MERCER7 MEETS… JENNIFER KESTELEYN

Jennifer is a photographer from Belgium.
When we met, she was wearing a vintage leather skirt, Chanel bag, H&M crisp white shirt and Rayban sunglasses. Her distinctive personal style caught my eye during fashion week, so we started chatting.

Those who know me will know that I can get a bit carried away when it comes to photography chat. So after hearing that she was a photographer, I started quizzing her a bit about camera gear and later asked a few questions for our series of MERCER7 interviews.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE?
My name is Jennifer, 32 years old. Currently working on a PhD on economic diplomacy which I try to finish and on the other hand establish myself as a professional photographer. My photographic style is mainly portraiture and fashion photography.

WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I’m still trying to finish my PhD in international relations but I got (a lot) interference from other opportunities that arise. The past couple of weeks I was location scouting for a Norwegian series called ‘Occupied’ and I hope to do it again in the nearby future. Also, I continue to take lots of pictures, I start to work with artificial lightning (before I only used natural light). Lastly I applied to become a photographer for Chase magazine (which is a Belgian online magazine) and hopefully midst November the first article with photo’s I took will appear in one of the biggest Belgian newspapers. It is about the Belgian metal scene and I still have to go check out some gigs with the journalist.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR STYLE INSPIRATION FROM?
Mainly from people, nature and traveling.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM COLLABORATION?
I would love to work with Tim Walker on a Chanel shoot.

WHO’S STYLE DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY?
My style icon is Michaela of @FIGTNY I like her minimalistic looks.

WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO BRANDS FOR EVERYDAY DRESSING?
H&M but mainly the trend collection. I’m also a huge fan of topshop and I buy a lot of stuff of Dr. Denim (A friend of mine is the distributer of that brand in Belgium and twice a year he has a sample sale where I completely go over my shopping budget). Also I have the tendency to overspend at the sample sale of Rewind Store – go check it out, you’ll love it.

WHAT’S ON YOUR WISHLIST FOR UPCOMING SEASON?
Something I’ve been looking for forever: real leather trousers. It’s difficult to find that one black perfectly sitting pair. I also did recently a shoot for two friends of mine who have their own fashion agency (houseofstyle.be and on instagram: houseofstyle.be) and they promised me a pair of their Feddy brogues. Also, I when I was in Paris last month I saw this beautiful long coat in a upscale vintage store at the marché aux puces. Next week I’m going back to Paris for ‘Paris Photo’ and I’m so crossing my fingers that they still have the coat. When I’m traveling I always have this one rule: if you see something you really like, just buy it (no matter if you have to eat bread for the rest of the month) because you’re so gonna regret it if you don’t. I should have followed my rule!

A QUOTE OR WORDS YOU LIVE BY?
“Do or die” – in life you sometimes need to take a leap of faith and follow your dreams (that’s what I’m trying to do with my photography)

JENNIFER’S IG /  @jenn.tonic

WEBSITE / www.jenniferkesteleyn.com

Check out  WISHLIST DIRECTORY  for all the most wanted items of the season, chosen by the people we interview and the industry experts.