A big thank you to Sophie Jacoby (@sophiejacoby_film), a Vienna-based photographer, who agreed to participate in the very first post in my POSITIVES 'N NEGATIVES blog series. This week, she shared with me the photograph of which she is most proud, and the photograph by which she was most disappointed.
Tell me about your favorite image-- Where were you? What were you thinking?
"My favorite picture that I have ever taken is probably this beautiful turquoise shot from last summer in Mallorca. For this, I used my Olympus Mju Zoom Camera because it is super handy and perfect for holidays with friends. Especially when visiting beaches on summer vacations, I prefer taking my little camera instead of the big one. Overall, small cameras always represent an interesting alternative to bigger ones."
What inspired you to take this picture?
"I took the picture on my way to the beach, climbing up the hills. On my way up, I looked down and was simply amazed by the beauty of this hidden bay. I just HAD TO take a picture! Getting my scans back, I was not even a little bit disappointed. I was even happier with how well my camera collected this beautiful memory and I just can’t stop looking at it."
What are you proudest of in regards to this photograph?
"Concerning the picture, as I already said, I love the color of the sea, the beautiful blue-shades and the rays of sunlight reflecting in the clear water. When I look at it, I just have to smile because it reminds me of relaxed days, a super nice time with my close friends and simply my love of warm summer days, as I am definitely a summer kid. Moreover, the people in the picture underline the vibes of stress relief. They enjoy a nice swim, talk to each other (like the two sitting in their chairs on the rocks, with their feet in the water) and don’t seem bothered by anything else."
Why did you select this photo for your negative photo?
"I selected this picture because I was really disappointed by the result. One day, I saw a picture on Instagram that caught my attention. It was a man sitting on the floor. He had taken small wildflowers from the garden and pasted them all over his body using adhesive bandages. I wanted to do something similar, so I fixed some flowers on my hand, grabbed my Olympus Mju Zoom Camera including a Kodak Gold 200 film and went outside to catch the last bits of sunshine. I held my hand against the sun and shot this picture. I imagined a nice focus on the flowers but got a blurry pic instead."
What lesson did you learn from this shot?
"So one thing I learned is to keep the necessary distance between the subject and the camera for the next time and maybe don’t hold my camera right up in front of the sun."
Is there anything you still like about this image?
"I love the colors in the picture and that the blurry flowers are still perceptible. It gives the picture some mysterious vibes and maybe reflects the message of beautiful things in blurry times, even if it’s not straightaway evident for everybody, if that makes sense."
What feeling were you trying to capture when you shot this photo?
"The message behind the picture was to simply enjoy the simple yet beautiful things around us, especially in tough times like the ones we’re in right now. However, there was not enough space between the lens and my hand, which messed up the focus."
Do you think, in a way, maybe you were still able to capture a similar message about our current times? Or does the fact that the image came out differently than intended really change your relationship with the photo?
"I took this photo in April of 2020 during the first lockdown, when I was back at my parent’s house in Luxembourg. I was looking for a creative outlet to pass the time, and since photography is my biggest passion, I did not want to neglect it. I wanted to show that even at home, in one’s daily environment, there is much more… you just need to look around you. So I thought about this for a little, and I was inspired by something I saw on Instagram, and I experimented. I even sent my film all the way to Berlin, because all the photo labs in my region were closed, and I was so curious to see the results.
The intention of this photo was therefore based on the current situation of the pandemic, but the message to take advantage of things close to us is universally valid at all times. On one hand, the photo (even if it didn’t come out the way I planned) reminds me of these weird times, and on the other hand, it makes me smile because for me it really marks a point in time where I changed the way I think about creative photography."
To see more of Sophie’s work, check her out on instagram @sophiejacoby_film
Author: Dana Gingras