Alexandra Sophie’s painterly images of femininity

Poppies and Violette. France, 2021.

The Maori phrase for autism is “takiwatanga”. It translates to “in their individual time and space” — a profound and empowering way to think about remaining neurodivergent. 

Growing up in a modest French village, photographer Alexandra Sophie was always extremely near to nature and most cozy there. “I’ve constantly been different but it took really some time for me to realise it,” she states. “But I never felt that possessing autism was a destructive point.” Then she started center school and all the things adjusted. “There was a great deal of force to suit a mould. Almost everything was quite outlined and I was bullied a ton,” she suggests. “Growing up, I was really scared of folks. I get the shivers just thinking about it.” Remaining unable to acquire the bus — a particular car or truck-sized ambulance consistently ferried her to and from college — only created a tricky circumstance worse. Marked as “weird”, Alexandra stopped striving to in shape into conventional social codes and observed solace in her solitude. 

a woman stands in a stream in her underwear

Julie. Territoire-de-Belfort, France, 2011.

“Photography saved me,” Alexandra claims. Following leaving university as a teen, Alexandra expended her days at home surfing the online and studying weblogs. “There was no Facebook or Instagram at that time, but there ended up web-sites like DeviantArt the place I could constantly see pretty inventive and conceptual work,” she claims. “I had no intention of turning out to be a photographer — this was just a way to shell out my time, to do anything, and be out there on-line. But it advanced quite speedily.”

Delicate to synthetic light, Alexandra opted to get the job done in normal options like the loved ones backyard garden. Uncomfortable photographing herself, she solid her sisters alternatively, capturing times that embraced the romance of femininity. As social media started to consider hold, her sisters applied these photos as their profile shots to terrific fanfare from their buddies. Quickly everybody was clamouring for an Alexandra Sophie photograph. 

a burning bra

Reflections. France, 2020.

 “I became the profile photograph service provider for my town,” Alexandra suggests, telling me how this aided her improve a lot more self-confident in her eyesight. With individuals now conscious of her emerging expertise, Alexandra soon went from staying an outcast to becoming in-need. But obtaining been alienated for so long, she wasn’t swift to enable down her guard and concentrated entirely on the process at hand: mastering the artwork of pictures. 

As destiny would have it, Alexandra’s beautiful photos caught the notice of important trend and attractiveness makes these types of as Prada, Chanel beauty, Dior elegance, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harpers Bazaar. “I don’t even know how I ended up in this article!”

a woman lies in the grass on a picnic blanket

Right after the picnic. Territoire-de-Belfort, France, 2020.

Although Alexandra loves style and natural beauty images, the narrow scope of sector criteria can be restricting. “For a while I stopped having particular pictures mainly because I was too hectic with operate,” she claims. “It was awful. I was really missing a thing and my work was as well.” Recognising the want to nourish her personal eyesight and creativeness, Alexandra embarked on a personal collection of work that brings collectively an expansive and inclusive group of younger gals.

The end result is Flower Shower (Pictures Publishing), a gentle collection of younger females in the purely natural landscape that explores themes of identity, sexuality, feminism, and the social codes of “normalcy.” Alexandra’s tender and sensual images rejoice the innate eroticism of the female when it is liberated from the male gaze. Listed here, sexuality is open up and fluid, unfettered by labels and beliefs. 

a flower built around a nipple as a girl lays on the grass

Luna Leung. Paris, France, 2014.

“This e book was really an opportunity to be no cost,” Alexandra states. “It’s all about simplicity in just about every way. Using pictures of nudes enable us ‘get back’ possession of our bodies, exhibiting them just as they are as an alternative of as objects of wish. It shows a aspect of us that is bare and raw, whilst apparel [acts as] a distraction. Taking away trend — and the business, capitalist side — can make the photograph timeless.” For Alexandra, attractiveness is not a subject or an item but somewhat a response to merely remaining existing, bearing witness to the mother nature of existence. 

Now 29 and dwelling in a remote French village with her spouse and young children, Alexandra proceeds to stay shut to house. To this day, pictures is the only detail she does outside the house the property, travelling to Paris for shoots. “I get this surge of enjoyment and see these photos in my head but I’m always so satisfied to occur back again property, to this peace and quietness.”

Images has provided Alexandra self-assurance to live fully in her personal time and room. “I truly feel like I have this issue that is under my regulate and helps me to navigate the earth,” she says. “I appreciate to have my digicam when no one is about and choose images of my mates. I just adhere to the light.”

Pre-purchase Alexandra Sophie’s ‘Flower Shower’ from her web site right here.

a woman in the grass surrounded by trees and flowers

Umbelliferous. Ardèche, France, 2021.

a photo of a woman shot naked from behind with a crescent moon in light

Alexandra Sophie, Flower Shower.

Credits


All illustrations or photos courtesy Alexandra Sophie

Observe i-D on Instagram and TikTok for far more photography.

By Indana