Living his childhood years in a low-income neighborhood in Stratford, Connecticut, Jesse Burke learned how to appreciate and respect the wild at a young age. Now, as a photographer and professor based in Rhode Island, he strives to instill the same sentiment in his three young daughters. But he never had to try so hard.
Known to shoot masculinity-driven series of commercial photographs for Wrangler, Burke had to readjust his point of view when he first went out for a “nature schooling” with his brood. Clover, his oldest daughter, was a real nature lover, something that he found reminiscent of himself as a kid. They would discover raging bodies of water, take a peek at the formations by the Grand Canyon, run through mysterious forests and at one time visited a washed up whale on the shore. These adventure trips turned into a father-daughter routine which, in turn, led to Burke’s new project Wild & Precious.
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Talking about the project, Burke said, “The idea is that kids and humans in general, young humans, do better when they’re more exposed to nature. They’re less stressed. They’re kinder. They’re more gentle. That was my motivation all along.”