Michelle Yee is a former co-founder of SOFIA, a collective for women working in photography.
SOFIA is a women’s photography collective that aims to inspire, educate, and connect women working in photography.
SOFIA (Society of Females in Art) began as an experiment, back in the summer of 2014. We came together because we wanted to create a community for women working in photography. Only we didn't know what that community would look like. What did it even mean to be a collective? What would we do?
As commercial photographers, we were all hired guns. We made our living through transforming ideas into images, work that we were proud to do, but the seeds for most those ideas and the resulting work came from our clients.
We wanted to return to what brought us to photography in the first place. We wanted to deepen our sense of connection with the work we were making. We wanted to challenge ourselves. And we wanted to do it together.
SOFIA had its official debut during the 20th annual CONTACT Photography Festival Toronto in May 2016, with our group exhibition, "Bad Behaviour".
Since then, SOFIA has exhibited internationally, showing work in alongside other women-centered photography collectives in both Argentina and Chile.
In 2017, SOFIA launched a pilot mentorship program, where participating members of SOFIA worked with emerging women photographers over the course of a year with the goal of helping them discover and evolve their individual voice as a photographer.