This Paris-Based Visual Storyteller Embraces Authenticity Through His Photography

Saint Laurent Jacket. Jacques Burga

“Anyone who is true to themselves will then forever be and feel beautiful, no matter the ethnicity, age or sexual orientation.”

It’s said that beauty is truth and truth is beauty. Art can convey the truth like no other form of communication. Paris-based photographer Jacques Burga illustrates exactly that through his fashion photography. A veteran in the fashion scene, his pictures have been published in numerous publications working with brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Moschino, Chanel, and Dior and stars including Evan Mock, Georgia May Jagger, Tom Daley, Coco Rocha, and Winnie Harlow.

Throughout his photographs, he highlights that beauty isn’t constrained to one type of look. Rather, what makes something beautiful is its originality. “I am obsessed with self-sufficient and self-conscious individuals who know themselves to the core: what they like, who they like and what they [like to] wear,” Burga tells Vogue Philippines. Inspired by his surroundings—music, New York parties, Parisian boutiques, and the muses he encounters—his creativity is continuously set in motion by his experiences. He says, “My creativity gets nurtured every day when I look into all these sources. [Even when they don’t change] I always find new interpretations of them.” All [of] this put together creates my signature style, which I’ve been told is effortlessly timeless with a touch of badass and chic.”

Jacques Burga in Full Saint Laurent. Segura and Vilela

His photography ranges from striking black and white images instilled with vintage glamour to vibrant film photographs that are distinctly analogue. Gripping with a sense of depth, his shots are intimate and candid. Every image expresses its own distinct personality. He mentions, “What I like about photography is the fact that every individual responds differently to my camera. Each person has [their] own personality which makes them react differently. Each person is a different project which makes every project unique.” Through his art, Burga also injects his own narrative and personality. He continues, “Every photo I take reflects what I want to transmit. I particularly like black and white because it shows a mood or a moment that becomes eternal and timeless.”

For this particular beauty editorial, Burga references the untouched beauty and mystique of nature. Burga says, “I wanted to recreate an exotic woman [who is] timelessly beautiful, [while at the same time] bringing elements of nature to [the] set.” Flowers were a key element of the editorial, as they are an enduring symbol of sophistication. He continues, “Nature brings an effortless energy [to the set] mixed with the model’s own charisma. A girl from [the] Philippines would notice these elements of joy, energy, and appreciation for nature, [especially resonating with] feeling beautiful inside [and] out.”

Jacques Burga
The Ethiquette bustier Leivissa necklace. Jacques Burga

Amid the pandemic, Burga created an organization called, “Charity Fair”, to aid UNICEF Peru. The organization held an international digital auction selling rare and valuable pieces across different industries (art, fashion, jewelry, and beauty included). The initiative raised US$10,000 for UNICEF Peru to counter the impact COVID-19 had on the children and women in Peru’s Amazonian and Andean regions. Burga says, “Charity Fair is a very exciting and fulfilling project that was born during the pandemic. It’s a nonprofit organization that addresses relevant social and environmental issues. Our intention is to keep working with other organizations and help them to keep doing their job.”

At a time where NFT projects are all the rage in the fashion industry with releases from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balmain, and Adidas, Burga is well-versed in the crypto sphere. The Paris-based photographer champions fashion and art within the metaverse through his photographs. He mentions, “I am now a SuperRare NFT artist. [SuperRare] is one of the best marketplaces nowadays for NFTs.” Burga was invited to be part of the NFT Exhibition at SuperRare Gallery in Soho, in partnership with Gucci and online concept store Gucci Vault during New York Fashion Week. He continues, “NFTs are beneficial for copywriting, which gives the artist the power to sell unique pieces of digital art. Artists are able to track the copyrights of who the artwork is sold to and the buyer can follow the copywriting.” Burga believes that creatives can be given the ownership and revenue they deserve through this revolutionary initiative. Through technology and digital art, Burga envisions a society where NFT’s are the new normal and an innovative way to interact with culture.

Referencing Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia, Burga reiterates how courage and persistence leads to an authentic life and the importance of attaining a unique identity. Through his lens, Burga offers an inspiring look at the world of fashion today and beyond—an honest, all-encompassing safe place for creative expression.

Model: Harper Andria
Photographer: @JacquesBurga
Hair and Makeup: Benoit Claverie

Casting Director: Giulia Massullo
Production: @ElenaFeit
Nail Artist: Any Aitali
Photography Assistant: Beatriz Hellington
Location: Nova Studio Paris, 98 Rue Bobillot

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