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Half Albanian, half Belgian, Sophie Rata grew up in Belgium and started completely devoting herself to photography about two years ago, but it was always part of her life somehow. After finishing school (photography) in 1998 she assisted Marc Lagrange for about a year. that was before digital photography when photographing was still quite an investment. At that time she was experiencing life, traveling and still photographing from time to time. Then all her equipment was stolen and she just stopped shooting for about 2 years. Embarking on a trip to India, she decided to acquire a digital camera …and from that moment on, she slowly but surely developed the passion that for the last 2 years has turned into an obsession. She always had a talent for drawing and found that with the digital revolution she was able to put her entire self into a photograph by editing it exactly the way she wants it to be.

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

i guess subconsciously when i started to realize i could fantasize my own reality through what i see in everyday life. so very soon in life actually..

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

mainly a nikon d700, 85mm 1.4, 50mm 1.5 and sometimes a 24mm 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

Butterflies, i have this obsession with their colors how they always seem to match in every different species of butterflies… so I use that inspiration a lot in my work when it comes to color choices. I have hundreds of pictures and drawings of all different kinds of butterflies at home

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

it depends, sometimes i do sometimes i don’t… but i try to get jobs which allow me to do the kind of work i love most. i try to stay true to what i love instead of doing a lot of commercial jobs to earn more money

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, documentary, commercial, etc..)?

whatever i have in mind, which can be every genre i guess creating a certain ambiance is very important to me

What is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

i really wouldn’t know for sure, but i guess the way i use color and i have a certain soft film-like editing style. also i tend to work with wide open f to get creamy dimensional blurs (hence why i mainly work with prime lenses) when editing i try to give my images kind of an analogue feel to them. I also try to make scenes look as plausible as possible, even when i really tweak colors and such. i love to create something surreal, but in such a way that it looks real, if u get what i mean, as if the world i create really does exist somewhere. I hate when a picture looks totally Photoshopped and fake, like shooting in studio with harsh light and then layering up in landscapes which are obviously fake… it can be done, but few are those manage to get it right in my opinion.
Light is very important!

if you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

amongst my favorite celebrities are: Lily Cole, Juliette Lewis, Scarlett Johansson, Kirsten Dunst, Ania Franziska Plaschg and Audrey Tautou, just to name a few. because of their endless beauty, and outspoken personality. but just actually anyone with that thing that triggers me would do, they really don’t need to be famous at all…

what’s your dream photo field trip?

i will be going on a shooting trip to Dartmoor soon, that’s one of them

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

hasselblad, because I like the challenge of square framing, the grip and the extreme fine quality of lenses.

who are your favorite photographers?

tim walker for his concepts
eugenio recuenco for the pure beauty, scenery and use of light
sally mann for ambiance, honesty and analogue love
marc lagrange for his perfect technique

do you have any tips/tricks or advice for amateur photo nerds who are looking to shoot full time or students who are just starting out?

show your work as much as you can and shoot and edit as much as you can, always strive to improve your skills. once you stop doing that, it’s over

what’s the soundtrack to your life and/or your favorite music to listen to while editing?

i like listening to piano music a lot but I enjoy many, many styles of music. at the moment I love radical face for editing, I also tend to listen to soundtracks of movies that inspire me and sometimes i put on a great movie or series that i can watch over and over again while editing commercial work

what’s your favorite hang (when shooting or not)?

outside on location

best chow (meal/snack) to get you ready for a shoot? or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

a great vegan power meal and a fresh orange-carrot-ginger juice

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

This is one of my faves because it looks so weird and i love the colors, actually I took this shot while we were cleaning up, i saw her walking with the frame as such and of course asked her for a few more shots. The light was perfect, actually it was dark already… i like shooting in twilight.

your favorite photo by another photographer?

