Visual Cues: Jaro Waldeck In Conversation with Stills Photographer Chiabella James

By 13 February 2024Listen, News & Events

The image is a powerful emotive tool. Join us next week, Tuesday 20th of February, for this online discussion where WFT Board Member and DOP Jaro Waldeck will be in conversation with Film Still Photographer Chiabella James (Dreamgirls, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) discussing everything from career to composition. 

Time: Tuesday 20th February, 2pm

Where: Zoom

Register your spot here!

Chiabella James is also a speaker at the RENDR Festival in Belfast on the 1st March 2024, for which our WFT members have an exclusive 20% discount code! WFT Members interested in getting tickets, check your inbox or email us at 


Born in London and raised between England and the United States, Chiabella lives and works in both countries. As the daughter of a unit stills photographer, she grew up learning the craft under his guidance, spending summers working with him on film sets like Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers and Minority Report. 

While studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she continued to work in photography by assisting on features like Memoirs of a Geisha and Dreamgirls, but chose to explore other avenues of film production and spent the next 10 years working in production both on set and at the studio. During that time she kept her hands on the camera creating her own art and shooting for a non profit dance company in Los Angeles from which some of her fine art photography was featured as a finalist in the Art Takes Times Square exhibition in 2012 and published in LifeForce Magazine. 

A series of events led Chiabella back to London and returned her to on set photography alongside her father on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The two worked together for the next few years as a unique on set stills duo on films like Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and the Mission Impossible franchise.

Since then, Chiabella’s varied film and editorial portfolio has been published in major international outlets like Vanity Fair, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Empire and ICG magazine. 

In 2022 and again in 2023, Chiabella was nominated for the ICG Excellence in Stills Award predominantly for her work on Dune and King Richard.  Her most recently published film photography includes that of Saltburn, the upcoming Bob Marley biopic One Love and the Dune, The Photography: Part One coffee table book. Chiabella has just completed production on Heads of State and The Cleaner, while also shooting editorials and pursuing her own photographic series’ including a self published book, Masquerade, inspired by the Covid 19 pandemic and cultural unrest it brought to surface in the last year that was sold to raise funds for mental health.