Hailing from London, Anna Victoria Best is a young fashion photographer on the rise. She’s already shot for the likes of Used Magazine, Fucking Young Magazine and the notorious i-D Magazine. She’s also worked with Baartmans and Siegel, Lazy Oaf for their SS13 collection and Nigel Cabourn. At such a ripe young age, it’s refreshing to see that she keeps an open mind about her craft, beauty and women’s and men’s fashion. I had a chat to her about her shoots for i-D, Japan and the thrill of universal style.
Sophie Flecknoe: Firstly, can you tell me a little about yourself?
Anna Victoria Best: I’m 22, I live in London and I am a photographer. I grew up in Newcastle (way up north of the UK!) on a farm and I love cars and my scooter.
How do you define beauty? Where do you find it?
You can find it everywhere but a laugh is the easiest way.
In your opinion, what makes a successful image?
If an image is cool and the model is wearing the right clothes [that are] on trend [as part of a] season then that would be a successful image. I guess, however, if it is missing the natural expression, ‘coolness’ just doesn’t cut it.
Do you aim to tell a story through your photo-shoots?
We all aim to tell a story. Having good relationships with the stylist and hair and make-up artists are crucial. The story will be told if you all have your part as the writer.
Do you prefer to shoot men or women?
I couldn’t say one or the other as I go through fazes of shooting more of one then switch when I get itchy feet. I think if you are going to specialize it should be one or the other. I haven’t decided yet if I should go one way or stick to both. I have drifted towards menswear recently but the girls [I shoot] are always a ‘tomboy’ kind of girl.
Who are some of your style muses?
My friends! Every single of one of them has unique style and a positive aura around them.
Do you have any favourite labels or designers?
Amber and Wouter, the designers at Baartmans and Siegel, amaze me every season. I woke up one morning before going to photograph one of their shows and for some reason the minute I woke up I had the Long Good Friday theme tune stuck in my head. I then went to their show and lights came up and guess what song comes on! Yeah, I’ve loved them both ever since. Menswear at it’s best.
Who are some of your artistic icons?
Anton Newcombe plants seeds in the mind.
Let’s talk about your shoots for i-D.
We shot ‘One of the Lads’ last season with i-D’s five favourite breakthrough boys of the season. Each boy was so different; it was good to define [these differences] in each one of the films.
What have been some of the best moments for you on the job?
New York Dolls
And the worst? Any unfortunate moments?
Where do you find inspiration and motivation in regards to your work?
I’ve known what it’s like to have everything and I’ve known what it’s like to have nothing. If you don’t ask, you won’t get!
Is travel a major component of your work? Where is one place you’d love to visit?
I’ll live in Japan soon!
You’ve shot for a number of well-known publications. Are there any other publications you’d love to work with?
Everyone wants the cover of i-D.
Do you see a difference in the fashion and style in the United Kingdom than other parts of the world?
London is more acceptably far out there with style and I think people feel they can push their creativity more over here. But everyone out there is going to find someone [who is] stylish, there’s that many to love!
If there were one person in the world you could photograph, who would it be?
My mum at my age.
Words: Sophie Flecknoe. Image courtesy of Anna Victoria Best.