Jesse Dittmar

Celebrity Photographer - Jesse Dittmar


If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.
— Eve Arnold

I recently had the opportunity to assist Jesse Dittmar, who is one of the top celebrity photographers in the country. It was a unique experience that I am excited to share.

Jesse is a New York City based celebrity photographer who is often associated with Annie Leibovitz for whom he had previously assisted. He has photographed many of todays most popular celebrities. To Include Tom Hanks, Jodi Foster, Kate McKinnon and Sting, to name but a few. I had been a fan of Jesse’s work for some time when he released his first book, titled “Two” in mid 2016. The book was a compilation of celebrity portraits he had shot over the past two years. I admired Jesse’s style in that it reminds me of other prominent portrait photographers work I appreciate; including Richard Avedon, Dan Winters and Gregory Heisler. I had pre-ordered the book and shortly after receiving my copy I posted a photo of it on social media. This eventually led to some behind the scenes messages between Jesse and myself. In early September Jesse posted a request on social media for photo assistants in Chicago and several other major cities where he was working on his newest book project. I responded that I was interested and after a few back and forth emails I was hired.

We shot three sittings over two days on the rooftop of The Burnham Center building in the heart of downtown Chicago. 

Behind the scenes shot of Jesse Dittmar photographing James Reynolds, Jr.  who is the Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Loop Capital.

Behind the scenes shot of Jesse Dittmar photographing James Reynolds, Jr.  who is the Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Loop Capital.

As for the photo of Jesse; early on our second and final day, I asked if I could make his portrait and he agreed. Following the last sitting, I was putting gear away when Jesse asked if I wanted to take that photo I had requested. Truthfully, I figured he had either forgotten or had only politely said yes. Anyway, I jumped at the opportunity, shot five frames and made the above photo. I feel the photo is nice ode to not only Jesse’s work but several of the above photographers I admire as well.

I am truly honored to have been a small part of his project and can’t wait to see the final prints and to get my hands on this newest book.

You can see some of Jesse Dittmar's work at his website: www.jessedittmar.com


My copy of Jesse's Book - "TWO"