The Wanderlust Interviews: Sofie + Sam

I've been following Norwegian photographer, Sofie Sund and American photographer, Samuel Ithurburn on Instagram for some time now. The beautiful landscapes and mesmerizing portraits that they shoot, whether they are together or apart stand out as a memento of their relationship.

One of my ideas to move my blog forward this year is to conduct short interviews with those who inspire me, predominantly focusing on the people I follow on Instagram who treat the platform less as a social network and more as a portfolio to show off their photography to the world. I love portraiture, but my real love in photography combines people and landscapes. I love to travel, and I love photography (and my blog covers both these subjects passionately) - so it stands to reason that I will be featuring photographers who shoot in incredible locations.

Sam and Sofie fit perfectly into this niche that I've carved out. When I scroll through their photographs, I'm not only admiring their images, I'm also containing a growing wanderlust to travel to the beautiful places where the photos were taken. The duo travel back and forth between their two home countries (as well as elsewhere in the world), meaning that the west coast of America and Sofie's native Norway get plenty of exposure - both destinations that I dream of exploring.

Read on to discover more about Sofie and Sam.

All images by Sofie Sund and Samuel Ithurburn

Both of your photographs initially caught my eye because they focus just as much on beautiful landscapes as they do on the people in them. What do you consider first when taking photos - the background or the person? 

Sam: I’d say definitely the background/lighting, if I’m in the city and I see beautiful lighting I’ll try and wait for the right subject to pass by. I’d say the same goes for nature, but people are more hard to come by.

Sofie: I have to say the background. I love shooting in beautiful nature, but it's also important to me to have a person in the picture. As Sam said it takes time to wait for a subject to pass by in nature, so I usually have myself, Sam or a friend to be the subject in my pictures. 

You've taken photos in many beautiful locations - where is your favourite place in the world to shoot?

Sam: I’ve been to a handful of countries and still I’d say my favorite place to go shoot is downtown here in Sacramento, I know where there’s beautiful lighting and the people here are so diverse, it’s beautiful. 

Sofie: It's so hard to choose a favorite place, but I think I'll have to say Big Sur in California. Sam and I went on a road trip down the coast last year, and I just fell in love with that place. So amazing. 

If you could travel anywhere to take photographs, where would you go?

Sam: I’ve been getting into a lot of street/documentary photography lately so I’d say I want to go to India, or somewhere where I can tell someone else’s story through my lens.  

Sofie: I want to travel to so many different places. Somewhere with amazing landscapes and beautiful nature, maybe Switzerland or somewhere further away like South Africa. 

Do you look to each other for inspiration for your photos?

Sam: Yeah, for sure! Especially the studio work Sofie’s been working on lately.

Sofie: YES! Sam is so creative and he always capture the perfect moments in his pictures. His street photography is so inspiring. 

Where else do you find inspiration?

Sam: That’s a tough question… I’d say it comes from a lot things: the people I surround myself with, friends, artists, the music I listen to, my mood and feelings, so many things inspire me.  

Sofie: Like Sam said, you can find inspiration in everything! But I find a lot of my inspiration in feelings and people. 

Describe your perfect day

Sam: Wake up, eat breakfast, golf, go to Temple Coffee, edit photos, grab lunch, go shoot photos with Sofie or a friend, skateboard, eat dinner, grab a drink, and probably go see a show. That would be a beautiful day.

Sofie: A perfect day for me is a day of exploring, good food and people I love. It doesn't have to be filled by amazing things to be perfect, it's the small things that makes me happy.

Beside the sea or in the mountains?

Sam: I like the northern California coast a lot, but probably mountains.

Sofie: Same as Sam. 

City or countryside?

Sam: I need both, but city.

Sofie: I need a good balance, but I think the city as long as it's close to nature. 

Black & white or colour photography?

Sam: Black and White

Sofie: It's hard to choose between the two. I love colors, but sometimes black and white just makes a picture 10 times better. I can't decide.

Digital or film?

Sam: Film

Sofie: I probably have to say digital, but that's because I haven't gotten into film photography that much yet. But I want to be better at it! 


Follow Sam on Instagram

Follow Sofie's professional and personal accounts on Instagram