Heidi: Tell us more about this portrait series and why it has been important?
Sofia: This image is from a photo story I shot for Stetson. This series is important to me because both myself and the model, Emilé Zynobia, wanted to create imagery that challenged the traditional notion of what a cowgirl is and who should be included in the narrative of the American West. Emile is a Jamaican-American cowgirl. She grew up riding horses and first learned to ride at Puzzle Creek Ranch in Wilson. Black cowboys are rarely included in the oral and written stories of the west. With these images, we want to rewrite that cultural script.
You started out as a photojournalist at a newspaper, what project kicked off your solo career, and how did you approach it?
I worked on a project called PNW Sheepherders for about two years before transitioning to freelance and outdoor adventure photography. At the time I was working full-time at the Yakima-Herald Republic and I would spend all of my free time photographing the project. I would drive anywhere from 1-4 hours away after work or on the weekends to shoot the project.
What would you tell your younger self?
What are you working on these days?
I am actually working on a lot of film projects nowadays. I am working on three ski movies this season. All are non-traditional ski films and have storytelling narratives to them. I felt I needed to switch things up and try out a new medium. I am really excited about film right now, but photography will always have my heart.
What projects do you hope for in the future?
For my personal growth as a photographer, I want to focus on film and portraiture in the next few years. I’d like to create some movies that challenge the notion of what outdoor film should be and a few portrait series that I am proud of. Additionally, I’d like to work on large productions in the Tetons and get hired for more commercial photography work.
Original article: The Daily Edit – Sofia Jaramillo.