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Meet Sofia Negron

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sofia Negron.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Maryland. I was a dancer growing up and moved to NYC at 19. I was a professional dancer for about 8 years before I decided it was time to do something else but what was it? I went back and forth, do I become an actress, a lawyer, a physical therapist? I went back to school for theater and kinesiology and hated them both. But I took a black and white photojournalism class and the first day in the darkroom, I had my hallelujah moment. I wanted to do photography, tell stories through images, Capture people’s movements, energy, connection, relationships, their very soul.

In 2001, I dropped school and photographed every dancer and actor friend I could. I also assisted editorial and wedding photographers and by 2004, I was shooting full-time. Over the years, I have shot events for companies like Harpers Bazaar, Wall Street Journal, Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Opera Philadelphia, Pandora and Teen Vogue. I was also the company photographer for 5 years with Rioult, a modern dance company in New York City. That was one of my favorite assignments: getting to meld together my dance and photography background. If I could just capture dance all the time, I would.

In 2015, I missed dancing, so I became a certified vinyasa yoga instructor and certified personal trainer. I started the Healthy Photographer, which educates people in the event industry, especially photographers, how to improve their health and longevity. Events are hard. We moved to San Diego Dec 31, 2017, and I capture corporate events and brand photography for entrepreneurs, health and wellness and performing artists through Sofia Negron Photography.

Please tell us about your art.
I tell stories through photography. I help everyday people feel comfortable in front of the camera so they can share their soul with the world. I see differently from other photographers: pretty pictures and finding the light are nice but I want to find and express the connections, the relationships, the energy and the movement between people.

Anticipating an action, a smile, a touch, a laugh are all part of my job whether it is an event, a dance rehearsal or an entrepreneur. With branding photos: when people feel prepared like their photographer has a true interest in them and is rooting for them to get the best possible photos then they feel more relaxed and confident and allow me to see who they are and express that to their clients. I want my clients to discover what is possible when they let their guard down and open up. I believe people have stories to tell and I want to help them tell it to their clients can find them.

I photograph corporate events and branding portraits for entrepreneurs, health and wellness professionals and performing artists. I am unobtrusive and professional capturing events, able to walk into any venue and get great photographs. I have done over 600 events and can handle any situation with grace and ease.

When capturing portraits, I like to giggle and ask questions and prep my clients so they feel super relaxed and natural and feeling good in their own skin. Most people tell me they hate getting photographs done and I want to change that. Of course, I hate having my own photos taken so I need to take a dose of my own medicine. I’m working it out with yoga. haha!

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I think artists have always had a hard time getting to just focus on their art. They usually always need to have several revenue streams to make ends meet. I want artists to be able to pursue and create art and make a living wage/thrive/be respected.

I know growing up, I was academically smart and teachers, scholarship committees and colleges would ask, “Why are you wasting your time dancing when you could get a real job and be super successful at it.” Um, hello, dance is a real job, I am successful at it, dance makes you smart in many ways, why do you think I can do all those other academic things? Because of dance. With social media, artists can share their art with a wider audience and get discovered.

They can express their art and build a community. However, I also think there is pressure to be perfect, be “famous”, have it now and not understand that things take time to develop. I think we need to keep reminding ourselves to be authentic, that we have something to say and our community will find us and support us if we share. If we can remember our why and not get caught up in comparing and “famous” and likes.

Photographers have a harder time showing value because everyone has a camera that takes pretty decent photos so people just do it themselves. So we have to show value in other ways, we have to build trust, a following, show why it’s not always good to do it yourself. I mean when I try to take photos of myself, I look a little crazy trying to make myself laugh.

I think artists and the city should encourage community, we work better together, provide grants for artists, encourage landlords to create spaces for artists that are affordable, affordable dance rehearsal space to encourage local dancers to create, affordable performance venues to allow for experimental theater. More funding for arts in schools, children learn so much when they are able to create and express themselves.

They also learn to love art and support it. Music, dance and visual arts have been proven to help kids focus, learn math and science and become independent creative thinkers. I love all the murals around town: I want more public art. Rent stabilization, so artists don’t have to worry about whether their rent will go up to high the next year and have to move. Communal artist spaces.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
People can support my work by telling their favorite yoga studio, gym, dance school, doctor’s office or fashionista that they need to come to me for their photos! Especially if they see their friend’s profile photo and cringe. Come to Instagram and say hi and ask me for coffee, I love chatting and connecting with people, especially because I am new to San Diego. They can also bring me tacos for my shoot.

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