The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Jesse Dittmar


Modeling Tests with We Speak Modeling

I wanted to try some new equipment and lighting styles, so I brought in models for what is a pretty standard scenario in the industry: you contact an agency, they send you some new talent, and you trade services. I did a few of these with traditional models at traditional modeling agencies. I was bored. The pictures were nice but uninteresting. I remember saying, I’m just not going to do this again; there doesn’t seem to be a point.

Then I stumbled upon We Speak. They were different and disruptive. I contacted the founder Briauna, got a few people in front of me for a test, and was not bored. I was inspired. I was photographing people with incredible stories and making art that I was excited about: the core reason I became a photographer in the first place.

These shoots have been simple. Just the model and me. Self-styled. Collaborative. There has been a lot of conversation, I’ve learned more than I could express in an artist statement, and I am lucky to have the continued opportunity to photograph the We Speak roster.


To see more of this project, click here.

To keep up with Jesse, click IG

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.


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