Jenavieve Belair bleeds Southern California. Through her lifestyle and fashion photography, she’s been able to capture the movement, magic, and overall vibe of surfer towns, skateparks, and swimming holes. She’s a master behind the lens at telling the stories of long, languorous, sun-drenched California days.
But Belair’s photography does more than just capture a single moment. There’s a sense of movement to her work that drags you along behind the skateboarders. You feel like you’re inside that vintage pick-up truck with the impossibly attractive Southern California blonde. It feels real because it is real to Belair.
“People tell me that my works bleeds southern California and that’s because I bleed southern California,” she explains. “I truly live the same life my photos do.”
The pictures aren’t taken by an avatar outsider, they’re a response to what the artist sees. Belair’s truth comes through in each shot.
Belair’s life wasn’t always amber soaked afternoons spent on sandy stretches of Orange County’s famed “Blue 42.” Her journey began in the fields and forests of Minnesota. Belair was one of those kids who always had a camera hanging around her neck or in her backpack. She lived a creative life by snapping photos of her sister, family, and friends. But even as a teenager searching for a path, the medium of photography spoke to her and she spoke through the medium.
Still, while in Minnesota, photography was more a hobby than a job. “I really started to chase after photography when I moved to California when I was 18,” Belair explains. The move to Orange County for college made becoming a photographer more attainable in her mind, but her career didn’t magically manifest. As with any creative endeavor, it started off as a side hustle — balanced by plenty of “real world” gigs along the way. Belair did whatever she needed to do to buy equipment and pay for film processing.