Jamie Beck and The Flowers of Provence Her Beautiful Book
Search for Provence on the internet, and your screen fills with beautiful images of a part of the world that captures our imagination. In her second book, Jamie Beck tempts the reader with stunning Provencal landscapes and magnificent French gardens while celebrating the soft floral details. The Flowers of Provence is a romance with the plant life through the seasons in Provence.
Thrilled to receive an invitation to Jamie Beck’s book launch party for “The Flowers of Provence,” her second book, I responded yes! While my husband likes flowers and the Luberon, a garden party was not an event for him. So, my friend and author, Gayle Padgett, was happy to be my +1.
Who is Jamie Beck?
When you meet a best-selling author and renowned photographer who has 374,000+ Instagram followers (www.instagram.com/jamiebeck.co) for the first time, well, it’s hard to know what to expect. Welcoming us with a broad smile and warm handshake, Jamie Beck is like cotton candy, a delight fashioned by sweet threads of interweaved connections. What is immediately apparent is Jamie’s genuine appreciation of the opportunity to live in Provence.
Here is her impressive biography.
Jamie Beck took her first photo at the age of thirteen. Soon after, she began earning a living as a professional photographer. At the age of twenty-eight, she opened her own photo studio in lower Manhattan. Jamie shoots numerous campaigns and editorial projects for some of the world’s most famous brands, including Chanel, Chopard, Cartier, Volvo, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, Google, Samsung, Disney, and Netflix. Her work has appeared in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In 2016, during what was only meant to be a sabbatical in the south of France, Jamie began creating personal work that turned her life’s journey on its head. This personal project led her to a new career in fine art photography and brought her a little girl born in France named Eloise. Jamie is the author of the New York Times bestseller “An American in Provence” and her latest publication with Simon & Schuster, “The Flowers of Provence.” Beck lives in Apt with her husband and daughter.
“Today, I am a firm believer that there is much we can learn by getting outdoors and watching the ballet of nature unfold.” ~ Jamie Beck
As expected, The Flowers of Provence has fabulous, artistic photos. The book loosely follows the seasons in Provence with the floral displays to match. Beck’s images include the expected – lavender fields, sunflowers, and poppies. However, there are unexpected photos, such as a barn filled with dried bouquets. From still-life bouquets to dreamy scenes with elegant dresses, this book is a joy to hold.
Moving to Provence brought back memories from childhood visits to her grandmother’s in North Texas. Together, they explored the natural world of gardening. Beck admits that New York City’s buzz and her demanding work as a commercial photographer removed her from the natural world. The move in 2016 to Provence was not intended to be permanent. However, Provence’s magnetism quickly took hold, and the couple settled into living in Apt in the Luberon Valley.
“Like Alice in Wonderland, I slipped down a proverbial rabbit hole and landed in a dreamscape of ancient stone streets, chateaux-studded hilltops, and endless vistas of flowering earth.” ~ Jamie Beck
In the book’s introduction, Jamie Beck describes her first “encounters” with the sunflower fields and the joy she still gets from her photo of a foraged iris. It is utterly possible to find these gentle blossoms growing in the wild near a drainage ditch. Jamie Beck describes the iris as exotic and otherworldly, perhaps what caught Vincent van Gogh’s attention long ago.
“To this day, I’m still drawn to the iris’s beguiling form, the surprising places I find her, the old-world tonalities she processes, and the photogenic nature of her beauty.” ~ Jamie Beck
Beck was already taking photos of gardens and plants in Provence. During one of the COVID-19 lockdowns, she began #IsolationCreation with a new photograph every day for 60 days. We all found ways to get through some strange periods during the pandemic. However, Jamie Beck found a meditative, restorative project to celebrate joy in the small things right before her.
Filled with beautiful photography, The Flowers of Provence has limited yet impactful text. Beck helps you discover some multi-generational families who remain anchored to the earth and dedicated to growing heirloom flowers. You will learn how to dry floral bouquets and ideas for dried flower projects. Beck’s friend, Helen Puillandre of Moss & Branches Creations, gives some practical and surprising tips on arranging cut flowers and ways to extend a bouquet’s freshness. In the end, Jamie Beck thanks all of her floral connections, from private gardens to growers to the market stalls.
Who Should Buy this Book?
The Flowers of Provence is for anyone who loves flowers and beautiful images. Like a vase of flowers, this book will bring attention to the soft pleasures of nature. The Flowers of Provence invites you to look at the photos and escape to the South of France. If only for a few minutes. This book is a perfect gift for a gardener, someone who loves France, or any romantic soul.
Photo credits ©JamieBeck.co
Live or Stay in Apt
Jen and Chris Mallon are British transplants. They sold everything in 2018 and moved from England to Apt in the South of France. Leaving their jobs, they sold a house and put everything into storage. Then, the Mallons headed through the channel tunnel to begin a new life in Provence. Today, they live in the heart of Apt in Cent Cinq with its holiday apartment rentals.
Apta Julia was a Roman town, and there are remains from the 2nd century, including an amphitheatre. Today, Apt is a thriving market town – with a significant market every Saturday. It serves a big rural community with schools and hospitals and is the capital of the Luberon.