[REMMY.] Well it's nice to finally have a chat with you! I see you all over our notifications engaging with fans and supporters; it's amazing to see you take the time to give back! So, for starters, tell us about yourself Sofia? I only know about you from what I've seen on social media, so this is all exciting to hear!
[SOFIA.] Well for starters I am 19 years old. Born and raised in Los Angeles. I started my photography journey at the age of 14 years old. My brother, Felipe, started going out and taking pictures so being the curious little sister I started joining him. My parents gifted me with a regular point and shoot so I could follow in my brother’s footsteps. For my 15th birthday I got a Nikon D3300 with some cheap tripod and started adventuring around DLTA. I made an Instagram and started following more and more creatives to get my name out there. I started going to meets to hang out and make friends. It was tough at first because I took school very seriously, so I really only had time every other weekend if I didn’t have homework and I really took advantage of my winter and summer breaks. I got my very first job at Jamba Juice and that’s when I started buying more lenses. When I graduated high school I started working on my nursing career; currently in the works of hopefully becoming an RN or NP. I got a job at UCLA working with RNs, NPs, DOs and MDs so it’s really blessing, that’s when I got my full frame, my Nikon D810.
[REMMY.] I know we have a few other reps and close supporters out in LA; It's been fun to watch some of you collaborate or just meet up. Do you know Angelina and Michael Jean out there? What's the whole LA scene like? Because, I mean, there has to be sooo many good creatives and freelancers also chasing their dreams, how in the hell are you doing such a great job seperating yourself from the crowd?
[SOFIA.] Yeah I know a lot of creatives out in LA and even more all around the U.S and even different countries as well. I do know Angelina, we have hung out quite a lot. I love her, she’s a great photographer and even more of a great friend. I do know Micheal but haven’t had the chance to meet her in person yet so I hope that’s soon! Lol. My go-to crew when it comes to shooting is my boyfriend and my two photography homies Alan and Kuma which are seriously the dopest people I have ever met. I recently got ditched from old crew because I was young. I took a year break, and Alan and Kuma welcomed me into their crew and I’ve never been happier.
The LA scene is very tricky. Like I said, I know dope and humble creatives here in LA but it’s sad to say I have ran into more jerks than nice ones. When I started off it was hard being 14 and a girl. People looked at me different and never really gave me a chance because my age. So I really had to teach myself all the “cool tricks” since no one wanted to respond to my comments or DMs. It was a lot of lone shooting just me and my brother until my following started to grow a bit and that’s when people wanted to shoot with me. It’s sucks you have to have 1k followers or more until people actually want to talk to you. That’s why I cherish my LA homies who stuck with me when I had 200 followers or less, one of them is named Nabeel. Been my homie since day 1 and I truly appreciate him so much.
I think the way I separate myself is that I’m just really genuine with my following like I always told myself if people are asking me questions, locations, gear.. etc. to always respond. Which I do. It’s hard now since I have a ton of DMs but I really do try my best to answer everyone. People always appreciate humble people, no one likes a stuck up person and I refuse to have that mentality if my following continues to get bigger.
[REMMY.] What have been some of your influences to your photography/craft? I've seen you shoot a variety of different content; do you have a favorite photography style?
[SOFIA.] One of my biggest influences was obviously my brother. He started off cityscapes so I took on that. I slowly started falling in love with sunsets and my favorite place to be is the beach so I just loved going there and capturing the sunset. My cousin started taking me Milky Way shooting and from there on, I knew I loved landscape shooting. Just driving to your destination, waiting for sunset and then sunrise, with your crew; it truly is the best feeling. I remember me and my crew went to the sand dunes to get the Milky Way in April and we just chilled on the dunes, jamming to music and drinking looking at the clear sky. Moments like that I truly cherish forever. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
[REMMY.] How do you see the overall "Creative Freelance Market?"...And what I mean by this is: I feel like everyone and their mom is a "photographer" so long as they can get access to a camera and lightroom/photoshop. I like to call them "weekend photographers" haha. [no dis intended to anyone's craft] But for the creatives, like yourself, who I strongly believe are trying to make a name for themselves; it has to really be a headache always competing against them, especially if they get more attention and credit than like i said, the creatives really looking to make a name for themselves.
[SOFIA.] I don’t really look at photography as a competition. I try and stay clear of those types of creatives who like that. If you want to make a name for yourself I think interacting with other creatives is the way to go. It is hard, but for me it’s all about being social and being real. A lot of the cocky photographers don’t like me because I tend to call them out on their bullshit but at the end of the day those aren’t the people I even want in my inner circle. So, to all new creatives if you want to start making money, just really work hard. If you are portrait photographer start shooting all your friends first, practice, practice, practice to start building your portfolio before you start charging. And for landscape shooters, start selling small prints or giving some to your local pizza joint on the corner or your doctor’s office so they can hang it on their walls so more people can be exposed to your work. Go to your local art shows and submit your work. You always gotta start making little dreams before you work your way up to bigger dreams.
[REMMY.] So I like to ask, what's your overall dream/vision for yourself?
[SOFIA.] Honestly for me, it’s not really about the money, like yeah it’s great but seeing other creatives tagging me in photos saying I was their inspiration to even pick up a camera is more than enough for me. I wish I could tell my 14 year old self that I didn’t need the reassurance from these big time photographers that I, myself, was more than enough. I’m happy. My only dream is to get better and become an inspiration to more creatives and future creatives.
[REMMY.] I like to end with a quote; but one from you. What is one quote or phrase that you hold dear and keep as a go-to?
[SOFIA.] "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.'' - Walt Disney.
Look at all that Walt Disney created and it all started with his idea of Mickey Mouse. So for me it all started with a camera. For all photographers, it all started because we decided to get a camera, to get out there to explore and create. I hope we don’t forget that. Lose the egos and remember we all started at the exact same place. Help others and to even end this with a another quote. “Be kind to one another” -Ellen DeGeneres.