Sophie Daum (Fan Feature)


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello there, my name is Sophie Daum, I am a fashion photographer based in Hamburg, Germany. My main focus is menswear and men beauty, the most essential keystones of my work are realness and honesty.
I am lucky to run my own studio ever since 2017.

2. What are you working on right now?
My style changed a lot over the last months, so besides my work for fashion labels and magazines, I am doing a lot of free projects to update my portfolio. Right now I am using the cold months to be in the studio, building my beauty portfolio with male and female models.

3. Do you have a podcast routine? What is it? 
I wouldn’t say I have a special routine. I listen a lot during my retouching, since I feel it can be a little boring every now and then. So I like to feed my brain during this kind of work.
And since I am driving almost every month to the south of the country to shoot there for clients, I use the time in the car to catch up on the podcast episodes I haven’t had the chance to listen to.


4. What are you most excited about right now?

I’m excited about a lot of things actually! 2019 started great, I already got contacts with a bunch of new clients and the projects we are planning together I believe are going to be very interesting!

Also I am thinking about a bigger trip in the end of the year, so I am pretty excited about traveling and shooting with different people on the way.
Being more on location again, shooting in the wilderness seems like being THE BIG thing for me in 2019!

5. What was the most exciting photo shoot you’ve done so far? 
Ouff, that’s a tough one! I am deeply in love with adventurous-on-location shoots, so I will tell you about one of our road trips during the fall of 2018.
So we went on a trip to the beach of Sankt Peter Ording. It’s the most beautiful beach you can probably get in Germany. It’s super large, you can actually drive with the car across the beach. There are many productions taking place there, it’s a super popular location. It was a windy day, it felt like there was sand and water spit at us over the whole day. But we managed to finish our work apart from this and the pictures turned out beautifully! I even got to take off my shoes and stand in the water, shooting our gorgeous model.
Barefoot shoot days are always the best ones for me.
I think going away, out of town, even if it’s just for one shooting day, is always bringing something magical to the team and I personally find it super inspiring and these are actually my best shoots.

6. Tell us about a lesson you’ve learned
I think the most important thing I’ve learned so far was to focus on myself, stop looking at what the others are doing, stop comparing my struggling moments to their highlight reel. 

It’s important to stay true to yourself and do what inspires you rather than trying to be like x/y/z. 

Also I am thinking about a bigger trip in the end of the year, so I am pretty excited about traveling and shooting with different people on the way.
Being more on location again, shooting in the wilderness seems like being THE BIG thing for me in 2019!

7. Usually the subject of the fashion photography is the woman, but you are really into shooting male subjects, do you want to share with us why?Sure. So my main focus is menswear and men’s beauty. There are different reasons why. When I did my first shoot working with boys I realized how relaxed the whole atmosphere was. I am not the most girlish girl myself, more like a pal type of girl so I get along with male models quite easily. After a while I also realized how interesting the menswear field is. Since womenswear has always been a big thing, menswear is still a pretty fresh and new market. First there were just suits, then suits and workwear, followed by streetwear and right now, the market is suddenly full with different styles for the fashionable guys. I think there is still so much potential for creating new things, it makes me curious.

8. Do you have a different approach when you are shooting male or female models?
I was thinking about this question a lot… and I came up with two things. One is huge… the team. I got some stylists that are doing amazing work with styling women, but menswear is just not their thing.
Also Make Up Artists – I like to work with artists that are good with males hair and great with skin and of course people who understand the importance of their job even if its ‘just a male model’ 😀
Besides that, I had to get used to being on set earlier when we have a female model, because Hair & Make Up takes longer and so I have to start setting up even earlier. With male models everything goes a lot faster and we usually wrap up earlier.

9. What do you find most difficult about this industry?
You have to invest a lot of time, money and love to make it. I am fine with that, it’s part of the game… But I sometimes find it challenging to explain to people from other industries – why on earth we are getting up at five, going on a two hour trip to a location, hike for 20 minutes, to shoot for 8 hours and make the whole way back without getting paid for it. If you look at it from the outside, it seems insane but if you’re in the inside circle, it is so normal to invest, time, money and a lot of passion to do what we love and eventually at some point getting paid for that exact thing.


10. Do you have a favorite source of knowledge (website/YouTube channel/blog/app) you’d like to share with us?

Not really, if I am looking for a certain information, I basically google it. But I am not consuming one particular page or channel on a regular basis. I am more a podcast person, since I can listen to it while doing other stuff like driving, retouching or even laundry. I highly recommend the Nion Radio Podcast by Nick Onken as well as the School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.

11. If there was an app to help you with your photography what would it be about?
There are great apps out there, I really appreciate, like Sun Surveyor for example, it’s very helpful on location.
What just came into my mind, I should actually check if there’s something like that out there already, is an app or community to exchange secret location advice. I am always looking for amazing landscapes or lost places, it can eat up a lot of time driving around and checking out locations. So this might be very helpful to have a platform to actually exchange information about places and see pictures of different spots.

12. Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Great question! The goal is to work internationally. I love to travel and I would like to be more on location, shooting at beaches, in the jungle or at other wonderful places this world has to offer.
Right now I am not sure if I will keep my base in Hamburg or if I am going to move at some point.
The market is very commercial here and sometimes it feels like I might not be fitting in that well.
Italy seems like a great idea, since there’s a lot going on in the menswear scene.
But that’s just a thought for now.
I am pretty much open and curious about what the future’s going to bring…

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