Interview with Sophie Barbasch
I was born in New York City, where I currently reside. In between, I lived in Providence, Rhode Island and traveled throughout the US and Brazil. I studied photography in college and grad school, and now I am doing a mix of teaching and working on my own projects.
I shoot both film and digital—color and black and white. It’s hard to summarize all the things that draw my eye. I tend to take pictures that have a contemplative or sad feel to them. But the subject matter varies widely.
It depends on the project. For a while, I was working in different places and bringing the images together, so that a given series would have a mix of geographical sources. Other times, I am more invested in a sense of place, and I commit to just one area. At the moment, I am trying to shoot things close to home, since I think it is more challenging. Regardless of where I am, I like to go on photo walks. Wandering is an important part of my process.
This also depends on the project. I am constantly trying to integrate photography into my everyday life more, so that it’s not an isolated thing that I have to schedule. But in general, I tend to shoot in bursts of a few weeks or months and then take time to digest everything.
It is a way of thinking, or working through ideas. The process can be meditative. Sometimes I photograph to get distance from my thoughts —other times, it is a way to enter into them, albeit differently. I like it when you are paying so much attention to your subject that everything else fades away. It’s freeing to be able to frame things.