F8 is a collection of interviews with photographers, journalists and travellers who are using photography to help make a difference.

I used to publish an arts journal, have been editor of a London newspaper, was copywriter for a London agency, have written thousands and thousands of words for the commercial world, and I still write for a living alongside the photography, so I suppose journalism is just a natural way for me to help other photographers share their stories. 

Read F8 Interviews:

The Bad and The Good

Harmonica for Ronnie

The Boy with the Glove Balloon

Rainbows of Colour – Bhutan

Muddy Boots and High Heels

A Safe Haven

Streets of Bali

Why call it F8? I was sitting outside my house, birds singing, mug of tea in hand, bare feet on chair and sharing some interchanges via WhatsApp with two friends in Hong Kong. We were discussing a project in Bhutan which Quin is running, which I hope PhotoAid can support. It got me thinking, I have to tell people about it. So I thought I would like to interview her to help her tell the story of her project. Naturally, being a serial collector of good things, I thought, this could be the start of something wonderful, so wanting to collect them all together so people can find them again,  I thought it would be nice to publish a series of interviews as a collection.

I was searching for a title which would be photographically related. F stop a natural one, quickly that became F8, as 8 is a lucky number in the Far East (which seemed appropriate given the location of my friends) and also most importantly, which shouted to me as I sat under the tree outside,  F8 – “Fate”. Fate has often played a part in all our journeys to make a difference, being on holiday and witnessing something distressing, bumping into an old friend working on a project and needs help, etc. The photographs and books that PhotoAid publish and also those of the people we interview, can change the Fate of those we are documenting, either by injecting cash or raising awareness. It is, I suppose, to reinforce the message, that we should never underestimate the power of an image to change opinion, inspire change  and bring hope.

Also most photographers will know that F8 will give you a sharp, shallow depth of field and dramatic focus, which again is the point of PhotoAid. To focus the eyes of our audience, to draw attention to a detail overlooked, to move or motivate action. 

Vanessa Champion, PhD, Photographer and Founder of PhotoAid Global.


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