I first began following Jamie Beck on Instagram after discovering her through a mutual flower friend and have been completely obsessed along with her work ever since.

For those of you not familiar, Jamie Beck is a photographer and visual artist who lives and works in Provence. In 2016, Jamie left her busy life in Latest York City for a one-year sabbatical within the south of France and never turned back.

Jamie’s work has the flexibility to move you into one other world. It’s like falling down probably the most beautiful rabbit hole, getting lost in a wholly different time. Along with sharing her beautiful work with the world, she also generously shares her creative process, which I absolutely love.

Jamie just published her first book, An American in Provence, which is described as a “beautiful collection of exquisite portrait, scenic, and still-life photography.” Jamie sent me an early copy a few months ago and I finished it in a single sitting, clutching it as I moved from room to room. As soon as I set it down, my mom picked it up and devoured it with equal intensity and it sparked a series of really meaningful conversations about how we spend our days and what truly matters.

This book has quickly turn into one among my all-time favorites and I highly encourage you to order multiple copies, one for yourself and for gifting.

I used to be lucky enough to get the prospect to interview Jamie for the blog in regards to the book and her creative approach. Get able to be inspired!

Provence, France landscapeAn American in Provence is totally overflowing with inspiration, from breathtaking photography to candid storytelling, seasonal French recipes, and expert photo suggestions. There may be a lot to remove that it’s hard to know where to start out! How did this book come about?

All of it happened unintentionally should you can consider it! After I got here to Provence I didn’t have goals in mind apart from to only experience the culture and a special lifestyle that had captured my imagination. As I set out on my first yr in Provence, I took notes in my journal of the observations I used to be experiencing, from the changing natural landscape to the provencal experiences of markets and the way it felt struggling through a foreign language, what it was like living in a village 2,000 years old and without air-con, to the changes that begin to happen inside me I had not expected to come back from my yr in Provence. I made these notes all of the while photographing every thing I used to be discovering. Eventually, the pictures became little visual stories of those lessons. This book, An American in Provence, is the culmination of those written lessons and visual art stories of what’s now, the past six years living in Provence!

Jamie Beck lying in a field of wild lavenderThe book is organized by season, and reflects “a rhythmic cycle of life” you appear to have rediscovered in Provence. Are you able to talk more in regards to the significance of reconnecting with nature?

Nature in Provence is EVERYTHING. It’s what gives us the unbelievably incredible food ingredients sold at local farmer’s markets, the flowers, the wine, the bees, and butterflies. It’s all completely connected here and surrounds you in a way that folds you in. After I moved to Provence I became bewitched by nature and the closer I looked, the more magical the invention. However it’s not only the pleasure of witnessing life unfolding before you, but, the best way it feels whenever you live harmoniously, seasonally, with it too. I discovered it, for me, to be a healthier lifestyle allowing each thing to have its moment; an ebb and flow. That way you appreciate what is nice in the current and it leaves you with something all the time to miss, and in turn, all the time to sit up for. 

Jamie Beck pregnancy self-portraitYou thoughtfully share about listening to your gut and your decision to maneuver from Latest York City to the French countryside and note that “by removing every thing I knew, I allowed myself to live in each moment.” What about leaving a city within the U.S. and living in a small village in France has allowed you to embrace that?  

Before everything, you will have no alternative but to be stripped of your routine. On my first Sunday in Provence I remember walking outside, hungry, able to get some food … and there was literally NOTHING open. Thankfully I still had some leftover cheese and baguette from the day gone by that I could eat and picked figs off the tree in my garden. France isn’t about being accommodating and positively doesn’t live to generate profits just like the USA, which forces you (thankfully, and rightfully so) into their culture. I got here because I desired to experience their culture but I didn’t know I might also must take part in it! It’s funny now to say that, but I feel as Americans we just assume access to every thing on a regular basis because that’s what we all know. France is all the time and only just being France, which forces you right into a lifestyle foreign to you and you will have no alternative but to embrace it—which is a superb thing! If you “give in” to a different culture, it really looks like being a bit of kid again, having to learn throughout act, what to do, and survive. You’ve no alternative but to be present in each moment and every moment feels so monumental since it’s laced with discovery and survival!

Jamie Beck running in Provence, FranceYou were in a position to discover a lot about yourself and feed your passion after moving, but you share that “Your personal artist’s journey can occur anywhere, at any time—you only have to point out up and have courage.” What are some ways to encourage finding a little bit of that Provençal magic and making a life you like?

It’s really easy, find what you like—whatever it’s! Whatever you’re into and just do this! Have the courage to focus solely in your passion. I feel as if we’re taught that the things we’re enthusiastic about are our “hobbies” and never our “work,” which is why it’s worthwhile to have the courage to say, “no, that is what I’m into and THIS is what I need to focus my life on.” That will be anything! It’s really as much as you to define. Define your life by your passions, not by what is predicted of you, which you’ll be able to do anywhere on this planet, at any stage of life. 

French dessert styled by Jamie BeckYour work so skillfully highlights the wonder in nature that’s throughout, from the “Terre de Lumière” of Provence to the seasonal food, flowers in every stage of life, and even bugs! You draw a lot from the realm you reside in but I do know you furthermore may have your individual garden. What things do you enjoy growing yourself?

My garden is my second baby! The garden, which is a small interior garden (about 35 ft by 35 ft), is situated in the middle of the village and surrounded by old buildings. It has one stunning, large, fig tree that shades our old Provençal farm table. There may be a bed of ancient lavender that grows in wild swirls like curly hair relatively than the standard manicured rows of stick-straight lavender. I even have a lemon tree, a pergola of white wisteria vines, greater than 17 different roses (a combination of climbing and shrub), a surprising section of hydrangeas that do surprisingly well, and a handful of mixed garden bed shrubs and flowers that I just planted. I can’t let you know the names because they’re all in French and are wildly complicated to try to recollect! I even have a group of lovely mixed herbs in terracotta pots: basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, etc. I’m not that keen on growing things to eat since the local farmers here have been doing that, organically, for thus many generations. I might much relatively eat what they produce!

