My name is Jesse Schieuer, and I'm a photographer.
This is supposed to be the part where I tell you all about my "passion for photography" and "making images come to life" and so on and so forth, but...I like to do things a little differently.
I'm not one to do things one way just because it's how everyone else is doing them. I believe your brand should have it's own personality, it's own identity, that it should be recognizable, that it should stand out from the rest.
That's why I'm here. Do I have a passion for photography, and all that other cliché stuff you'll see in every other photographer's "About" section? Absolutely, I love what I do very much.
But what I love even more is seeing the impact that my work can make.
Although I do try to keep life and work as lighthearted and fun as possible, I take what I do very seriously. I feel a huge amount of pride when I finish a job and I see my work doing exactly what the client wanted it do.
And the opposite is also true. By letting you and your brand down, I let myself and my own brand down.
I'm not here just to make a buck.
I'm here to make an impact.
I hope you are, too.
MAKE AN IMPACT
GET TO KNOW ME
I was one of those kids that didn't know what to do after graduation. For a while, the plan was to go to school for CAD. The day I graduated high school, I moved out of my parents house and down to Kansas City to live with my brother and work until the fall when I was to start school.
But some things happened that summer. I never ended up getting a job, my relationship with my brother fell apart, and I decided school just wasn't for me at that point. So I moved back home and bounced around a little bit until I eventually landed in school for Auto-Collision Repair when I was 20.
The day that was finished, my instructor told the class that there was a shop looking for work in a town about 30 miles away. When I walked out the door, I went straight to that shop and got hired on the spot. I spent ten years doing collision repair, eight of those years at that shop.
I've always had this desire to be my own boss. This feeling that I'm meant to do my own thing.
A few years ago, the brother that I had a falling-out with years before, Sam, was dealing with the same problem I had found myself dealing with years later. He had found something he was passionate about, and he had to make the choice to quit his day job to build something out of that passion.
Early on in his venture, I had made something for my oldest brother, Pete, for Christmas. A holster. It was dreadful and ugly and downright terrible, but it was a holster. Sam asked me if I would be interested in developing and selling them under his company name. Just days before when I had made that holster I vividly remember saying to myself, "Wow, this isn't fun at all. I would never do this for money."
So of course I said yes, and off we went. From that point on, my life was collision repair in the day and holsters at night and weekends. And I thought I was enjoying it. One of the reasons was that I saw this as a way out of the 9-5, to do my own thing, to create my own thing.
Eventually we had to make a real effort to start selling these things. Our website wasn't doing it, and neither of us had any idea what we were doing on the marketing side of things. We decided to start pushing out more and more photos.
I didn't even own a camera at that point. I was using a hundred-dollar tablet that I had bought with the intention of using for financial records. Back then, I really didn't understand how growing a business through social media worked. If one photo didn't do anything for us, I had the thought that the next one had to be bigger and better and more creative.
Soon I found myself rushing through the manufacturing process just so I could go play with the photography stuff. As days went by, I spent less and less time making and selling holsters, and more time taking pictures.
All these years I've been trying all these different things, thinking to myself, "Oh! This is fun, maybe THIS is what I'll do!" And then I quickly tire of it. The challenge and originality wears off, and I'm no longer fascinated. But that's not the case with photography.
Manufacturing holsters or repairing cars becomes a redundant, boring process. I need to be challenged, I need problems to solve. And photography gives that to me. Every subject, every lighting scenario, lens, camera body, environment, every single shot throws new and unique problems at me. And when I finally solve those problems, I'm rewarded with something I'm proud of, something that I want to show off and share with people.
And I love every second of it.