This episode is sponsored by Profoto – the light shaping company!
Profoto doesn’t do complicated. Our photography lighting products are quick and easy to set up and use. That’s probably why everyone, from aspiring photographers to the world’s best image creators, absolutely love them. That and the fact that they help produce breathtakingly stunning pictures, of course. We get quite passionate about that!
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In this episode, I talk to one of the industry leaders in the fashion photography world: Alexandra Sophie! Alexandra is a French artist with one of the dreamiest portfolios I’ve ever seen. She stopped school early due to health issues, which led to the discovery of her passion for photography.
Alexandra’s regular clients include Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and a very long list of iconic fashion brands. Despite her fame, she continues to live a calm and relaxed life in the French countryside. This is what I admire the most about her.
After over a decade of following her work, I had the chance to ask her about her journey, her success, and what she values most as a photographer.
We talk about:
- Her intimate and empowering photography
- Her tips for being authentic in a busy online world
- What it’s like taking photos for companies like Vogue and Swarovski
& much more!
I’m so happy that I had the chance to have a conversation with Alexandra for this podcast. She’s an incredibly kind and humble person whose work never fails to amaze me. I hope that her passion for photography inspires you to continue pursuing your dreams.
Here is a preview of our discussion with Alexandra Sophie.
Q: How would you define your style?
AS: I would say it’s bright, sunny, glory. And everything you can include in that description. However, I always tried to portray strong people. I always put a very strong point to not have too much romanticism. And it’s not always easy, because my work is on the edge.
Q: You have achieved so much already at a young age. You’ve worked with Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue China, Vogue Japan, and many more leading fashion magazines. What is the process of shooting for such companies like?
AS: It depends. Each magazine has a different process. One thing that’s certain is that they contacted me because they like my style and my work. So the goal is really to do what I want and to keep in mind that I’m shooting my work. And then they just act like a sponsor. They give me access to top models, to big brands, and to big teams.
So all I have to do is be and do my thing, just supported by all these people. Sometimes it’s not as easy as we think. On set, sometimes there are 25 people and everyone has their own point of view, everyone is constantly wanting to put their own touch to it. So I have to navigate through these and create work that will please everyone.
And since I’m kind of shy, sometimes I don’t like it when there’s a big crowd. Sometimes we ask a part of the team to be in the back so that not everyone’s staring at the actual scene.
Q: In your opinion, what makes a successful photographer?
AS: As we just said, staying true to yourself, because there’s just thousands and thousands of photographers. Brands and people, they need some specific vision. And they will hire you for that. There’s no need to try to get to a specific style which is not yours, because it’s your very uniqueness that will be looked for.
And it’s also a lot of work to maintain this. For example, social media, which I’ve been using lately. It’s a lot of work, it’s a full-time job to maintain that. And you can see I’m not at all the best example for that. But it would be even better if I was.
Keep in touch, always maintain relationships with everybody, always find a balance in your personal work, which will always be more you than any paid job, of course.
Alexandra Sophie is a French photographer. At home all day long due to her autism which didn’t allow her to go to school nor leave the house, it’s within her garden surrounded by flowers and her younger sisters that she picked up her first camera. Her sensitivity to light, often a trouble in daily life, quickly became an opportunity as she learned to master it. Soon, her work was recognized in the fashion industry. By the age of 22, her regular clients included Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in several editions, Swarovski, Chanel or Dior, and Forbes named her one of the 30 under 30 to follow.
Today, Alexandra lives with her husband and two children in France, where they hope to live in as much self sufficiency as possible around their hives and orchard, maintaining fashion capitals a close train ride away. She regularly travels to universities and art festivals, as well as fields and forests, around the world to take photos within them. Alexandra’s work never went astray from the flowers in her garden, and whenever she is seen camera in hand, it’s only to question our identity and the concept behind the word “normal” – this work which caused her a lot of trouble – as humans through studies of the human body, paranormal stories, and, of course, our place and rights within nature itself.