Q&A with Sophie

Name: Sophie Elgort

Hometown: New York, NY

Occupation: Photographer

Wearing: Alue Eight in Polished Gold and the Alue Six in Brown & Tan (prescription)


"I think (shooting) Penelope Cruz would be awesome.  She's so sexy that I don't even know what I would expect. But, it would be unbelievable.


Favorite hobbies? Skiing, traveling, keeping up with friends and taking pictures of it all. Also, being outside, not necessarily doing anything in particular, but just being there. I like water too!

Best trip you've been on with your Alues? I went to Kenya in April with a non-profit foundation founded by my cousin, Ajiri Tea. They employ Kenyan women from local towns and 100% of the profits from the sales of the tea go to support orphan education in Kenya. They're redoing their website so I went over to shoot pictures for them for that and for press purposes.  We stayed with locals and it was a legit non-touristy experience - it was awesome. The days were spent visiting different towns in the tea fields so I obviously wore my Alues the entire time!  One of the coolest parts of the trip was riding around on piki-pikis - what they call motorbikes. You'd just walk out on to the street and hop on the back of these guys bikes and hold on for dear life as they weaved around on the dirt roads in town. No one wore a helmet. In hindsight it was probably super dangerous, but awesome.

Dream trip? I have a lot of dream trips... I'm dying to go to Nashville for the music! I want to go and literally listen to every country musician there. I've been dying to go there for well over a year. I also want to go to the Hannenkamm in Kitzbühel, the Tour de France and on a trip to learn to surf.

If you could live anywhere, where would you live? New York. I love New York.

What's the last handmade thing you made? I made a cake from scratch for my Dad's birthday.

How long have you been a professional photographer for? For 3.5 years.

What's your favorite subject to shoot? People.

What do you think makes a good pic? Good composition. You don't want a "blank" picture - you need to capture the subject's personality and make sure that everything looks pretty.

Who's the favorite person you've ever shot? Probably my brother, Ansel. He's awesome in front of a camera. Professionally, it would be Petra Nemcova. I shot her for Clinique. She made every picture so easy. I didn't even have to try, she looked perfect in every picture. Not only is she beautiful, but she's also such a nice person.

Do you shoot any film or all digital? I shoot digital for work. I also shoot mostly digital for hobby because I'm impatient and I love seeing pictures ASAP. I do have a bunch film cameras that I like shooting for fun though and I bring them with me a fair amount.

How would you describe your style? Even though I'm a fashion photographer, my style is very candid and documentary. I like to capture people in their element caught in the moment rather then posing. I like to try and tell a story through all of my photos.

What is the most challenging thing about photography? Probably getting a person who is not a model to relax in front of the camera. People tend to get self-conscious and nervous trying to pose and it can be a challenge to catch them off guard and in their element. Also, I love shooting in natural light and getting the right "natural" effect with lighting can be pretty hard. I love the challenge of getting people to relax and pose at ease, but getting the lighting exactly how I want it...

Is there anybody or anything you would love to shoot? Kate Moss for a model because she's a legend and that would be incredible. And then I think Penelope Cruz would be awesome.  She's so sexy that I don't even know what I would expect. But, it would be unbelievable.

Do you love shooting a particular subject for fun? I love documentary photographs of people, especially kids.

What talent do you wish you had? I wish I were good at approaching strangers for my street style shots. I see people all the time that I would love to shoot but I'm a little too shy and as a result I miss opportunities. I've gotten over that fear a lot though recently. I reason with myself that it's ok if they say no - thats the worst that can happen - but then when I get up to them it's still always difficult to ask.

What's your favorite cereal? Oh man. It's hard because I'm gluten intolerant so it really restricts my cereal options. I often pick the marshmellows out of Lucky Charms. That's a favorite late night snack of mine. 

Three essentials that you always carry with you? I always carry my iPhone, headphones, Alues, a backpack and a small camera - either a Cannon Powershot or a Panasonic Lumix, both of which are small, but take great pictures!

If you could have a superhuman power what would it be? The ability to zap myself places so I don't have to spend the time traveling. Like I want to go to the Hannenkamm right now!

Check out Sophie's work at www.sophieelgort.com.