Interview With Emilie Hofferber

Words by Nathan Wright.
Photography by Emilie Hofferber.

Emilie Hofferber, an emerging landscape and portrait photographer based in Colorado, allowed us to learn more about herself, her photography and her time exploring the USA in this interview with Peachy Magazine.

For those who don’t know you already, could you explain a little about who you are and what you do?

I’m a photographer who primarily focuses on landscapes. I really enjoy hiking and traveling and exploring the western United States with my chihuahua, Margaret. 

Did exploring inspire you to start taking photos, or vice versa?

Yes! I was really into photography when I was in high school but I definitely pushed it to the side after I graduated in 2013. In 2017 I moved out west and slowly started exploring all the amazing landscapes that the west has to offer. In 2018 I went on my first roadtrip through southern Utah and fell in love with camping and chasing sunrises. This love quickly grew and I started taking more day trips, overnighters, extended weekends. At the end of 2019 I opened up a print shop and decided to see what would happen. It was successful and it honestly surprised me! So in December 2019 I decided I wanted to take photography more seriously.

Monument valley sunrise, February 2020 by Emilie Hofferber.

What have you taken away from your time exploring?

Spending a lot of time exploring has taught me a lot. For one, a location that is 7 hours away is a day trip if you plan your time out right, haha. But more seriously, each trip I take and each hike I take is my own. I go at my pace (ok, I go at Margaret’s pace) and I get to choose what I want to see. At the beginning of March this year (yes, literally two weeks before the world went on pause) I was traveling through Southern Utah and was planning on heading up to Salt Lake City to visit friends. I was driving around St. George and I saw a sign for the Grand Canyon. I had never been to the Grand Canyon before. I put it in my maps, saw it was a 4 hour drive, and I made it just barely in time for sunset! I try to not schedule out trips or hikes too much, it’s the moments that you don’t plan for that are always the most memorable. A few weeks ago I was in Jackson, WY and a friend suggested we go rafting down a river. I had never gone rafting but fell in love with it. We even stopped off near some cool cliffs to go jumping at. Don’t focus solely on your destination or you’ll miss out on the journey.

Moonset near Wyoming, July 2020 by Emilie Hofferber.

What do you look for in a shooting location?

I consider a lot of things before shooting a location–what direction does the subject face, where will the sun be, what phase is the moon in, will it be crowded, what’s near the location in case I need a backup…

How do you utilise lighting and colour when shooting landscapes?

I wake up for sunrises. Always. There’s something about the first light of day waking up the planet that is just so beautiful. I always say “make your light work for you” and what I mean by that is know when the sun will shine a spotlight on a spot you already know is beautiful.

Sunrise in the San Juan range, June 2020 by Emilie Hofferber.

What tips do you have for aspiring landscape photographers?

Take a lot of photos! Take too many photos. Plan ahead and prepare, know what your landscape looks like before you arrive. Be aware of the earth, sun, and moon and learn how to photograph in all different kinds of weather! Don’t get caught up in social media numbers. Shoot for the love.

Canyonlands national park, February 2020 by Emilie Hofferber.

If you could visit any location in the world to photograph landscapes, where would you choose to go?

Oh gosh, that’s hard. The Dolomites, Iceland, and Patagonia are pretty high up on my list. But if I could pick anywhere, it’d be an entire summer in Alaska. The whole state with a van, my camera, and Margaret.