Artist Profile: Jamie Nadel
I started taking pictures when I was sixteen during my Junior year of high school in San Diego. That was the year I failed all my classes except for Photography. Shortly after, my music teacher gave me a Pentax K1000 and I was making bi-weekly trips to my local pharmacy to drop off rolls of film.
This series of photographs is a documentary of my travels this past summer in Washington, Southern California, and New York City. I decided to wait until I returned to school to have them developed; I’m glad I gave myself three months to let the images marinate my imagination. Looking back on them, I’m especially aware of this gap in time: it’s like I had memories in the making. I mean memories in the most literal way possible, because when I took them, I was truly designing my own memories.
Looking at each photo, I can remember exactly what I was thinking: when and where. The photos are all double exposures, meaning that each image is a combination of two. This lets me combine two different views in one visual experience
The pictures here are a response to my environment. Either something I see just looks appealing, or I have a specific relationship that I want to capture. I only do multiple exposures in color, because I feel it’s best for depicting reality. Color is such a powerful stimulant to the senses: it emphasizes lighting, composition, and becomes more immersive during shooting. Most photographs are re-creations of things that exist to people as real, and I like to re-contextualize my experiences through double exposures. This is a way of me looking at something, closing my eyes and opening them, seeing something different, then the camera combines them. The resulting photo in print or on the screen is reality unseen.
The photo on the cover is of my brother, combined with a photo of clouds. Laying on my back in the sand of Cardiff State Beach, I snapped him quickly and rolled over, then snapped the sky on the same frame intentionally, instinctively knowing that whatever the resulting image looked like, it would be what I wanted to remember of the day. I don’t think I fully understand what it means: to sculpt how I see the past through photography, but the intentionality of the whole process really turns me on.
I don’t know what inspired me to document my life so deliberately. I’d like to think that when I take pictures, I’m walking precariously through the world I live in, you know, the feeling of adventure, you can feel it, where it only happens once, and I’ll only be here once.