Behind The Lens With Victoria Jones

At some point over the last year I became enamored by a few different photographers. More often than not I would stumble upon these artists on Instagram or some other social media. Victoria was one of those few who truly had an eye for getting shots no one else would think of.
I enjoy live music shots and hers are amazing but I really began to appreciate things like cityscapes and even portraits of people I didn’t know.
I feel like in some way I relate to the way Victoria sees things. It seems as though I’m looking through her camera with her.

N: Your profile is more diverse than most. One thing that surprised me was to see you work with Willcutt Guitars. Can you tell me how that business relationship began?

VJ: ” I actually just started my job with Willcutt Guitars. Cole (the drummer of Picturesque) works there and runs the photography portion and he needed another person. I’ve only been with them for a few weeks but it’s a great job. It’s not the exact type of photography I dream of doing in the future but I genuinely enjoy it and of course it’s so nice to be making money to be a photographer. I take photos of their inventory and then they are posted on their website/web-store and sometimes used in their magazines as well. It’s a cool gig.”

N: I also know you contribute to one of our favorite online magazines, Cherry Pit. How did that come about?

VJ: “First and foremost, I love Cherry Pit. I’ve attempted to be part of a few publications, but it is by far my favorite. At the beginning of the year I was desperately trying to get on with a reputable publication and I reached out to Cherry Pit after realizing that Kayla Surico shot for them, (I’m in love with her photo work) and the editor, Keano, responded back saying he liked my photos and told me all about how they do things and said that he’d love to have me contributing. It was an awesome feeling and I really enjoy working with them. I was able to go up to New Jersey this summer and shoot the Camden date of Warped Tour with Keano, another photographer and one of our writers as well. It was a cool experience getting to meet them and hang out and make memories.”

N: Some of my favorite shots of yours are concert photos. What are the last few shows you worked?

VJ: “Thank you so much! I do have some concert shots I’m so in love with, too. The past couple months I’ve sort of taken some time off. I was running around like a crazy person at the beginning of the year, through summer until about September. So I needed some time to myself and needed a break from traveling all over the Midwest. But the most recent show I shot was in October over in Louisville of this awesome band, Convictions. I met them at the beginning of the year when they were on tour with Like Moths To Flames. Their set really caught my attention and I was very pleased with the photos I captured of them. They are also all cool guys so I was stoked when I saw they were coming to Louisville and I had another chance to hang out with them. The venue this past time was less than ideal but it was a ton of fun and I stayed like an hour after talking with them about all our favorite music and tv shows on Netflix. I highly recommend listening to these guys. Before that I shot Too Close To Touch at their hometown album release show in Lexington. Love this band  and their music so much. I saw them for the first time like two years ago opening for Emarosa when they were releasing Versus and knew they were going to be big. TCTT actually ended up being the first band ever to pass me into a show. I don’t think they had any idea how big of a deal it was to me but because of them I was able to photograph a real show, not only their set, but also I The Mighty and Hands Like Houses. You don’t forget who gave you your first break, so I will always endlessly support this band. The show that caught me off guard the most this fall was when I received an email from Pierce The Veil’s management saying my request had been approved to photograph them in Columbus. That was an indescribable feeling. I was not expecting it at all but I can say with certainty it’s one of the biggest shows I’ve ever had the joy of shooting. I do hope to pick back up at the beginning of the year and start photographing more shows again.”

N: What have been your favorite live bands to watch perform?

VJ: “Favorite bands to shoot end up being the shows with the best lighting and stage setup for photography. Very different from bands I just genuinely love watching. I’ve also been slightly starstruck a few times. Strictly bands I’ve just loved seeing are as follows: Ice Nine Kills, Vanna, Pierce The Veil, Too Close To Touch, Emarosa, Hail The Sun, The Word Alive, I The Mighty, Saosin, Artifex Pereo, Being As An Ocean, Blessthefall, I See Stars, and Neck Deep. I’ve shot all these bands and maybe the shooting conditions weren’t always ideal and I may not even be in love with the shots I got of them, but I would watch these bands perform any day. They are always enjoyable.”

N: Have you found yourself traveling for work more lately? What’s been your favorite place to visit?

VJ: “I’ve actually as of the last few months been traveling less than normal. But February through September I was traveling like a crazy person. My favorite cities to go to are Chicago and Columbus. I frequent Columbus more just because it’s closer, but I love them both. I also frequent Indianapolis and Nashville as well. But on a personal level I like Chicago and Columbus better. I’m also a fan of all the venues I’ve been to in both of these cities.”

N: Can you tell me a bit about what you do outside of photography?

VJ: “Outside of photography, I’m just a normal working girl. I’m just another artist looking for their big break and working hard to try and get there. I have two day jobs, an apartment with my boyfriend, and in my spare time I binge watch Netflix shows and go to craft beer bars and see friends. I dream of getting out of Lexington one day but for now I’m just living my life and traveling to shows and taking pictures anytime I can.”

N: What projects are you working on currently?

VJ: ” I’m currently working with some local Lexington bands. My most recent endeavor was with an up and coming band Polterguise. I did some promo work for them which in turn ended up being their album cover artwork, as well as for their upcoming EP that drops in a few months. So that was a lot of fun. I’ll be doing some photo work for another local band here in a month for their album as well, so I’m looking forward to that. Other than that I’ve sort of been taking a break. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and rest for a little bit. I think that’s really important. I’ve also been taking this “off” time to learn new things and to practice and try to improve on certain areas where I felt I was lacking. It’s been really nice. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m very excited for the new year, to get back out there, and to keep getting better at what I love.”

N: What’s next for you? Is there anything new you want to try in the industry?

VJ: “It’s hard to say what’s next. My current goal for the new year is to tour. Even if it’s just a two week run, I want to tour with a band and document not only their shows, but also the band off stage as well. On a personal level, I will be working on my editing skills and learning videography. Videography will be a very new thing to me and it will take me awhile to get a feel for it, but I’m excited at the prospect it will offer. I’m already planning ahead to try to get involved with Warped 2017 and making sure I apply to Riot Fest this coming year as well. I would love to work with more female artists too. It’s important that women in the industry support each other and pull each other up instead of pushing each other down. From one female artist to another, I want to create amazing art. As far as outside of photography, I’d love to obtain some social media management and merchandise selling experience with bands. I skyrocketed my social media presence over the last year and I would want to do the same for a band. I’m also excited about the idea of being able to offer more to touring bands other than photos. The more diverse you are, the more useful you can be. I feel like if in 2017 I can master all these things, then who knows where I will be. However, I hope I’ll be on a tour! Being a “starving artist” is hard. But never giving up is harder. I highly recommend it, because doing what you love and what makes you happy is so important. And this is what I love doing. Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to talk your ear off, Nick. You’re awesome.”

Check out some of Victoria’s work in the gallery and follow her on social media below!