I’m Sofie Hvitved – a 24-year-old Aarhus raised and Copenhagen based girl. I use all of my awakened time on photography. It’s my job, it’s my hobby and I study it at The Danish School of Media and Journalism.
When I got the e-mail asking “Would you like to take pictures for one of the biggest interviews of our first issue with the journalist Anders Agger?” I couldn’t say no. I didn’t only want to join Aspects because of the big opportunity to meet up with a great empathic man and also not only because it would be one of the biggest interviews – I also did it because I felt an arrangement so big about the project. The e-mail was full of energetic words and the phone-call afterwards was even more. I just had to be a part of that magazine!
Isn’t the good life in 2018 what it always has been? Being happy? Being honest with each other?
How did your interest in photography emerge?
I can’t remember a time where I didn’t have an interest in photography. Though it was especially in 2013 that I realized that I might be able to make a living off this dream if I just worked for it. I got the keys to a studio and co-working space in Aarhus; this was where I really got a taste for it. I spent many nights learning about studio lighting and how to use Photoshop. I am very grateful that people around me believed so much in me and told me that I had talent – If they hadn’t, I would probably have ended up as a nurse or a nursery teacher.
What inspires your work?
Many photographers find their inspiration through other photographer’s work. I have always been inspired by colours. I see colours everywhere I go. My boyfriend also says that it’s impossible to go for a walk with me without having to stop 10 times as I find some interesting colour expressions. I always get away with adding colours to my photos, and people often get surprised when they meet me and see how colourless my clothes are. 80% of my closet consists of clothes in shades of grey. Of course, I often look at other’s work as well and have thousands of screenshots on my phone that I intend to get inspired by, but most often forget to look at after I take the screenshot. I believe I store them in my sub-consciousness. Sometimes it itches in my fingers to take photos and then I usually grab my phone and text someone and ask if they can meet in a couple of hours. At the time I can be totally out of ideas, but I know myself well enough to know that I find inspiration when I’m under pressure. I usually hurry to Magasin (shopping centre in Copenhagen) to find some clothes and then find a location on the way or book a studio. The photos are usually taken after an hour shooting. Other times I get inspired and put more planning into it.
How do you improve yourself and stay motivated?
Showing my work to people has motivated me a lot through the years. I simply publish my photos online for people to follow along. When people like my photos and even write me messages to tell me so just makes me want to make more photos to publish. It’s a bit difficult for me to find out what really drives me and what causes my passion. It’s not something I spend much time reflecting upon. My motivation rarely drops. Studying at The Danish School of Media and Journalism means that I get to spend my days with 19 other photography enthusiast, who all are full of joy and positive energy. Even though the school ends at 2 PM, I always leave later than that. I usually don’t leave before it’s dark outside and if I don’t have any plans for the evening, then I usually stay till I’m ready to go to bed. The school has become my workspace. I work all my awake hours and it’s usually only when I spend time with my boyfriend that I am able to relax and not think about it. Luckily I love to put all my heart into my work, so even on bad days or stressful days, I manage to find the joy in it.
How will you characterize/describe your style?
I often get booked by customers due to my characteristic photographic style, though I’ve been able to see it myself. I have often been told that you can tell by the people I photograph’s eyes that there’s been a good vibe between us behind the camera. So maybe that can describe my style; to make the personality of the people I photograph shine through. One of the things I love about photography is also to interact with people. I always make sure to add some power and something eye-catching to my photos as well.
If you should choose a recent picture of yours that you love, which should it be and why?
I find it difficult to select favourites of my own photos. I know how to talk about my work and promote myself, but I’m really just a little girl from Jutland, who sometimes find it hard to do the self-promotion. But okay! I am pretty stoked about the latest photo series I did. It is three photos shot in three different stairwells, which I found one night that I was out scouting for locations. They show quite clearly that I am inspired by colourful locations. I was tingling with excitement for two days and then I got my boyfriend to meet up in a certain outfit, because now I just had to make some shots at that location, and it had to be him. I am really fond of that series as it reflects me very well. A Speedlite on the camera and then full on with the colours. I am convinced the photos work best when combined into the series. I often think there is more power to it when it’s a series, so I will continue to make those!