Sophia Do ’17 developed an interest in photography in her hometown, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
“I just wanted to capture friends hanging out,” she explained. After telling her father about her new interest, he bought Do her first sophisticated camera, a DS-LR. Though she’d had no formal instruction, Do began frequently photographing her friends. Experience taught her everything she knows.
In Vietnam, Do’s interest grew quickly, for she could easily travel to different countries on weekends and see a large variety of landscapes.
“Back home, I was surrounded by very artistic, free-living people,” Do said. “Living in a very international and relaxed environment that encompassed many cultures, especially French art, helped me shape my style over the years.”
As for artists who have inspired her interest, Do is strongly influenced by photographers Sally Mann and Annie Leibowitz.
Do is also a talented self-taught Photoshop and online editor.
“I rely on Photoshop,” she said. “If I make any mistake in taking my photos, I can always fix it.” Do uses Photoshop for editing out flaws and also for adding effects and themes to her images.
“I like having the ability to manipulate something ordinary into something surreal,” she said. “Sometimes, I find just photography boring until photoshop can be used.”
Photoshop plays a big role in Do’s style of photography, which she calls “surrealism portraiture.” She has always loved this particular style, because her passion began solely with a desire to photograph people. To make things more “surreal,” Do incorporates unique themes into her shots. One of her favorite theme-concepts involved using cotton, which she edited to look like clouds in the final photo.
Do described her process for various shoots: “First I come up with a concept or a theme, and then I pick people who just look like the theme…not so much if they’re pretty or not.”
Last year, during her first class in Photography (AP Photo), Do learned skills that helped improve her technique. The class also gave her some time to take a multitude of images.
“Time is a huge hindrance in my photography career,” she said. At home, “It was easier to go out alone and explore to get more interesting subjects and backgrounds, but here it is difficult to even organize a single-person trip to the forests before fall foliage goes away.”
Despite these limitations, Do captured a range of shots that include Deerfield students and settings, which can be seen on her Facebook Page – Sophia Do Photography. The 1,725+ likes on this page is one of Do’s proudest accomplishments. Do is also pleased to have had her work published on a prominent Vietnamese news platform, Businessboom’s website, Atlas Magazine, and most notably, photoVogue Italia.
This year, Do is looking forward to continuing her creative projects and branching out to photograph male models. As for farther into the future, Do said, “I don’t know if my parents take photography seriously enough to let me pursue a career in it, but I’ll always do it on the side.”
Look for her upcoming projects on her Facebook page, featuring models Lyric Perot ’16 and Pierson L’Esperance ’17.