Jesse Marlow

When it comes to photographers that inspired myself, there is always a few names that pop up. The usual Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, James Nachtwey, Alex Webb, Martin Parr and many more. But there is one photographer that influence me the most in terms of street photography, he is none other than Melbourne-based photographer, Jesse Marlow

I came to know about his works during my photography studies at NMIT, now known as Melbourne Polytechnic. The teacher organised a visit to Anna Pappas Gallery, where Jesse Marlow had his work exhibited there. The work didn’t blew my mind the first time, I still remember joking around with my classmates about the grainy part on the print. I had some questions but didn’t got a chance to ask them during Q&A. So I walked up to him after the Q&A and asked him one question, “Is yellow your favourite colour? Because I see them in most of your work.” The answer was kind of “yes and no”. Yellow is the colour that caught his attention when he roamed the dull coloured city streets, which explain why warning signs are in yellow. 

We have to write a 500 words report on 4 of the visits we attended in that semester, Jesse Marlow was one of those that I chose. I emailed him explaining about my school assignment and he gladly replied my enquiries. I didn’t pick up street photography until I graduated, when my iPhone became my primary tool to document the streets. When I told my friends about Jesse’s work, they can tell straight away I’m deeply influenced by his style. 

Everyone will have their own favourite photographer(s), but it’s important to be inspired by one that is in your era and “local”. So you could walk the same streets he walked and think about why you can’t see what he saw, so you will start to learn and develop from there.  I’m embarrassed to says that I haven’t own any photo book by Jesse Marlow due to too many commitment but I had promised myself his books will be on my book shelf one day.

Watch this video if you have time, as Jesse Marlow captures his own unique view of the city with the new Leica Q.

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