Renée Jacobs was born in Philadelphia and currently lives in Los Angeles. She starts her career with photojournalism and works freelance for various newspapers and magazines, such as the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She publishes a book, “Slow Burn”, on environmental questions. She then enrols in law studies and practices for 15 years as a civil and Constitutional Rights lawyer. Finally, she gives up the legal calling to go back to photography. In 2006, she receives a prize for a nude photography.
“Being a lawyer, I was very serious, too serious, I even thought that nude photography was exploiting women. At this time, my life was rather dull, so I started taking pictures of female nudes. That is when I realised that there was nothing more beautiful and more rejuvenating after 15 years of conflict an agony.”
Renée Jacobs is one of the most famous contemporary female nude photographer and her work has been showed and published all around the world. Her photography, which evolves in intimacy, is a sensual and sensorial interpretation of the woman, projected to the viewer’s eyes, as a murmur, a secret intimately disclosed. A black-and-white world, beyond erotic vulgarity, a dreamlike voyage made of fantasy, desire, a battering of passions. Sometimes voyeur, sometimes exhibitionist, the woman moves in a natural environment, going out, showing herself, exposing herself and screaming to the world in a forbidden release that she exists, she lives, proud, powerful and sexual.
Your main character trait?
I am very emotional. I am drugged with kindness. I am astonished, delighted an incredibly moved by kindness.
The one you hate?
Self-doubt. I am a woman, I do what my hormones tell me to do.
Is there a line between eroticism and nude ?
I'd like to think that there is none. I think corporal landscape photography deliberately tries to avoid eroticism, but I think that leaves a limited capacity for the viewer to reach. We are all erotic beings and if a photographer tries to deny it in female nude photographs, he misses out something fundamental. As one of my models nicely said: “we are all animals, really”.
The part of the body you prefer to shoot?
Hair! I love beautiful long hair floating in the wind or water.
Which photograph marked you the most?
Lella, from Edouard Boubat. I always wondered why everyone still tries to photograph women after seeing this image. It says it all: beauty, elegance, desire, lust, intelligence, sadness … an absolutely amazing picture.
What inspires you in the women body?
Grace. There are certain women, especially Europeans, who move with such elegance. My dream is to depict a woman at the peak of her intelligence sliding through the world, with her secrets of desire and amazement.
What are you defending?
The right of a woman
- Meet Renee Jacobs Normal Magazine issue 6 -