20 Questions with Photographer Jane McLeish-Kelsey

Jane McLeish-Kelsey is an esteemed and award winning fashion Photographer who has shot for the likes of Vogue, Elle and Sunday Times Style to name but a few.  Damaris, founder and Creative Director of Mimi Holliday first met her at the wrap party of the Damaris short film, ‘Packing Heat’, through their mutual friend Johnny Green, who directed the film. Their first ever shoot was in 2014, for the Damaris AW15 Campaign, which featured Amber Anderson. And the rest, as they say, is history. Jane has shot many Mimi campaigns since, including SS15 in Ibiza and SS16 at Damaris’ family holiday home, Haute Caussine in the South of France.

The latest campaign for the Mimi Holliday saw Jane, Damaris and Amber reunited in the Buckinghamshire countryside, shooting Mimi’s biggest ever range of totally exclusive collections. Jane and Damaris remain great friends, living around the corner from one another in London’s Primrose Hill.

I sat down with Jane, to talk about her amazing career, old school supermodels and of course, knickers.
Enjoy! Damaris x

 Jane Mcleish-Kelsey on location shooting Amber Anderson for Mimi

When you started out in London, after heading to the UK from Australia, can you tell me a story that geared your career into the direction it took; was there a particular moment at that time which shaped where you are now?

I was a still life Photographer’s Assistant (not fashion) and the designer in the studio was the young John Galliano who was just starting out. I met him because we were all in the same building and used to hang out a bit. We then met some models and used to do test shoots with the girls in his clothes – that was it! It changed my life and that was inspiring, I met lots of people, Amanda Harlech for one.

What is your favourite word?


Finish this sentence: I wish I had…

A Japanese chef!

What skill do you have that not many people know about?

Might be controversial – my husband says I have the best singing voice! I’m always singing in the car.

If you could spend one hour with anyone past or present, who would it be?

Kurt Cobaine

Thong or knicker, or none?


Jane getting creative on location for Mimi Exclusives

Hair and make up


When I say Mimi Holliday and Damaris lingerie, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Damaris wanting things to be cheeky! So I suppose it’s cheeky…

Jane shooting Amber Anderson on location.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

My stepfather always used to tell me; if you lie down with dogs you will get fleas.

Where is your favourite place?

At the moment it’s my house in Norfolk!

Jane’s dreamy house in Norfolk 

What is your p**n star name? (The name of your first pet and your mothers maiden name.)


One book you must ready before you die?

Norwegian Wood by Murakami

What do you sleep in?

I sleep in, oh god, never the same thing! So sometimes, you’re going to laugh your head off with this one – my general favourite this is an old t-shirt that used to belong to Johnny Green. He wears them in for me and then gives them to me; I’m obsessed by them all! All have holes in them, he buys the best and some of them look so cool that he sometimes says, “I need that back now…” You’d pay so much to get that worn in. So un-sexy for my husband! 

Proudest moment of your career?

Oh it’s my recent award, it was the Royal Photographic Society award for Editorial Advertising and Fashion Photography.

The award is given to an individual for outstanding achievement and excellence in the fields of editorial, advertising or fashion photography.

Jane receiving her award for Editorial Advertising and Fashion Photography.

What is the most nerve-racking, daunting shoot you have ever worked on?

When I was shooting on safari in the Kruger National Park, I had a model on a trapeze in a tree and there were wild animals everywhere – and we had a ranger with a gun for our safety. Anyhow, she fell out of the tree! But then she was in soething like full on like, couture, the days when you were allowed to take couture out of the country… That was for The Sunday Time Style.

Janes most daring shoot in Kruger National Park

You have shot so many amazing people – who has been the most fascinating to meet?

Soo many – but quickly off the top of my head, one I was so interested to meet was Germaine Greer. I was shooting her for the Australian stamp and she refused to come to London, so I went to shoot at her house In Cambridge and set up the studio in her house. She would only wear grey in protest to the invasion of Iraq, so she wore a grey satin shirt. We had lunch after and got on so well and she didn’t want me to leave, I wanted her to be my surrogate mother. We have kept in touch, such an icon…

Germaine Greer for the Australian Stamp

Your favourite of the old school ‘supers’?

Christie – no doubt… and she didn’t do that silly Versace show thing! 

Which is your favourite fashion/editorial/campaign image ever?

Oh that’s easy – the Comme De Garcons add, two girls laughing, black and white… it’s, it’s just brilliant…

Jane’s favourite campaign – Comme Des Garcons

Ok, so from the exclusives collection which is your fave piece/set…. And yes you can have it!

Ok so my favourite one that we shot… I loved the one with the polka dot straps, the one with the blue earing. (Earing made by Stylist Valentine Fillol-Cordier)

Amber Anderson wearing the ‘Mon Belles’ set

Jane and the team behind the scenes on location with Amber Anderson

Final comments, last words?

Thank you Johnny Green for introducing me to Damaris!

Follow Jane on Instagram: @jmcleishkelsey

Johnny Green is a leading commercial and short film Director, and close friend of Damaris Evans. In 2012, he directed the Damaris Lingerie short film ‘Packing Heat’ starring Liberty Ross, which you can watch here.

(Keep a look out for Johnny Green making an appearance on the blog soon…)

Liberty Ross in Packing Heat – Damaris Lingerie. 

Over the years Jane Mcleish Kelsey has shot our gorgeous Mimi girls for us in locations from France and Ibiza to back home in London. But this is not the first time she and Amber have teamed up, back in 2015 Jane shot Amber for the Damaris AW15 Campaign.

Feeling nostalgic? Take a look at some of our throw back pictures of Mimi shoots past…

Jane in France Damaris’s house shooting Mimi SS16 Campaign

 Jane in Ibiza shooting Mimi SS15 Campaign

Jane shooting Amber Anderson in 2015 for the Damaris Campaign in London