Photographer Jamie Beck Shares the Story Behind Her Image-Good Vie Provençale

In the summertime of 2016, photographer Jamie Beck was flying house to New York after an task in Sweden when she hit some turbulence. Feeling sure the aircraft was about to crash, a single thought nagged away at her: “Nice, now I’ll by no means know what it’s wish to reside in France,” Beck remembers. “So I made a promise to myself that if the aircraft landed, I used to be going to maneuver there.”

The aircraft did certainly land, and Beck really made good on that promise—even when it meant partly giving up her fast-paced life as a photographer in New York Metropolis, working for purchasers together with Chanel, Chopard, and Armani. “In New York, I used to be working on a regular basis, and I simply saved questioning, Is that this it?” Beck says. One month and one laborious visa software later, she moved, alone and talking barely a phrase of French, to Apt, a sleepy village in Provence. (Her husband and collaborator Kevin Burg joined her later.) She rented an condominium within the servants’ quarters of an hôtel particulier with unreliable web, a small range for cooking, and a laundry setup {that a} seasoned Manhattanite may generously describe as rustic. “I deliberate to be there for a yr, and I assumed it will simply be one thing to tick off the bucket listing,” Beck provides. “As an alternative, it modified the course of my life utterly.”

That pivotal second, and the years that adopted, are documented in Beck’s first e book, An American in Provence, arriving from Simon & Schuster this month. It accommodates the entire whimsical, romantic imagery—assume Julia Margaret Cameron meets Renoir, captured via a gauzy, high-contrast haze—that has made Beck one thing of a cult social media star for these dreaming of fulfilling their wildest Eat, Pray, Love fantasies (she has 368,000 Instagram followers and counting). However the e book reveals one other aspect to Beck, too, particularly a soul-baring honesty and self-effacing humor—the latter underscoring all of the muck and sunburn concerned in adjusting to her bucolic nation life-style. (Provence in August with out air-conditioning will get very uncomfortable, as Beck vividly describes.)

Picture: Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

So too does the e book chart Beck’s journey to motherhood: In 2019, she and Burg welcomed a child daughter, Eloise, via France’s common well being care system. “One of many causes I needed to jot down about that have together with her is that well being care is such an enormous concern in each France and the US,” says Beck. “I didn’t need the e book to be simply concerning the artistic evolution I discovered dwelling in Provence, however my private evolution, too.”

For whereas the e book does open an escapist window into a lifetime of pastoral bliss that feels simply past grasp, Beck was adamant that it do extra than simply that. “The world doesn’t want a e book about my life,” Beck says. “However I really imagine you don’t have to reside in Provence or wish to mimic the life-style to take one thing from the teachings I’ve realized whereas dwelling right here.” In step with that concept, the e book options not solely candid essays by Beck about embracing her new group, however recipes, images tutorials, a glossary of useful French phrases, and even a bit on the Provençal approach of consuming wine.

The final word takeaway, although, is the worth of sluggish dwelling that Beck has realized in Provence—the place she plans to stay, though she makes common journeys again to New York. As she sees it, wherever you’re and no matter your means, it’s a sensibility anybody can profit from. “Perhaps you stroll as an alternative of taking the automotive, otherwise you go to an area market as an alternative of the grocery retailer, otherwise you make an effort to share a meal together with your family and friends as soon as every week,” Beck says. “We transfer so quick; it’s about taking a second to only cease and go searching you, and recognize how lovely all the pieces is and the way fortunate we’re to be right here.

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