How did you get started in photography?
Not too sure really, I remember always liking taking pictures of my boys when everyone had the Sony Ericsson phone camera. I think I borrowed a camera
or two and played around with it for a while, then started to take it seriously about three years ago.
What role has your iPhone and Instagram played in it?
I got a iPhone pretty late, I was 20, I think, I'm 22 now.
I remember when people had the Sony Ericsson, shooting friends’ profile pictures and all that was fun. So I'd already been taking pictures before i'd joined Instagram. When I joined Instagram and started to take notice of certain people’s work, it motivated me to shoot as much as possible and fully push what I was doing.
How has London influenced your perspective?
London's diversity for sure. Also, although it gives a lot visually compared to a lot of places, it still leaves lots to the imagination to work with.
Where are your favorite places to go in London?
It's hard to say a favorite, each part of London has its own feel, I'm always down to see new areas of London, but I grew up in North so most familiar with that.
Growing up in North London, how do you feel it’s different from the rest of London? What’s makes it unique?
It's probably the least seen and experienced part of London, quite intricate and less built up. It's interesting because, especially where I'm from in North, it's not inner city, but its not exactly outer city suburbia. It's an interesting in between, where you can transition between worlds at every corner.
What are you inspired by?
A lot -- people, films, hard to say. Films have definitely been an inspiration. I'd say music has been a huge inspiration. I always loved sci-fi films and real, soulful music.
Probably mainly by the idea that I can hopefully end up living off what I do.
For those who don’t know, where did the name Vincent Chapters come from?
Hah, i don't think it really came from anywhere. Vincent
is my surname, chapters was just a reminder to myself that I want my photos to flow from my own narrative and show what I see, whether reality or imagination.
You have a very distinct style, how would you describe it to someone in words?
Thank you. I don't know how I'd describe my style or if I'd even want to, I still don'tfeel I'm where I really want to be with my work, still developing. I think I run a lot off of intuition and gut feeling. I can't really explain where I want my work to be, but I know it's not quite there yet. Maybe it's just a consistency of style
or something. I feel photography is really just an outlet for me, the feel I give off in a certain post probably shows how I'm feeling at the time. One minute, I'll want to just shoot abstract and obsess over color, sometimes I'll want to post some “substance” or try to tell a story. It can appear like a bit of a jumbled mess to me sometimes, but it is what it is.
What catches your eye about a scene to shoot it?
A variety of things, I try not to think too deeply into what makes the image good, the obvious things like lighting, etc. help, but sometimes all the conditions aren't right but something in the moment is, and although the image might not be “technically” perfect, the image can still be strong.
How do you feel about editing and how it impacts getting an image to look how you envision it?
Editing is very important. I've recently transitioned from Photoshop to Lightroom and it's been very impactful. I don't really like to rely on editing but it's definitely useful for enhancing certain elements and help the picture look how you saw it, in reality or in your head.
What do portraits mean to you compared to other subject matter?
Portraits are probably my favorite thing to shoot, probably because I find it the most challenging. I like seeing portraits where the subject is really engaged and comfortable, that's not easy to achieve. Also, good portraits are the hardest thing to recreate.
Interview by Jack Sommer