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Feature of The Week: Sophie Kietzmann

November 12, 20223 min read

She discovered her queerness, her community, and found her WHY for acquiring so much skill in the field of photography. Sophie's dream is to perfect her art to be the best vehicle to reflect her perception of the world’s beauty and to hold space for all of her subjects to trust her with capturing a little glimpse of their realities. Sophie finds recognition of her own history in their struggles, aspirations and life stories.

What’s your connection to BCD?

The Bushwick Community Darkroom was one of the first places I came to when I settled in Brooklyn. It’s grunge and communal feel reminded me so much of Berlin. It’s a place I loved hanging out at even just to watch my friends work on their films. 

How have the current events and environments affected your photography?

It’s affected everything. It solidified my belief in my responsibility to create an environment for my subjects where they can be inexcusably themselves and feel empowered and seen. It’s made me even more aware of the vast difference in all of our lives and yet it’s shown me how monumentally important it is to to realize how each of our words and actions need to come from a place of solidarity for every last person in our society. 

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How does photography aid with your message?  

Every time I take a photo it encapsulates every last aspect of my life and the things I would like to advocate for. From the way I interact with my subject, the stylistic choices I have made, the art direction, an ethical post production process, every single element that affects the final image is decided in the moment I choose to push the button.

I am still discovering how vast that moment is in which I have so many ethical, creative, and conceptual decisions to make. Photography aids me to solidify all of these decisions, ethics and aesthetics. The more precise and deliberate I can be within that process the more sure I can be that my message and the message of every last person involved in this process is accurately reflected. 

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What organizations are you supporting?

It varies but some organizations I have recently supported are:

The Post Co(mmunity) - a platform and community that advocates for ethical retouching and transparency in post production.

The Emergency Release Fund - a fund that raises money to pay pre-trial detention bail for trans people from places such as Rikers Island.

“Because of systemic discrimination and criminalization that pushes them to the margins of society, trans people are less eligible for pre-trial release under existing programs. They are more likely to be assaulted in jail and less likely to get out, a lethal combination.” (From the website)

SAGE LGBTQ+ Elderly Center - make aging better for LGBT people nationwide.

The Homeless Black Trans WomenFund - a fund started for a small community of Black Trans women living on the streets of Atlanta, many of whom are also sex workers. They are now not only able to help that community, but this project has grown into a unique opportunity to alleviate the chronic homelessness that exists among Trans people in Atlanta, especially among Black & brown Trans people.

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