It doesn't get much better than doing what you love with the one you love. Today's artists are the husband and wife team behind Seen Photography. Based in our state's capital, these two capture everything from portraits & families to weddings and are obsessed with telling the stories of their clients. Sophie discusses legacy, how she got into photography, and a little advice for the aspiring artist.
Heirloom: Tell us about what inspired you to pick up your first camera. When did you know photography was a passion of yours?
Sophie: Wow, now we are going way back! I had always been an artistic child, but everything changed when my parents gave me a film camera when I was in high school. The next semester I signed up for my first film class, and it was the most incredible experience. It was definitely trial and error at first (like the time that I thought I loaded my film and found out it was never exposed!), but I loved spending hours in the darkroom, developing my black and white shots and understanding concepts like composition and aperture. It was some of the happiest times of my life. While I tried other “normal” careers after college in Interior Design and Marketing, the love of photography kept whispering in my ear as I continued to shoot and blog my photos on the side, and eventually I couldn’t ignore the signs. I dove headfirst into my passion and haven’t looked back since.
Heirloom: What thoughts & ideas do you wish to pass on to generations to come?
Sophie: We definitely live in a society that is way too obsessed with social media, and I think it’s really affecting our daily lives. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely use it as a powerful tool to market myself, and love to see other people’s incredible work; however, we are now so obsessed with social media and the high demands of appearing “perfect” to others that I think we are losing touch with a lot of aspects of reality. Over the last year I’ve made it a goal to bring more balance to my life, and less social media is a huge part of that. Sometimes I cheat and catch myself looking too much at my phone before bed, but life just seems so much richer when we spend time outside in nature, going to dinner with friends, experiencing different places, and getting involved in causes that only better the world we live in. What I love so much about my job is that it allows me to spend more time outside with people I adore, and less time in front of a screen.
Heirloom: When you are preparing for a shoot where do you find inspiration? What inspires and motivates you?
Sophie: Travel is definitely one of my biggest inspirations. Travel opens up your eyes to new experiences, new people, different colors and sights. Whenever I take a trip, whether it’s for work or pleasure (or often times both!), I always come back with a fresh eye and a different perspective that adds so much to what I do. My husband and I just traveled to Europe for a photo shoot in Paris, and I can tell you without a doubt there was so much we learned and were influenced by. I am beyond excited to apply this inspiration to upcoming weddings and shoots!
On the day of a wedding, my husband Jordan is without a doubt my biggest inspiration and motivation. Every wedding we know we have to walk in and kill it together because we only have one shot to get it done right, and he always spends the mornings pumping us up by being a total goof, and getting us so excited for the day. I don’t know what I would do without him, he’s my true partner in crime!
Heirloom: What’s one location you have yet to visit / shoot but have been dying to?
Sophie: Just coming back from Europe, this is a constant thought on my mind, but I can’t just pick one! I’ve been yearning to travel to Asia, specifically Japan, Shanghai and Bali. I love how they are all so different and unique, and I think the landscapes would be unreal! It’s also a major goal of ours to travel to Morocco and Turkey in the next year or two. I am obsessed with all the incredible craftsmanship of their architecture and tile work, and I cannot wait to photograph it.
Heirloom: If you were to give an aspiring artist advice, what would it be?
Sophie: For any aspiring artist, I would tell them to not give up, and be prepared to work harder than you ever thought you would. It took me years to get where I am; once I knew that I wanted to pursue photography, I had to take nearly any job offered, assist other photographers, work two jobs so I could pay the bills and pretty much never sleep. Now that I am blessed to call this business my full-time profession, the pace certainly hasn’t slowed down. I often work 6-7 days a week during odd hours; however, when you love what you do, the clock doesn’t seem to exist because you wake up being excited for your job all the time, and that is worth every moment of hard work that it takes to get there.
Also, never stop learning! There is so much knowledge out there as an artist that we don’t even realize we don’t know, and you can never continue to grow and improve if you believe that you understand everything. I’m making the transition this year from digital photography to film photography in my business (back to rolls of film and developing!), and there are still so many concepts to grasp. It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead!
photography: seen photography | catering: the seedling truck (royal fig catering) | pies: tiny pies | floral: sixpence floral | music: bus stop stallions | dress: bhldn