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Nashville Faces: Heidi Jewell

Meet Heidi Jewell, the photographer behind the Nashville street style fashion blog Under the Guise.

Written By:  Liza Graves & Elizabeth Fox

Photographers:  Ashley Hylbert

We've teamed up with the ladies from StyleBlueprint to introduce you to more Nashville FACES each month. Here we're sharing our interview with Heidi Jewell, the photographer behind the Nashville street style fashion blog Under the Guise. Along with her jaw-droppingly beautiful photos, she is the Nashville Editor for Nylon, meaning Heidi is showing the world why this city is so fantastic.

Even more with Heidi at StyleBlueprint.com

NL: When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
HJ: I knew I wanted to be a photographer when I picked up a friend’s dusty 35mm camera and we forced her little brother to be our muse. I was probably about 14 or 15, but in that moment I knew photography was something I wanted to further explore.

NL: How did you get started working with magazines like Elle and Nylon?
HJ: Elle.com was the first major publication that published my work online (then later in print) that really launched my career and opened a lot of doors. I met a wonderful man named Will (who worked at Elle in retail sales and marketing at the time), while I was a cocktail waitress when I first moved to Nashville. He kindly put me in touch with Joe Zee who then passed along my information to the Elle.com team. I ran with the opportunity and before I knew it, was shooting pretty much every major music festival for them and photographing exclusive street style spreads. After Nylon did a full spread on Nashville, I knew they had an ear to the ground as to what was happening here. I pitched a few convincing cases why they needed a Nashville Editor, and I’ve been working for them ever since.

NL: What have been some of your favorite places to take photographs in Nashville?
HJ: My favorite places to take photos in Nashville are on Charlotte Pike and in East Nashville along Gallatin Avenue. Finding beauty in the unknown completely fascinates me and is an integral part of my work. I thrive off the raw emotion of photographing a complete stranger (whether it be for street style or just because I think they’re interesting), and the pressure to capture them in a beautiful light. The strongest and most artistic work I produce is usually under some sort of time constraint or awkward situation. I always make it a priority for whoever my subject is to feel safe while I showcase their unique style, look or whatever I’m there to capture. I know they’re going out on a limb for me and that’s something I never take for granted.

Watch Heidi's You Ought to Know Nashville series with NPT — you may learn something about the city you never knew!

NL: If you could photograph any Nashvillian, who would it be and why?
HJ: Jack White. I bet he’s a real creative force to be reckoned with, which would be a thrill to capture and collaborate with him on.

NL: What other local photographers inspire your work?
HJ: I’m a fan of Joshua Black Wilkins’ work. His portraiture is vulnerable and tells a lengthy story in one shot. He’s able to capture a wide range of people in a compelling way, which is just pure talent.

NL: If you could describe Nashville to someone from out of town, how would you describe our city?
HJ: I would describe Nashville as being a really well-rounded city. One could ramble on about all our music accolades and how we’re the heart of music for many reasons, but there’s so much more to Nashville than just that! There’s a flourishing art and fashion scene. Startups are contributing to the notion that Nashville might be the next big tech city. There’s a lot of promising activity going on and it’s an exciting time to be here.

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