Poppies and Violette. France, 2021.
The Maori word for autism is “takiwatanga”. It translates to “in their individual time and space” — a profound and empowering way to feel about remaining neurodivergent.
Increasing up in a modest French village, photographer Alexandra Sophie was normally extremely shut to character and most snug there. “I’ve normally been distinct but it took really some time for me to realise it,” she claims. “But I never felt that obtaining autism was a detrimental matter.” Then she commenced center university and all the things altered. “There was a ton of force to in good shape a mould. Everything was really described and I was bullied a large amount,” she states. “Growing up, I was really worried of persons. I get the shivers just considering about it.” Getting unable to choose the bus — a unique vehicle-sized ambulance consistently ferried her to and from college — only built a complicated condition worse. Marked as “weird”, Alexandra stopped hoping to match into regular social codes and discovered solace in her solitude.
Julie. Territoire-de-Belfort, France, 2011.
“Photography saved me,” Alexandra suggests. Following leaving university as a teen, Alexandra put in her times at home surfing the world-wide-web and looking at blogs. “There was no Fb or Instagram at that time, but there were being sites like DeviantArt where by I could normally see extremely imaginative and conceptual work,” she claims. “I had no intention of becoming a photographer — this was just a way to invest my time, to do a thing, and be out there on the internet. But it progressed incredibly speedily.”
Delicate to artificial gentle, Alexandra opted to function in purely natural settings like the spouse and children yard. Awkward photographing herself, she solid her sisters in its place, capturing times that embraced the romance of femininity. As social media commenced to get maintain, her sisters made use of these photos as their profile images to wonderful fanfare from their buddies. Instantly absolutely everyone was clamouring for an Alexandra Sophie photograph.
Reflections. France, 2020.
“I became the profile photo supplier for my town,” Alexandra suggests, telling me how this aided her mature a lot more self-assured in her eyesight. With people today now aware of her emerging talent, Alexandra before long went from currently being an outcast to staying in-demand. But owning been alienated for so extended, she was not quick to enable down her guard and centered only on the process at hand: mastering the art of images.
As fate would have it, Alexandra’s exquisite photographs caught the consideration of important vogue and natural beauty brand names these types of as Prada, Chanel beauty, Dior elegance, Vogue, Vainness Good, and Harpers Bazaar. “I don’t even know how I ended up below!”
Just after the picnic. Territoire-de-Belfort, France, 2020.
Although Alexandra loves manner and attractiveness pictures, the narrow scope of field standards can be limiting. “For a whilst I stopped taking particular photographs mainly because I was also hectic with perform,” she says. “It was horrible. I was actually missing something and my do the job was much too.” Recognising the have to have to nourish her own eyesight and creative imagination, Alexandra embarked on a personal collection of operate that brings jointly an expansive and inclusive team of young females.
The outcome is Flower Shower (Visuals Publishing), a gentle selection of young females in the pure landscape that explores themes of identification, sexuality, feminism, and the social codes of “normalcy.” Alexandra’s tender and sensual photographs celebrate the innate eroticism of the female when it is liberated from the male gaze. In this article, sexuality is open and fluid, unfettered by labels and beliefs.
Luna Leung. Paris, France, 2014.
“This guide was genuinely an prospect to be free of charge,” Alexandra says. “It’s all about simplicity in each way. Using photographs of nudes assistance us ‘get back’ ownership of our bodies, displaying them just as they are as a substitute of as objects of wish. It shows a aspect of us that is bare and uncooked, while outfits [acts as] a distraction. Getting absent trend — and the professional, capitalist side — will make the photograph timeless.” For Alexandra, natural beauty is not a subject matter or an object but fairly a reaction to just getting present, bearing witness to the mother nature of existence.
Now 29 and living in a remote French village with her husband and youngsters, Alexandra proceeds to continue to be close to dwelling. To this day, images is the only detail she does outside the residence, travelling to Paris for shoots. “I get this surge of pleasure and see these photos in my head but I’m usually so satisfied to appear again house, to this peace and quietness.”
Photography has presented Alexandra confidence to dwell completely in her very own time and house. “I really feel like I have this detail that is underneath my manage and can help me to navigate the world,” she claims. “I like to have my digital camera when no just one is close to and choose photographs of my mates. I just stick to the light-weight.”
Pre-purchase Alexandra Sophie’s ‘Flower Shower’ from her internet site below.
Umbelliferous. Ardèche, France, 2021.
Alexandra Sophie, Flower Shower.
All images courtesy Alexandra Sophie