We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with one of our most respected Southern California photographers Jenavieve Belaire for our Dark Seas Spring 16' lookbook.
Jenavieve Belair is one of the best photographers in California hands down. i say so because if you have ever spent
more than a few hours in California you can only explain it's landscape, temperature, color story and welcoming arms outstretched wide as a feeling you can barely describe.
It's a feeling that draws hundreds of thousands of human beings from all over the world to come and experience its immeasurable joy. From its perfect beaches and beautiful woman to its thoroughbred talent in any number of disciplines. Now what makes Jena more incredible than most is her ability to describe the indescribable. Her ability to capture the raw moments and gracefully ignore the manufactured ones. Much like a lion tamer or a snake charmer she has learned how to make the most illusive subjects show their true beauty if only for a split second. It's a revolving window that most photographers cannot time right, yet Jenavieve jumps through it like some childhood game.
Below is an interview we did with Jenavieve. Check it out. We're sure you'll love her as much as we do.
Dark Seas: State your name for the record.
Hi! Jenavieve Belair.
DS: Where are you from?
Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now I reside in Costa Mesa.
DS: Can you pinpoint a moment in your life when you knew you wanted to be a photographer?
I don't ever remember wanting to be anything else. Maybe I wanted to a vet when I was like 7 but that's about it. My dad gave my his old film camera when I was 12 and making that into my life and career was always the end goal. I wanted it as a career before I could fully comprehend what that word even meant.
DS: What was your very first paying job as a photgrapher?
When I first moved to California in 2008 I got my first job working for the newspaper. I shot all their nightlife and concerts, it was a pretty cool job for an 18 year old.
DS: How do you differentiate yourself in the very stale world that is the skate/surf industry?
It's hard when we are all shooting the same lifestyle. But I just try and keep it as real as possible. I don't wanna be on an uptight shoot so I make sure it's as laid back as possible, I want everyone to just hang out. Drink beers, skate, flash your tits, you know. I like to be able to capture real moments.
DS: Tell me your favorite memory from any shoot or location
Probably a few months ago when I drove the coast up to big sur and shot at this place called the post ranch inn. We stayed in a cabin on a cliff that overlooked the pacific, and at night we went in a nude hot tub on the cliff and to top it off it was raining. This job has taken me to amazing places and countries, it's hard to pick one.
DS: Now tell me the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you or someone else on set.
I can't think of too many embarrassing things, I'm not easily embarrassed. I can't say nip slips or anything like that, I've seen more nipples and butts than a strip club.
I've forgotten memory cards or batteries in the early days but that's just some beginner shit.
LM: What are you currently listening to?
Currently as in this moment? Tom waits. That changes a lot though. For the most part i listen to folk and hip hop but I can appreciate just about everything.
DS: Beatles or Stones?
Man that's a hard one. Depends on the mood, if I had to pick though I'd say Beatles.
DS: Chocolate of Vanilla
Damn that's almost harder. You know I love sweets. I guess chocolate.
DS: Sand Or Snow?
Jeez these are tough. I grew up in the snow but always wanted to be by the ocean. Where I'm at right now in life id say sand.
DS: Cats or Dogs? I already know the answer to this.
Ya cmon haha. Dogs for days. Cats are tight too though.
DS: Well you rule! any shout outs?
Shout out to my mama for teaching me to carve my own path and my dad for teaching me how to work a camera, and change my oil.
Here is a glimpse behind the scenes with Jenavieve on our Spring 16' shoot for Dark Seas and a few teaser images from the lookbook that will go out next week.