Jesse Rogers


Frequently asked questions of Seattle photographer, designer, and illustrator Jesse Rogers.


How old are you?

I was born in 1992.

How/when did you get started in photography?

In 2009, I bought a camcorder and started messing around with it. I found myself taking more pictures than video with it, and in 2010, I sold it and bought my first DSLR and started trying to figure out how to use it. Since then, not much has changed.

Why do you photograph homeless people?

The homeless are the most interesting kind of people I know. I've never met one that didn't have at least one interesting story to tell. More than just making for awesome pictures, homeless people are ignored on a daily basis, so it means a lot to them to have their photos taken professionally, and even more to have a print of the photo — something tangible to hold onto, other than pocket change and food scraps.

What's in your camera bag?


  • Sony A7
  • Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA
  • Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA
  • Good luck charm

How do you light your photos?

I use Paul C. Buff Alien Bees — AB1600's and AB800's, and I use a 47" Octabank to modify the main light in almost all of my photos. For portable power, I use the Paul C. Buff Vagabond Mini.

How did you learn photography? Did you take classes?

No, I've never taken a photography class in my life. No offense to any photography majors, but I don't think you need a teacher to learn the technical aspect of photography, and I don't think a teacher can teach you the "artistic" side either. Everything I've learned has been through articles, YouTube, but mostly just experimentation and practice.

Who are your favorite photographers?

I really admire a lot of photographers. My biggest influence is definitely the great Yousuf Karsh. I also love the work of F. Scott Schafer, Joey L., and Christian J. Sweet.

Do you use a lot of photoshop?

Depends on the image, but I would say that most of my images aren't very heavily edited. My style is achieved through exposure and lighting more than post process.

Do you shoot weddings?


What advice can you give to an beginning/aspiring photographer?

Master the technical side, and be different. Nothing will set you apart from the rest more than doing something that hasn't been done before. You just need to discover and establish your identity as a photographer. Here's a great article by an amazing photographer about this.

Today you are you. That's true-er than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you.
Dr. Suess

Weren't you in a band or something?

Yes. Send The Messenger.

Why do you love Kanye West so much?

Don't even get me started.