Last year I had the good fortune to be put in contact with an amazing athlete by the name of Jesse Phillips. Jesse is a West Australian born athlete who has etched his sporting career as a sprint kayaker, and a damn good one at that!!! Jesse and his kayak doubles partner Steve Bird have just qualified for their first Olympics and will be joining the rest of the Australian Olympic team in London.
On a sporting level, Jesse currently trains at the WA Institute of Sport, dividing his time between the gym and the Swan River. One could probably surmise that Jesse “fell” into Kayaking back in 1999 when he was chosen to take part in a physical testing day run by the WAIS. Successfully completing the testing, Jesse was streamed into Sprint Kayak Racing where he made a splash (sorry – I know – but do you really expect anything else!!!!) competing in some of the worlds tops Sprint Kayak competitions.
As talented as he is on the water, Jesse also found talent on the stage and has performed in a number of Perth-based theatre shows, musicals, cabarets, films and television commercials. This creativity has been welcomed in our work together as he is very aware of artistic ideas and nuances.
Working with Jesse the past 6-ish months have been a bit of a dream really. He is very personable, down to earth and willing to give anything artistic a go. As a photographer, being given that type of licence is pretty amazing, especially by an elite athlete. One thing that struck me immediately upon meeting him though was his determination and focus – something that I feel is reflected in the top photo. Jesse has this positive aura around him that just affects others in his vicinity. AND I know you girls out there are wondering….yes it is really, really difficult photographing him 😉
I am looking forward to continuing to work with Jesse and I definitely look forward to cheering him and Steve on in London!!!