The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Grinnell Artist: Sofia Mendez

Photo by Sarina Lincoln.

The S&B sent writer Shuhan Yi ’22 and photographer Sarina Lincoln ’21 to catch up with Sofia Mendez ’19 about her time as a photographer at Grinnell and her future in photography.

What made you love photography?

I have been doing photography for about seven years. I think at the beginning, I started liking editing photos first, I just thought that was fun, very basic things. Then I started realizing if I can take photos I will have more photos to edit. Initially, I just liked taking portraits of my friends, but since I came to Grinnell, like with this Studio Art major, I have a chance to bring more elements to it, I guess. I would say now most of the work I do, first documentary photography, but then I like to use Photoshop a lot, and so a lot of work I can do is editing the photo.

So your initial passion was for editing photos?

No, I also love taking photos, I love being in an event and having a role as observing, I think it is very interesting, and think that is very fulfilling to be able to make myself responsible for observing something, and really being careful observing it, and thinking, “What is the most important part of this event? How can I photograph that? What aspect?” I think storytelling is an interesting part of photography.

Do you create photos for yourself and your friends?

It’s a mixture, I would say… It has a lot to do with memory I think, cause I think I have quite a bad memory, so on a personal level, I think it is good to document my own experiences, but also to be aware of what’s going on in my surroundings. So it’s a mixture of documenting my friends, photographing events. Or, for example: last year I was able to go to a couple of protests and took photos of that. I really like continuing doing that. I am interested in photojournalism.

What type of photography inspires you?

It depends. Sometimes I am really into abstraction and like playing with colors, and I like the idea of taking an image and changing it into something totally different. But I also admire and respect the power in showing things as they are. So I think that depends. And that’s something I am actually asking myself a lot these days, like the difference between photojournalism and artistic photography. They are both great both they both have different purposes

What do you plan to do with photography in the future?

Since I am a fourth-year, I am trying to apply for grad school, and I am either going to pursue a more artistic path, a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in photography, or maybe like photojournalism or documentary photography. I will try my best to pursue photography as a career.

What kind of photographer do you seek to become in the future?

I think it is important to keep in mind social justice or to address issues of our world, so I think that’s one big thing why I like documentary photography and photojournalism, ’cause it’s all about observing and being a witness and kind of showing a story, letting a voice have more power, maybe. But there is another aspect about self-expression. I would like to have a balance between them.

Do you have a memorable moment in photography?

Last year when I studied in Italy, I tried to doing some street photography. Those are interesting because it is really interesting when you are dealing with people, right? Of course I have to respect that, because not every one is comfortable with having their photo taken. So I think it is good to learn how to approach strangers.

All photos are the work of Sofia Mendez.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *