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The American photographer is spicing up the fashion and beauty industry with her glamorous, ultra-colourful, hyper-feminine universe, bursting with energy and creativity.

Red, pink, vintage, American kitsch, irreverence and lots of style… Welcome to the sexy, wild world of Jamie Nelson! This Texas native, who grew up in Colorado, lived in New York and now lives in Los Angeles, has turned her dream into reality. Her passion for photography was ignited at the age of 17, encouraging her to move to California to study at the Brooks Institute of Photography. Since then, and a few comings and goings later between the Big Apple and the City of Angels, she has built a name for herself in the fashion and beauty industry, with virtuosity and perseverance.

Blurring Boundaries

Her whimsical, dreamlike vision, her ’70s look that’s part shorty, part athleisure and her Farrah Fawcett-style hair… it’s all there in her visual narratives, which are graphic, sensual, earthy and colourful. Clearly, Guy Bourdin is never far away in her inspirations either. “I like to revive the iconography of glamour and classic beauty,” she explains, “My aim is to transport the viewer back in time, to an unapologetic, less PC era, full of rock and roll and freedom.” 

Her home reflects this Barbiecore and Playboy bunny trends, faux fur walls, chandeliers, sunken bathtub, heart-shaped Jacuzzi… The 1968 Hollywood Regency-style ambience would almost make Barbie’s Dreamhouse pale, which she enhances with her rock touch, pink Mustang, motorcycles and vintage artwork. Likewise, her Instagram is the standard-bearer of her life and work, where she stages herself in funny, provocative and fiery stories and photos.

In this way, Jamie Nelson brilliantly blurs the boundaries between the editorial, commercial and artistic worlds. “This motto was clear from the time I was 17,” she insists, “I’m convinced that an image can simultaneously sell a product, hang on a wall like a work of art and grace the pages of an avant-garde fashion magazine.”

Female Empowerment

Her recent series on models for Vogue Portugal is in this vein. “This shoot was inspired by one of my favourite films, Mannequin (1987), starring Kim Cattrall,” she adds, “It depicts a love story between a human man and a female model that magically comes to life. Here, I’ve created a modern version. I chose 3 women as protagonists, while using male mannequins as love objects. For the editorial touch, I opted for colourful body make-up to bring out the living models in the set. In this way, I depict the ambiguity between real and fake, fantasy and reality.” 

For the photographer, the series is also a way of questioning the fashion industry’s age-old treatment of models as mere hangers. “As a female artist, I want to elevate and empower my models by giving them a collaborative voice in the artistic process.”

Son portfolio témoigne parfaitement de toute cette folie créative, nourrie de belles collaborations entre magazines (Vogue, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, Time, Vanity Fair…), marques (Dior, Shiseido, Revlon, Make Up For Ever…), studios (Paramount, Universal Music, Warner Bros, Sony) et célébrités (Gwen Stefani, Drew Barrymore, Lily Allen, Kylie Jenner, Solange Knowles…).


Nathalie Dassa


Photo credit © Jamie Nelson

États-Unis – Los Angeles