Performance Photographer - Jesse Kramer

Performance Photographer - Jesse Kramer

Your name:
Jesse Kramer

Your business name:
Jesse Kramer Photography

Tell us a bit about your business:
I specialise in performance photography, behind the scenes, rehearsals, posters, taking action shots of theatre performances; stills for films and actors headshots


How long have you worked as a photographer?
10 years

Do you feel it was an instant success or did it take a while to find its feet?
I found my niche pretty quickly. I had already been working in the theatre industry for 7 years when I started doing a couple of photography courses for fun. I photographed a couple of shows as part of my course work, and then offered to take photos for a few friends in the industry. I was doing it as a hobby while working in the theatre, it was only when I felt confident enough in my ability and my equipment that I began doing it professionally, and it took about 2 years to move over to it as a full time career.

If any, what kind of jobs did you have before your career took off?
I was a stage manager in the theatre, I also made props and puppets and did a little bit of special effects make-up and fabrication for film. 


Do you feel that you chose your "passion," or did it choose you? 
Well both in different ways. I grew up in the theatre, watching actors and performances and I feel very comfortable in that space. I also did photography in my first year at University and I was terrible! I don't enjoy doing things I am not good at, so I dropped that subject rather quickly. It took me a decade, and the revolution of digital photography to explore it again. My passion for the theatre certainly fuels my passion for photography, and i definitely made conscious decisions to photograph performance as well as to focus on photography as a career.

What made you decide to follow a creative career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
I think that was inevitable from very early on. I come from an artistic family who have successful creative careers, so I have many positive role models in that respect. I was encouraged to be creative and there was never any pressure put on me to do something more conventional or "safe". 

Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
Of course! I have many of those days. If a shoot doesn't go as well as I would have liked and I wish I would have captured better images. I try to learn from the experience, what could I have done better? Sometimes it is not in my control and I realise I did the best that I could do in that situation, and other times I realise I could have asked more questions, prepared better or changed something and I try to remember that for the next time I am in a similar situation.


What is your favourite accomplishment?
I love when my photographs hold real value for someone and they tell me what it means to them. There are so many that are special to me, and I love hearing how they affect other people too. I also love seeing the joy and surprise that comes from having a good portrait taken, so many people have an automatic expectation that they will look terrible in photos.

Where should Working Creatives get more info on workshops / your offerings?
I usually advertise specials through my facebook and instagram accounts. 


What is your favourite lens and why?
The Canon 70-200mm f.2.8
I get my most beautiful images with this lens. Theatre photography is like sports photography, but in the dark. You have to have a lens that is fast and that can let in a lot of light, it's quite a lot to ask of a lens.

Are you working on any out of the ordinary projects at the moment?
I'm just starting to build up a portfolio for a different genre of photography, but it's too early to talk about it. 



What is playing in your CD player/iPod right now?
"What the Ladybird heard" by Julia Donaldson. Because... toddler.

What’s your favourite ’90s song?
There definitely isn't just one, but I'll go with "Every morning" by Sugar Ray 

 What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Anything and everything. Usually plans for the day or the week. 

What were you like in high school?
I was well behaved, a good student. I didn't particularly enjoy school but I loved seeing my friends every day. 

 Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your high school self?
The best learning happens outside of the classroom. Don't wait for your teachers to teach you, go out and find out whatever it is you want to know.  


Your website:

Instagram handle: @jessekkramer

Twitter: @jesseKKramer

Facebook: @jessekramerphoto

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