"I wanted to show him what I do for a living," said Jesse, who spoke to CNN while visiting Beijing with Bingcai.
"He had known I was a photographer, but thought I worked in an old-school photo studio."
They spent three days shooting while wandering around the coastal city. In some of the photos, the two wore the same outfits and adopted the same posture in the same location.
"My grandpa had never worn a suit before," Jesse said.
"Like everybody in his generation, he experienced tremendous hardship when he was young. I only wish he had had a better life like mine."
Clad in a duffel coat and a fur hat, Bingcai, a father of five and grandfather of 10, spoke little but said he enjoyed wearing the classy outfits.
Jesse told CNN he was moved by the overwhelmingly positive response.
And with the Lunar New Year is fast approaching, he says it's inspired many to go home and spend time with grandparents.
"I hoped that more people would care for their aging parents and grandparents, not to just physically feed them, but emotionally support them."
Today, China has 222 million people older than 60, accounting for 16% of the country's population, according the National Bureau of Statistics, and that proportion is only expected to increase as the workforce shrinks.
After spending his whole life tending rice paddies,Ding Bingcai has long dreamed of visiting Beijing.
Researchers say the aging population will burden health care and social services and most rely on their children or spouse for support.
Now 30, Jesse grew up with his grandpa Bingcai in the countryside until he was 10.
"When I was a kid, he would keep all the delicious food for me -- eggs, apples, candy... and he loved telling stories about himself as a young boy."
Jesse is now repaying the favor.
He's taken his grandfather on his first trip to the Chinese capital to fulfill a life-long dream of his to visit Tian'anmen Square.
And photos haven't just brought Jesse and his grandfather closer, they've unexpectedly strengthened ties among his extended family.
"I am from a peasant family where people weren't particularly touchy feely," he says.