Born in Stockholm, Sophie Brändström studied sociology in Paris and then in London, and turned to photography while a student at Fort Lauderdale Art Institute in Florida, where she obtained her AS in photography. She started her career as a photojournalist in the United States, working for several newspapers belonging to the country’s n°3 press group, The McClatchy Company, and notably for the Miami Herald. This first experience lasted 5 years, after which she settled in France where she worked for L’Express, Marie-Claire, L’Équipe magazine, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Le Nouvel Observateur and La Vie, and abroad, for The Sunday Times, La Repubblica and Géo in Germany. Alongside, she carried out assignments for national institutions, NGOs and foundations such as INMA (Institut National des Métiers d’art), the French Culture Ministry, the French Ministry of Education, Région Île-de-France, Médecins du Monde and Fondation Orange. She is often also frequently called on for corporate portraits or to follow leaders and personalities in the field, like the board of directors of EDF and, more recently, Manuel Valls.
Whether it be her personal work or press commissions, Sophie Brändström’s approach as a photographer is recognised for its sensitivity, its sharpness and its keen sense of respect for the other. Her way of working, drawing deeply on her experience in the U.S. and the U.K., leads her to operate over time and patiently establish close bonds with those she meets and follows. Angling her subjects so that they exude not only emotion but also meaning is her way of bearing witness through stories anchored in the everyday, intimate and resolutely modern.
This humanistic vein has led her to address many topics with a societal dimension: poor housing, autism, ecological villages, … For a few years now, she has enriched her work with sociological reflection. She explores the relations between Man and work, the family, the media, social networks and the environment, which involves her in long-term projects. Since 2006, she has been an observer of the place of associative and popular radio stations in communities deprived of national democratic news services. Her travels have taken her to Kirghizstan, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Haiti and also Brazil.
2013 was a special year for her with the publication of "Manufactura Since 1662", her first monograph, with a preface by Gérard Garouste. In this photographic account centred on French manufactories, she evokes the personal histories of the men and women working there, enabling the general public to discover professions and ways of working often unknown. The book’s success and several international exhibitions dedicated to it are an eloquent tribute to her work; Manufactura was also recognized by the profession when nominated as a finalist in Photography category of the International Books Awards in USA.
Sophie Brändström is a laureate of the Atlanta and North Carolina seminars in photojournalism and the Eddie Adams Workshop; her work is regularly exhibited in institutions and at festivals such as the Mois de la Photo (Paris), Visa pour l’Image (Perpignan), Les Rencontres Internationales de la photographie (Arles), La Villette, ... For 2 years now, alongside her work as a photojournalist, she has been turning to scripting and producing videos. She has already produced several programmes which bear ample witness to her documentary and artistic talent. In 2014, she won the "Reporters d’Espoirs" prize for her web-documentary, "Ma Vie à Deux Balles".