Focus on the camera
The first time I met Sophie Brown, I was at an event in the local area of the Sutherland Shire.
The thing is, at first, you don’t even realise that there’s a photographer working the room, taking candid shots, and capturing the event.
It wasn’t until the end of the event that I had the best opportunity to introduce myself to the photographer.
Drawing me in wasn’t just a genuine conversation about Canon versus Nikon (Sophie is pro Canon), it was the creative personality that was bubbling through.
And that’s exactly how you get Sophie.
A bubbly, creative photographer who is known in the Sutherland Shire for supporting other small to medium sized businesses. We will get to that a little bit later.
Sophie moved with her family into the Sutherland Shire when she was only 6 years old.
Her parents were immigrants from France and Italy, and she loves the best of both worlds. Coffee, pasta, art, and “My Mum’s lasagne is amazing!” She smiles at me, starting to get excited. “Artichokes. I love artichokes. They’re probably my favourite. We grew up with all the soups, the main meals, you know, we used to have a five course meal for dinner.”
I have to admit, I’ve had her Mum’s homemade lasagne, and it is pretty amazing.
Living in the Sutherland Shire, Sophie finished High School at St Patrick’s Sutherland and continued her education completing a Bachelor of Commerce (major in Marketing) at the University of Wollongong.
But – how did we get to photography?
After university, Sophie landed a full-time job at a Holiday Inn in Sydney. Seeing that it could take more than 30 years to go from Waitress to General Manager, Sophie walked straight into HR and after a genuine conversation decided that her path needed to take a different route.
Sophie then pursued a career in Travel with Thomas Cook Conference and Incentive Travel Management, organising major events and conferences for large companies like McDonalds, Tupperware, Eli Lilly and other major brands. Sophie then joined the Sydney Opera House working with the Tourism Services department delivering packages to the inbound tourism sector.
By then, Sophie was getting itchy feet, and decided there was no better time to go travelling.
Returning to Australia
On her return to Australia, Sophie started working within the Automotive Industry, focusing on marketing, sponsorship, and events, and working with leading brands including Audi, Lexus, Toyota and Pirelli Tyres.
Although Sophie loved the pace and excitement of the Automotive Industry, she decided to change the gears when she started her family.
After the arrival of her third child, Sophie decided it was time to make her dream come true and start her own business. Born into a family-owned business Sophie had always had the desire to do something on her own and create a business that would supply family-work life balance while the children were growing up.
“It was always a dream to have a creative business or be an artist.”
In 2008, Sophie took the first step to starting her business and still has the first $50 stuck in the front of her folder that she got as payment from her first ‘paid’ job, and early morning family portrait session at Cronulla Beach.
Support in the right places
Sophie is a member of the Sutherland Shire Amateur Photography Society, which she joined in 2008.
The two people that Sophie always speaks highly of are Greg Ford and Karyn Eyles-Balukea. Greg runs the Society and Karyn has been an active member since Sophie joined. If she ever needs a second opinion, a sound board or advice, she touches base with her mentors!
I’ve known Sophie now for over 3 years. Her bubbly and positive personality is infectious, and her support unwavering for other small businesses in the Shire.
Sophie is happiest now that she can get back to photographing events, weddings, and meeting businesses in person for their corporate shots. I really enjoy hearing her projects about these amazing people she’s meeting daily.
Written by Jacinta Marshall, Purple Biz