These days more and more photographers choose old school analogue photographing rather than using digital cameras and their accompanying digital programs. Sophie Hemels is one of those photographers. She combines this love for analogue photography with her interest in a free and reckless youth. This is what Sophie told me about her work.
I do not like to prepare a shoot too much. My photography captures a certain moment. Beforehand I have no idea what a shot will look like. I meet the model, we walk around and I analyze both the model and the surroundings. While taking a photo I search for the perfect mix between a location and a person. I prefer to shoot outside, because of its dynamic atmosphere. Shooting analogue works best for me. I love the mistake in a photo, the dust on the lens and the blurriness in a photograph. Shooting analog gives me a feeling of satisfaction. It is my photo, I have taken it all by myself.
When I was young my mother got a new boyfriend. We spent a lot of weekends at his house and I found an old analogue camera in his attic. I started experimenting with the camera. When I was 18 years old my mom’s boyfriend cleaned his attic out and he gave me the camera.
I started photographing things outside, like trees and tiling on the floor. I discovered that I preferred to photograph people and therefore I asked my friend to be my model. He put the photo I made on his Facebook and got many reactions. That is how I eventually got my first photography job.
Francis Morris Morrison
My pseudonym is chosen arbitrary. A year after I became a photographer my friend suggested that I should start a fan page on Facebook. It felt pretentious to start a fan page under my own name. It is about my photography. I always had liked the name Francis and Morris Morrison sounded well together.
My mom always advised me to not start studying right after high school. She told me it is important to see the world like she did. I really like seeing the world and combining this with photography. I still want to study at some point. I am not sure if I am going to end up as a photographer. I want to do more things in life. Besides photography also journalism, film and psychology interest me and one of my dreams is opening a book store someday. Just like the free theme in my photography I also like to be free in my life.
Young and free
It is my life that I capture. I am in the middle of it all. I photograph my world and my friends who are around me. This is what sets me apart from other photographers who like to capture the same theme as me. I have the tendency to shoot analogue. I adore photographing boys on a skateboard. The hardness and rawness of them inspires me.
Wherever I travel I search for possibilities to take photographs. I choose a location and that is where the photography happens, instead of the other way around. I search for people who inspire me on Tinder. We meet up and I take photos.
The happiest time of my life was in Australia. This is interesting because I escaped to this country for the first time when I just broke up with my boyfriend. I felt free. I was away from my past and from who I was supposed to become. In Australia I could be whoever I wanted to be.
Vulnerability is a characteristic that I most appreciate in a person. I love it when someone is honest about the good but also the bad things in life. My view on my personal life is separate from the view on my life as a photographer. I see photography as a beautiful world. In photography it is about someone’s appearance. You cannot see what someone’s character is like in a photo. You could only guess.
There is always room for improvement. When I was young my father left my family, which gave me certain fears. I would like to develop myself and overcome my fears even more.
I would be thrilled to move to London in the near future. London could offer a lot of great opportunities for me as a photographer. I also just broke up with my boyfriend and would like to escape again. (Sophie laughs) So drinks, tips and jobs in London are more than welcome..
Words by Emilie van Kinschot
TagsA Photographer's life, Art, Francis Morris Morrison, outside, Photography, Sophie Hemels, youngh, youth,