Rex Jones's picture


Meet my cousin Gabe! This guy is truly an inspiration. Just about to graduate high school, and without arms or legs, he has already accomplished more than what most people ever will. He has already begun his career as a motivational speaker. I am so proud to be related to him and even more flattered that he asked me to shoot for him!!

For this shoot, we specifically designed a portrait shoot out in a more remote, outdoor location. His motivational speaking is designed around the topics of excelling without limits and how he has continued to achieve his goals without arms or legs. We wanted to use a location that portrayed him outside in a location that most people wouldn't expect him to be in, so as to add a visual element to his overall message of not letting a handicap stop him from what he wants to achieve.

Canon 5D Mark III
130mm · f/2.8 · 1/400s · ISO 200
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Farbod Green's picture

this is breathtaking, I think it's more than just a portrait and you really do achieved the goal and hit the target you were going for.

Lee Morris's picture

Great shot and story

Rex Jones's picture

Thank you so much!!

Damian Piórko's picture

Give my regards to Gabe! Well done!

Rex Jones's picture

Thank you so much!

Brian Holder's picture

Overall great shot, though the eye closest to the camera is a little off focus. Phenomenal story worthy of full publication.

Rex Jones's picture

Damn that shallow depth of field!! Hahaha! Thanks man!

Anonymous's picture

The eyes are both nearly the same distance, probably less than one inch difference. Meanwhile the forward shoulder and distant shoulder ARE in focus. So ....

Rex Jones's picture

Thank you! This was taken in Kolob, part of Zion National Park. :)

Anonymous's picture

A color image of a clothed limbless young man on flat ground, under golden light in a dramatic natural setting. Warm handsome smile, wind tossed hair and rumpled shirt.

The immediate first impression, especially in the thumbnail size, is strong shock, as this unusual figure evokes strong sympathy. Shock falls away for a portrait that is not only attractive, but very inviting / enjoyable to view. This tricky emotional roller coaster is a powerful thing, reminiscent of Nat Geo type shooters. Making what might be uncomfortable comfortable and even flattering is a big time photo skill.

The back story of the shoot would be good stuff to view as a vid or as more accompanying text, well worth seeing for both photographers because of the shoot difficulties, and people in general for the human interest. Without any intention of sarcasm I'd like to hear about the difficulties positioning the subject.

As criticism I'd offer that the severely out of focus foreground, or rather that with the very limited overall dof and lack of gold light on that "grass" does hint at a studio shot, with a backdrop and hay placed where grass is implied.


In review I resist referencing whether "I like" a shot as meaningless, but prefer to simply describe what I am seeing. That standard rarely works perfectly.

Rex Jones's picture

Thank you so much, John! This is easily the most insightful comment that I have ever received! We are currently working on the pre-production for a video in part because of what you said. I agree, a video would be a powerful way to tell more of his story. :)

Anonymous's picture

Thank you, for giving me an image sufficiently motivating to be compelled to spend a half hour trying to get a few sentences just right for this image. A proper critique helps viewers understand a work, it is not a collection of likes, which are nice, but useless.

Reviewing that image was a real writer's workout, and on reread I feel pretty good about the expression. The idea is to be precise, eliminate every useless word, and not found a review on personally subjective ideas. It's testimony, not opinion (as best as possible).

I could not be more pleased than to learn you used my note for some further work on a project. If I can help with input let me know. I'll help if I am moved to do so, and step away if/when I believe there is no merit or do not have the time.

Rex Jones's picture

Gabe and I are actually in the middle of the planning phase for our next project. As soon as he and I have ironed out a few more details, I'll shoot you a message to see if you have any insights! :) I'd love to get your input.

Wayne Denny's picture

I don't believe I've ever given out 5 stars here before seeing this, because that's supposed to be for a 'world class, unforgettable image'. This is exactly that, along with the story. Great work.

Rex Jones's picture

Thank you so much! We had a blast putting this shoot together. :)

Anonymous's picture

Great story but the DOF is way too shallow. The fact you're trying to show him in an incongruous location is lessened by blurring that location out so much. As someone else noted, it could easily have been a studio shot.

Panagiotis Lymperopoulos's picture

Breathtaking portrait and story behind it.My warm regards to both of you!

Jim Hobgood's picture

Curiosity drew me to the thumbnail. I think his confidence and attitude show through in this image. Wonderfully done. I think I saw a video of him speaking...maybe?

I wonder if it would be stronger with him a little more left in the frame.