It's been a while since our last edition of Take 5. We've spent the first half of the year thinking about how we go forward, how to develop and make things better for you the viewer. We'll always aim to deliver things worth looking at, listening to and reading, so we spring forward with this very special entry from Jeska Hayter.
Always looking to remain relevant to what the project is trying to raise awareness of, we've continually been conscious of involving as many creative IBD warriors to this project in one form or another. It's made easier by social media and having people get in touch with us as they feel a connection to what we are doing. It's been humbling to hear from so many great people who are touched by what we are doing, and although it's been a steady progress, with what we are hoping to achieve. With this particular feature, we've been lucky enough to feature some very established and experienced photographers. We've always wanted to keep a balance of experience and future talent. With that in mind, we introduce a selection of images from Photograph Editor and fellow Crohnie Jeska Hayter (or if you follow on Instagram @jeskaalice).
We've sat on this submission for quite a while, as we've been trying to get things into order. The sun is shining, so what better time to share a vibrant group of photographs. In addition, Jeska has included a back story of her love for photography and her personal dealings with Crohn's disease. We hope you enjoy this article and be sure to give Jeska a follow.
Jeska Hayter is a travel and portrait photographer with an obsession for capturing natural light patterns and colour. Originally from a small city in Wiltshire, Jeska moved to London to study Photographic Arts at the University of Westminster, and now London has become her home. During university, Jeska spent her weekends as a wedding and nightclub photographer, she would also assist photographers on fashion and lifestyle shoots in her free time. It may not have been ‘typical’ student behavior to work instead of party at weekends, but having gained experience in a variety of photography genres, Jeska found her interest and skills are strongest within travel and portrait photography.
What Photography means to Jeska
"One of my favorite things to do is walk around London with my camera on a sunny day. I’d just think of a place I’ve never been before and wander. I rarely plan what I’m going to photograph, but that’s how I get the best images. I could be walking down a street and all of a sudden something catches my eye which I have to stop and take a photo of (this becomes annoying to whoever I may be walking with.) It’s often bright colours or pretty lighting and shadows that will get my attention.
As I still find London so interesting and full of photo opportunities, my excitement is even greater when I’m going to a new country. I make an effort to not take pictures like a tourist, and instead search for objects and places to photograph that aren’t as obvious. If I do want to photograph the obvious, I’ll try and find a different perspective and composition."
Jeska and Crohn's
"I was half way through university when I was diagnosed with Crohn's only 2 years ago. However, I remember going to the doctors complaining about stomach pains, when I was at college, to which the doctor said it was probably just an irritable bowel. I feel like my diagnosis may have been later if it wasn't for the leg infection I had prior to this. The doctors ran blood tests to check if the leg infection had cleared up but they still found some form on inflammation in my body. That's when I mentioned the stomach pains again and then they decided to do further tests.
It took months between the doctor noticing the inflammation and actually being diagnosed. During this time I had my worst flare up. Amongst other things, I was feeling the stress from uni hard, which didn't help my illness at all. I have to be honest and say I had a love/hate relationship with photography at university. I felt like I had to produce photographs that were going to get me good grades. It's only since graduating that I have felt more confident as I photographer. I do my own thing now rather than look at the work of others and think I'm not as good as them. It's sounds cheesy to say, but finding confidence and happiness in myself has definitely helped reduce stress levels, which is great because I want to reduce the chance of getting a Crohn's flare up due to stress.
Luckily I haven't had a flare up that was as horrible as the one during university. I've had smaller ones, but nothing as big. As much as taking and editing photos calms me, I found the powers of exercise most beneficial for me as a way of coping with crohn's. Of course daily medication is necessary, but when I have the energy to exercise, it helps makes me feel better physically and mentally. Crohn's affects everyone differently so everyone has a different story to tell. Thankfully I don't have the worst case of it (not yet anyway), but that's the short story about my Crohn's journey."