The Cool Photography Duo Turning Children’s Images Into Art
Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
Photography by Photograph courtesy of Jimjam
Before merging their respective styles to create the ultra-hip, wonderland-esque kids’ photography project Jimjam, Jimmy Marble and Jesse Chamberlin worked as artistic innovators forging individual paths in their craft of photography. After marrying in 2016, the two decided to unite in more ways than one to create a passion project quite unlike any other. With a keen eye for angle, color, and composition—not to mention a whole lot of fun—Jimjam takes the exploration of kid’s photography into a realm all its own. Below, the duo open up about their philosophy, vision, and process, and give us a peek at their latest shoot and what it’s like to photograph children in such a charming and refreshing light.
How did the concept for Jimjam come to be?
“We’ve both been taking photos for a long time independently, and when we got together and got married, we wanted to find a way to be creative together that wasn’t just a merger. We wanted to do something unique and new to both of us. We also noticed that photos where kids were the subject of the narrative lacked a sensitivity, sophistication, and taste that photos with adults at the center have. So, we started venturing into that world to explore.”
Do you have a particular photography philosophy?
“We’re always trying to create something new and interesting, and that satisfies what we’re hoping to see out there. That goes for all of our creative ventures.”
Does it differ when shooting children?
“With kids, we’re trying to balance how much we can control in a shot (styling, location, art direction) with how naturally spontaneous kids are. I think the reason that the Jimjam shoots are catching on like they are is that they strike a really cool balance of being designed and spur-of-the-moment. We’re usually working with kids ages 6-12, and each age brings such a different dynamic with what they’re able to understand as far as direction from us. Sometimes, we say something and they take it in a way we didn’t mean and do something we couldn’t have predicted.”
Your technique and style are both so engaging. How did you decide that this was the direction you wanted to take for this particular shoot?
“We’ve been doing lots of shoots that are in nature or outdoors, and we were both really itching to do a designed studio shoot. Our original idea was that we wanted to do a shoot were kids were interacting with a set as if it were their art project. We were also really excited to work with the set designer, Dane Johnson, so it was perfect timing. The concept was nailed down through the three of us brainstorming and going over tons of reference images.”
Has your technique/shooting style evolved over the years? How so?
“Yeah! We shoot a lot, so naturally everything gets sharper. We’ve actually grown in pretty complimentary ways. Jimmy’s shoots have gone from really planned and directed to more loose and documentary. Whereas Jesse’s have gone from documentary to much more planned and editorialized.”
When photographing kids, what’s most important to you?
“Honoring the kids. Our biggest pet peeve is how poorly kids are portrayed in media. So, we try to treat the kids with as much respect as we can, letting them be themselves, letting them bring a sense of play and wonder to the project.”
Any pro tips you can share with our audience if they want to shoot their kids at home?
“Let them be their weirdo selves.”
Are you currently booking for upcoming shoots and how can Mother readers get in touch?
“We’re always booking. Write to us at [email protected] for all enquiries.”
Check out some of Jimjam’s latest work in our inspiring gallery, below.
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