February 15th, 2017
Jesse Gussow

Part of our mission statement is to showcase emerging artists. Jesse MacDougall is one such artist. His photography caught my eye on Facebook awhile back. I posted one of his images on our Instagram and Facebook pages and then decided to reach out to him for an interview to find out more about his work. His images are simple and beautiful and sometimes a little macabre.


Where are you from?

Originally I'm from Burbank, California, but have lived in and around Longmont, Colorado for the last 20 yrs.



How did you get interested in photography?

Completely by accident; I'm primarily a pyrography and graphite artist, and had bought my camera solely to take photos of my art.



What was your first shoot?

My first shoot was March 2016. It was a full nude shoot, and the word nervous is an understatement. I was sweating bullets, having never shot a photo shoot, let alone a full nude one. The photos were shot for a fellow artist friend, and were only intended to be for art reference. But the photos turned out good, and I enjoyed the photography so much, I decided to keep at it, and see where it would take me.



What do you want your photos to convey?

I approach photography no different than I do my art; I like my photos to tell a story, to have a distinct mood to them. I have an affinity for Victorian era nude photography, and try to capture the soft natural beauty of that era in my photos. I also have a "fly on the wall" type approach to my photography. Not a lot of direct eye contact, like I’m not even in the room. This helps the photo feel real, and not so posed. I also utilize a lot of props, to help convey the story, time period, or emotion I’m going for.



How would you describe your photography?

Dark, soft, natural, honest, beautiful, sometimes disturbing.



If you could do a shoot with any model who would it be and why?

There is a French model, who I only know via Instagram, but she goes by Comtesselea. Not only is she extremely beautiful, but is also one of the most talented, and original make up artist's I know of. She also designs her own wardrobes.



What kind of books and music do you enjoy?

I've never been much of a book worm, but I'd say I'd prefer a good autobiography. As far as music, I like just about everything but rap. Huge metal fan, death metal, black metal, but also love the oldies. Some of my favorite bands are, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Mastodon, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Enslaved, oh, and Roy Orbison



What's in your camera bag?

My camera: I use a Canon rebel t6i, I prefer to use my portrait lens as much as I can; it's a 50mm fixed lens, but when I need to be able to zoom, I use the lens that came with the camera, it’s a 18-55 mm



Who is your biggest influence when it comes to photography?

Honestly, I'm so new to photography, I don’t know of many photographers by name. I tend to appreciate more natural photography, less of a digital look; while I do utilize Photoshop, I use it sparingly, mostly only for tricks like adding color to a b&w, or to adjust color tones, contrast etc. Physically, I next to never alter the appearance of the model. As far as a photographer I am influenced by, Ansel Adams is a name that comes to mind. He was able to achieve epic nature photos, with none of the digital aids of today.



What have been the biggest challenges to photography for you?

Lighting!!! I prefer to shoot by natural light as much as possible, so chasing the light can be extremely difficult, especially when shooting outside.



What can we expect from you in the future?

More of the same, but as I learn my camera I hope to get more proficient at shooting. I choose to only feature my modeling photography, but I also enjoy shooting nature and landscapes. So I plan on doing more of that as well as the modeling photography.



Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies? Or some other unhealthy snack?

I'm not big on chocolate, but I do love some fruit snacks.

Model Adrielle Rogers
Model Adrielle Rogers

Model Adrielle Rogers

Model Megan Oliver
Model Arielle Lillian

Model Megan Oliver

Model Megan Oliver
Model Sydney Riccella Kitzmiller

Model Megan Oliver

Model Sydney Riccella Kitzmiller

Model Adrielle Rogers

Model Arielle Lillian

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