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About A Girl: Valentina Vos

Where do you live right now?
In Maastricht, that's a little town in the Netherlands. I've lived here for 11 years now. I am planning to go away in a month or two, but I know I am going to miss it here a lot. Especially my friends and family, I am very attached to them.


You started out pursuing a career in fashion. What prompted the switch to photography?
It really was a coincidence. In my first year of art acad-
emy, I had photography classes and fell in love with it so bad. I had never taken pictures before, not even on holi-
days, so it was kind of a surprise!


Where has your work been featured?
Frankie photo book, Frankie Magazine, Dujour, Bambi, Omit, I Love Fake, Glossy, See Like Me. Also I had some press attention with my graduation project. Some cool blogs and newspapers, mainly Dutch, featured it.


Tell us about your book.
My book is called One Seventy Four. It's my graduation project that I made together with Caramel, the design studio where I did my internship. It's about new faces; I photographed 23 young models. During these photo-
shoots I tried to let the girls be themselves instead of the models they are supposed to be. I did the styling myself in combination with the models' clothes. I spent the day alone in my apartment with the models. Because it was just me and not a whole team, the models really opened up to me. We drank some tea and walked around the neighborhood, it really was a relaxing way of shooting. Just me and the model...well, preferably, the girl. The photos in my book are barely Photoshopped, if not completely un-retouched-the girls didn't need that, anyway.


What the most embarrassing outfit you've ever worn?
Sometimes I see pictures from a couple of years ago and I'm shocked. Why did nobody stop me?! I also had that "skater girl" phase which I would rather forget about.


Back when you were 5-years-old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ballet dancer. I danced every day until I was 14. My knees couldn't do it anymore, so they kicked me out of the ballet academy. It was so hard, because dancing was my life. Every day after school there was six-hour training, so there wasn't a lot of time to make friends. Besides the dancing, my life was very empty at that time.

Would you rather be very rich or very beautiful?
That's a good question, a difficult one I might add. I would love to say that beauty comes from within but, hey, I am a fashion photographer so who am I kidding? Sometimes I look at a model and think 'Damn, it would be great to look like that, if I had their legs I would walk in Daisy Dukes all day!' (laughs) But I have many dreams that could come true with some money, mainly about photography, so yes: Show me the money!


Who is your best friend?
Sven, he is my boyfriend and my best friend. We are together for eight years now. We are going to marry within four weeks. Exciting! I was 15 when I met him. So you kind of grow into grown-ups together. I admire him for his talent and intelligence. But the best thing is we laugh so much together.


What do you wish more people knew about you?
There is not really something specific. It's more just the real me. I am so shy that a lot of people don't really know me. I wish I could be more present, but I am working on it.


What are you currently obsessed with?
Nail polish, and although I have been for many years, it just seems to get worse. At the moment I am wearing a very nice fake Chanel Nouvelle Vague.

What is your definition of beauty?
I've noticed the last year that it's so important to have a nice personality as a model. If a girl is beautiful but grumpy or arrogant, it turns me off. But I personally love girls with long hair, and girls who are not the standard beauty and have something odd to them.


If you could shoot anyone, or have anyone shoot you, who would it be?
I would love to shoot Lara Stone, I am a big fan of her ever since I saw her in the Dutch magazine Elle Girl. This was when she was still unknown, quite some years ago. I also love Marcel Castenmiller.
If I could choose who should shoot me I would say Inez van Lamsweerde en Vinoodh Matadin. I am a big fan of their work, but I must admit that I am terribly camera shy!


Now that you've graduated from school, what plans do you have?
I am going to leave Maastricht, that's for sure. But I still don't know where to go. I would love to go to London or New York, but these are expensive cities. I am probably moving to Berlin, which would be great, but I am still figuring out which are the best options, career-wise.


Tell us about your favorite photo shoot ever.
It has to be with Sara Lucassen, one of the models in my book. She was an eye-opener for me! I was like 'this is how a model should be.' We walked around the neighborhood and while she ate her mandarin, I took pictures of her. She has such a nice and unique personality. After that day I have shot her several times more. I know I just can't go wrong with her as a model.


What's playing on your iPod right now?
Angus and Julia Stone, a tip from my brother, it's beautiful nostalgic music. Especially "And the Boys." Also, for the last month or so I've been playing Julian Plenty constantly. I can't seem to get enough of it.


Where are your favorite places to shop?
The best cities for me are Antwerp and London. In my hometown there is Muchachas, a lovely store with brands like Isabel Marant and Vanessa Bruno. The APC store in Antwerp makes me happy and for books it has to be Magma in London. And of course, The New Look, not so much for clothes but shoes.


Describe your perfect day.
Waking up without stress on a sunny but not so hot day. Having breakfast and drinking tea in front of my open window. Then I hurry up because I have a shoot. After the shoot my boyfriend cooks pasta for me. In the evening, I would meet some friends for a drink in a bar. This is quite a common day, come to think of it.