Jesse Rogers is an American photographer, videographer, illustrator, web developer and designer, from Seattle. He has done a mixture of different styles of photography, but his take on street photography is somewhat new and refreshing. His use of light and up close portraits allow people to really think when viewing his imagery, and they allow you to sympathise with his subjects.
I find Rogers’ work particularly interesting as he tends to photograph individuals whom you would normally find yourself ignoring when walking past on the streets – homeless/elderly/disabled. Not ignoring them purposely, but perhaps people who you wouldn’t really take a second glance at. I like how he has chosen these kinds of subjects, as a lot of the street photography I have seen has chosen subjects such as alternative individuals, people dressed interestingly, people who bring excitement to the streets. However, he makes the non-exciting people look beautiful in these images, using shallow depth of fields to allow the backgrounds to be out of focus so that these individuals really stand out, and in some images allowing for light to leak in to create interesting images to look at. Jesse also has captions accompanying each image on his website, describing taking this subject’s image. For example, this was what was written under the image of the gentleman in a wheelchair;
Almost in a “Humans of New York” style, but much shorter, and I really like that he has added a human element to each of these images. I personally think, when photographing people, having that human element and giving the person in the image a background for the viewers to think about is highly important, especially in documentary photography. It gives a sense of reality to an image, which I feel is important, especially with people such as the man in the wheelchair, or for example, a homeless man.
As I am not photographing people for my street photography, it will be hard to utilise the techniques Jesse Rogers uses, however in future I will remember his use of lighting and depth of field, as I find it extremely interesting, and think it really puts the individual to the forefront of a viewers’ mind.