Creator Spotlight: Sophia Carey

by Vocal Spotlight about a year ago in spotlight

"For me, writing is more about escapism and photography is more about the truth." - Sophia Carey

Sophia Carey is a rising star in the world of photography and graphic design. Something unique about this UK-based visual arts maven is her eye for what makes a person themselves and her ability to suspend that persona in a still image. From personal projects to event photography, portrait photography, commercial photography, videography, and design, there's virtually nothing in the realm of visual arts that's out of her wheelhouse.

Having placed in 2 of our Vocal+ exclusive challenges (Glow from Within and Better Days), Sophia has established herself as a big fish in some of our most popular communities. Within her ranging story topics exists an evident through-line, her kind nature and her support for developing artists. This interest in lending a helping hand to growing artists is exactly what Vocal is all about; which is one of the many reasons we're so excited to highlight Sophia in this #VocalSpotlight. Enjoy!

On Herself and Her Work:

My name is Sophia Carey and I’m a freelance photographer and graphic designer from the UK!

In terms of photography, I mostly work within portraiture, across the fashion and music genres, but also photograph weddings and other events too.

I also create YouTube videos about my creative practice, which recently has been focusing a lot on my journey into the realm of film photography.

On Her Creative Progression:

When I was growing up, I actually always wanted to be a writer.

For a long time I had this idea in my head that I would write the books and illustrate them too, but my educational journey ended up taking me down a more visual arts path, which is how I ventured into graphic design—and from that, I would discover photography.

I think that writing and visual arts, although they’re both art forms, can offer very different perspectives on the world. I always felt as though photography, in particular, can offer a more realistic view on the world and, whilst that view is still very subjective and specific to the artist and the way they choose to capture a moment, in writing you can offer an even more personal spin on your perspective of the world.

It’s a lot easier to romanticise your thoughts and feelings and to tell a story — you can almost exaggerate the truth in order to describe your narrative — whereas photography usually offers a much more raw view of the world.

I don’t think I prefer one to the other, but I think they can serve different purposes. Maybe, for me, writing is more about escapism and photography is more about the truth.

On Her Favorite Photographers At The Moment and Who Inspires Her to Create:

Most artists will probably agree that the inspiration to create comes from something within. As cliché as that is, it’s almost a desire - or a creative itch - that makes you want to create.

My artistic inspirations are constantly changing, but at the moment, as I venture into film photography, I’m particularly inspired by photographers such as Rosie Matheson, Jm Tubera and Vincent Perry Jr.

A lot of my influence, and drive, to create definitely comes from my Mum. I know that, traditionally, the creative fields aren’t always seen as viable careers but my Mum has always offered me the utmost support and pushed me to do something for a job that I love to do.

On The Content She Creates and Tips for Beginners:

I think I write the kind of content that I like to read, or things that I think would have been helpful for me to have known at a younger age. I definitely believe in sharing knowledge.

As for starting out in photography and design, I always say that the best tip anyone can offer is to keep practicing. There’s always something to learn and improve on, from using your camera to the best of its ability to understanding more about colour, light and composition, the more you practice, the more acquainted you’ll be in shooting regardless of the condition. And the same goes for graphic design. It really is just about learning as much as you can and finding your way of doing things.

On Her Roots in Photography and Her "Creative Itch":

The reason I started photography, or rather the reason I started to love photography, was that it was a way to satisfy my creative itch. I’ve always loved films and photography and to be able to capture a feeling within an image is an amazing thing.

Over lockdown, when I couldn’t shoot portraits anymore, I found that that creative itch came back. I was suddenly coming up with so many concepts and wanting to explore different things and themes within my photography that I couldn’t, and that prompted me into wanting to put more consideration into my shoots post-lockdown and be more creative with the work I was doing.

On Her Most Recent/Upcoming Projects:

I’ve got a lot of content coming up on my YouTube, especially as I start to explore medium format film photography more and more, but the most notable project I have in the works in the remainder of my HOM[E]AGE project.

The project is about the people and place from specific towns, cities and boroughs, and I’ve kicked off the project with a focus on the London Borough of Croydon — a place that I attribute a lot of my growing up and coming of age to. The lockdown in March meant that I had to wrap up the project quickly, as I was working towards a May deadline, and so I had to release the content without all of it ready.

I’m now working on releasing the rest of the planned content in a “phase two” and I’m hoping to bring it into the completion stages over the next few months, so watch this space!

On Her Favorite Photograph She's Ever Taken:

My favourite photograph is this shot of Kofi for a brand called Scapegear.

I love the way that the light hit the rain and I mostly really like the photo because it completely romanticises a day which was miserable, in terms of the weather. We were damp and cold and it was started to get dark, which just aren’t ideal conditions for photography, and this shot really doesn’t align itself with any of that.

On Self-Portraits and Modeling:

I’ve never taken a self-portrait but I have had my headshots taken, which is an experience I absolutely hated! I definitely have a lot of respect for models and the ease in which they are able to have their photo taken.

On What's Keeping Her Sane During These Crazy Times:

I’ve fallen back in love with reading. I think the way that life has slowed down a bit has been good for me and forced me into re-inspiring myself and learning more about myself.

Reading, for me, has always been a way to do both of those things. I mostly read books about self-help, spirituality or entrepreneurship, as since I was young I’ve been really interested in the idea of self-improvement.

On Her Favorite Story She's Published on Vocal:

My favourite story that I’ve posted has got to be “How COVID-19 Has Affected My Photography Practice”. I think it encompassed a lot about how I feel about my craft.

Don’t think about it—first thing that comes to mind:

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

My camera

Cats or dogs?

Dogs

Favorite travel destination?

Greece

Favorite local restaurant?

Salt and Pepper Manchester

What’s your go-to late night snack?

Hummus and Sensations Thai Sweet Chili crisps

What are you currently binge watching?

Homeland

Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), and Jessica Brody (Morena Baccarin)

If you could speak a new language, what would it be and why?

Spanish - it’s something that I started to learn at school and wish I had continued with, so I picked it back up again a little bit over lockdown.

Favorite story you read on Vocal by another creator?

Recently, it’s been this:

From all of us here at Vocal, thank you, Sophia, for divulging a little bit more about the artist behind the camera. Your fascination with human nature lends itself beautifully to the art and content you create—those in which speak to the humble, sincere person behind the artist.

Subscribe to Sophia on YouTube and follow her on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with her latest project, HOM[E]AGE, a "project that explores the themes of coming of age and of home; exploring the way that people interact with their environment and how the people and places that they engage with influence their person, their ideologies, and their craft."

Thanks again, Sophia!

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Vocal Spotlight aims to highlight standout creators who are changing the world one story at a time. We're getting to know the storytellers who inspire us the most, and we can't wait for you to meet them.

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