Amorphia Photography – UK / Europe

2 11 2007

Mark Eric has asked me a couple of times now to put an interview together for Don’t Box Us In and I guess I’ve been putting it off as it seemed a little weird posting here after having been helping out on the site! Anyway, I thought Mark would probably just keep on asking so here it is!

For those of you that don’t know, Amorphia Photography is made up of me, Sofie, and my husband, Paul. He’s the technical half of the collaboration and I’m the creative & literary part so I get to fill out the interview!!

Amorphia Photography Website
Amorphia Photography Blog

How do you keep yourself motivated & your photography fresh?

I bought my first camera, a Nikon F50 with a tin can Nikkor lens, and it seemed as though I’d been going through life without really seeing what was around me. I obviously wasn’t walking around blindfolded but picking up a camera made me change HOW I saw everything and how those things might work in an image. Ten years on and that intensity and capacity for truly “seeing” hasn’t dwindled & I think part of the reason for that is that photography is a huge chunk of my life and more importantly I shoot for myself as much as I do for my clients. I don’t just pick up a camera when I have work but if it is a job, I want the images to be special, not just run of the mill shots or the same photos I took with the last set of clients. Second-rate, average shots just don’t cut it for me. As much as my clients might love a mediocre image, I’m personally not satisfied with providing them with average work so that in itself is motivation enough to keep me on my toes. It’s also about breaking rules (as great as the rule of thirds might be every once in a while it’s begging to be broken) and setting myself challenges. Then again, it could be as simple as the fact that I still enjoy taking photographs!

I think being around others who share the same interest and passion as you do also has a tendency to rub off. I joined the Open Source Photo forum in March this year and it’s been a great source of information and encouragement so thank you to everyone who’s shared a part in that for me.

What (or who) has inspired, & continues to inspire, your work?

When I first started out as a wedding photographer a couple of years ago, I suddenly “found” all these superstar photographers’ blogs & websites online and I was in complete awe (I still am at times!) but to the point where it would frustrate me everytime I viewed their work. I wanted to be as good as them and I wanted to be that good NOW. I eventually realised, there’s a very fine line between inspiration and the pressure of wanting to emulate another photographer. Once I accepted that, I could actually move on and work on my own photography. I still admire so many people’s work though and I could probably fill a couple of A4 sheets with names if you really wanted me to!

One group of photographers that still inspire me is the company I used to work for as an art director which is called Venture. As much as British pro photographers love to hate it, it taught me so much about contemporary portraiture and completely pushing the boundaries when it comes to portrait photography. I actually miss working there for the plain fact that it was truly amazing seeing what people I worked with would come up with just when you honestly thought that was as far as you could go. Their yearly image collection is a great example of photographers not being boxed in by traditional concepts.

What do you say or do to put your clients at ease in front of the camera?

This starts way before I’ve even picked up a camera. It’s all about getting your clients to trust you and feel relaxed in your presence so once you do have that camera in your hands they are already comfortable around you. I find that some people just need that little bit of extra reassurance whilst they’re in front of the camera that what they’re doing is right or that they look good so I’ll happily give it to them and encourage them. I also tend to do a few fun & relaxed shots very early on in the shoot to make them forget the camera’s pointed in their direction. Those “fun” shots involve movement and interaction either with each other if it’s a couple, or with me & the camera if it’s a single person, rather than getting the client in a still position & posing which most people find awkward especially at the start of a shoot. I also think it’s important to get yourself in front of the camera every so often so you remember what it’s like being there yourself so you can understand your client and how they might be feeling!

How important is post-processing in your final images?

Some might actually say I post-process to a fault! For me post-processing is not about “fixing” an image but rather it’s about enhancing an already strong image. If an image is poorly composed or exposed, no amount of post-processing will redeem the photograph. I mainly use duplicate layers, blending modes, masks & curves and Photoshop’s new Smart Sharpen tool to bring out colors, textures and details which is what I did with this image below:

Image 1 (straight out of camera)

Image 2 (after 5 minutes in PS!)

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you have been?

I wanted to be a fashion designer but it didn’t help that I coudn’t draw to save my life! Picking up a camera and being able to produce art in a photographic format was my way of expressing my non-drawing, non-painting, frustrated creative side so I actually can’t see myself being anything but a photographer now!

It’s coming up to 2008, do you have any resolutions for the new year with regards to business? Or personal?

We’re moving back to Cyprus early next year, so it’ll be a fresh market for us and we’ll be starting our business from scratch again but, as it’s a relatively small place, by the time the year is out I’d like to be well established on the island as the most contemporary wedding or portrait photographer to hire! Kind of a big one, huh?

On a more personal note, I resolve to sit up straight at the computer and get to yoga classes more regularly!

What advice do you have for other photographers?

Don’t become complacent about your work. There’s always room for improvement, change & progression.

If you were planning on having a photo-shoot, who would you want to photograph your portrait & why?

Herb Ritts, but sadly he’s dead so I’ll settle for getting re-married (before I get into trouble, to Paul again obviously!) and asking Joe Buissink to cut me a deal on his prices 😉




6 responses

2 11 2007
nate reynolds

Sofie rocks!!

3 11 2007
Jason Domingues

About time you did this!

3 11 2007
Chris Stewart

Oh Sofie these pictures are amazing. About time to see you on here. Congrats!!

5 11 2007

Congrats to a great couple!!

5 11 2007
Margaret Smyth

Congratulations Sofie and Paul stunning work!

6 11 2007

Sofie does rock, pictures are amazing. Love the one with deer heads!

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