Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Urban Outfitters SS11 Look Book

'We gave East London based photographer Viktor Vauthier a bag full of Urban Outfitters clothes, a hand full of 35mm film and free rein to do what he liked. The result was a road trip to Epping Forest in a classic Volkswagen combi van, some impromptu fishing and a series of photos that reflects Viktor's love of documenting friends and life, and the perfect flaws that come from shooting with old cameras.'

Did you have any problems with the van?
This was Georgia's van, a Volkswagen combi from the '80s but it ran like a brand new car!

So did you or the models actually spear that fish?
Marlee did. We were joking about how great it would be to have some fish for our picnic; Marlee then disappeared for 10 minutes and came back with this amazing fish!

All your photos have a very honest and natural feel to them as you
don't do any retouching or post-production, what's the reason behind this?
The reason is that I play a lot with light. I think that light is the key to a great photo. I also use 35mm film cameras and old cameras, so you get all these burns and faults that give the photos this special grain and texture, making all the photos unique. I always see people shoot with digital, big and really expensive kit and then try to make this 35mm film feeling afterwards in post production using Photoshop and filters, but the problem is that its impossible to achieve. You can see that it is fake; only real film can produce these textures, natural feel and light.

You're not the kind of guy who has a big camera kit,
so what do you shot with?
This is the question I get in my inbox everyday! I use lots of different cameras, Olympus, Contax, Yashica, but the most important part is that they are all 35mm film cameras.

You're originally from France but now live in East London,
what are your favourite London spots?
I'm a local from East London. I live around Broadway Market and my studio is in London Fields, so my favorite spots are the canal and Broadway Market on weekdays. It's one of these places in London where you still have the feeling of living in a small village. Every morning I wake up and go to Broadway Market for a hot chocolate and a croissant, and I like to sit in The Gossip terrace. Lots of my friends live around the area too, so it's nice to hang there and say hello to everybody; it feels like my hometown in the South of France.

When did you get your first camera and what got
you interested in taking photos?
I can't remember when I got my first camera. When I was a kid my dad used to take a lot of photos of me and my brothers, and when I was looking at them I was always super exited about the feeling and the look they have - with burns, grains, weird texture and lots of faults that made the photos so unique. I remember I found a shoe box full of black and white photos from the '60s with all these cool kids with slick hair and black clothes and asked my mum "Wow look at these photos they are amazing, who they are?" and my mum just smiled and told me "That's your dad and his friends! Your dad took all these photos." Then that was it; this was what I wanted to do - taking photos of my friends, documenting them and life. Obviously I was lucky enough to have musicians, painters, tattooists and lots of models as friends. Looking at these photos of my dad from the '60s made me realise that when you take photos what you do is write a story about an era and that era had all these kids with this style, hair, clothes etc. and my dad wrote a story with his photos, so I've decided that mine will be the story of the '00s. Most of those photos will not have a really strong impact as we are living right now in these years, but in 10 or even 20 years I know these images will represent our youth!

Do you have any formal photography training?
No I never studied photography at school, my dad taught me how to have fun with the light and I just practice everyday - a lot! Many people still mistakenly think that mastering simple issues like shutter speed, depth of field, or any sort of technique that you learn at photography school is all there is to know about photography, but those have as little to do with photography as typewriter repair has to do with composing a novel and is by no means the central point.

What are your plans for the next year and do you have any exciting projects coming up?
Lots of exciting projects! I've been working with stylist Pandora Lennard and model Kat Hessen for London fashion and art magazine Tank. One of the most important parts in my photography is the documenting. I love art and here in London I've got lots of friends who are artists and for the past five years I've been following the work of artists such as Word To Mother, D*Face, Conor Harrington, Sickboy. I live near the gallery StolenSpace so I'm always hanging around the building between the gallery and the studios. In April I'm going to LA for five weeks following artist D*Face and Word To Mother to document the making of their LA shows. Also I'm making of my first book of photography; 250 pages of my favorite photos and should be out this summer so stay tuned! I'm also working on a series of short films; photography is my way to learn about light and framing, but my real dream is to make movies.


  1. Totally in love with Urban Outfitter's S/S11 collection! Such a great lookbook too


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