Naturalistic light, Provence and a passion for photography
Texas-raised, New York-celebrated Provence maverick Jamie Beck is an endless source of inspiration. From her digital compositions featuring multiple occurrences of herself as different characters to her amazing Cinemagraphs series, she is constantly reinventing herself to express a unique take on sensuality and all things effortless chic.
Between a rustic pic-nic in her backyard and another naturalistic photo shoot, she sits with us talking Provence color palate, being a successful blogger in New York and how she uses fashion to tell stories.We are so honored to have this intimate chat with you Jamie, thank you very much.
So happy you guys found me hiding out in France!Indeed, you are currently living in the South of France and seem to have completely embraced the lifestyle. What is it that resonate that much into you there ?
I had visited the South of France on numerous occasions for photo shoots for work and something about the landscape and spirit of the Luberon stuck in my soul. I’d describe it as feeling of home, belonging and inspiration. Aside from being incredibly beautiful, I’m very drawn to the French culture and approach to life. Here in the countryside I love the relationship with local food and the community built around it. There is a pace that is more inline with the natural flow of life’s cycles and I think that has a lot to do with living naturally amongst vineyards and orchards. Every time I leave since I have moved to Provence I feel as if I go back into a black and white world. The moment I return I am like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, in awe of the technicolor world before me.
What was like growing up in Texas ?
It was predictable and I wanted anything but that. I wanted adventure and to see things that were different.Which aesthetic memories do you keep from that time ?
My grandmother’s garden, big hair, country music, family.How does it translate into your work as a photographer ?
I escaped a lot into my own fantasies growing up and have since been traveling the world trying to capture the beauty in life I dreamed of as a child.
You invented this unique medium called Cinemagraph. What is it exactly ?
A Cinemagraph is a living photo, a moment in time that lasts forever.How is it revolutionary in today’s increasingly digital world ?
To bring to life a moment in time beyond a still photograph is an enhanced way to communicate to a greater depth. All the sudden in the flat screens of a digital world, you have a three dimensional space. The idea is to give people something surprising they want to linger on and leave them with taking away more information than they could in just a still photograph.
Your approach to photography is very naturalistic. You play a lot with lights and textures in your shots. Is it something that was here right away or did you progressively evolve to this style ?
I’ve been photographing since I was 13 years old. The fascination with the camera, with creating an image has never gone away. I love to experiment with different forms of digital and film cameras, natural lights and studio lights. I go through phases of discovery until something inside me urges to try something new. Right now I’m only interested in harnessing the natural light of the south of France. My images are starting to become darker, more shadows, stronger highlights. I like moving the eye around the frame like this currently. I think a lot of this has to do with my frequent trips to the Louvre and studying classical art during my time in France. It’s been a nice break from American pop culture.
You’ve been put in the limelight with your initial Tumblr From Me To You in 2009. What has been like to be a successful blogger so early on ?
It was a total adventure! There were no rules, nobody knew what it was or could be back then. It was all about community, sharing photographs, making stories and just waking up each day to discover what would happen. It has allowed me to see the world and given me an incredible platform to share my work and make a living doing what I love most, taking pictures.How does your work as a photographer influences how you approach fashion ?
Fashion is an important tool for storytelling in photography. I think more of fashion as costume than I do in any sort of functional way. I like to create characters in my imagination and then find the pieces to tell that story. Who is this woman and how we communicate that is through fashion. Fashion becomes the visuals of a storybook and the camera is the tool to create and share that story especially now as people are reading less and less.
What's your definition of effortless chic ?
Natural messy hair tousled, a linen suit or dress, flats, no makeup just a fresh red lip and sunglasses.
Has living in the South of France soften up the way you dress ?
Absolutely! In New York where I lived for 13 years I mostly wore black and a lot of power dressing. Now I have become so much more feminine! My closet currently is composed mostly of cream dresses, it just feels so natural to the color palate of Provence, of the color of stones that make up the hilltop towns. My personal style and approach to fashion changed from very controlled and minimal to actually having fun with fashion. Right now I’m most obsessed with full length day dresses. If you would have told me that a year ago I would have thought you were mad. It’s been an interesting transformation.
Who are your all-time style icons ?
Georgia O’Keeffe’s country style toward the end of her life, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s chic city style.You’re the owner of a Senigallia | 15h32 from our first collection. What’s your favorite way to style it ?
I love to wear it wrapped around my hair. Having very dark, very long hair it’s important to me to protect it from the sun so my ends don’t become too dried out and brittle. But also, in the summer heat my hair gets really hot in the sun! So it helps keep me cool to wrap it up.
What do you like the most about our Maison ?
I like your approach to quality and design. There is a playful sophistication to your scarfs that I find inspirational both photographically and in context of personal style.Do you have some kind of daily accessory you take everywhere you go no matter how you dress ?
I never take off my simple diamond earrings. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry or accessories, in fact I try to never carry a handbag, but these earrings are a daily staple… for now.When you travel for work, what do you always pack in your suitcase ?
My vintage Cartier watch, black Repetto ballet flats, and red lipstick.Thank you very much for your time Jamie, we loved it!