For fashion photographer and street style blogger Vanessa Jackman, taking pictures is what she calls a great big love affairbut one that she came to devoid of a background in neither fashion nor photography. Before relocating to London in 2007, Vanessa Jackman spent five years as a lawyer in Australia. She claimsas hard as it is for us to believe based on her gorgeous imagesthat she was essentially useless with a camera and had no interest in using one until she picked up her husbands Fuji point-and-shoot and starting playing around with it sometime after their move.
In March 2009 she began shooting street style fashion, and in the two years since, has managed to distinguish herself and her eponymous blog within the continually growing and fiercely competitive world of street style photography. Both fellow fashion bloggers and magazines utilize her images, noting her incredible sense of light and talent for portraying emotion in a fleeting moment. She’s also done freelance work, including a regular column in the soon-to-be relaunched Grazia.it magazine.
Chris Frey, a regular contributor to The Inside Source, eBays digital style magazine, talked to Jackman about the aha! moment that changed her life and requested that from her thousands of photographs, she give us her current personal Top 10.
Tell us about how playing with your husband’s point-and-shoot camera led to a full-time career?
In December of 2007 Ijoined the photo-sharing website Flickr and became part of a project called “100 Strangers. Itwas the first time I had ever photographed people other than snapshots ofmy friends at parties back home in Sydney. In the beginning I was completely and utterly terrified: the thought of approaching arandom stranger on the street and asking if I could take their photo wentway beyond my comfort zone. However, I persevered and the projectbuilt up my confidence in terms of approaching strangers of all ages and backgrounds. Gradually I started to learn more about light, composition, my DSLR camera settings (I upgraded from the Fujicamera) andediting techniques. I have always loved fashion and style, however, and moved into shooting street style images in March 2009.
You describe what you do as a love affair. Do you shoot every day?
Yes, almost every day I take photographs. Even if I don’t physicallypick up my cameras or my iPhone camera, I am constantlythinking about making images.I absolutely can’tswitch my brain off from thinking about ideas for shootsthe people and places that I would love to photograph.And I really believe that practice, practice and even more practiceis the only way to become better at taking photographs.
You live in London. What defines London street style?
I think the girls in Londonhave certain edginess and cool that is completely unique to them. I love it, but the lightcan be difficult for my style of photography. I think I would be better suited to living in California!
Do you have a favorite place to shoot?
Absolutely anywhere with good light! I am obsessed with light. I love the vibrancy and energyof New Yorkthere is nowhere else like it in the world. Plus, Iadore Paris. It issuch abeautiful place any time of the year.
Having been shooting for several years now do you have certain people youre always on the lookout for?
There are a number of girls I have met since I started shooting during Fashion Weeks that I could take portraits of over and over again and never become bored.It is a combination of unique beauty, style, energy and,most importantly, personality. I love happy peopleor at least people who are happy to have me photograph them!people who are willing to trust me and whounderstand my vision.
Who are your personal favorite fashion designers?
If I had an unlimited budget I would wear Celine, Aussie label Scanlan&Theodore, Chloe, and Lanvin flats and sneakers. Unfortunately I do not have an unlimited budget!
Do you ever shop on eBay?
eBay is my absolutego-to place for film cameras. I am in love with the look and feel of film images and eBay is excellent for sourcing older cameras.
Click here to see Jackmans 10 favorite looks from her blog, along with the eBay pieces we paired with six of them.
Meredith Barnett is the Editorial Director for The Inside Source, a digital style magazine presented by eBay. The Inside Source writer Chris Frey authored this article in its original form. Click here to read it in full. (Images courtesy of Vanessa Jackman.)