Jesse La Plante
Creative + Dynamic + Vibrant
Colorado wedding photographer Jesse La Plante had several reasons for making his career choice. “Before entering the wedding industry, I was a newspaper photographer and the pay was extremely low, considering how physically and psychologically taxing the work was. I also wanted to be my own boss and escape the ‘9-to-5’ lifestyle. When a friend of mine asked if I’d shoot her wedding in the summer of 2008, I jumped at the opportunity. I had a blast shooting for her, so I decided to make it my full-time career,” he says.
Beyond his camera skills, Jesse brings a number of notably diverse talents to the table, including juggling and ukulele playing; the ability to predict, to the minute, when he’ll arrive at his destination on a long road trip; and the skills to beat just about anyone in a game of pool. He has also written five feature-length screenplays (“I’m not sure how much ‘talent’ is involved in that,” he jokes). And if you need some improvised music, Jesse is your man.
“Sometimes, I’ll make up songs on the spur of the moment and start signing them out loud. For instance, if my wife says the words ‘turn around,’ I’ll start signing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart,’ but I’ll change the words to pertain to the particular moment.”
Based on this diverse list of credentials, it’s probably no surprise that one of the things Jesse values most in life is autonomy—the independence to control your own life without an employer or anyone else making decisions for you. Environmental causes, particularly those involving climate change, overpopulation, and humanity’s impact on the natural world, are also close to his heart.
Asked for his favorite quote to live by, Jesse cited Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful (people) with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Jesse always strives to reach beyond the status quo. For example, he seeks inspiration from many sources outside of the wedding industry (painters, filmmakers, writers, architects, etc.), so his work reflects a studied amalgamation of many different artistic styles. Recently, he was inspired by the film “1917,” which he encourages image-makers to see on the largest screen they can. “It’s absolutely mind-boggling how they shot this film,” he says. “The book ‘The Element’ by Ken Robinson also really spoke to me,” he adds.
Our final question for Jesse was about what being fearless means to him and his response reflects the same independent, hardworking mindset that seems to infuse all of his work. “To me, it the word ‘fearless’ doesn’t mean lacking fear,” he says. “It means feeling the fear and doing it anyway—whatever ‘it’ is. Without fear, courage doesn’t exist.”
Jesse La Plante | USA | Fearless since 2016