Tan lines, tulle tutus and sequins is what you can expect from photographer Jonnie Chambers’ latest series, Txatxarramendi. Inspired by the small Spanish island of the same name, Jonnie has incorporated a number of holiday-references — wet hair, sun kissed skin and a general carefree demeanour — in his dreamy new shoot for Coeval magazine.
Jonnie’s background is international to say the least. Born in Darwin, Australia, a student in London, now based in Los Angeles, Jonnie’s portfolio is reflective of his cosmopolitan upbringing. With an open mind and his camera in hand, Jonnie has spent the past few years documenting bodybuilders for his ongoing series Muscle Beach and has also, more recently, been commissioned by publications like Bloomberg and Buffalo Zine for his characteristic overtly stylised shots.
“I got into photography during high school,” Jonnie tells us. “It was more or less a means to document graffiti and artists whose work I thought was worth having a visual record of. Even on legal walls, the graffiti pieces often only live for a couple of days before they’re painted over. It was these interests in art and photography that led me to studying graphic design and photography at university.”
Txatxarramendi “lives in the realm of the real vs hyperreal — with a summer vibe perhaps,” Jonnie says. The photographs’ soft pastel tones and warm, dewy aesthetics are reflective of the summer sun, sea and heat of the little Basque island. The idea was conceptualised by Jonnie and stylist Jonathan Huguet alongside Melissa Murdick and Amber Duarte who envisioned the makeup and hair.
“I think, generally speaking, my references and inspiration often come from every day life or things I discover through people I see on the street. I take snippets or fragments of what I find interesting in a certain instance and recreate that within my work,” the photographer explains. His photographs are defined through their staged and “set up” compositions that often blur the boundaries between fiction and real life. “My favourite is when these two worlds cross over and it’s left to the viewer to decide whether the photograph is set up or purely documentation of a real subject or person.”
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