clients, give back to the community. Oh, and don't ever think of charging other photogs $16,500 to spend a day with you.

    “It is the nature of the ego to take, and the nature of the spirit to share.” Proverb.


  • Thank you for this incredible interview. Personally, I find Jesh to be refreshing and brilliant. It is tough to lay it all out there the way he has. Bravo.


  • good images but again what a dick!