AF TER ART SCHOOL, Victoria Stevens moved to
New York City in 2007, and explored the commercial
photography world by assisting photographers
who were shooting still life, fashion and portraits
on large-scale studio shoots. She also did jobs in
production and retouching.
Then she became a full-time photo editor at
City magazine, and it exposed her to a different
esthetic. The first time she shot for the magazine,
she photographed the band The XX. Instead of
using strobes, sets or any of the props she had been
accustomed to using as an assistant, she used
natural light. “That was it,” she explains. “That made
me say, ‘I’m a photographer.’” The pared-down approach
eventually became the foundation of her artistic vision.
Stevens began taking photographs more
frequently, giving herself assignments to shoot
musicians, actors and directors. Breaking out of the
studio enabled her to “get the shot quicker, and get
what I want without relying on strobes all the time,”
she says, an approach ideal for capturing celebrities
or directors with limited time.
After City folded in 2012, Stevens joined Anthem
Magazine as photo editor/photographer-at-large.
She gave herself assignments to travel to music
and film festivals, honing her style and building up
a portfolio she could show to clients. She pushes
herself, even when her time with a celebrity is short.
“Never settle for a shot,” she says.
As a former photo editor who now pitches photo
editors, Stevens recognizes the importance of
constantly promoting yourself. “Treat every situation like
a networking opportunity,” she advises. “You never know
who you’re going to meet.” —Stacey GoldberG
New York City
Savannah College of Art and Design
WWD, W Magazine, Interview Magazine,
Dior, Capitol Records, Interscope Records
2015 PDN Faces
“Pitch your own assignments. It’s better than
waiting around. When I first started I thought, ‘Okay, I have a degree. Editors are going to
find me and pitch this to me,’ and that didn’t happen right away. Pitch your own ideas.”