Dutch Belgian photographer Sofie Knijff (born 1972) captures the fantastical worlds conjured up in the imaginations of children. Compositionally, Knijff takes inspiration from her own background in theater, as well as the classical archetypes of fairy tales—kings and princesses, mermaids and witches. For costume ideas, she asks her young sitters about their dream selves.
Whether serious, silly or shy, dressed in a royal cape or a simple cotton dress, the subjects of Knijff’s photographs are portrayed with an emotional depth and intellectual autonomy rarely afforded to children. The high level of drama in her work stems from their theatrical staging against a dark backdrop in addition to the unusually moody lighting schemes.
Decidedly original and distinctly contemporary, Knijff brings a striking new dimension to the modern high-gloss portrait.