meet jamie beck

photos by Jamie Beck

Easy: Getting lost in the dreamy, evocative photographs of From Me To You.

Ridiculously difficult: Choosing just a few images to include in this post.

I have no idea what series of online snakes and ladders first delivered me to Jamie’s gorgeous photo blog; I’m just glad I ended up there at all. Not that the Texas-born, NYC-based photographer is suffering for digital traffic. The girl has a perceptive eye for everything from portraits to urban landscapes to make-you-weep still life shots — and people everywhere are quickly taking notice.

Jamie lives on New York’s Upper West Side and contributes to several online art and lifestyle publications, including Working Class, This Recording, Westside Independent, Apartment Therapy and more. She also shoots editorial and commercial work for a variety of clients and is working to expand her published portfolio (hint: hire her while you still can).

Food is a key theme in both Jamie’s life and photography. Her Friday “Dinner & A Movie” series serves up film-and-food pairings, such as Amélie with mussels or Viva Las Vegas with homestyle pot roast and creamy mashed potatoes. She also posts the recipes and photographs the entire process, so readers can simply drool at the delicious pics or re-create the feast at home.

Despite her busy schedule, Jamie was kind enough to share more about her work, her plans and her growing business. Read on and visit From Me to You to glimpse the world through Jamie’s prolific lens. Just be sure you have a good hour to spare — you, too, are likely to get lost in her extensive visual archives.

1. What fuels your work?

My imagination. It is a blessing and a curse. I can look at things or scenarios or even times of life and make believe what I want to see, which is what I capture in the end. I create through my work the world I see in my head.

2. How do you organize the business side of your life so you still have the time, energy and focus to practice your craft?

That is really really tough. At a certain point I had to just decide that my main purpose is to create and that creating will take priority. I try not to beat myself up when I can’t get everything finished on time or corresponded or there’s a missed opportunity, because I am only one person who can only do one thing at a time. So I just decide what is most important at that moment and do it.


3. Is there another artist or creative pro whose business model you admire?

I haven’t met anyone yet who has it all figured out and balanced. So I’ll just say that I admire French people’s approach to life.

4. How many revenue streams do you have?

I could have a few but right now I’m just focusing on creating work, getting shoots and putting my name out there. If I wanted to have a steady stream of income I could sell prints / postcards online, stock photography, in addition to being hired for shoots. But like I said, I’m only one person and I choose to spend my time creating and sharing my work in hopes to be hired to shoot commercial / editorial content.

5. What is your bread-and-butter income source?

Being hired to photograph whatever it is people want photographed.

6. Do you have a passive income stream?

Not yet, however, because there have been so many inquiries about the design of my blog, I am developing a blog design with the web designer who created my blog that people can buy and start their own blogs with! So once that is up for sale, if it is successful, then the answer is YES!

7. What tools or opportunities do you think most creative pros fail to leverage?

I’m not 100% sure how to answer that question right now. I feel at the moment artists (much thanks to everything going digital) are being taken advantage of and devalued by others, as so much has become available through the Internet, and cheaper but better digital cameras are available to consumers. I think it’s really tough being a creative person and making money at your talent. I’d like for someone to answer that question for me!

8. What has brought the most opportunities and attention to your work?

Hands down it has been my blog. It’s been such a great outlet to share projects I’m working on, what I’m doing for clients, and just as a place for this archive of images I have. Through blogging my work, I’ve gown so much as an artist and made wonderful connections which have led to work.

9. What is the best investment you’ve made in your career?
My knowledge of basic black and white photography. How film works, what it’s made of, how to process it and print it. It’s like how a chef first learns the basics, such as sharpening knifes. This is my foundation.

What has been the biggest waste of time and / or money?

Saying yes to many of those free shoots that promise “great exposure and opportunity.” Some are really worth it but most are not. Go with your gut.

10. Where do you stand on the “selling out?” debate? Do you believe it’s possible to sell out?

Yes, people can sell out. For me, at the end of the day I just do what my gut says and make sure it’s something I’m proud of and will always be proud of, I mean… it is my name attached to it.

Thanks, Jamie!

posted 20 Jun 10 in: art, business, food, inspiration, interviews. This post currently has 12 responses.

12 Responses so far. Add Your Own.

i love her work. i’m a recent fan of “from me to you” and can|do literally spend at least an hour when i hop onto the sight. her creativity and photography skills blow me away. the cute little story vignettes attached to the photos are a huge bonus! thanks for the interview. the insight was terrific!

 

A: Thanks for your kind words — and for stopping by. As you know from personal experience, I really wasn’t joking about spending an hour on Jamie’s site!

cheri / 21 Jun 10
 

Great interview, I am also a huge fan of Jaime’s!

Lisa / 22 Jun 10
 

I loved this article. Jamie’s blog has been an exciting trip through her vastly creative brain. Her artistic skill and broad subject matter keeps the viewer interested and coming back day after day. I sometimes visit twice daily since her blog in updated frequently. Now From Me To You has led me to your blog and another creative outlet to explore.

Mike / 22 Jun 10
 

I’m a recent discovered of Jamie Beck’s site and recent convert as well. Thanks for an excellent interview. I also enjoy your site greatly, in particular as I often look for inspiration in others who are forging their own path (fantastic blog name by the way!). Best wishes

 

Lisa – Thank you!

Mike – Great comparison. Jamie’s blog is like taking a trip through her creative brain. Thanks for visiting Inspired Outsiders, too, and, please let me know who else you’d like to see featured.

Lauren – I definitely agree. There’s so much to learn from creative people who are making their lives and careers work — on their own terms. I’m glad you enjoy the blog (and the name). All the best to you!

cheri / 22 Jun 10
 

It was love at the first sight when I discovered Jamie’s blog. So much inspiration ! And it’s always a pleasure to learn a little bit more about the author of this great work. And I’m also happy to discover your blog today !

 

Vanille — It was love at first sight for me, too. Glad to have you here!

cheri / 23 Jun 10
 

From Me To You and a cup of coffee is the perfect way to start my morning. I recently found her work and am inspired by her daily. This is a great interview, thank you.

Cameron Long-Tel / 09 May 11
 

Cameron — That is a great way to start the day. Thanks for your kind words!

 

[…] to be interviewed by writer Cheri Hanson for her inspiring and- lets get down to business- blog Inspired Outsiders! I learned a lot by reading her interviews with other creatives & it’s a thrill to be […]

 

I just amazed that any photographer is able to afford to live on the Upper West Side.

 

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