We did an online interview with the 21-year-old , Berlin-based photographer Victoria Salomonsen.
You mostly capture people in your photos, so tell me - what fascinates you the most about the human body?
I can’t really pin point one thing here. I think I’m very curious about people in general and when I meet a person I want to photograph I loose myself completely to them and the pictures we can create together. I’m curious about bodies and interaction but I’m mostly interested in the collaboration between me and the person/motive. It’s a challenge for me to see how much we can open up towards each other and interact with each other with a camera in between us. The people I photographed taught me so many things and showed me so much devotion – I’m forever thankful and grateful to them.
do you remember who was someone you photographed that has left the most significant impression on you ?
It’s difficult for me to answer this because I believe that all experiences has been different and that all people whom I have met and got the chance to photograph have left a huge impression on me in different ways, because I feel like they really showed themselves to me. They told me stories I can carry with me. I can’t go into specifics with these stories and I don’t want to either because that would break the room we have created together.
Are you the one inviting people to pose for you or do they ask you themselves?
I go to them myself. Recently I saw a person walking in the street and I started to just bike very fast after him because I really wanted to talk to him, he got a bit shocked when I stopped up in front of him completely exhausted from biking so fast but he said yes to let me photograph him and I’m very excited to meet him soon.
That must take some courage to go up to strangers like that, so you could say that photographing has significantly changed you as a person as well?
Curiosity concours fear. I can’t stop myself.
With that said, photography did indeed change a lot for me. It made me more open-minded and less scared of contact. It also gave me a push in a healthy direction towards happiness and positivity.
Do you believe a photographer and the model should have a mutual connection or its the photographers job to capture an idea, feeling, story?
I think it depends a lot on the photographer and the project. For me it’s important to not take pictures but to create pictures together with the people I photograph. I’m always a bit afraid of taking something from people because being in front of the camera is a very vulnerable position so I want the people I work with to get a chance to feel like they are on the same side as me and that we can both be strong and vulnerable together. Finding a mutual connection through shoots and projects is just a plus and I think that often happens when you just give in.
Where are you originally from and do you think something specific happened in your life that made you start photographing?
I’m from Copenhagen Denmark now based in Berlin.
I started to photograph in 2011 on a trip to Portugal with my parents, they bought this small Sony camera and I ended up using it way more than they did. This camera started to follow me everywhere I went. Photography became my tool for real in 2016 where I started to use my camera as a therapeutic method to deal with touching anxiety. Photography became really important to me and I started to see a purpose of doing what I’m doing. I felt like i would be able to feel touched indirectly just by observing people and talking to people with a camera in my hand. The camera would become completely fluid and it would feel like as if it didn’t even exist in the room anymore and it would just be me and the motive. I think this helped me a lot to understand myself better and to understand others – as well getting better at communicating.
5. Are there any other artists you get your inspiration from and who fascinate you?
Many indeed. Photography wise I always refer to Ren Hang because he completely blew me away when I saw his work for the first time. I asked myself many times “Is this allowed? Can you shoot fashion with no clothes involved?” also I went to his last exhibition in Stockholm and just being able to be close to the prints in the big exhibition room made my heart beat super fast (I’m a huge fan). His death was the first thing I read on the news on my 20 years old birthday. May you rest in peace Ren.
I could refer to many more but I feel like most of my inspiration comes from my friends and surroundings. Staying aware and in touch with whats going on is something I really take in.
I recently finished my school year at Fatamorgana. I have so much love for all the artists there and the teachers whom I’ve met throughout this time. They all helped me to find myself a bit more and they made me believe in my photos and trust myself more. Going there was the best decision I’ve made so far.