Jesse Willems (°1984) has been working as a freelance photographer since 2009. Self-taught, he regards every photo he takes as part of a continuous and eclectic learning process. He strives to reinstall the aesthetics we lost in the seventies, and is inspired by great photographers such as Ernst Haas, Saul Leiter and Jacques-Henri Lartigue.

Portrait of a struggling photographer.

His main interests are street photography and portraits, focusing on the temporary aspects of everyday life.

His first book, Barak Friture (Luster), was published in the fall of 2014, selling both in Europe as in the US, UK and Asia. The book was on display in stores such as Colette in Paris, and Tate Modern in London.

Tate Modern about Barak Friture: ‘In this colorful book, Jesse Willems celebrates a sight that’s slowly disappearing: the road side chip shops of Belgium. If you like the photography of Martin Parr, this book will definitely be your bag of chips.’

His photographs are in the collections of the Belgian Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, the MAS museum and have appeared in publications such as The Times (UK), The New York Times (US), The Sidney Morning Herald (AUS), De Standaard (B), De Morgen (B), De Volkskrant (NL), Het Financieele Dagblad (NL) and Le Vif (B).

Clients include: Antwerp Royal Museum of Fine Arts, University of Antwerp, Johnson & Johnson, Antwerp Chamber of Commerce, the MAS museum, and through different agencies he has worked for brands such as Bpost, Proximus, Microsoft, Red Cross, Carrefour, Lidl, Janssen, …

He lives in Antwerp with his girlfriend and an ever growing collection of vintage prints, paintings, and plants. He enjoys surfing, cycling and writing about himself in third person.