Love and the Stars | Q & A with Night Wedding Photographer Sofia Katherine

I was introduced recently to Calgary-based photographer, Sofia Katherine and was immediately struck by her night photography; most especially the ones with the Rocky Mountains and starlit skies in the background. Since a majority of her work involves wedding photography at night (a niche I now love), I invited her for a little Q&A on the blog today to celebrate Valentines and feature some of her stunning couple photos.  

Let's take a look!

Q. Tell us how you got started as a night portrait artist:

I have always been a night owl. I blame my Mexican family teaching me to play Canasta late at night growing up haha! I have always loved the night sky and all things astrology and to do with the moon. I started to convince my photoshoots to allow me to take them out for a "night shot" at the end of their shoots just to experiment. Over the years these images became my clients favorites always and eventually just shooting at night became the norm for me. :D 

Q. I love the idea of chasing stars (I do the same with sunsets). Where does your inspiration come from? 
My inspiration comes from many places. I am incredibly child-like and easily fascinated by the stars. They never get old to see. Being out at night in the mountains where there is barely any noise is so peaceful, sometimes you hear owls. It's incredibly cool. I get so much energy from bringing out other people to experience this. My inspiration comes from music, I listen to a lot of super calm ambient music and also I am a big fan of video games. The graphics are so colorful and I love the night graphics. They inspire me color-wise. 

Q. What's your favourite equipment for shooting at night? 
My tripod. My little flashlight to grab focus. Electronic hand warmers! 

Q. You would have to drive out of the city I'm guessing to get such great starry nights. How scary is it to shoot at night in the middle of nowhere?
I have mastered finding locations that are super close where we can park. I don't find it scary at all and most people who go with me agree, we are so close to vehicles in the event something strange happened we are steps away from locked doors. You don't need to be far from Calgary to see stars or get them on your camera. Really 30 minutes out you are good to go! 

Q. I love your Banff shots. What are a few of your favourite locations?
Banff is beautiful really no matter what. One of my fave spots is definitely Lake Minnewanka. It faces North so when the northern lights are out it is the PRIME spot to be for viewing these. :D

Q. I'm guessing you are shooting based on the weather a lot. Do you have any exciting weather/starry night happenings to share? 
We book based on the night sky and lunar calendar and have a "Weather Fearless Rule". We go out no matter what. As every weather has something amazing about it. We embrace it. Something I have learned working in the wedding industry is how important it is to educate clients to not be afraid of the weather for your shoot. Let's just embrace it. Funny stories?? Hmm.... Seen what I am almost positive was a UFO a couple years ago with a couple on their wedding night. We all just stood there pretty shocked but also laughed thinking how we could be the only possible living things in this entire Universe. It was a pretty special sighting with a super rad couple. 

Q. How have you been adapting with Covid and your business?
Oh man. Well. I worked on many international destination wedding before this all happened. So last year I had not 1 or 2 but 10 international contracts cancelled. I had a ton of time booked for these weddings which required a ton of travel time. So with a giant calendar open I filled it with some of the most amazing intimate weddings and elopements I have ever shot. Last year was actually so special to be a wedding photographer. The emotions were next level for many of my couples. I love how the most important parts of a wedding were so important last year. 

Q. Once the world opens up again, do you have any spots you're interested in visiting and photographing at night? 
YES!! I want to go back to Iceland so badly. I am a huge fan of that country and the night skies are insane there. I think Joshua Tree has been on my hit list for a very long time as well as my own North Canada! I hope to get up super far north one of these winters. 

Q. I'm sure it's hard to pin down just one, but do you have a favourite shoot that comes to mind?
Oh... sheesh. Very hard indeed. I had someone else ask me this recently. I said the last shoot of my mother. This is a link to some of my fav shots from it:
My mother is sick and has been going thru some major health problems since 2 years ago. She has dedicated her years to my sister and I to ensure we have a great life. She was born in Mexico City and now lives up here in Canada and has been thru so much. Her superpower is her ability to find joy in everything and focus on the positive. She always says "Never lose your sense of HA HA" and credits this to getting her through some very hard times over the years. Making the time to do this shoot of my Mother meant so much to me. Photographing our own families and people is something us photographers need to do more often. Not just giving our time and talents to those who pay us money.

Thank you Sofia, that sounds like a good note to end this on, and we send your Mom the best healing vibes.

Follow Sofia online:

Jan Halvarson

No comments: