Poppies and Violette. France, 2021.
The Maori word for autism is “takiwatanga”. It translates to “in their own time and space” — a profound and empowering way to consider about staying neurodivergent.
Developing up in a small French village, photographer Alexandra Sophie was always pretty shut to character and most comfy there. “I’ve usually been unique but it took very some time for me to realise it,” she claims. “But I never ever felt that having autism was a adverse issue.” Then she started center school and every thing changed. “There was a whole lot of stress to healthy a mould. All the things was quite defined and I was bullied a lot,” she states. “Growing up, I was seriously afraid of individuals. I get the shivers just considering about it.” Staying unable to consider the bus — a specific car-sized ambulance consistently ferried her to and from school — only manufactured a tough situation worse. Marked as “weird”, Alexandra stopped attempting to fit into regular social codes and discovered solace in her solitude.
Julie. Territoire-de-Belfort, France, 2011.
“Photography saved me,” Alexandra says. Just after leaving school as a teenager, Alexandra invested her times at dwelling surfing the online and examining blogs. “There was no Facebook or Instagram at that time, but there were web-sites like DeviantArt wherever I could always see incredibly imaginative and conceptual perform,” she states. “I had no intention of getting to be a photographer — this was just a way to devote my time, to do something, and be out there on the internet. But it evolved quite swiftly.”
Sensitive to artificial light-weight, Alexandra opted to perform in all-natural configurations like the family members backyard. Not comfortable photographing herself, she forged her sisters in its place, capturing times that embraced the romance of femininity. As social media commenced to consider maintain, her sisters used these pictures as their profile photographs to good fanfare from their buddies. All of a sudden everyone was clamouring for an Alexandra Sophie photograph.
Reflections. France, 2020.
“I grew to become the profile photograph company for my town,” Alexandra states, telling me how this assisted her improve more self-confident in her eyesight. With individuals now conscious of her emerging talent, Alexandra soon went from becoming an outcast to remaining in-demand from customers. But acquiring been alienated for so lengthy, she was not fast to let down her guard and targeted only on the task at hand: mastering the art of images.
As fate would have it, Alexandra’s exquisite images caught the notice of key style and elegance models these types of as Prada, Chanel splendor, Dior beauty, Vogue, Vanity Honest, and Harpers Bazaar. “I don’t even know how I finished up here!”
Right after the picnic. Territoire-de-Belfort, France, 2020.
While Alexandra loves trend and beauty photography, the narrow scope of market expectations can be restricting. “For a though I stopped having particular photographs since I was too occupied with operate,” she suggests. “It was horrible. I was genuinely lacking something and my do the job was much too.” Recognising the want to nourish her own vision and creative imagination, Alexandra embarked on a private sequence of get the job done that provides alongside one another an expansive and inclusive team of younger women of all ages.
The end result is Flower Shower (Illustrations or photos Publishing), a smooth collection of younger women in the organic landscape that explores themes of identification, sexuality, feminism, and the social codes of “normalcy.” Alexandra’s tender and sensual pictures rejoice the innate eroticism of the feminine when it is liberated from the male gaze. In this article, sexuality is open up and fluid, unfettered by labels and beliefs.
Luna Leung. Paris, France, 2014.
“This ebook was genuinely an option to be absolutely free,” Alexandra claims. “It’s all about simplicity in each way. Taking images of nudes enable us ‘get back’ possession of our bodies, showing them just as they are as an alternative of as objects of desire. It displays a aspect of us that is bare and raw, whilst outfits [acts as] a distraction. Getting away style — and the business, capitalist aspect — makes the photograph timeless.” For Alexandra, splendor is not a topic or an item but relatively a reaction to merely remaining present, bearing witness to the mother nature of existence.
Now 29 and living in a remote French village with her partner and kids, Alexandra continues to keep close to property. To this day, photography is the only thing she does exterior the household, travelling to Paris for shoots. “I get this surge of pleasure and see these images in my head but I’m normally so joyful to come back household, to this peace and quietness.”
Photography has specified Alexandra assurance to dwell absolutely in her individual time and space. “I really feel like I have this thing that is underneath my handle and allows me to navigate the environment,” she says. “I adore to have my digital camera when no one is all over and consider photos of my buddies. I just observe the light-weight.”
Pre-order Alexandra Sophie’s ‘Flower Shower’ from her web site listed here.
Umbelliferous. Ardèche, France, 2021.
Alexandra Sophie, Flower Shower.
All photos courtesy Alexandra Sophie