Q&A with Photographer Sopie Elgort!

June 29, 2011
I had the pleasure of meeting Sophie when Sophie worked at the Gates here in NYC. Sophie photographed my September NYFW runway show as she recently embraced her passion to go out on her own and pursue her love for photography. As you know I love featuring incredible entrepreneurs and inspiring you all to fulfill your dreams. THINK SAY DO.

You can see some other pictures here we put together of Sophie's work
Other works from Sophie that I love below!

I got to catch up with Sophie below. Check it out! Thank you Sophie for being part of today's Inspirational Wednesday feature. Look forward to working with you again soon.

1. What was the first camera you ever shot with?
Well the great thing about growing up in my house was that we had  cameras lying around everywhere so I got to use whichever ones I wanted. I would ask how to use them, usually we would put them on auto, and I would take pictures with it until I wanted to use another one. One of the ones that I used a lot, according to my parents, was the Konica Minolta (in film, of course, not digital at that point). I  also had a camera that had a plastic yellow case and that's the one  that I would take to camp and places with lots of rolls of film so  that I could throw it in my bag and not worry about it too much since  it was water resistant and hard to destroy. I still have tons of the photos (and photo albums) that I took with all those cameras. One thing that I miss about shooting film is that it used to be so exciting to get the film back and see what you got. Now with digital,  it's not as much of a surprise.

2. Did your dad inspire you to take pictures when you were little?
Yes, he was never pushy about having his kids take pictures, but we  always wanted to do it anyway because we saw my dad always taking our  pictures (and my mom always was taking pictures too especially on  trips) so we thought it was a normal thing to do. We got to go on his  photo shoots too, which was fun to see, so I would often have my friends dress up and do my own mini photo shoots with them as an  activity when they would come over. I also used to bring a camera to  school and take photos during breaks in the day. He always made it  really easy for us to get the film developed - we would just give him  the rolls of film when we were done with them and the photos would show up (doubles with a white border) a few days later and then I would hand them out to my friends or make photo albums.

3. Where do you draw inspiration from?
From real life. I don't like to force an image, I see what the subject is like and who they are, put them in a good location, and let them be themselves within that space and see what happens. I like images that have more than one person in them as well so that there is personal interaction in the image.

4. We first met when you were in marketing at the Gates..was photography always a hobby of yours?
Yes, that was a crazy time when I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do "professionally" after graduating from college. Photography was always a hobby of mine, but honestly I had never  considered doing it professionally. When I was at The Gates, part of  my job was doing creative things like designing press kits and  invitations, so when I needed a photo for something I would often just  take it myself. During that time I met a lot of people through the job  that were in fashion and entertainment and I started receiving  questions about who to use as a photographer for certain projects,  etc.. A lot of the time I would look at who they were thinking of using and I would tell them that I could just do it for them. Little  by little I built up my portfolio and eventually I was being asked to  do so many photo jobs that I decided to start doing it professionally.  Once I had enough clients to support myself through photography alone,  I changed careers. Although working at The Gates was not in the field  of photography, I would never take back doing that job or that  experience because most of the people that I know and now work with or for in the industry are people that I met through The Gates (like you!).

5. Who is your favorite photographer? 
My dad, of course! But I also really like Avedon and a lot of others,  but my dad's photography has the kind of life pouring out of it that I aspire to capture as well.

6. What’s your favorite go to accessory?
 Well I always carry my Panasonic Lumix camera around with me. And my  iphone- I love twitter and posting photos on twitter and an iphone takes great pictures! But did you mean my favorite fashion accessory? I have an Alexander Wang tan leather shoulder bag that I carry all the time.

7. What are three items you can’t leave the house without?
Three items that I can't leave the house without: my little camera, my iphone (i'm a new iphone user, convert from blackberry, and I'm obsessed), and a great bag to throw everything in.

8. Who is the most memorable person that you have photographed?
I have been lucky and gotten to photograph so many cool people and during the photo shoot have been able to get to know them for a few hours. People that have really stood out to me are the artist Richard Dupont and jewelry designer Pamela Love, they both do such interesting work and are just fun people to be around.

9. What is your favorite spot in NYC to take pictures?
NYC is so great because there's never just one spot that's good! I really like being on location out on the street, and of course Central Park over by the carousel and some of the more creative parks (like the hippo park or Alice and Wonderland sculpture). Rooftops are also great, especially those that are still very raw spaces, but still have incredible views.

 10. What was it like being part of your father’s CFDA big night? 
 I  saw you got to capture the evening from your own lens, what was that feeling like? It was so special to be able to be there for my dad's CFDA award  acceptance and the whole evening as a whole. We were all so proud of  him, I can't imagine not having been there for it. He is always behind  the camera, so there aren't very many photos of him, so it was a great  opportunity to get photos of him with all of his favorite people since  everybody was in the same place at the same time. I had also spoken to  Teen Vogue before the event and let them know I would be there taking photos, so they told me to send them what I took after wards and they  were really happy with it so they decided to do a story and they even  let me write the captions for each photo, which was fun as well.


p.s. Make sure to check out Sophie's Dad, Arthur Elgort, and his amazing photography here. Arthur Elgort has been shooting for Conde Nast magazines for over 42 years and recently received the prestigious Special Tribute Award from The Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Congratulations! Bravo! xo Stacy

also to find out more on Sophie click here on Facebook
and on Twitter @SophieElgort