Vicki is Sham’s European representative. She is from Littlecote, Buckinghamshire in the United Kingdom and loves capturing the variety of her families’ everyday moments.
What’s your favorite lens for shooting this type of work? And do you have any accessories you just love (filter, bag, camera strap, etc.)?
I only have 2 lenses, a 24mm 2.8 and a 50mm 1.4 which I used to use all the time. Now when I’m at home and with my family I use my 24mm ninety percent of the time. It is a battered old second hand lens but I love how much space it gives me so I can really try to get the whole story in the frame. I am also really trying to work on my composition and this helps me to really consider what is in, or out, of the frame. It isn’t a great quality lens and when I’m shooting for others I tend to use my sharper 50mm 1.4. I’m saving up for a new wide angle lens.
What are you drawn to document? Is there a particular composition, technique, or mood you love?
At the moment I am documenting my family’s life; our day to day antics and the here and now that we are in. When I’m photographing other families I am drawn to document connections, I think/hope that my images are about joy and taking pleasure in the simple things in life. I am always working on developing my compositions and love to look at images and see what it is that makes them work for me. Sometimes I look at an image and I can’t decide what it is that I like about it, it’s just a feeling, and quite often those are my favourites.
What is the most valuable tip you have learned in pursuit of shooting in a more documentary style?
Have your camera handy. Mine is always on the shelf within easy reach to grab when I see the moment I want to get. I’d also say really trying to compose the image using surroundings to help with leading lines and frames, I’m still working on it!
Why is storytelling photography important to you? Why do you feel compelled to shoot with this approach?
Having thought about this quite hard, I think that the reason that I am compelled to use this approach is the love of a good story. I love the real life aspect of it, the idea that I’m recording our story rather than taking a nice picture.
Briefly tell us about your journey into family documentary photography.
I picked up my camera after the birth of my second child, like so many others, I was taking photographs regularly of my children. To start with they were just portraits really, of each child at that point in time but I began to realised that I would remember so much more if I documented them doing what they were doing in their own innocent world of childhood which is such a short space of time. So as I learned more and more about photography this storytelling approach really began to resonate with me. If I could decide now what I would like to be when I grow up I would have said I wanted to be a documentary travel photographer. With my family lifestyle, that just is not possible so I am trying to take the documentary approach to my family photography.