m/s Paul Gauguin

Guest Hosts

Jesse & Helen Kalisher

Photography Experts

If you’d like to learn how to take better photographs, there’s no better venue than the exquisite South Pacific—and no one better to help you hone your photography skills than the talented husband-and-wife team of Jesse and Helen Kalisher.

Jesse Kalisher - Photographer

Jesse Kalisher received his first camera on his sixth birthday, as a present from his father, celebrated photographer Simpson Kalisher. A darkroom soon followed. While raised by his mother, over the years Jesse worked with his father both in the darkroom and as his assistant. Yet despite his enthusiasm for the medium, when it came time to go to college and consider a career, Jesse took his father’s advice and focused on anything but photography.

After an 11-year career on Madison Avenue, at 33 years old, Jesse boarded a plane for Hanoi and two months of untold adventures. The year was 1996. Jesse carried with him a simple point-and-shoot camera. It was during his first few days in Vietnam that he looked through the small viewfinder and had an epiphany. He had seen a few children playing badminton on an otherwise deserted early-morning street, lifted the camera to his eye, and expected to see a snapshot. He saw instead a tableau filled with meaning. And in that instant he rediscovered his love affair with photography.

Today, in addition to private collections throughout the world, Jesse’s photography is in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Louvre, the Smithsonian, the George Eastman House, the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and many more. Of note, the first photograph of Barack Obama acquired by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History was Jesse’s.

Jesse has led photo expeditions from French Polynesia to Alaska and throughout Europe. His first photo book, if you find the Buddha, was published by Chronicle Books and released in 2006 to great reviews. His second published collection of photographs, One World, features some of his most iconic images and was released in July 2014.

Jesse and his work have also been featured in Black & White, Digital Photo Pro, Art and Living, and Décor, and his work has been reviewed by noted New York gallery owner Michael Foley, who wrote that Jesse has “a large vision in life.” His work has sold in the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles and has been featured at Photo San Francisco, Photo Los Angeles, and the Oakland Museum of California, among others.

Jesse has also served on the faculty at the Maine Media Workshops, and he has been invited to teach at the Santa Fe Workshops.

Helen Kalisher - Fine Artist & Photoshop Expert

A graduate of the Chelsea School of Fine Art in London, Helen Kalisher is currently the Executive Vice President and Creative Director of Kalisher, an award-winning global leader in curated and created art for hospitality. In this capacity, she oversees a creative department of ten artists who create work every day using everything from old-fashioned paint and canvas to Photoshop. During this voyage of The Gauguin, she’ll share with you several of her favorite Photoshop tips and tricks. Come prepared with a photograph; she’ll select two or three examples on the spot and demonstrate how she would fix them up. She’ll also share a few tips that will help improve your workflow and further ensure that Photoshop a powerful and useful tool in your toolkit.

Join us aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin’s sailing as this celebrated photographer and fine artist share their expertise during onboard lectures.

other guest hosts appearing on the m/s Paul Gauguin

Guest Hosts

Classical Musicians
January 22, 2022

Kai Gleusteen and Catherine Ordronneau have established themselves as one of the most important European violin and piano duos since they began working together in 1999. 

Art History Professor
Multiple sailings

Acclaimed academic, Fulbright scholar, author, teacher, lecturer, and art historian and curator Caroline Boyle-Turner is a perennially popular guest host aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Join us aboard as she enriches your appreciation for our ship’s namesake and his circle of friends.

Owner/Winemakers, Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards
June 25, 2022

Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer are the owners and winemakers of Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards, an ultra-premium, sustainable, 70-acre vineyard with an international reputation for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Enjoy a wine lecture and a tasting of Pfeiffer Winery wines when Robin and Danuta join us aboard The Gauguin.

Food & Wine
Dr. Lindsay Whaley and Dr. Charles Urbanowicz, Smithsonian Journeys
September 7, 2022

Join the Tuamotus & the Society Islands itinerary on September 7, 2022, to experience two very special Smithsonian Journeys Experts on language and anthropology in the South Pacific. when Dr. Lindsay Whaley and Dr. Charles Urbanowicz join us aboard The Gauguin.

Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography
September 24, 2022

The University Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography at Western Kentucky University, Dr. David Keeling has visited more than 185 countries and studied a wide range of topics, from the geography of exploration and discovery to socio-economic change. Join us aboard The Gauguin as he shares his expertise in a series of fascinating lectures.