The Interview — Sophie Elgort, Fashion and Portrait Photographer and Co-founder of Through Our Lens
Sophie Elgort is a fashion and portrait photographer born and raised in New York City. She began snapping photos from a young age, inspired by her father, photographer Arthur Elgort. Her work has been featured internationally in magazines including VOGUE Thailand, Elle, Glamour, Paper Magazine, Teen Vogue and The Financial Times. Sophie has also created images for brands like ADIDAS, Alice + Olivia, Bloomingdales, Buccellati, Clinique, Cushnie et Ochs, IBM, J.Crew, Mercedes Benz, Olay, and Topshop. Her portraits include Cuba Gooding Jr., Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Ansel Elgort, Tavi Gevinson, Ron Perlman, Becky G., Rachel Zoe, Sara Foster, Azzedine Alaia, Jenna Lyons and many others. Sophie was named Forbes 30 under 30 in the Art and Style category in 2016. Alongside her photography, she also contributes to a variety of media outlets as a photography and fashion expert both on-air and online. She has been a guest speaker at the Rubin Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Pratt Institute among others and a judge at The All American High School Film Festival, The Collective x Designow Fashion Show, and the 2017 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. She has contributed to outlets including AOL Style, etalk, and The Financial Times, whose style column, Suits and the City, she co-created in 2011. Sophie is also the co-founder of Through Our Lens, a non-profit that provides life-changing access and significant mentorship to teen girls through photography with the goal of more inclusion and diversity in the fashion industry—behind the lens and in front of the camera. Be sure to follow Sophie on Instagram and Twitter.
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Did you always want to be a photographer:
No, I always took photos as a hobby, but didn't know that was what I wanted to do professionally until after college. I had another job doing marketing in the entertainment industry, but on the side I began taking pictures for a friend's fashion brand in exchange for clothing. I started getting requests from other brands after that to also shoot for them and it was something I loved doing, so I kept doing it.
How would you describe your photographic style:
Whimsical, lively, snap-shot.
View Sophie's Essentials
Best piece of career advice you’ve ever received:
Take one great picture every day, at the end of 10 days you will have 10 great pictures (advice from my father, Arthur Elgort).
Favorite Instagram account to follow:
@drawbertson (his #buythemnothing posts are everything!)
The one thing in your closet you can’t live without:
My leather jacket.
Your favorite camera:
Always changing but right now I’m having a moment with my little Olympus Stylus Epic that shoots film.
If you weren’t photographer, you’d be a:
If I weren't a photographer, I'd be a country singer.
You recently gave birth to your first child (congrats!), what tips do you have for expecting mothers:
Thank you! I have to be a bit serious with this response—I feel like nobody told me how challenging it would be to take care of a newborn. Please make sure you have a support network lined up so that you aren't doing it alone. Your family and friends want to help so let them, but you can't be afraid to ask for what you need.
What’s the best part about being a new mom:
Getting to know this new little person who is a mix of the person I love, myself, and our extended families.
What’s your biggest photography hack:
When taking a full length photo, shoot from below to make the person look taller. If you shoot down on them when they're full length, you will make them look squished.