Tag Archives: still life

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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Nature Studies

Yesterday the most magical thing happened, a butterfly flew into the studio, dancing around all the little flower arrangements left over from last week’s shoot. There is something special about nature when it’s brought indoors.  As I watched this delicate little creature flutter around our lofty space it reminded me of childhood memories in Texas, chasing monarchs through the yard. We talk a lot about the meaning of a cinemagraph, how it exists as living photo. We wanted to cinemagraph this moment to forever remember the simple joy of nature fluttering in our open windows and making us stop and smile at its beauty. I wanted to remember the little girl I once was who had nothing to worry about on those summer afternoons but to study butterflies and be enchanted by nature…

PS- did you know we once bought sleeping butterflies for a photo shoot? They come in envelopes in a box with an ice pack. The cool temperature makes them dormant and you can dip your finger in orange soda or some sort of sweet liquid and place them there where they will stay, wake up, drink, flap there wings for a couple of mins before flying off. It’s really the most fun! 

*we took the butterfly outside and released it back on its journey in the middle of Manhattan*

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Simplicity

 I must have flowers, always, and always.

― Claude Monet

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