Friday, 10 August 2012

Sophie Pellegrini

Potomac, Maryland

You write that you are an aspiring fashion photographer. Is there a magazine you would love to work for?

I'm not sure at this point, honestly. I'm really into some of the smaller magazines like Rookie, Disfunkshion, Freckled... all that good stuff. So maybe one of them.

What do you find most challenging about self-portraits?

When I first starting shooting, I was just trying to get a hang of my camera, because I was teaching myself. So being the model myself seemed logical. There's a lot I love about self- portraits, particularly that there's nothing lost in transition, which can happen if you're using models; I know the vision I have in my head, so it's easier for me to execute it. However, at the same time it can be harder, because you can't see what you're shooting as you do it, of course. You have to keep running back and forth between the camera and wherever you're posing, to make sure that the lighting, composition, and focus are how you want them to be. Focus is the hardest part for me, it takes a lot of trial and error to place yourself in the line of focus when you can't look at where it falls.

Do you attach personal and sentimental memories to your collection "Diary" ?

Definitely. That series holds some of my most personal photos. A lot of them were taken when I was feeling something strongly and needed an outlet. Others are just unplanned shots from my day-to-day life, just straight documentations of my life.

What is your project "Words" about?

I inherited my grandfather's typewriter when he passed away. I'd always admired it and loved typing on it when I visited my grandparents. Creative writing has been a constant in my life-- like photography, it's a great emotional and creative outlet. Sometimes, when I have something to say that I can't express in a photo, or that I'd rather type out, I use the typewriter. There's nothing like the sound of the clicking keys. So "Words" is a compilation of some of the things I've written over the past few years. They express a lot of the sentiments I try to convey in my photos.

Do you find it easier or more comfortable if your models are friends of yours?

Honestly I don't think I have enough experience working with other models to say. I can say that I really enjoy photographing my friends, though - it's a great and relatively new feeling to have the people I'm closest with be open to my art.

Where will you be this summer?

This summer I've been home. A huge part of my life up until about a year ago was competitive swimming, and I love kids, so I spent one last summer as a coach for my summer team. I did as much photography and art as I could on the side. I hope to have some sort of internship next summer, but it's a long way away, so we'll see.

Do you have plans for any photography projects during this time?

I've been horribly busy with work so it's been hard. I've been working on a few shoots that haven't featured any humans; I've been trying to push myself to take photos that don't have models, because I find it harder to express many things without the human element. It's been a good experience. I've also been catching up on scanning film and editing old files, something that was long overdue.

Do you like art composed of mixed media?

Absolutely! I actually did quite a bit of mixed media work in my high school commercial art class. It's a pretty cool art form because it's so open ended - you can take it in so many directions.

Would you say that photographs sometimes make you more nostalgic about some memories than you would have been without them?

Perhaps looking at photographs I've taken in the past, but not making them. I do think I'm a very nostalgic person by nature. I've never taken to change very well and dwell on memories often - it could keep me entertained for hours. A lot of the photos I take are for the sake of memories: you can see this particularly in my "Diary" and "World" sets. But even the photos I've taken outside of those sets can easily transport me back to the time in my life when I created them by just looking at them. I'm thankful to have photography as a way to keep my memories alive.

Does distance make the heart grow fonder?

I'm not sure on that one. I think it depends. I think it's difficult to set such basic, general rules for love. Every person is different, so naturally every partnership is unique as well. It seems futile to me to try to make generalizations like that. To be honest, I think that's part of what makes love so great, that there really are no rules. In my opinion, at least.

Memories and portraits and nothing gets lost. Take a look at her work!

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