Personal Style

JamieClassics-8

Over the past year, I’ve been going through a minimalistic phase, simplifying as much of my life as possible, including my beauty routine and wardrobe. Less is more right? When reading Steve Job’s biography, I really loved the idea of a uniform. As much as I love fashion, I love photography more and I want all of my time and energy to go into that, not picking out my outfit. So this transformation of simplification has begun and it feels really, really good.

This what I have found is important to me in this new phase of my personal style:

1. Buy less and save for quality. That item, whatever it may be, lasts longer, feels amazing, fits perfectly, makes you feel confident wearing it and is made of high quality fabrics. Even if you can’t afford these pieces new, there are sites such as LXR & Co. that sell luxury items on consignment at a fraction of the cost. I got my travel Hermes backpack that I LOOOOOVE here and a new Chanel watch for my birthday (above)!

2. Classic never goes out of style. I mean, obvi.

3. Shop conscientiously. I *love* companies like Obakki, whose philanthropic counterpart is a registered charity that focuses on providing clean water and education in Africa.  I also love FEED - with every purchase, you feed a certain number of school kids in Africa. Then there is MAIYET, a pioneering luxury brand that “incorporates rare artisan skills from unexpected places throughout the world, with the goal to promote sustainable employment in places that need it most.” I love my basic MAIYET white shirt dress and gold cuff. These things not only look good but make you feel good about wearing them and telling people about the brand because you believe in what they are doing with your money.

4. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid. I was very inspired by Cuyana’s lean closet initiative that “challenges us to collect fewer, better things, and to donate the pieces in our wardrobes that are merely taking up space to those who need them”. Simplifying your closet and ultimately your life feels so good, and it gives you more time to focus on things that really matter.

5. Stay fresh faced. I used to wear a lot of makeup. Even though I’ve been living in New York for 11 years now, it took a while to shake my Texas roots and ideals of beauty. I realized last year in Paris I have been spending all this time “putting on my face” when really, it’s not the makeup that makes someone pretty. I have reduced my beauty routine to Restorsea face cream, sometimes mascara, bronzer, and lipstick. That’s it. 2 mins. Boom.

Recently, we were shooting a beauty story for Joanna Goddard’s blog, Cup of Jo. It was such an amazing group of women who came together, talking, taking photographs, and sharing beauty tips. Courtney, who was just as beautiful barefaced as with makeup on, told me about a documentary called Miss Representation about the way women are viewed in the media and how that makes us view ourselves. At one point in the documentary the point is made that every time you look in the mirror, you should imagine there is a little girl standing there hearing what you are saying to yourself. Horrid right?! I told Kevin there has not been a day in my life that I have not looked at myself in the mirror getting dressed and thought “if I could just lose 10 lbs…”

And now I have to ask myself why? For what? For who? What am I judging my body against that I would say that to myself? So these may be the articles of clothing I wrap around my body to move in and out of the day, but now when I get dressed I don’t tell myself I need to lose weight, I think about the things I like, that I feel fortunate to have. It’s not only a physical makeover but a mental one. So here are my new classics and it feels really, really good on the inside and out.

Above cover photo, the basic black turtleneck. I can thrown it on with jeans and get to work and then change into a pencil skirt and go out to dinner, so versatile that I live in these! 

JamieClassics-3

Tibi Agathe Jumpsuit: it looks like a dress but it’s pants! Plus it has super clean lines and amazing pockets. And as we know, Tibi also travels very well: Brazil & Paris

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Emily Ratajkowski for REVOLVE Clothing

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There is nobody hotter right now than Emily Ratajkowski, which made her a perfect fit to be the face of REVOLVE‘s new makeover of their trendy fashion shopping site. We flew out to L.A. this past January to shoot a Cinemagraph of her for REVOLVE at MILK Studios.