Jamie Beck In An American in Provence, you discuss visual storytelling and “writing your photograph first.” You dive deep into among the unique techniques you employ, including combining multiple photographic plates and painting intimately. Are you able to give a general overview of the method to compose one among your photographs? I do know one photo can sometimes take a complete day!

A few of my more ambitious projects have taken weeks to edit! Nonetheless, for many posts, I create one photograph a day. Typically, I start with an idea. This will be wanting to capture what was on the market that morning or growing within the garden. Sometimes, as with my self-portraits, they’re autobiographical based on a specific season of my life. I then forage for my subject material and props, searching for what speaks to me and stirs emotion or excitement to create! I bring all these elements together, whether it’s within the studio or at a predetermined location outside, and start to compose my photograph. There are various layers to my photographic process where I take multiple images I call “plates” after which composite them in post-production Photoshop. This permits me to construct out compositions or create scenes that may not otherwise exist in real life, but hopefully, feels natural within the outcome. There are also days after I don’t have a subject or concept in mind but relatively let the day unfold around me until that moment of inspiration presents itself. The best strategy to find myself in that state is to easily take a walk through my village or in nature. 

Still-life photograph of oranges, butterflies, and flowersYour creations are so abundant and romantic—from the self-portraits to the Impressionist-style landscapes to people who appear like Seventeenth-century Dutch still-life paintings. It’s often hard to consider they’re photos in any respect! Do you will have a background in art? How did you discover your strategy to such a stylized photography? 

I even have all the time been artistic and drawn to art. I’m also someone who sees art in every thing—from a music video to the best way someone dresses to the packaging of a product. Art is in all places and art is all the time an option. I’m all the time creating. Every detail of a day, like getting dressed, is a way for my mind to create a story. What’s the character, what’s she doing, what’s her message today about life? If you take a look at Dutch still-life paintings, every object is placed with intention and carries a story, a meaning. I feel we’ve got turn into blind to the world around us, the mundane things we touch and interact with on a day by day basis. In my work, I attempt to reexamine those objects and their place in our lives. That kind of approach may be very connected to past art movements when people had less generally and objects carried great significance. So far as my photographic style, I actually do feel as if I paint with the sunshine, and it’s that painting that I feel makes my photographs of one other time yet completely relatable to each person’s human experience. 

A dining tablescape in ProvenceYou generously share so many beneficial photography and styling suggestions in your book. What would you say is most significant to consider when taking a photograph of a natural landscape or capturing floral arrangements?

To have a good time! I feel we get caught up in the foundations of photography and one must remember to all the time play. It’s once we are playing that we’re having fun with after which, irrespective of the end result, it was time well spent. 

Still-life photograph of a wine bottle and fruitI loved the #IsolationCreation series you dreamed up and shared on Instagram in the course of the lockdown where you created one piece of art a day, made prints from that work, and donated a portion of the proceeds to the Foundation for Contemporary Art’s Covid-19 Emergency Grants Fund. Can people still purchase your prints now?

After we entered our lockdown in France it was not only a scary time due to what was happening on this planet, but in addition because I couldn’t travel to do my industrial photographic work for the foreseeable future; which is how I made my living for nearly all of my life. I couldn’t control what was happening outside but what I could do was create something positive day by day—to share this experience we were all navigating through while also raising money to support other artists impacted by the pandemic. We retired the series earlier this yr to create space on the web site for brand new photographic works where I even have available posters, prints, high-quality art, floral paperweights, nightgowns, and a good looking stationery series handmade in Provence. 

Jamie Beck pins her hair upWill you talk in regards to the impact you’ve felt since Instagram began to prioritize videos and Reels over images? Do you see artists and creators shifting to a different platform to share their work?

This has been really a troublesome transition as a photographer. My love is for the still image and Instagram has been a champion of the artful up until recently. It’s a sentiment lots of photographers, painters, and writers have had in conversation with me—that our work is what we wish to share, and having to shift focus to animating that to ensure that people to see our posts not only adds one other layer to the job but isn’t the job we wish! I feel the community of Instagram did an incredible job having our voices be heard about what we wish, and for the moment they’ve listened. It’s not a surprise that social media is moving to video content, I feel analysts have been saying this for a decade. The issue is within the algorithm that made us feel forced as a substitute of inspired. With that said, being creative can also be about adaptation and sometimes great things are born out of forced or constrained circumstances. Photography by its very nature based on technology and from its birth has been in constant evolution, so we should be too. 

Jamie Beck self-portraitBetween your photography projects, a recent book, a web-based shop, and your beautiful Luxe Provence clothing collaboration, it looks like you’ve been busy! Are you working on anything recent at once or having fun with a period of rest?

Kevin, my husband, and I all the time laugh after I say, “Next yr I’ll rest,” after which next yr never comes because there are only too many wonderful things to attempt to do in life and such little time! I absolutely love difficult myself, but even greater than that, I really like learning.

An American in Provence book with fruit and flowers surrounding it

Thanks a lot, Jamie, for taking the time to share about your incredible book with Floret readers. It’s such a present to the world!

To have fun the discharge of Jamie’s recent book, An American in Provence, we’re making a gift of five copies. 

For a probability to win, please post a comment below telling us should you were untethered from all responsibilities, where you’d go, and what curiosity would you follow? Winners can be announced on Tuesday, November 15.

 

Learn more and connect with Jamie:

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