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headshots, portraits and tea

Our mission is to deliver headshots and portraits that instantly
communicate the personality, energy and charisma of our clients.

We are also dedicated to drinking delicious tea and sharing that experience with our guests.

We look forward to working with people who share our mission
and are excited about making the most of the time together.


Director / photographer


After graduating with a BFA in Filmmaking from the North Carolina University School of the Arts, I moved to Japan and co-founded a media production company in Tokyo. We took heaps of photos and shot hundreds of videos for really cool clients. Eventually, I fell in love with Swinky, who is now not only my wife but also the person in that photo up above. She’s a singer and I’m a photographer. Eventually, we found ourselves hitting a glass ceiling in Japan and we formed an exploratory committee of one (me) to check out if LA has a higher ceiling than Tokyo for people working in the creative arts. Thayu Photo is part of that experiment.

Some Fun Facts About Me

  • I am a published author and you can find my jokes in the pages of MAD Magazine.

  • I once got such a high score in Tetris DS that it locked the counter. Then, I did it again!

  • This website is focused on portraits and headshots but I also do almost everything else and that information is here.

  • I am the host and producer of my sister’s favorite podcast. That program can be found here.







Social Media

The work of photographer Jesse Koester can be found on Instagram @jjkoester