Jennifer Beals is a Chicago born and raised woman most known for her acting career. When she was just eighteen years old, while studying at Yale, she was cast in the 80’s cult classic, “Flashdance”. From here, she was cast in numerous leading roles that captured audiences everywhere. What most don’t know, however, is that she is also a photographer. In her early days at Yale, she took a film photography class and fell in love.
Later in Beals’ career, she was cast in the hit series, “The L Word”, a show that followed the lives of a close-knit group of lesbians in the Los Angeles / West Hollywood area. The show ran for six years and throughout those six years, Jennifer captured everything. From mirror “selfies” in her trailer, to dinner parties, to casual co-worker interactions, she took photographs of everything in front of her. Once the series ended in 2009, Beals put all of these photographs into a book titled, “The L Word Book” and made them available to fans of the show around the world.
Jennifer Beals and her photos are a huge inspiration to me for so many reasons. For starters, “The L Word” is my absolute favorite show and changed my perspective on life in so many aspects. Through watching this show, I realized what my dream career was. I want to be an intimate, celebrity, portraiture, photographer. I want to work with women from this show and the trailblazing women that are all in the industry. Jennifer Beals is doing exactly that.
The majority of Beals’ photos are of the people on set, doing their daily activities. I love that her photos are all so in-the-moment and never staged. They are simply quick glimpses into the lives of so many of these incredible women. Aside from her work being of the people, it is also of the filming sets. Another career choice of mine would be set photography for tv shows and movies, so Beals’ work has definitely had an impact on me and my own photography. With her Leica M4-2 in hand, she is just changing my world with every release of her shutter.
My personal favorite photo by Jennifer Beals is this particular photo of Kate Moening who was her co-star on "The L Word". Of course, it is Kate in a bathtub. Because if it is my favorite, it MUST have a bathtub associated with it in some way right?
Listen to a playlist of music from "The L Word" and inspired by Jennifer's photographs:
All work courteous of Jennifer Beals