Jamie Up Close & Personal

4 June 2013

During her shoot with Jamie Kendrick, our editor Georgie Wileman took the opportunity to chat to him about this and that. We know you want to know more about this handsome FM Models boy. But first, feel free to remind yourself of the pretty images in Georgie's "At Home With Jamie Kendrick" portrait series.

A man of many talents, Jamie tells tales about everything he is up to and why he loves behind both in front of and behind the camera. We have already started to love his photo diaries he shares with us all, and can't wait for his next one that is coming up soon.

Alice Odell Hunt captured some behind the scenes images for us of Georgie and Jamie hard at work. Enjoy the interview below as Jamie gives you a nice insight into his world. Let the Jamie addiction begin.

Tell us how you first got into modelling?
I was first scouted when I was fourteen years old. I was in Oxford Circus carrying out obligatory teen shopping activities when I was approached by these two women asking if I wanted to be in a Nike advert. I was young and weary, but gave them my number and they took my picture. A few days later I received a call saying that a London based model agency called FM Models were keen to meet me. Before I knew it I was standing in the FM office getting my very first polaroids done.

Georgie Wileman captures Jamie Kendrick (FM Models) at his home in a charming portrait series for Boys by Girls.

How do you enjoy modelling?
Recently I've been travelling a lot. In the last 6 months I've been lucky enough to work in Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam and Ibiza, which have all been unique experiences. Each time you're thrown together with a completely new set of people, so every shoot is a chance to get to know a bunch more people from the industry. The best part about working abroad is that once you've finished shooting for the day you can explore this new environment you've found yourself in. Catching all those flights can definitely pile on the stress though. haha

What else do you like doing?
I've got a lot going outside of modelling as well. My main focus at the moment is my own photography. I'm currently putting the finishing touches to my home studio so I can get on with testing models and building my portfolio. I've always been a creative and used cameras as a tool for my work, and after 6 years experience in front of the camera, I feel I have a great knowledge of how it all works. I'm also at uni, studying Illustration at LCC. I'm nearly through with second year, and when I started the course I was sure I'd be drawing for a living. Now all my work is photography-based, which is thankfully still acceptable on such a broad, image-based course. I also make music. I've been using Logic 9 for about 4 or 5 years, since I became obsessed with dubstep and house music in my teens. Music production came as a natural progression after mixing. I'd listen to so many mixes and always think 'I wish this song wasn't in this mix, it would be better if this one was, so I learned how to make my own. I DJ'd out quite a lot throughout my first y­ear of uni, but have been locked in my bedroom recently working on my own sound. I also help put together a magazine with my oldest friend David Hinga called WatchMePivot. We've been working on it since 2011 and are really excited about how it's progressing.

What is the craziest hoot you've ever done?
The craziest shoot I've done would have to be last week's Bench Lookbook shoot in Berlin. We were there for 4 days. The hotel was amazing. Crazy music-themed neon-coloured décor. They had a spa too which was awesome - never been in a spa before. Weather was great, team was amazing. We were shooting on the top floor of this city-centre tower-block one morning. I couldn't believe the view. Whenever I wasn't shooting I was in awe of the view, camera in hand, pondering how strange it was I was at home in London the day before.

Behind the scenes images by Alice Odell Hunt.

Can you gives us a few random Jamie facts?
I'm pretty certain I have this thing called synaesthesia. Which basically means I subconsciously associate every letter, word or number with a colour. So I find when recalling information that I'll get a hint of colour, which will then represent the word etc. It regularly comes in handy when recalling dates and names. I have a cat called Toby. We found him under a bush in our front garden when I was real young, so he's getting on a bit these days. Love that guy. Oh and I'm vegetarian, have been for nearly 3 years now.

I know you've already travelled a lot, but what are your favorite places to go to?
I've seen a lot of Europe now, so would love to see more of the US. I visited NYC last year and was blown away. So next on my list would be LA. I've always been fascinated and influenced by these cities, with their amazing histories of hip hop, streetwear and pioneering creative culture.

In addition to your modelling, what other stuff has been yuor recent focus?
Recently I've been focusing on fashion and portrait photography. Doing bits and bobs for DJs and MCs I know, shooting other models from FM and sorting out shoots for WatchMePivot. When the studio is set-up I'll be shooting as much as I can. Streetwear, music, fashion related shoots. I've been into streetwear culture as long as I can remember, so contributing to the scene with my photography would be a dream. Same goes for photographing DJs and producers, and being involved with the movements I love.

What type of photography speaks to you the most?
I've also always done street photography, opportunistic stuff. I used to wander about London taking pictures of anything I found visually interesting, and looked at every trip outside the city as a photo-op. But portraiture has always been my main focus. It was the same when I used to draw and paint a lot, I'd always just do portraits, big, messy colourful canvases of huge faces. When I was exposed to more graphic design on my foundation course, more clean-cut, typography and photography based work, my style matured. Finding the right application for my art was always a problem, photography has such a clear purpose.

What is Jamie's dream?
I'd love to be photographing, DJing and modelling proffessionally non-stop. Doing what I love and doing it well. I find such comfort in being creative, knowing you're making something new and unique, leaving your mark. I want to travel a lot too obviously, explore this strange world we've found ourselves on.

What do you do when you're not working?
In between castings and uni I always try and stay productive. If I'm not shooting or arranging a shoot I'm researching contemporary fashion, photographers, brands, designers etc, or I'm working on a tune or mix, networking online, working on WatchMePivot articles and projects...

What is your favorite time of year?
It's all about summer for me. It's been a long time coming this year too and I'm grateful it's finally arrived. I really like the vibe at Christmas time, but only for so long. The cold just gets depressing after a while. Sunshine brings much needed positivity to London.

What is your favorite thing about modelling?
All the amazing people I have had the chance to work with and learn from. Modelling's really enriched me, I'm extremely grateful.

How do you see yourself in the future?
Photographer. Producer/DJ. Making a living from creating images and sounds and sharing them with people.. Living a good life.

Describe perfect happiness.
Somewhere beautiful, with an amazing camera in my hand and some great people. I have a DJ set later that night I've still got to burn CDs for, but it's cool because I'm excited about playing one of my new tunes on this brand new sound system the club's had installed. WatchMePivot is in stores, and me and David have a meeting the next day to discuss the next issue. The plan came together - and I'm happy.

Thanks Jamie, we can't wait for your next photo diary!

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