Sandra von Riekhoff: Versailles 2017

In The Gardens of Versailles

Storyteller: Sandra von Riekhoff, UK

Children playing in the Garden of Versailles

What inspired you to become a photographer?

I was a model at one stage and was always curious about the process. After a long and rather soulless career in fashion I decided to leap. No formal training, just read everything I could and bought some kit. I am a poster child for the 'fake it until you make it' scenario. I actually still feel like a fraud after 12 years of being a professional and all those meaty HMRC tax bills being paid, but perhaps that is just down to feeling like it really isn't work!


What’s your favorite part of the job?

I would say once the camera is down and I know I have just stored some pretty fantastic moments that are now ours forever to recall.

Kids playing in garden with man taking selfie in background

What is your favorite image in the book and why?

I love the shot above of the dude in the background taking a selfie while clearly I am a mother taking shots of her little chickens. It's wonderfully awkward and added into the mix a fun comment on the times...who knows what people will be doing to get that selfie shot in the future? I suspect my kids will one day share this album and will have to explain to their kids what on earth that man was doing.

Young girl drinking orange juice from plastic cup

What is your favorite story behind a single shot in the book? 

I love this book—it is rich with stories, each of the shots will forever remind me of how they all were as little kids. Their personalities really sing out and having them all committed to these pages is such a precious and important thing. If anything I would say that second to last shot (above) of Tia drinking her orange juice on that hot summer day. We probably bought about 3 each they were so good. The scene makes me hum that song Frozen Orange Juice by Peter Sarstead.


What do photos mean to you? 

I am a nostalgic old git and have always loved looking at family albums. As a kid I would sit for hours looking at old black and whites of my father's family who all passed before I could meet them. In this way I would imagine what they were really like and somehow form a bit of a bond over these little pieces of photographic paper. Photographs, and I mean those printed ones, are reminders of why we do what we do...LOVE.


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