Sonya Revell Portrays Artists for Luxe Interiors + Design

Mar 28, 2019
Photographer Spotlight

Miami-based photographer Sonya Revell has been photographing for Luxe Interiors + Design for the past four years. She regularly contributes to 'Style Makers': the portion of the magazine that features a different artist, designer, gallerist, or artisan each month by showcasing their work and studio. She's collaborated with a handful of different artists whose work varies from oil and acrylic painting to furniture decoupage. While her images have appeared in both the Miami and Broward/Palm Beach editions of the magazine, her most recent spread was shown in the National edition.

The artists featured in Sonya's photographs include Isabel Brinck, whose vivid paintings of distorted figures straddle the line between reality and fantasy; Stephen Artboite, who utilizes coffee as his main medium to create life-size portraits synonymous with his cultural upbringing; and Magnus Sodmain, whose work pays homage to southern Florida terrain, existing somewhere between landscape and abstraction.

Sonya Revell, Luxe Interiors + Design
Isabel Brinck, featured in the January/February 2018 Miami Edition

Luxe's six-page spread paints a well-rounded picture of its featured subject by including an extensive bio about the artist and their work alongside portraits of the artist in their studio. 

Sonya Revell, Luxe Interiors + Design
Isabel Brinck, featured in the January/February 2018 Miami Edition

Prior to the shoot, Luxe photo editor Olivia Lambert shares the artist’s website, bio, and photos of their workspace with Sonya so that she has a visual understanding of her subject and surroundings. Upon their arrival to the respective studio, the two begin with a walkthrough of the space, pointing out potential shots to each other. Sonya then looks for a few portrait set-ups (with a preference for the artist in action); vignettes of the artists’ workspace, tools, and materials; and close-up process shots. 

Sonya Revell, Luxe Interiors + Design
Stephen Artboite, featured in the January/February 2019 Miami and National Edition

When you’re photographing an artist’s work, how much do you collaborate with the artist? 

“Some artists are very well prepared and take extra care to arrange their space in a photogenic way (which is awesome and saves me a lot of time); others leave it up to me to find the vignettes I need. Either way I pretty much always end up rearranging their workspace somewhat to create just the right image. Olivia and I always like to have a conversation and ask the artist lots of questions about their work and process during the photo shoot. The answers often guide me during the session.”

While each artist has a different approach to their own photo shoot, it is up to Sonya to intersect the artist’s vision with the magazine’s.

Sonya Revell, Luxe Interiors + Design
Stephen Artboite, featured in the January/February 2019 Miami and National Edition

Are there any commonalities across shoots with different artists?

“I really enjoy working with artists.  For the most part, they tend to be very down-to-earth, collaborative, and open to my ideas. They also tend to not be used to having their portrait made, so I just try to laugh, make conversation, and make them feel comfortable.”

Sonya Revell, Luxe Interiors + Design
Magnus Sodamin, featured in the July/August 2018 Miami Edition

Were there any unforeseen challenges that you encountered in planning or execution for any of these features?

“We once showed up to a photo shoot location and the space was almost completely empty — just white walls, a white floor and a few pieces of art sprinkled about. It was pretty challenging to come up with shots because there was almost nothing to photograph.”

Sonya Revell, Luxe Interiors + Design
Magnus Sodamin, featured in the July/August 2018 Miami Edition

Credits:

Client: Luxe Interiors + Design
Photo Director: Olivia Lambert
Photo Assistants: Dragi Stankovic and Enoch Contreras

Check out more of Sonya Revell at www.sonyarevell.com!

Check out our other great photographers on our Find Photographers page.