PhotoLounge Presents: Sophie-liv

Beyond the Gallery

When did you realize you wanted to pursue photography? 
"I was very young in middle school and started using a film camera I’d found to photograph my friends and pretty much everything I did. It just became second nature over the years and I never really thought about it, I just always knew it was what I had to pursue for my career."

Who or what inspires your work? 
"The people I meet inspire my work. Someone's face or energy can inspire a whole concept or I’ll just feel drawn to photograph them as they are, usually in their space. I love people and everyone I meet in a day can inspire me in some way. It’s really the environment that I’m in and the people in it that end up inspiring my work. It all feels very close and personal to me."

How would you describe your work? 
"Feminine. I love to capture women and femme presenting people, I’ve always felt the most inspired by these models/ subjects. I like to capture their authentic self and put them into the world of my photographs in a way that amplifies their energy and makes them feel powerful in their femininity. There are so many different versions and embodiments of “femininity” and I like to photograph each person's unique definition."

How would you describe your creative process? 
"I usually get inspired by a person on a piece of clothing and write it down or start making a moodboard. Then I will usually sit on an idea for a while if it’s a more complex one or something that involves a team (makeup, styling, etc), and eventually choose which concept I feel most drawn to and excited to work on. My journal is full of ideas I have.  Or it can be as simple as meeting a person and deciding to shoot something simple with them the next day, just me and them and my camera. Those are usually my most fulfilling shoots."

Of all your photographs, which is your favorite and why ? 
"My favorite photograph is a more recent one, of my friend Elena in my favorite dress in our friend Nora’s living room. I’ve been creating with Elena for the past six years since near the beginning of my photography journey, so it’s always amazing to connect and shoot again whenever we both get a chance."

What aspect of photography do you find most challenging as an emerging artist? 
"Developing my own style has felt challenging before. It’s hard to stick to your path and vision when people respond more to work you don’t feel as connected to because it’s more on trend. It took a lot of trial and error and really paying attention to which work drains me and which work fulfills me and continues to inspire more of my art."

When (or why) did you make the switch from digital to film? Do you have a preference between the two? 
“I learned photography with a film camera, so film was always my preference. I switched to digital for a few years but started using film again when I got my Mamiya RZ67. The quality of the camera while still being a film camera, with a beautiful screen to see the image you’re about to capture in perfectly, really drew me in and I love that this camera and all film cameras force me to be more present at the shoot and don’t allow for “perfection.””

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