Tag Archives: B&W

Men In This Town

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This past year my friend Giuseppe Santamaria not only published a new book but started a print magazine, MITT, which is a quarterly digest on the “Men In This Town”. I love that living and working in New York introduces you to an array of amazingly ambitious and talented people and I was beyond thrilled when Giuseppe emailed me to ask if I would be a contributor to their 2nd issue. One problem, I told Giuseppe: I had to be honest, I’ve never done a men’s fashion editorial, and I actually know nothing about the men’s fashion world other than the fact that John Jannuzzi works at GQ and I love the way men look in suits.

One of the characteristics that I possess that has really changed my life is my natural ability to say yes to anything I find a challenge. I love climbing the mountain and slaying the dragon, killing the fear of unknown, so I got to work. I emailed John, I think the subject line was something to the effect of “HALP”. John put me in touch with the amazing stylists at Carson Street Clothiers in Soho, James Ralston & Justin Doss, and I asked Porsche Cooper, hair & makeup artist for one of my favorite shoots of all times, to also jump off the cliff with me. It’s really a wonderful thing to ask people for help, being vulnerable is important, and having the end result a collaboration of parts you couldn’t have found success without. 

Then we had to find our model.

Here is where fate played a role. Enter: Eduardo Ramos. A charming Cuban American, model, writer, and actor. His presence on set was magnetic and we were all totally sucked into his latin world. He shared with us stories of visiting his family in Cuba, the way it really is there and not the touristic description of the vintage cars and cigars, but the day to day way of life living in a communist country.  It was fascinating and changed the entire photoshoot on the spot. I had him speak Spanish to the crew while I photographed him, and we looked for ways to shoot beyond the clothing, into the person before us.

I talked to Giuseppe afterwards and said, “You have to interview this guy for the magazine, his story is so interesting and relevant to what’s happening in culture” which is exactly what Giuseppe did and you can read all about it in the article “¿QUE ES CUBA?” in the June issue of MITT.

Below are some of my favorite photographs from our sitting-

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Above Suit by Eidos | Shirt by Umit Benan | Slippers by MELINDAGLOSS | Panama Hat by Carson Street X Cappellificio Biellese

Below Grey Donegal Suit by Camoshita United Arrows | Polo by Camoshita | Shoes by Lemaine

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Manhattan from Above

Jamie Beck photographs Manhattan from the view of a helicopter

Being a photographer means always finding yourself in interesting new places and having crazy new experiences. For the #TiffanyNYMinute we found ourselves literally on top of Manhattan in a helicopter to capture the opening aerial shots… and I was terrified. Though the view was so stunning and thrilling to see the city I know so well in a new intimate way I pretty much felt as if we would fall from the sky at any second. But then again, I have an over active imagination.

Though Kevin and I were mostly rolling video footage I did manage to snap a few stills with my Leica in-between the mini-panic attacks I was hiding on the inside. The ground never felt so good.

P.S.~ New York Helicopter allows you to charter a ride for photographic purposes where you can fly anywhere you want and direct the pilot to certain areas or buildings, angles, etc. They also have windows you can open to shoot out of so you’re not hanging out like these guys….

Jamie Beck photographs Manhattan from the view of a helicopter Jamie Beck photographs Manhattan from the view of a helicopter Jamie Beck photographs Manhattan from the view of a helicopter Jamie Beck photographs Manhattan from the view of a helicopter

 

Seeing New York *

New York in the Spring *

New York in the Fog *

New York in the Summer *

Fashion on the Streets of New York *

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The Female Nude

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I am a woman. I am aware of my body like any normal human being. It’s not a surprise, just look at the images served up to us. Everyone is beautiful, happy, young, thin… they have the perfect (insert your own personal thoughts here) stomach, eye brows, waist, legs, hips- sometimes it feels like an impossible treadmill of perfect we will never really achieve because of genetics, because we have real life and real work and can’t spend the amount of time it takes to achieve “perfection”.

But really, what is perfect?

I’ve always be interested in shooting nudes. I started in college. The body is one of the most beautiful, natural things about life. The way it changes, the way it gives life, the way each is our own and that is what makes us special. I wouldn’t take my grandmother’s wrinkles away, or Dad’s loving soft hugs, or seeing my sister-in-law’s body change carrying the amazing twins my family adores. I would not say that I have had body issues all my life, but as I’ve gotten older I had to learn to look in the mirror and teach myself to stop judging the way I look compared to other people.

As a photographer I look for what is photogenic from people to places to the design of a still life. I’m not going to lie, I love tall beautiful thin fashion models. They are like illustrations of illusions of an idea of who we think we are or could be. Fantasy is part of the fun, photographing that fantasy is one of the things that I love most.

However…

There is a place for curves too. Curves are incredible. When our model Jourdan walked in I was honestly first taken back by her personality. Her confidence. Confidence is the one of the greatest quality anyone can possess. She was cool, smart, comfortable in her own skin. She was one of the least self-deprecating models I’ve ever worked with. When we started making photographs a lot changed for me. Not only as a photographer but as a woman. Maybe even more importantly as a woman. Here was a human, not afraid to let me photograph her with nothing to hide behind, no character to portray, no fantasy story to tell, it was just her. In the moment. In the light. Just the way she is.

After this shoot I had a mix of emotions. Her body, so beautiful, so photographic in its shapes and contours was in one word: inspiring. She made me realize that the female form in any shape and size is incredible. To have curves, softness, confidence was true beauty. She represented to me what being a woman was all about. I understood why Renior and Matisse painted the way they did and I saw that beauty too. I was so proud to be a woman and in my personal life, more confident about the size of my chest and softness around my stomach. If wrinkles show the hand of time and the life that was lived, curves show the fertility of it and the raw attraction of humanity.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that women come in many fascinating forms and, at this sitting, I saw beauty in a way that should be more often seen.

Here’s to the beautiful form we call being a WOMAN.

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Maiyet Resort

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Sometimes you have to be present in the moment. Sometimes you wake up and it’s raining outside, the wind is ripping at you and what you physically feel in nature, you are emotionally feeling in life. When Kelly and I were talking about shooting a fashion story on MAIYET’s resort collection, fittingly while at a resort for Art Basel, we couldn’t have anticipated the day nature gave to us. I wanted to use it as inspiration, to set the mood, to let the rain fall on her, the sand stick to her skin, the wind throw her hair and the ocean push her down. I wanted to wash away the year into a black and white memory. I’ve been so raw lately, having traveled and created non-stop for so long. I wanted a dark day on the beach, just to feel… something.

I think though the turmoil of that day, the turmoil of emotion is a part of life and a part of art. The change in the weather, the change in our lives. Everything changes, does it not? I remember last summer shooting my first story on MAIYET, the dancing light of the eastern tip of Long Island, the bond of friendship and womanhood captured from behind the lens. This resort collection carries the same threads but like life, you can see the changes. The signature cuffs are here but they are bigger now. The gorgeous coats take on more volume. The artful design to clothing is still there but more refined, more wearable from ocean to ocean.

So why MAIYET?… because they think differently. They hire artisans from around the world to produce their boutique clothing line which aids in these craftsmen to be able to build viable businesses in counties where opportunities like that do not exist so freely. Beyond the clothing they work with artists like Benjamin Millepied to choreograph a video with custom made pieces in movement to a beautiful dance based on an ancient Greek love story. They also made my all time favorite black blazer I’ve worn more than any other article of clothing, and THIS video which always and always gives me wanderlust.

…. and then I’m ready again for the sun to come out.

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