In some form or another, photography has always been a part of Sophie Elgort’s life. Whether it was on set with her dad Arthur Elgort, or snapping pictures of her friends for fun, the fascination started early. Now living in New York City, Sophie has become a highly sought after photographer. Not only has she built a career around her passion, she has also used it as a platform to launch Through our Lens, a nonprofit advocating for diversity in the industry. Despite having photographed for some of the greats such as Elle Magazine, Teen Vogue, and Ralph Lauren, she didn’t mind passing on a few tips on her visit to the Atelier.
What was the path that led you here today? Did you always want to be a photographer?
I always did photography as a hobby, growing up on my dad’s photo shoots and photographing my friends for fun however it wasn’t until after college when friends of mine were starting a clothing line and needed a photographer that they asked me to take them and I realized that I wanted to do this as a career.
Most important thing you’ve learned from your Dad?
Be camera ready, you always have to be ready to catch that perfect moment. Don’t keep your camera stored away in the closet, have it accessible and ready to go. Carry it with you. Also, practice makes perfect. If you take one great picture every day for a week at the end of the week you have seven great pictures.
Where does your photography inspiration come from?
All around me – locations, the streets of NYC, music, the subjects I shoot, people in my life, etc.
We’re honing our photography skills over here at Neely & Chloe—any tips and tricks for the aspiring photographers out there?
If you’re shooting a full length don’t cut off someone’s feet and do the subject a favor and get down a bit lower to make them look taller.
Are there any particularly iconic images that have inspired your photography style?
Many, but to name a few: I love the reportage style and vivid color of Tina Barney’s images especially in Jill and Polly. It’s like a still from a film. And of course so many of my dad’s images – all so full of life and energy – I especially love Christy Turlington for British Vogue at La Coupole and Kate Moss at Cafe Lipp (guess I have a thing for restaurants).
·How has your work with photography influenced your personal style?
I get to work with great people and everyone on set is always so stylish so that inspires me with my personal style to try new things I see. I also get some great insider hair, makeup and fashion tips from the hair and makeup artists and stylists on set. Actually, before our shoot (when you shot me at your studio) I was meeting with stylist Doria Santlofer and asked her what I should wear for it. She suggested knit with a good trouser and red lip – keeping it simple and feeling like myself with a little pop (the red lip).
Go to wardrobe staples for a shoot? And when you’re off the clock?
On set I usually wear black and my go-to’s are leather leggings or black jeans, black motorcycle boots or sneakers and a black t-shirt. Off the clock I often wear color. I like styles that flatter the body so I wear a lot of dresses and also I like a heel when I go out.
What was the first handbag you ever owned?
I can’t remember! The handbag I’ve owned for the longest though that I still have is an il Bisonte brown leather tote bag that I thrifted in college.
How many bags do you currently own?
44 (just counted)
What makes a bag obsession-worthy?
Looks great with everything. Gets lots of compliments. Fits a (small) camera.
What’s the one item you always have in your bag?
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever toted around for far too long?
A light up rubber ring from a friend’s wedding in Dallas (still in there, the wedding was in October..)
Embroidered jean trend…yes or no?
I don’t have any but I’m into it.
Are you riding on Alessandro Michele’s high-speed Gucci train?
Spill It: Most embarrassing moment this year
I was stuck in the Orlando airport after a shoot for 18 hours during the snowstorm in NYC back in February. I camped out in the Delta lounge and toward the end of the day a bunch of us who had been there since the beginning had a few drinks together. We finally boarded the plane at 11pm at night (& I was upgraded to first class!). I sat down in my seat and immediately went to sleep. About half way through the flight I got up to use the restroom and then sat back down. A few minutes later a guy stood over my seat just looking at me kind of funny. I looked at him like, can I help you? And he was like, um you’re in my seat. When I had come back from the restroom I sat back down in the seat in front of mine by accident. I was completely mortified.
Spill It: Who is your girl crush?
Spill It: How social media obsessed are you?
Sometimes when I reach for my phone to send a text or make a call, I automatically open Instagram instead and forget what I was originally taking my phone out for..
Spill It: What is the last fib you told on social media?
Playing and singing a clip of a song on guitar so it seems like I know the whole thing but really the rest is super rough
Spill It: Can we look inside your bag right now?
Go for it