SPOTLIGHT: SOPHIE READMay 20, 2014
We set photographer – and team member at UO Camden – Sophie Read, the challenge to shoot our Urban Renewal Dutch Fabric collection – her way.
UO: Sophie – who are you? Where do you come from?
Sophie: Big question. I’m a photographer/artist/person who loves making things. I’m from a little town up North but moved down to London to do a degree at Westminster University three years ago.
UO: Where does your interest in photography stem from?
S: I’ve always been creative and liked to draw as a child – without much luck. It still bugs me that no matter how hard I try, the best I can come up with is a stick man. It wasn’t until I was 16 and used my dad’s SLR camera and experimented in darkrooms that I realised there was something magical about cameras.
UO: The shoot has been spliced with some beautiful collage imagery, what was the process in this idea?
S: I’m a magpie for colour and anything shiny, so I really wanted to work with the Dutch fabrics’ bold prints f and create a lively, chaotic scene without using a large group of models. I was initially inspired by a few scenes from Garden State that shows this group of people moving rapidly around each other. This sense of movement eventually became these layers of fabrics and colour that ended up in the final images.
UO: Tell us about your camera set up. Do you like to experiment with different formats?
S: Recently, I’ve been shooting on a medium format Hassleblad with a digital back, but I don’t really feel like the camera defines my work. I’m happy shooting on 35mm or my phone as long as it relates to the end result and allows me to create something exciting. There are so many options for photographers that I don’t ever want to limit myself by only using one camera or one way of working.
UO: What’s your favourite piece from the Dutch Fabric collection?
S: Well, naturally I tried on all the dresses before my model. I love the blue dress with the eye print, the style is so easy and I love big exaggerated prints and pastel colours. Plus, it looks really cute with my jelly shoes.
UO: Which other photographers inspire you?
S: I’ve loved Guy Bourdin since the first time I started to understand what fashion photography really was. His work is weird, wonderful and he’s the king of colour-ways and composition. To me, he’s like a fashion version of Wes Anderson. I think it’s important to find your inspiration from a variety of places so I often find myself looking at photographers who utilise the medium to its full potential, like David Benjamin Sherry and Jennifer West.
UO: If you could spend the day photographing anyone in the world (past or present) – who would it be? And what would be your location?
S: I would love to work in a big space with nice natural light. The beauty of working in a studio is that you can have an amazing set and take total control of the end result. I’d love to work with someone like Charlotte Free, but really my ideal model is just someone with character and style.
Sophie Read – Photography and Graphics www.sophieiona.com
Ellis Wood – Styling
Phill Perry – Model
Chelsea Bird – Model