This is not your traditional artist bio – you see, Jesse is what you call an introvert and for him to fully be able to describe himself would take way too much time away from his being able to practice his craft. Enter Kirsten, friend of Jesse for almost two decades! I am here to tell you a bit about the man, the mess, the photographer.
Allow me to start from the beginning – he was a punk rocker, incredibly talented bassist and in later bands – a very talented front man as well. We partied, we rocked and enjoyed life to the fullest like all 20-something’s should. Jesse was a rocker to the core and was living the rocker lifestyle! I married one of his best friend’s and we left CA for PA in 2001. Wait, this is a bio about Jesse – why do you care?? I promise, it’s relevant.
After JoJo and I were married, our original little group in So Cal started to drift apart – the band that Jesse was in started to slowly disperse and he found other interests. He was also in a horrific car accident that almost cost him his life.
Circa 2009 – Jesse’s love for motorcycles pulled him into a new direction and is responsible for his alter ego “Otter LaRouche” – you know how motorcycle clubs like their nicknames! Otter was riding bikes, traveling the world and his Instagram feed was always entertaining. His drunken crazy nights would result in photos and posts detailing said events in a very artistic and almost hypnotic manner. Unexplained black eyes and bloody fists would always lead to an Instagram post that had you on the edge of your seat.
In 2012, we ventured back to CA for my 20-year HS reunion and spent a lot of time with Jesse (I don’t call him Otter). He was a fucking mess! He wasn’t sober for any of the trip and scared the living shit out of my two daughters. They were NOT happy seeing their Uncle Jesse like that. We told him that he needed to get his shit together and to come East and get away from the mundane CA bullshit.
The next couple years are literally a blur because so much happened so quick. In early 2014, Jesse got sober at the request of his Uncle just one week before he passed away. He spent some time on the east coast with my family in December and loved every minute of it. In April of 2015, he shipped his El Camino and motorcycle to our house in West Chester, PA. In May, he followed. Jesse moved into our basement and started his new life here in beautiful Chester County, PA.
Sitting at dinner one night, I questioned Jesse on why he wasn’t posting on Instagram as much. I will never forget his next words…… “I feel like I lost my edge – I can’t write like I did now that I’m sober.” I could see him literally sitting there completely lost and absolutely doubting everything about himself and this new sober life.
Jesse started to get out and explore the area around us – the Northeast has a ton of history and so many beautiful places to see and I slowly but surely started to see him finding himself again through his Instagram posts. The dark drunken representation of his former life had changed to beautiful, reborn exploration that was being shared for all to see. That wasn’t enough though, thank goodness, because what came next was meant to be. His true calling.
Otter LaRouche is shooting the northeast on film. He isn’t out there with his DSLR and then coming back and “Photoshopping” his images. He is capturing things the way they were intended – in their natural state. His artsy edgy ways often find him playing with double exposures and old film that has a natural deterioration underway that adds to the beauty or mystery of what he is shooting. He has found places that have yet to be truly discovered and put them into images that we can all enjoy. Do you believe in ghosts? You might after you see some of these……
There is an entire world just waiting to be photographed, it is my hope that Otter LaRouche is the one to do just that and that each of us is lucky enough to be part of the journey.
Friend, family and fan,
What are you waiting for……contact him stat!!!!