Notes from the Photographer

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We shoot a lot of beautiful women here at the studio. The funny thing is…as I get older they seem to always stay the same age. What is it about youth we are so attracted to? When Kelly texted me images of these three incredibly beautiful, real women, women with businesses, with a history of past love affairs, and with a real friendship out in Montauk as a casting option for our Beauty + Truth story, I was in love.

Their grace, their confidence that only women who have lived a little can possess, their intelligence and peace were so inspiring I could have shot them for days. I could do a photographic study around the lines on their faces…the lines of life are signs of living, and isn’t life a beautiful thing?

As a photographer you have all the control. Whoever is put in front of your lens has to put complete trust in you: how you light them, how you make them feel when you’re shooting them; the crop, what you show and what you leave out; the direction, mood and feeling you set.

Kelly and I are huge fans of MAIYET. If you have been reading Kelly’s text intermixed with my photography this week you would find this new fashion brand is not only making people beautiful in their clothing but also trying to make the world a better place as well.

I’ve always been a huge fan of their campaigns with Daria Werbowy shot by photographer Cass Bird and I knew this was a brand who would be open to atypical fashion photography. I knew this would be a brand that would want to dance with a woman’s spirit than just seeing a head to toe look.

For ten years I have been dreaming about owning this film camera and just before this shoot I was able to bring that body into my photography equipment family. I knew the images I saw in my mind for our MAIYET editorial would come out of this beauty.

There is a timelessness to film I wanted. It’s almost like it cuts through the outer layer and right into the soul, the essence of these women I was after. Most of the shots were taken on tmax 100 speed film using natural light.

With each look I would tell the girls, “You have ten frames. That’s it,” and in less than 60 seconds what we burned into that silver negative is what you see here.

There is a weight to film. You do only have ten frames, not the potential for ten thousand like with digital. Precise focus, the loud slamming of the shutter, checking the light meter reading over and over because I already love the images, and I couldn’t bear to be the one to blame if they are not exactly what I’m dreaming. We are really making photographs here.

After the shoot is over I’m always so high from the day. Photography is my drug. Then there is that dreadful moment when the film goes to the lab and you let it go, you as a photographer give over your trust of your most valuable possession to someone else. I always get nauseous waiting for the images to come back, not knowing if I got the shot.

But then, you start tearing through the film and that high comes back when it is what you wanted it to be and you even discover a new favorite photograph to live forever in your archive.

 Truth + Beauty starring Kumi SawyersSian Gordon and Heather Lilleston / Photography by Jamie Beck for Ann Street Studio / Styled by Kelly Framel / Hair and makeup by Ana Sicat / All clothes and accessories by Maiyet

See the entire series HERE

  • I’ve been absolutely loving these photos. It’s so refreshing to see ‘real’ and slightly ‘older’ women as you say. They are breathtakingly beautiful! 🙂

  • 2nd Chance Photo

    Amazing pictures…I only wish my old film pictures had come out that nicely (always sort of hit or miss). I guess they invented digital for me:-)

  • dana eason

    beautiful art! I love!!!

  • This was a beautiful letter, Jamie! I’m not going to lie, I love reading these. I don’t usually read posts either. I just look for quick eye candy, but I place your posts next to my ipad with the NYT to read on breaks and in the evenings. Such a refreshing outlook and perspective you have.

  • Jamie — I have to agree that there’s something about film photography that is so very timeless. However, there’s also something about you and film that goes beyond magical. There is so much depth into those photos that can be seen and felt. Just love them!

  • goma

    i love the black and white fotos.

  • Maggie

    These came out amazing! There is something about film cameras. Such a beautiful shoot, with such beautiful women!


  • You should write a book Jamie! You always bring us into your universe through your passion, I love reading your lines, it’s such a gourmandise for the soul!

  • Absolutely wonderful work, Jamie! The depth and texture and feel of these are perfect. I now slightly regret not having brought a film camera to the beautiful Maiyet show last night.