Hello from Bri Chmel, Realtor® & Owner at Live Love Santa Cruz! When I was building my website, I knew exactly what photos I wanted to put on it. Jesse Beer's! If you browse through my website, the landscape photos and head shots are all his. Jesse is also doing some really neat house photos for real estate listings with his digital camera, drone and a 3D scanner. The landscape photography that he has created of our beloved town has become famous in Capitola, and is displayed at some very prominent restaurants and storefronts. On top if it all, Jesse Beer has charm and charisma. During a photo shoot he is animated and enjoyable to work with, and is always professional and creative. Please check out his photos of some of my favorite spots in town. And if you are interested in real estate near any of these spots, contact me to set up a meeting!
Bri: Jesse. Your photos are on display throughout my website because… I love them! Tell us about how long you have been taking photos, and what kind of photos do you take?
Jesse: I have been taking photos since I was 12 years old. My dad got me an early 80’s Nikon film camera. I started taking pictures of landscapes, nature, cars and motorcycles. Every year we would go to Laguna Seca for Superbike World Championships and I would take my camera with me. From there I ended up picking up a digital camera from my friend Corey Ryan, and fell in love with digital photography. I started taking classes at Cabrillo and watching online tutorials. I learned how to compose, change the different settings, and eventually how to take photos manually with a digital camera. I have gone through all of the photography and graphic design classes offered at Cabrillo. I did this so that I can edit and shoot everything myself. I started selling my work about two years ago. This is when I got my landscape shots into Gallery 1 in Capitola Village. I ended up getting enough good photos that I could host a First Friday event at the East Side Eatery on 41st Ave. The owner chose one of my photos to be the centerpiece in their restaurant. It is a 6’x10’ photo of Privates right in the middle of the restaurant. That was a huge confidence booster! Around this same time I started shooting homes for real estate listings. I shot around 40 homes last year.
Bri: What kind of photography services do you offer?
Jesse: I do landscape shots for wall or website. Portrait shoots for professionals, senior portraits, engagements, families, etc. I also do real estate photography, which is interior and exterior shoots, scans, and aerial photography and videography.
Bri: Break down a portrait photo shoot for us. How do you guide somebody through this process in order to find the perfect shot for them?
Jesse: It’s pretty much all up to me to figure out the angles, how to shoot it, and when to shoot it. When somebody comes to me wanting to get pictures taken, I first ask them what locations they have in mind. For example, the beach, the woods, or a professional plain background. I often use some sort of lighting in the shoot in order to present the person, subject, or house in the best way possible.
Bri: Rumor has it that you are working with Dream Home Images? What kind of services do you offer as a photographer in real estate?
Jesse: Yes, I am working with Christa Abel who started Dream Home Images. Her and I together will be able to offer all of the services you need for a real estate shoot. With the aerial photography and videography, we do a nice 2-3 minute edited video of the house with a credit at the end for the brokerage company and real estate agent. Then we will do all of the exterior and interior still shots of every room or outdoor area. The most innovative product we offer is a 360-degree tour of an entire house. This is called a “scanning” a house. We basically walk through the home and do a scan every five feet. This allows the end user to click on a place in the house, and it will walk you through it in HD quality. You can also zoom out and see the entire floor plan with everything in it. Basically it is a bird’s eye view 3D image of the house without the roof on. You can then zoom back in to any room and keep walking through it. We also do graphic design for our clients, like the fliers and postcards.
Bri: What kind of camera do you use for the scanning?
Jesse: It is called a Matterport camera. It does 3D tours for pretty much anything, like homes, restaurants, and business. For example if people overseas need to see your facility, you can have us come in and scan it and upload it to your site. Then your clients can see what machines you are using, and don’t have to come out and see the building.
Bri: How can somebody buy your landscape prints, and is your work on display anywhere?
Jesse: A lot of my prints are for sale at Gallery 1 in Capitola, as I mentioned. I can also be contacted on my website. I can custom print anything that is needed, or somebody can contact me to commission a job for something special.
Bri: What medias do you print on?
Jesse: I mainly do metal, canvas or paper. You can pick custom sizes for your print, and I will either hand deliver it or ship it to you.
Bri: For your landscape photos, how do you find inspiration? And what are your favorite things and times of day to shoot?
Jesse: I like shooting in the mornings. The air seems so clear. Sometimes there will be some lingering clouds that are hanging out low on the horizon. I like the reflections that the sun makes in the morning. It has a different gradient compared to a sunset. I have captured some of my favorite shots in the morning, like the one at East Side Eatery. There is just something about getting out there early and seeing something beautiful, which makes my day that much better. For shooting real estate, the middle of the day is when all of the rooms are nice and bright. Shooting portraits is best right around sunset during the nice golden hour. It keeps everybody’s skin tones nice and warm. Sometimes it will give you nice rim lighting on the hair or shoulders to give the subject some depth.
Bri: Describe a typical day in the life of Jesse Beer.
Jesse: Weekdays I wake up and watch some of the office before I go to work. At work I love listening to podcasts, and trying to figure out what kind of fun I can have in the afternoon. On weekends I like to get up early and go for a motorcycle ride and check out the sky to see if there are any formations of clouds to take pictures of. My fiancé Kelly and I like to walk the beach at low tide to see if we can find some treasures. I always have to get in some exercise, like surfing, paddleboarding, or playing tennis. In the evening we like to make a nice dinner, have a bit of wine, and watch one of our favorite shows. I’ll also try to squeeze in some editing somewhere. Time flies when I am editing. All of a sudden three to four hours will go by!
Bri: How long have you lived in Santa Cruz, and why?
Jesse: I have lived in Santa Cruz since I was eight months old. I live here because it is beautiful. I know every nook and cranny, and have a memory on almost every street in town. I can mountain bike ride, stand up paddle, surf, or play basketball at Jade St. The music scene is quite diverse as well. There is just so much to do here! Santa Cruz is so close to Monterey and San Francisco where you can go to games and get some amazing food. It is just a great central location on the ocean. I think that everybody in the country wants to live here, but we actually make it happen!