A normal person would name the blog post – A Beloved Platform Talk with Jesh de Rox, but hey – who said I’m normal? I’m glad to have caught your attention.
The name Jesh de Rox to me instantly evokes thoughts of touchy-feely-artsy-fartsy talk. People who have seen him speak have urged me time and time again to see him in person. And I’m like…eh. Anyone talked about this much can’t possibly live up to all the hype. I thought to myself, he’s probably this semi-cutish-geek-guy with mad photo skills and probably, an amazing marketing team to back him up. Sure, he takes beautiful images. Breath-taking even. But can he be the real deal? Is going to sell us a DVD?
I had to find out for myself. On the morning of March 8, depsite have only 3 hours of sleep the night before – I felt compelled to get out bed at 6:30, grab a quick sausage muffin and wait in line with the rest of the sleep-deprived masses at MGM Studio B at WPPI 2010.
And it Changed. My. Life.
First thing I noticed was that Jesh looked as nervous as hell. 20 minutes before the 8am class was set to begin, he was standing at the podium, straight as pole, clearing his throat and fiddling with his presentation. I swear if I had my 200 mm lens, I would see beads of sweat running down his temple. He didn’t seem like a rockstar photographer at all. He seemed a bit shy, sincere and real.
And he started talking. The words that spewed out of his mouth had me transfixed for the next two hour. We listened, we laughed, we cried. Whatever I write here about what transpired would never live up to the experience of listening to him speak. And contrary to what my other cynical photographers friends say, it’s not just a girl thing. I saw plenty of carburator-loving male photographers in the crowd hiding their tears too.
So what moved me?
In retrospect, it was nothing new. But Jesh put a label on something I have been longing for in every session I have with a client. Any professional photographer worth his dime knows what I’m talking about. The moment of utter openness when a client lets their guard down and lets you capture their true essence. You open your eyes and see the person for the unique beauty they pocess. And the synergy between you flows. You create your best work. And they are happy in just being themselves. And something just clicks. Apart from the sound of the shutter.
And as a photographer, you feel good you did your job. And feel tingly all over. Good tingles. Or as Jesh say, manly tingles.
So go forth, and pursue your tingles. Immortalize your beloved. Make the world a better place through photography.
Thank you Jesh for giving that inspirational, no — spiritual talk. And sorry if I interrupted your pizza dinner at Wolfgang Puck the other night. I just had to. And thanks for the hug.