As a photographer and someone who does not play by the 9-to-5 rules you never know when you’re going to get a call like this, an aspect of the job I love. One minute we are out in the country and two days later, we’re on the West Coast for only 24 hours, jumping on airplanes, walking onto sets or locations you cannot anticipate and being challenged to create something in 30 minutes or less. Of course it can sometimes make planning family vacations tricky and I’ve had to cancel many dates with friends last minute, but that’s what happens when you love what you do.

Sometimes you have complete control of the shoot and vision but other times, the vision has parameters within the client’s needs. We were given our subject, a white studio, one light and very little time. I asked to see the new website design and drew inspiration for our cinemagraph off the cleanness, simplicity, contrast and above all youthful cool vibe of REVOLVE’s new look.

We all know Emily is major sexy so I wanted to hint at that with an open leather jacket on bare skin but I also wanted her to have a relaxed James Dean coolness. We propped her up against the studio cyclorama, I framed her in a landscape pose to fill the hero spot of the website design, and had her move around a bit until she started naturally playing with her ripped up jeans and then a gaze to the camera and we were done.

I want to be that cool, that confident, that sexy, that girl… just like REVOLVE is making possible.

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Love Letters

LoveLetters_615 Madame,

I understand from my sister that your present intention is to travel; to return to England. I have decided, after long consideration, to write to you. We have travelled together, and I hope we have become friends sufficiently to – my dear Lady Anna, let me dispense with attempts to be clever or discreet. I am in love with you. There. It is said. For many, many years I have believed it was my fate never to say these words. A long time ago I had hoped, as all young men hope – no, I had mor ethan hoped, I had confidently expected to be overtaken by those feelings I had read so much about. It never happened. And now it has. 

Ahdaf Soueif, “The Map of Love

We have been talking about these old-fashioned artifacts at the studio recently when our assistant brought in a four page, monogrammed love letter she had received (which inevitably ended up on a shoot!). Do people still write love letters? I got to thinking about it and when you open your mind to the written word of love you begin to see it everywhere. In Santiago I found Pablo Neruda’s Love Poems; in the book “Map of Love” Sharif al-Baroudi’s love letter to Lady Anna brought tears to my eyes, and in the film HER, our main character makes a living writing beautiful handwritten letters. What is so special about ink on paper that when we receive one – even if the feeling is not reciprocated – we can’t throw it away? Will one day, people feel sentimental about emails in the same vein or will all our digital maps of love disappear like the flash of a Snapchat?…

Typewriters // Embossers // Monogrammed Stationery // Poetic Love // Dramatic Love

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Flower Arranging

Flowers by Jamie Beck

Recently I had the pleasure of taking a little crash course in flower arranging with Belle Fleur at the Flower School of New York over sips of Veuve Clicquot Rosé champagne. I’m always photographing flowers here at the studio as a personal project and quite honestly, it’s one of my favorite photographic subjects. I am always in awe of the beauty of a rose, the fold of a tulip, the color of a ranunculus or the smell of a hyacinth. The abstract lines and organic textures become something else though the lens of a camera, allowing each flower to have its own personality, life, expression, and age not unlike the way we are as humans. Since we have beautiful flowers around so often it was really nice to pick up a few tips and tricks on making your own arrangements at home! Read below to find out what I learned…

Flowers by Jamie Beck

On arranging: Arrange in your hand. Start with the biggest flower as your “anchor” and build around that. You can cut your flower arrangement to the correct height for your vase by putting the vase at the edge of the counter and holding the arrangement next to it for the desired height and cut. To keep the flowers in the arrangement you created tie a clear rubber band around the stems to hold in place.

Flowers by Jamie Beck

On cutting flowers: You do not have to cut under water when you buy quality flowers, but you should put them in water seconds after cutting as a “scab” immediately begins to form over the freshly cut end. Every few days, re-snip the ends of the arrangement to get fresh water into the flower and have it last longer. Cut the ends at an angle so water travels UP!

Flowers by Jamie Beck

 

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