I have many, but here’s one by Sally Mann. I really love how bizarre this whole scene looks with the kid on stilts in the background and the way they are standing there as adults waiting for something…

Candy Cigarette ©Sally Mann

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

Neither, or a little bit of both

what’s your sign? (we’re conducting a poll)

Gemini

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

Marc Lagrange




©SophieRata

If you are a photographer and would like to be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us!
info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com, subject: Art Star.
*please include your website and examples of your work
____

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Currently traveling in between hometown Antwerp (Belgium) and place of study Eindhoven (the Netherlands), I try to make as much time for photography as possible. Not having any photographic education, I build up my own view on photography by looking through books, watching movies, traveling, etc. Sensitivity for colors and light is something I most definitely got from studying design. In my work I try to capture emotions and beauty, mostly the raw and unrefined beauty of a girl.
www.charlotteboeyden.be

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I’ve always loved looking at photographs and when I was younger I used to collect my favorite images from magazines. But the actual idea of taking photographs myself only came about a year and a half ago. I started following some flickr profiles and they inspired me to try it out myself.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Right now it’s basically just a 35mm camera (canon FTB) and a 50mm lens.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

Girls and their mesmerizing power when they look into a camera.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

I haven’t done any payed gigs so that makes it quite easy. I’m in the luxury position of being a student with sweetheart parents who pay my rent. But I’m still naive enough to hope that in the future, I will get paid for doing the things I love most.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, documentary, commercial, etc..)?

Fashion, definitely fashion. I’m hoping to broaden my experience in that area in the time to come.

What is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

I never had a photography course so all I can do is follow my intuition. I judge images with my feeling, and try to find beauty in their flaws.

if you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

These kind of questions really stress me, because I know I will come up with the perfect answer once I pressed the ‘send’ button. But I can tell you that I feel very intrigued by the beauty of boyish looking girls with really long hair.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

I have many, but at the moment I’m a tiny bit obsessed with volcanoes and mountains.

what’s your post production process?

Scanning my images. From time to time I crop an image, brighten it up a bit, or make it black and white. But that’s really it. I try to keep the images as pure and honest as possible, which is also why I prefer analog photography.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

I don’t really care so much about the gear, I think I’d just get a good lens.

who are your favorite photographers and why?

I have tons. Mostly young photographers like Jeff Luker, Sophie van der Perre, Lina Scheynius and Wai Lin Tse, but I also really love the work of Mark Borthwick for instance.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

I don’t need to shine, as long as I can continue doing what I love most.

do you have any tips/tricks or advice for amateur photo nerds who are looking to shoot full time or students who are just starting out?

I’m sort of one of them, aren’t I? But my tip would be: don’t be a sheep. Follow your own intuition and don’t try to become someone you’re not.

what’s the soundtrack to your life and/or your favorite music to listen to while editing?

Whilst scanning I prefer soft music, I’m always way too energetic and can never wait until I have all the pictures scanned, so I need the music to calm me down.

what’s your favorite hang (when shooting or not)?

Cute little cafés where I can have a coffee and a piece of pie. I hope to own one of those one day.

best chow (meal/snack) to get you ready for a shoot? or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

Chafra, which stands for ‘Charlotte and Francois sandwich’. It’s a range of sandwiches my boyfriend and I like to make (for instance ciabatta with salmon, rucola, olive oil, basil and Parmesan cheese) Embarrassing, right? But damn good!

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?


What I like most about this photo is the atmosphere. It’s sweet but then it’s not. It’s intriguing in a way.

how about your favorite photo by another photographer?

The choice is killing me so I’ll just go for the last photo I saved on my computer which is this one by Annemarieke Van Drimmelen:

I love the feeling, the movement, how fragile and temporal it is.

has your passion for photography changed at all since turning “pro”?

I haven’t turned pro but I hope I will one day and I hope it will only make my passion bigger and more genuine.

do you have a favorite / lucky item of clothing, outfit or uniform that you like to wear when shooting an important assignment or project?

No, but I really should get some sort of protection photography outfit. I always want to look nice and dress up but then I come back soaked, dirty or bruised. Often with ruined tights and broken shoes. (I do crazy things to get the right angle)

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

I’d say I’m a photography noob.

what’s your sign? (we’re conducting a poll)

I’m a capricorn.

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

Lina Scheynius




©CharlotteBoeyden

If you are a photographer and wanna be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us!
info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com, subject: Art Star.
*please include your website and examples of your work
____

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