Tag Archives: nyc

Old School Photography

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Each year, these prints are my little labor of love. This year’s holiday card began almost one year ago, at the beginning of 2015. While shooting a project for Tiffany & Co., we had the opportunity to rent a private helicopter to get aerial shots of Manhattan. I learned two things from that early winter morning ride: 1. I am deathly afraid of helicopters and 2. I wanted this year’s holiday card to be a print of my great love, New York City. Looking down on her from this birds eye view gave me a new visual sense of the layers of history in this city from which we build our own futures. I understood her in a new way and that’s what I wanted to capture.

Considering there is not enough Xanax in the world to get me in a helicopter again, I had to find a new strategy for shooting at this high but intimate angle. Though I love the views from the obvious choices—Empire State Building and Top of the Rock—they didn’t give me the towering sense I was seeking. From the tops of those iconic buildings, the city is dwarfed and dense, slightly out of reach. As luck would have it, our friends from The New Potato were hosting a party with Riviera Events on the 68th floor of the newly completed Four World Trade Center. It’s one of those moments in life where everything falls into place, as if designed by destiny. Here we are in the Financial District, where we work, standing in a building that is part of the present, looking down on the past. It was just what I wanted.

It was an incredibly difficult shot to take. Using a Linhof 4×5 film field camera, the cityscape was not bright enough to register on the ground glass where you do your framing and focus check. Only a few faint street lights were visible for me to use as a rough guide but for the most part I was shooting blind. This also applies to metering: I had no way of knowing if I would be right on the money or not, so I just applied what I knew about the sensitivity of film to light and my experience with it the past 19 years. The image that ultimately made the final print was a 5 minute exposure on Ilford Delta 400ISO film.

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After the image was captured, we packed up and headed to my favorite darkroom in Boston for printing (which made for a great 24 hour Snapchat story!)

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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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Happy Holidays

Holiday_Party_cover00 How lucky are we that we get to work with our best friends? My friendship with Kelly began 3 years ago on a shoot in Malibu where we shot all day, and dreamed all night. Fast forward to now, another year in our friendship. We shared a house in Amagansett, she threw me the best birthday party of all, we collaborated on shoots from CHANEL to golden goddesses, cool kids to Victoria Secret models. Before we each go home to our real families Kelly and I had a Holiday Party here at the studio for our little New York family, the ones that buy you a drink after a hard day or make you laugh when work is stressful or keep you inspired though all forms of collaboration… and the occasional selfie.

Of course we had to go big and by go big we mean we decked the entire party out in Ralph Lauren from the table tops to the shoes! …so it was basically my dream party. Zach, Kelly’s boyfriend (who just opened a new restaurant in Manhattan!) made the most beautiful dinner of Coq au Vin (recipe HERE!) while Kevin welcomed our guests with a Suburban cocktail (see his story & recipe below!).

Kelly took care of the table with a focus on personal touches, my favorite being the way she did the place settings by using a small silver frame and having me print photos that I have taken of us through the years (which was super easy using THIS), as a way to mark each person’s seat at the table. I loved this touch. I thought it really represented our friendship and collaboration and was an amazing way for everyone to re-tell the story behind the image.

While she sat the table I thought it would be fun to put the photo studio in use even for a dinner party! I threw up a gray seamless and put some warm gels over a couple of kino flo lights and had the camera ready to go to take portraits of each other, to remember this time in our lives together, and this holiday season. As the night progressed the portrait studio turned into a candid riot of laughter and dancing and all out friendship silliness. I cherish this night, these real moments of laugher and wine, photography and art- all the passions that brought us together in the first place.

So here’s to the holiday season. I hope you find some inspiration in our intimate Ralph Lauren inspired dinner party for your own this December and remember to be with the ones that you love….

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Kelly has a method to her table-setting-madness! See here entertaining tips here

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Above~ keeping it classic in a Ralph Lauren Collection Cashmere Chunky Knit Turtleneck (I order a size up to make it extra cozy), Collection Pencil Skirt and Suede Blamina Sandal

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Mandarin Oriental Dreams

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High atop Manhattan’s skyline, overlooking Central Park and the Hudson River sits the proud Mandarin Oriental, glittering in the golden setting sun of an early autumn day. I love New York this time of year, I love the fantasy of glamour, a world where fashion, culture, business and design all collide into spectacular moments. When I was young and I dreamed of New York it was always like this – overlooking that powerful skyline that still mesmerizes me, in diamonds and designer gowns. Here, model and artist Jasmine Poulton brings my dreams to life in the Mandarin Oriental’s Oriental Suite in Donna Karan‘s very special 30th anniversary fall 2014 collection (remember when I took you backstage) and Chopard diamonds from the high jewelry collection

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