What's your background in photography, how did you start?
Without writing a novel, my background comes from a journey of self-discovery starting around 8 years ago due to a need for a better work/life balance. I had a small bridging camera and took an awful beginners class! Since then, I have done an online course, lived on YouTube, joined a myriad of wonderfully supported Facebook groups, joined the local camera club (where I've found a large pool of extremely talented photographers all happy to mentor, help, and inspire me), and attended a couple of workshops. The rest is pretty much self-taught.
How do you push yourself to improve your photography?
I often look for inspiration by challenging myself to try new things.
Each month I attempt different photo challenges and try to think outside the square for something different. I read about different photographers, look at their images or pick a subject and spend a morning or afternoon experimenting with different compositions and editing styles. I’m not afraid to seek feedback and critique from others as well.
Tell us about shooting in B&W...
Often, when I see an image, I can only visualise it in black and white. I look for the details, the moment, where the story is. There is always a message in all my photos, you just need to breathe and take the time to see it.
Sometimes, colour, although beautiful in so many ways can distract me from the message, maybe I want to see the lines, or the curves, the texture and the contrast, or the way the light touches a certain subject.
I don’t believe in asking people whether an image looks better in colour or in black and white. It is my image, if I like it in black and white then that is what it is.
When you pare back the colour, I think you are left with the essence of the image. Every photograph I share has meaning to me. Photography gives me purpose and my images keep me balanced. When I share my work, I hope that others see something in there for them as well.
How would you define your photographic style?
This is hard. I think I am less is more a sort of person. I like to focus on one thing, hone in on it, emphasize where the message is for me. I often find big open spaces a little overwhelming to photograph and the same actually goes for colours.
I usually only spend about 5 minutes on an image at a time, but lately, I have been revisiting images several times over a number of days. So I think you might call my ‘style’ 'simple and focused'.
What are the biggest challenges you face in getting the photo you want?
Getting the composition and the light right, also, I struggle with my camera settings at times, as I forget to change them! However, the biggest challenge is me! Although it might not seem like it, I am constantly second-guessing myself and lack confidence.
In terms of getting the image I want, I spend a lot of time visualising an image. I may take it more than once and there are many that I still haven’t quite got right. You may only have a moment, so if it doesn’t work for you the first time, work out what you would do differently and go back for another try.
Do you have any favorite photos?
It is hard to say I have an overall favourite, a lot of my images I love for different reasons. However, my most recent favourite is my beautiful niece Eden. I agreed to take her photos for her year 13 formal. I have to say that portrait photography is not my thing so I decided to take a candid approach and grabbed this shot as she was doing her makeup. For my editing, I went for a high-key image, taking away distractions – I love the moment and the look on her face. Beauty is more than skin deep.
What else should we know about your photography?
My photography is ever-evolving – so watch this space!
To view more of Vicki's work please click here.