Jed Wells is a freelance filmmaker, photographer, and creative force with an amazing series of photographs from Peru. He graduated from the photography program at BYU and as he says, “I have brown eyes and some top-notch ideas.” Wells lives in Utah.
You recently went to Peru. Tell us about the experience and the images you came back with. I’ve been to Peru twice now. Both trips based in Cuzco (one of the world’s most beautiful cities) with expeditions into the High Andes to shoot with an indigenous tribe, the Q’eros. Every day I spend in that country with those people claims a bigger piece of my heart. I’ve had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life up there. Their primitive, peaceful existence is teaching me how to be grateful. How to better relate with the earth, with the heavens, and the humans around me. It’s an excruciating experience to get up to the village, but the reward has been utterly fulfilling. Sometimes when I revisit the images I brought back, I can’t believe they came from my camera. Someone said it was amazing work and I told them it wasn’t work: it was happening in front of me and I put the camera to my face and snapped a photo of it. Stole it, really. Any beauty in it, real or perceived, had little to do with me. I was just the one holding the camera.
What’s next? I don’t even know anymore. I shoot on such a variety of subjects, it’s hard to say what path I’m on or what my trajectory really is. I’m currently the Content Director for a not-for-profit initiative based in SLC called The Wonderment. It keeps me really engaged in pretty spectacular work, traveling around the world making documentary short films and photographs. It’s the best gig around. But I continue to direct commercials, music videos, and television when I’m at home. I do commercial and editorial stills work for magazines and other companies. I love that work. And I continue to not shoot weddings and families. I have all the respect in the world for the people who can do that well, because I can’t, and brides and families should always hire those folks, because they’re good at it.