“Stars can’t shine without darkness.”
– D.H. Sidebottom
I wear my shadows where they’re harder to see, but they follow me everywhere. I guess that should tell me I’m travelling toward light.
Our featured photographer this month is Sonja Stich, from Sonja Stich fotografias. Sonja’s photographs transport us into a different world of childhood. Partly because of the urban landscape present in a large part of her work, but mostly because of her unique vision. Sonja’s work is texture, it’s full of life, it’s intriguing and captivating. Simple moments, brought to life. Join us in discovering and rediscovering the beautiful world of childhood, through the eyes of Sonja Stich.
Childhood and lifestyle images are often full of color and joy. How
do you feel about breaking the perceived rules of photography by
portraying such images in a different way?
I think a lot of my images are also full of joy, not all of them because
I want to take pictures that show my children as they are, not only the
happy moments. When I started photographing them I wanted to capture how
they look. Now I try to show how they feel and what they do in this very
moment. Sometimes they are joyful, sometimes pensive, concentrated,
observing. Yes, I think I love to take images of them when they are
observing something that is new or impressive to them like huge waves in
the ocean or tiny animals in their hand. Because this is what childhood
is about and what I want to rediscover for myself. To be impressed, to
be open, to learn all the time. Leaving aside color helps me to
concentrate on the moment, the expression, and photographically on
composition and light.
For us as a group, the use of deep strong shadows is what sets the
mood in our lifestyle images. How do you define “mood” in your own
As I almost exclusively take photos of people, their expression and
posture already carry the mood. Light and shadows help me to emphasize
the essential of a scene. Deep shadows sometimes set a moody atmosphere
and sometimes guide the eye to the lighter parts of the image. Color can
be also very important to me when it comes to transporting a certain mood.
Why do you like portraying your lifestyle images in this way? What
draws you to this style of photography?
I want to show emotion and dramatic lighting and contrasts between dark
and light help me to emphasize it.
When shooting in beautiful light, what attracts you more- the light,
or the shadows that go with it?
I feel so privileged that I live in Spain because the light is
incredibly beautiful here. When outside I feel the need to constantly
capture it. For example, now as the sunsets are spectacular I´m drawn to
lighter images. When inside I´m drawn to deeper shadows as they help me
to emphasize the light.
What do you find inspiring in childhood that drives your need to
The openness, the curiosity, the need to explore the world around them.
Can you give one tip on how to shoot in “moody” light or low light?
Look for the light and let it guide you. Seeing the light is much easier
in low light situations. Don´t be afraid of the grain.
What keeps you going when you feel uninspired?
As I don´t shoot for clients I don´t need to take photos. But I do it
almost every day because it´s a passion. When I feel uninspired I go for
a walk at the beach or I take my camera to the city center, there is
always something or someone interesting to see. I am also a contributor to
various photography groups that push me regularly to shoot for a theme.
What is your favorite time of day to photograph? And why?
I love golden hour because of the light. I also like full sun in summer,
because it creates beautiful shadows.
What’s in your camera bag?
I have a Nikon D7000 and three lenses: 50mm, 35mm and lensbaby sweet 35.
JPEG or RAW? Photoshop or Lightroom?
RAW! And Lightroom. I don´t want to spend too much time with post
processing so I do 99 percent in Lightroom. I do have Photoshop but I
almost never open it.
The true shadow is not made by darkness but of light ~ Gabriel Swann
Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides ~ Junichiro Tanizaki