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Check Out Victoria Zeoli’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Zeoli.

Hi Victoria, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I have been taking photos since I was a teenager. I took a film class in my first year of high school and never looked back. My goal through my portraits is to make the viewer feel like they are looking in on a moment that was not for them, but for the subject of the photo, like when you are watching a movie. I started getting magazine work in my late teens and have had a slow and steady career. I became a mother, which is my priority right now, but photography is still my passion. In a post-pandemic world, I hope to keep creating work that excites me.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Not always. My first and biggest struggle was living in a terrible situation in Brooklyn in 2012 because I thought that was what I would have to do to make it. When hurricane Sandy hit, it was game over. I was pregnant, alone, and tired of the life I thought I had to have to be someone in the arts. I moved back to Florida and recollected. I made some of my best work ever when I came back home. It was like it was all just pent up inside of me, waiting to be released. Since then, I have had little struggles along the way. Most recently, I didn’t feel like I was making progress. I had even thought about giving up completely. I was focusing on the wrong kind of growth and not letting myself be proud of how far I have come and how many struggles I have pushed through. My community has gathered around my work this year and supported me, and it has given me a new burst of life and makes me feel incredibly grateful. It gets better. Sometimes you need a new perspective.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in surreal portraiture. I think people would say I am known for the way I use color. I think right now I am most proud of a book I made in 2019 with my friend Melanie called Fairy Ring. We spent a few days together driving around a little southern town just switching outfits in the car. It was a lot of fun. I even got a speeding ticket, which was still really fun. It ended up being a pretty large set of photos and it didn’t feel right to release it as a set. It was really a full story. I’d always dreamed of one day making a book, so this was kind of my self-published trial run, and it turned out really great. There’s nothing better than having tangible photos. It is so much more special than the digital experience. I’ve made a point to start buying artists photo books now whenever I see them. I think what sets me apart from others is everything I put into the photos. It’s not just taking photos of a subject. I am creative in directing, styling, and now often doing hair and makeup too. The whole vision really takes a lot of work before hand, a lot of organizing, which is not my strong suit, but I’m getting better.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
I would be nothing without my parents. I faced a lot of judgment from society, friends, and family as a young teenager, being “different” and living in a pretty small town. My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders. They’ve supported and encouraged my work and have backed me in more ways than I probably even know. I owe them everything. As well as my sisters, who are my only photo subjects at the moment. All the amazing models and creatives I have worked with deserve credit as well. It can sometimes be overwhelming to work with me, I’m sure, I’m not good at explaining my vision and I have to say “trust me” a lot, and when they do, we end up bonding and creating every time we can. I have people that I’ve been working with for over 10-15 years, and we are still making some of my favorite work. Also, Daniel Scott operates Moxie Vintage in Daytona. His curated vintage clothing is almost always a part of my shoots for several years now. I can’t thank him enough. His shop is amazing and it’s a huge part of my work.

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