Victoria Vonapartis is slowly taking over the Montreal photography scene one photoshoot at a time. This talented young photographer isn’t afraid to step outside of her comfort zone to get that perfect shot. In fact, we got to meet her not too long ago at our very first networking event. She’s definitely picture perfect. We were lucky enough to have her agree for an interview so she could further explain her passion.
BWR: What inspired you to become a photographer?
Victoria: When I was younger my dad would always record birthday parties and family gatherings on a small JVC video camera. As I grew older, my dad handed me that same video camera. I started out my journey filming and capturing these family memories. I didn’t know it at the time but I was slowly building a strong passion for film making and photography at the same time. When people ask me what inspired me to start photography I always have a tough time answering. As silly as it sounds I feel like I was born with a camera in my hands. Overall, I think my dad was the one person who inspired my passion for photography.
BWR: What would you say is your favorite part of photography?
Victoria: Oh my, I love everything about photography! It’s so insane that I have this crazy power to freeze time. Aside from freezing moments in time, I really love the connections I make through something that I love. I’ve met so many amazing creative people through photoshoots, company collaborations and networking events. Creating art really isn’t the same when you’re by yourself in your room. I much rather work in a team!
BWR: Being a freelancer and trying to grow your business has its number of challenges. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Victoria: I completely agree that trying to grow a business is difficult but it’s also exciting at the same time. The most challenging part about my job is trying to gain recognition for the work I produce. There are many times where clients or companies forget to credit me on images I have taken. It hurts as a photographer to know that your work goes unrecognized. You feel as though your work has no value.
Sometimes people just don’t understand how a simple tag in the caption of a post can help the photographer reach out to possible clients that we can’t reach out to on our own. This is how our works gets spread around and this is basically how I’ve gotten many jobs. I don’t mind hustling day in and day out as I do but I really cannot stress enough how important it is to give credit to anyone who has worked on any form of project.
BWR: What is your number one marketing strategy?
Victoria: One ‘strategy’ I would say I use is just to be active with the people who I’ve either created with, will create with in the future or am presently creating with. It’s important that people you work with feel valued as well. I say strategy with quotes simply because it doesn’t feel like a real strategy to me. It just feels natural. I always like to keep in touch and check in with present, future or past clients. I genuinely care a lot about people I work with or create with. So for myself, this is just normal. A simple message to those who you are involved with can brighten someone’s day. At the same time this reminds them that you are still active and working! I’ve made a bunch of friends just through jobs. My clients sometimes become my friends! It’s a win win really.
BWR: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Victoria: I try to focus a lot of time and energy on searching for new photographers on Instagram mainly. I do respect the original masters of photography for sure like Richard Avedon but what these photographers have done is not what I want to do. It’s important to find a certain type of photography you like and stick to it. If you jump around everywhere you lack focus on what it is you want to do! Social media is a big game changer and I love scrolling endlessly while I should be getting sleep. Instead, I’m finding awesome creatives. Some of which are local here in Montreal!
BWR: How do you deal with competition?
Victoria: I try to not see this field as a competition even if maybe it is. There was a point in time where I was driving myself crazy. I was constantly comparing my work to others. It wasn’t really healthy. Everyone has their own way of expressing themselves and the beauty of it all is that we all take different paths to reach our goals. I believe if you work hard enough and focus on yourself/ your work you will get to your end goal, whatever that may be. If anything, photography should be considered a team effort. Take editorial photography for example. Without your assistants, models, art directors, makeup artists (etc.) there is essentially nothing to capture!
BWR: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date? What are you most proud of?
Victoria: My biggest accomplishment at the moment is creating a body of work in a small photo book I created just for myself. The book is a collection of photos from local Montreal companies I started working with. It’s really important to me because I can see the progress in my work as I flip the pages. Documenting and acknowledging your past work really does open your eyes to how far you have come. There is only one copy in the world which I own but I did this all by myself and for that I am so proud.
BWR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What is your main goal?
Victoria: This is probably the most stressful question yet! In 10 years I hope to be established in Montreal and recognized as a photographer. My dream is to open up a small local studio space for myself. I want this space to promote creativity and team work. I also would love to have a contract with a brand outside of Montreal. I would like to also host an event at one point in time to say thank you and give back to the people who first believed in myself and my work before I had a portfolio to even show them. I seriously am so grateful and definitely will not forget those who gave me a chance.