"As an avid fan of being outdoors and capturing the beauty that surrounds me, it was only natural that I wanted to share these experiences with others.
Photography allows me to do this on a more personal level and I can only hope that it inspires more people to get outside and explore.
If you need some guidance just Follow Me North!"
- Jesse Villemaire
"Follow Me North"
What encouraged you to get into the outdoor photography industry?
Being outdoors has been embedded in me since a very young age. My love for traveling to new destinations and meeting new people naturally drew me to photography as I wanted to capture these special moments.
Realizing that many people haven't experienced the same thrill of being outdoors as I have, I wanted to bring that feeling to my audience through my photography. This would hopefully spark an interest in them to get outdoors and become more active.
In today's age I see more people connected to their electronic devices instead of true connections through people and nature. If I could help instill some new values into people's lives then I feel more fulfilled as well.
How did you get started?
I started like many other people, capturing moments on their cell phone cameras. As I come from a very creative background I knew that I wanted to find the right tools to help me capture the true images that I see with my own eyes.
I decided to sign up for a photography course at my local college and learned the basics of using a DSLR camera. I'll admit it was quite intimidating at first not knowing anything about aperture, shutter speed or ISO. It was all a different language to me.
What I believe helped me the most was my eye for composition even in the beginning. I feel as though I knew what a pleasing image looked like, however I lacked the knowledge of how to create it in camera. With numerous hours upon hours of practicing, I started to learn quite quickly. The goal is not to get too overwhelmed and stay committed.
Did you find it difficult to get started? Were there any barriers to overcome?
The main barriers I came across on my journey were mainly in my own head. I often told myself, maybe I'm not good enough, maybe I should quit, comparing myself to others that had many more years experience will often make us less likely to continue. I grew to realize that this is normal and instead of looking into the future as fearful, I chose to use it as inspiration. Everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. Just like hiking up a mountain there will be many challenges along the way but the view from the top will be worth it!
What do you enjoy most about photography?
The people connections are truly my favourite part of photography. Whether it be with clients, workshop attendees, or even other photographers, I've felt more inspired after every shooting session. As I guide people through the great outdoors I'm equally fulfilled as I notice them experiencing something new for the first time! It's truly remarkable being able to share these moments with others.
Traveling to different parts of the world is obviously remarkable as well. The planning that goes into each trip is rewarded once I arrive to the destination. Getting to explore the culture, people and the scenery keeps me craving more.
What, if anything, are the downsides to working as a photographer?
Defining downsides can be quite difficult as what I find rewarding another photographer may find it taxing.
Traveling for instance can become exhausting at times however it quickly becomes exhilarating when all the elements come together at the perfect moment.
I'm also a very social person so I tend to feed off of everyone else's energy to keep me fulfilled. Whenever I'm starting to feel less inspired I'll often seek out another photographer to shoot with or find some new people to connect with.
Too be honest I haven't found many downsides as of yet as I mainly choose jobs or destinations that will be equally as fulfilling for me.
What are your plans for the future?
I look forward to growing my business as a travel photographer and helping others achieve their photography goals.
As an entrepreneur I'm also thinking of new ventures within the photography industry which will help connect professional photographers with adventurous clientele.
My vision is to help travellers capture all the right moments on their trips. As an adventure photographer following alongside a client on their vacation, I believe I can capture their memories better than the camera they're carrying around their neck.
Any advice to people looking to get better at photography?
Be confident and don't let any negativity of others get in your way. Obviously getting out to shoot as often as possible is beneficial. Even in you own backyard you can challenge yourself to better your skills. Workshops have been extremely rewarding for my own personal growth and I'd suggest giving it a shot.
Networking with other like minded photographers will inspire you to keep moving forward. Don't compare yourself to others and stay true to your own passions. Most importantly enjoy the journey as it never ends!
Spending alone time in nature surrounded by wildlife really helps reset my mind. Venture into my world as I share some of these memorable wildlife moments of mine. More >>
Let me share a glimpse of what my eyes capture on my travels. Remember we're all surrounded by stunning scenery regardless of where you live, just open your eyes! More >>
Meeting people on my travels has always been an exciting component throughout my photography journey. I love the challenge of photographing people outdoors in some of the incredible scenery that surrounds us. More >>
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