From the ocean to the redwoods photographer Jaime Beechum shows the world and the beauty of people travelling, living and experiencing nature. Through years of travel and residencies, this Californian photographer captures the rhythms between man and nature through natural shadows and lights. Ocean/Redwoods is set in California and is part of a larger body of work that explores personally cities, mountains, foothills and flatlands around the United States.A lot of the places you stayed look like the ultimate escape destinations. Where did you find these cabins in the middle of the forest?
I’ve gone to the same places over and over again. I usually have a friend in the area and it’s just us outing and enjoying that space. So my work is just a collection of those times – it is those magical moments. You do come across those weird neighbourhoods and houses in Northern California that have an amazing swimming pool at the back and have a volleyball court with sand in the middle of the woods. There is these really surreal places that in a natural way of escape is pretty intriguing, that’s why I photograph it, because it’s rare to see.
What is the significance of redwoods in your photo story?
It is the oldest trees along the West Coast in California. They are huge old growth trees and they are monstrous. And just recently, from around the 1990s people started to do canopy explorations in the redwood and it is this whole other world that exists above. Also, there is a world below and being around those kind of elders is grounding.
So, are you an ocean, redwoods or a mountain person?
A lot of work that I have produced is literally my mind process of those places when I was there and my relation to them. I go to these phases when I think I need the ocean and then the mountains and now I live in the dessert. I am a curious person and I like to fully saturate myself. It is personal work and it is psychological as much as it physical. I would say that I love the mountain, the ocean is needed at time and the city is always there. I am spacious person, I like the peace and the quiet, but it kind of evolves.
Do you go on long trips along the year or is your work more planned?
There is a few different ways I go about it. I have done long road trips, but mostly it is about getting through places. It is more like going out for the day and bringing my camera, but it’s an intentional thing. Sections in my work are separated into environmentally differing regions to acknowledge that these elements contribute largely into the characteristics and patterns of the people who migrate to these geographic places.
So, how did you get interested in these specific geographical spaces?
I do a lot of solo driving through the State of California since school and for work. So, I have had a lot of time on my own, driving, getting out of the car and walking up the mountains. My work takes me to a lot of places too, so it’s a combination on where I step myself and these injections of travel, that happen so randomly. It’s not just one perspective.
And how’s the life of people living so close to nature?
They draw their daily actions from more of a relationship from nature itself. It is your surroundings and you are part of that movement and momentum of nature. In the city is much more humanly constructed. I think in the open spaces life is evolving naturally.
Do you believe you have a fascination for nature?
Most definitely, it is undefiable, it never repeats itself and there is always something to experience and learn from. As a whole, these studies show that nature lures, inspires and forms man, but that in turn man influences nature just the same. Realizing this relationship, my intention was to focus on the wild, sensual and integral rhythms that exist today between the two, to observe, learn and then progress into.
See more of Jaime’s work here.
Article by: Laura Rodriguez Castro