Sophia Hsin / Member Interview
With a background in communication design - my passion is helping people share stories through images that are honest, thoughtful and creative. I art direct and photograph commercial photo shoots as well as assist on social media campaigns on Instagram.
Prior to photography, I worked in the medical & educational field in Northern China. A lot of my inspiration comes from the people I've met and cultures I experienced. Photography to me is a way of creating beauty, helping others share their voice through imagery and tell stories that leave a positive impact. I believe in conscientious design, open communication and creating work that makes a difference. My hope for photography is to create awareness of those values in the community and world I live in.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I started photography when I was a student in medical school in Northern China. I knew I was never meant to be a doctor so I picked up a camera as a creative outlet. It was a very harsh environment working in Chinese hospitals but photography gave me something to be excited about, a platform, a voice, a vision to help people and create work that makes a difference.
Tell us about your first photo that really validated your interest as a photographer.
Support from my friends and online community. Instagram especially has been a huge motivator for pursuing photography. It’s very rewarding seeing your hard work pay off.
Back when you were just starting out, what was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome that?
I moved to North America three years ago – I had never gone to school, written emails in English or worked for a North American company. Overcoming the culture barrier has been most challenging but rewarding,
What do you enjoy photographing the most?
I love travel and new landscapes; I love the feeling I get when I stare at something beautiful. It never fails to take my breath away. I also love photographing people. The interactions between different cultures, lifestyle and belief systems inspire me a lot as a photographer and a human.
What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?
When people see my art and laugh or email me about how it’s influenced them. I get my prints placed in their home or their child’s bedroom. It’s very rewarding.
We all have weaknesses, what is yours relating to photography?
The business aspect is something I am always learning about.
How do you feel photography has impacted the way you see the world?
It has given me a vision - for people I want to work with, things I want to see change in the world, a purpose and something I can wake up and be excited about.
What is your best photography related tip?
Do good work. Vision is better. Keep it simple.
What would you like for people take away from your work?
Be inspired to pick up a camera, to explore, ditch that boring day job. Have a plan and rock your dreams.
What are some ‘must have’ items in your camera bag?
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what is the ONE photography book you would want to have with you?
There are not photography related but more on creativity and living a life with purpose:
You are a Badass - Jen Sincero
Big Magic: creative living beyond fear – Elizabeth Gilbert
Final question, and it’s a fun one: Life has been found on another planet and none-other than Sir Richard Branson is piloting Virgin Galactic and has put together a team of engineers, scientist, doctors and has asked you to come along to document the journey. The challenge is you can only bring two lenses and one camera body and two other items. What would you bring?
Canon 6D, 50mm, 35mm
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