Photographer Victoria Ling told us of her beginnings, creative processes and heroes. To see her full Talent profile, pick up a copy of Grafik Issue 193
G: Describe your work in three words
VL: Clean, graphic, colour.
G: What’s your most invaluable piece of kit?
VL: Gorrilla Snot, which sticks everything. Love it.
G: When did you first pick up a camera?
VL: I first got interested in photography whilst studying Fine Art at Newcastle University. I had used the darkroom a bit at school but never really done that much beyond that. I became interested in the theory of photography and then the process of image making, and spent a lot of time in the darkroom at university and made pinhole cameras, but I wanted more technical knowledge. So I started a HNC in commercial photography at the local college and studied the two courses in tandem for the last two years of my university course. It was a really good mix of technical stuff and creativity.
G: What’s better—working with a team or going it alone?
VL: I like both—working in a team is great as the input of another perspective can lead you somewhere unexpected and it challenges you to look at things differently. However, I also enjoy shooting on my own and being able to be more spontaneous. I try to shoot personal work as often as possible, and often these are the last-minute ideas I put together myself.
G: Who are your heroes?
VL: When I first came to London I worked for the still-life photographer Richard Foster, who is an amazing photographer but more importantly a very generous and positive man. He taught me a lot about the business of photography, and not just how to shoot.
G: What’s been the most memorable experience you’ve ever had on a shoot?
VL: My first shoot with House and Garden stands out as it was my first editorial and I was really nervous, but we nailed it and it’s still in my book.
G: Tell us about a favourite recent project
VL: I shot the images of wool as a personal project, but it was great fun playing around with colour and I love the images.
G: What’s been the defining moment of your career so far?
VL: I don’t feel I have had one defining moment; there have been many milestones along the way that have been exciting. It could be working with new people that you just click with, shooting an editorial for a magazine you love, shooting a personal project, many things. As a freelancer you have to keep upping your game and creating new aims, so the goalposts of achievement are always shifting.
G: What are you working on now?
VL: Today I’ve been shooting embroidery for Wired USA, and over the next week or so I’ll be shooting some creative stories for Viewpoint magazine, and more creations by Kyle Bean. I’m looking forward to it.
G: Tell us a trade secret
VL: Always make sure the client has a nice lunch and great biscuits (another tip I learnt from Richard).