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The Questionnaire : Vee Speers by Carole Schmitz


Vee Speer: A unique sense of beauty.

Born in Australia, Vee Speers developed a passion for photography while assisting her father in his caravan converted into a darkroom. Fascinated by seeing portraits appear as if by magic, she decided to study photography at the Queensland College of Arts in Brisbane. Initially, she worked as a set photographer for ABC in Sydney. And in 1990, what was to be a short stay in France turned into a move to Paris, a city she says has “unlimited potential and allows endless creative inspiration”. She soon gained international recognition for her portraits, through which she freezes beauty. Her work is highly metaphorical.

Vee is never afraid to push the boundaries. Her images, very feminine with faded hues, also offer an elegant and sometimes provocative look at childhood, while systematically taking us on an emotional journey to the frontiers of nostalgia and the contemporary. Her portraits, often choreographed or staged down to the last detail, exude a kind of visual ambiguity.

For the photographer, respect was paramount. She also believes that the female gaze on another woman is very different from the male gaze, which is perhaps more imbued with more direct or explicit sexual tension. Through her images, Vee tells stories full of poetry and nostalgia.

Her work is exhibited in museums and galleries all around the world and has been published in numerous magazines.


Instagram: veespers


Your first photographic trigger ?
Vee Speers : Assisting my father to develop his silver gelatin prints in a converted caravan darkroom in our back yard in Australia in the 70’s.

The man or woman of image who inspires you?
Vee Speers : Irving Penn – so stylish and clever.

The image you would have liked to make?
Vee Speers : E.J. Bellocq’s seated prostitute in striped stockings – Storyville, New Orleans, 1910.

The one that moved you the most?
Vee Speers : The Napalm photo of the young girl in the Vietnam War.

And the one that made you angry?
Vee Speers : The Napalm photo of the young girl in the Vietnam War`;

A key image in your personal pantheon?
Vee Speers : My 8 year old daughter blowing bubbles during her birthday party.

A photographic memory from your childhood?
Vee Speers : A photo of my grandfather as a young boy standing next to his Uncle, early 1900’s, Australia.

With no budget limit, what would be the work you would dream of acquiring ?
Vee Speers : Richard Avedon’s ’Dovima with the Elephants’ 1955.

According to you, what is the necessary quality to be a good photographer?
Vee Speers : A creative mind, an eye for detail, ability to solve problems.

The secret of the perfect image, if it exists?
Vee Speers : Aesthetic perfection, with a believable scenario that triggers an emotion in the viewer.

The person you would like to photograph?
Vee Speers : The Countess of Castiglione.

An indispensable photo book?
Vee Speers : Susan Sontag: On Photography.

The camera of your childhood?
Vee Speers : Pocket Voigtlander with bellows and no light meter.

The one you use today?
Vee Speers : RZ Mamiya and Mamiya Press camera for Polaroid.

Your favorite drug?
Vee Speers : Adrenalin.

The best way to disconnect for you ?
Vee Speers : Travelling, and immersing myself in nature.

What is your relationship with the image ?
Vee Speers : Joyful.

Your greatest quality ?
Vee Speers : Tenacity.

Your latest folly?
Vee Speers : Moving stills and animation.

An image to illustrate a new banknote?
Vee Speers : My daughter blowing the bubble from The Birthday Party. Just because.

The job you would not have liked to do ?
Vee Speers : Waitress. I tried, but was fired.

Your greatest professional extravagance?
Vee Speers : Pernod Ricard – creating their artistic campaign in 2015.

What do you think are the bridges between photography and design?
Vee Speers : A successful photo cannot exist without a direct link to design which should, in my opinion, be the foundation of any image.

The city, the country or the culture you dream of discovering?
Vee Speers : Japan.

The place you never get tired of ?
Vee Speers : Paris.

Your biggest regret ?
Vee Speers : I have no regrets

In terms of social networks, are you more into Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or Snapchat and why?
Vee Speers : Instagram because it seems to be the best for image.

Color or B&W?
Vee Speers : Whatever suits the project.

Daylight or artificial light?
Vee Speers : Always daylight, but artificial light can save the day.

Which city do you think is the most photogenic?
Vee Speers : Havana, Cuba.

If God existed would you ask him to pose for you, or would you opt for a selfie with him?
Vee Speers : Neither. I would just hang out, drink cocktails and discuss life.

If I could organize your ideal dinner party, who would be at the table?
Vee Speers : Elsa Schiaparelli, Salvador Dali, Tolkien, David Lynch and my three daughters.

The image that represents for you the current state of the world?
Vee Speers : My photograph from Transcendence with the young man holding the globe on his shoulders.

What is missing in today’s world?
Vee Speers : The “village”, where generations of families and friends stay connected through the simple things in life.

If you had to start all over again?
Vee Speers : There is nothing I would change. I love my life.

A last word ?
Vee Speers : Fear nothing. Never look back. If you fall off the horse, get back on.

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