Jaja Hargreaves of July Stars
One of the first blogs I ever started following was that of Jaja Hargreaves’ called, July Stars. It was a constant source of inspiration for me; a fresh insights on ideas and an aesthetic that really resonated in me. I was an instant fan…. and then she started to share her own photos! These beautiful, cinematic images of people and places that are so softly voyeuristic, embodying a romanticism and heat in them that can make them appear as if they have been painted.
As fate would have it, we are now in touch and sharing our work- so I am really excited to share with you a recent shoot of Jaja’s featuring Sighs and Whispers‘ Laura McLaws Helms (who I have recently interviewed here) as her subject. I asked Jaja to describe her creative process when taking photographs and in reading her response it makes complete sense to me why we are aesthetically sistered. xx
“I’ve always found photography to be the most mesmerising form of expression. I love that it is a durable and universal medium which can allow you to create intricate stories and develop potent imaginary worlds. My approach to photography is rather instinctive as opposed to technical. I use an old Contax G2 and Canon 5D Mark II. Over the past few years, I’ve become quite obsessive about using a gauze in front of the lens because it gives my images a rhythm which is cohesive with my personal vision and aesthetics. It definitely plays a key role in the way I take photos. I like the softer grainy and more painterly aspect you can achieve, almost reminiscent of another era. I’m not interested in exploring bold digitally manipulated imagery. I’m enthusiastic about many fashion photographers who embrace that field and I genuinely admire their achievements but their techniques don’t come to me naturally. This probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up surrounded by books and photography books including a lot of seventies masterpieces. My first experiences of photography were carried out with my family’s polaroid cameras as well as a very old Nikon. It was like an almost religious revelation and I was immediately hooked. I suppose that in some ways what I do today is still highly focused on the oddly innocent mood of those first photos taken twenty years ago”. Jaja Hargreaves, July Stars
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