Interview with Sylvie, Teen Photographer and Dancer!

Sylvie is a fifteen year old photographer based in the Bay Area, CA. She mainly photographs portraits, dancers, and nature, but loves trying new and different styles. Besides photography, she also enjoys dancing, baking, and traveling. Sylvie is very passionate about photography and hopes to pursue it in the future.

Interview by Joann Lam

Hi Sylvie! How are you doing? Could you first start by introducing yourself?

I'm doing good, how about you? My name is Sylvie and I'm a 15 year old photographer based in the bay area. I’ve always had an interest in the arts growing up from dance to photography and started taking my photography more seriously about two years ago

I’ve been great, thanks for asking. I’ve been looking through your feed and I saw that you started all the way back in 2018. What led you to start your photography account?

I've always been interested in photography since I was young and seeing other photographers on Instagram inspired me to start my own account dedicated to photography!

How would you describe your aesthetic for your account feed?

I’d say that my photos are are soft and light, but i’m still constantly working on finding my unique style

What do you like to take photographs of the most on your account?

I mainly like to take portraits, dance photos, and pictures of nature, but I'm always open to trying new things.

Looking at your account as a whole, how has your account changed from the time you first started to your account to your account now?

I've definitely learned more about my camera settings and how to edit

I know we are all dealing with difficult times in our own ways, how have you/do you stay consistently motivated to keep your account active during this quarantine?

I think being in a community of other passionate people really helps with staying motivated. i am apart of the team of the teen photography group Covid 19 Photos For Teens that was formed during this time and it’s so inspiring to see photographers from all over the world participating in our weekly themes

In addition, I also noticed that you dance. What led you to pursue dance? Did you pursue dance before photography or was it the other way around?

Yes, I got into dance before I really got into my photography. My parents signed me up for dance classes when I was young, and I've just stuck with it ever since. Dancing is something that I’ve always enjoyed and it has taught me so many valuable life lessons that make me who i am today.

How do you find dancers to photograph? Do you know them personally or do you reach out to these people?

All of the dancers I’ve photographed so far are all friends from my ballet school. In the future, I’d like to shoot with other dancers that I may not know.

Onto the actual photos, how do you edit your photos? Do you use multiple editing apps or do you use a special camera?

I mostly shoot on my Canon EOS Rebel T6 or occasionally on my iPhone 11. I mainly use VSCO to edit my photos. If there’s anything that I need to edit out, I would also use Photoshop fix to do so

Editing can be very tedious at times, have you ever had any conflicts with editing?

I find that it’s sometimes hard to focus when editing lots of photos from the same place, so I usually take breaks when I start to feel like everything looks the same. Additionally, I usually don’t edit at night because I might not be fully paying attention and seeing the edits differently.

How you time your photos for every shot because I’ve noticed that some photos are of you/ other dancers jumping. Is it hard for you to capture those moments?

Sometimes it’s hard to get the perfect shot because there’s lots of factors that go into it — on one hand as the photographer, I need to make sure that it’s framed well and that I time it right, on the other hand, I make sure that the dancer likes how they look in the shot. I make sure that both the dancer and myself are happy with the shot before we move on.

How has dance/photography changed your perspective on how you see things?

Dance and photography has given me a newfound appreciation for art. I’ve realized that art is pretty much everywhere you look because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It has also shown me how subjective art can be from person to person because everyone is so influenced by their own personal backgrounds and experiences.

How do you see your account developing in about 5 years? (i.e will it have a bigger follower account? Will it have a different aesthetic?)

I hope that in five years I will have a bigger following and meet more photographers in the process. my style/aesthetic will probably change over time, as does most people’s, but i think it’ll still have the same vibe and feel of my current style.

Lastly, what advice do you have for people who are first starting or want to start a photography account like you?

I'd say to just go for it! it’s also important to reach out and meet other creatives and to realize that it’s okay to change and experiment with different things.

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