Sonja Lark: I like to really visualize the story I want to tell
To begin, can you please give us a little intro as to what motivated you to become a photographer?
It’s a long story but I will do my best to shorten it (lol). I have been taking photos since I was about 8 years old but I wasn’t able to really dedicate time to my craft until recently (2 years) . I have always loved photography from a very young age I have always been entranced by the magic of creating art. I would watch America’s next top model only for the final images, it was the best part of the show. I loved watching what went into a production and seeing the final image from the days’ work inspired me to create my own art and work.
We admire the exquisite level of detail in all your works. Does your creative process start from a certain image in your mind, or do you seek inspiration as you progress?
My inspiration comes from so many things. I can be out and about, and I’ll catch a fabric or even just seeing someone move in a special way will inspire me to create. Most of my inspiration comes from the late 90’s early 2000’s photography and ad campaigns, I’m not sure why I love that era of photography so much, but I do. I aim to be like some of my favorite photographers from those decades.
What are the technical challenges of studio photography and how did you overcome them?
Some of the most challenge parts of shooting in a studio are running out of time. I often shoot in my home studio because I don’t like being rushed or feeling like we may not get the shot, so I often opt for my small home studio.
You are a creative mind with an exceptional eye for detail, are you able to talk us through your process when creating your art?
I am a very detailed oriented person, so my creative process includes tons of mood boards. I like to really visualize the story I want to tell so I’m constantly putting together mood boards that will help me tell the story. I tend to focus on the little details so that when the big picture is put together you can really see why the planning was necessary.
How has photography influenced you as a person and what do you love most about being a photographer?
My greatest joy as a photographer comes from the reveal with my clients. I love showing them the final images and seeing their faces light up. As a former fitness model, I wanted to be able to give up and coming models the experience that I didn’t have. Keeping that in mind it really keeps me motivated to provide a quality service to models looking to build their portfolios. I love helping the underdog and telling their stories from my perspective.
What do you look for in a creative team? What key skills are you looking for to ensure you are picking the best artists to work with?
When putting together a creative team I’m looking for masters of their craft. For me a makeup artist can really make or break a shoot. Finding the right MUA is imperative to a shoot. I need someone who has the technical ability to a variety of skin tones from the broadest spectrum so when I find someone with those skills, I tend to keep them on my creative team.
Not to mention postproduction, I need my H/MUA to make postproduction simple and easy the less I have to do in post the better. I love when makeup artist that cater to the photographer’s postproduction needs.
What would be your tips/advice to models and photographers looking to expand their portfolio?
To models and photographers my advice is to find a team that meshes with your vision. Collaborate with people who are willing to create as a team and not only for their needs. Collaborations need to be mutually beneficial to everyone involve. Models I would say the best advice I can give is to be selective with whom you work with not all free work is the same. Get a great team behind you for your portfolio and you’ll be set.
What is your dream in terms of your career?
My dream is to run my own agency one day. I would love to have my own creative production studio and work with high fashion luxury brands. My goal is to be a one stop shop for not only brands but as well as models looking to get into the fashion industry.
In your opinion, is it fair to alter reality by adjusting images in post-production? And what do you think it delivers in the final image?
I personally don’t do a lot of modifications in my images. I try to keep things as natural as possible because I know that as a photographer, I have the responsibility to not push unrealistic standards on those that view my work. I choose to work with your “girls next door” not because I cannot work with “high fashion” models but because I want whomever that sees my work to be able to see their selves and know that their goals are obtainable if they go after it.
What projects are you working on next, and what are your goals for the future?
I am currently putting together a pinup series that I would like to turn into a coffee table book. I have a lot of projects coming together that are top secret so I can’t share them just yet. My goals for the future are to continue to grow and learn in my craft. I don’t believe that I will ever stop learning about photography and ways to improve my work.
Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?
You can see more of my work on IG @tempetestudios as well as email email@example.com DM or a personal email is the best way to get in contact with me. Thank you for this opportunity it has been an absolute pleasure.