“I recently fulfilled a childhood fantasy of standing with a unicorn,” says Kit Sora. “I created a unicorn horn, and teamed up with Erin and Tinker from Spirit Horse, and we turned Tinker into a unicorn and I’m still not over it!”
Sora is a local photographer whose work focuses primarily on self-portraiture, but with an added whimsy and magic. She is currently making a book of her photography with Engen Books. In addition to her photographs, Engen Books and Sora are holding a flash fiction contest.
Each month, a new image of Sora’s is presented for writers to craft 250-word stories inspired by what they see in the work.
“I’ve always had a deep-rooted love for fantasy and sci-fi from my childhood,” Sora said, adding that she is grateful of her parents, who were “kind of nerdy” and introduced a love of Disney, “Star Trek,” “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings.”
“Being the creative sort that I am, I feel sometimes like I live in a fairy tale, and instead of taking normal run-of-the-mill photographs, I really wanted to give them my all and add that little element of magic that would make them that much more.”
Sora says the ideas for her images come from things that happen during her day, childhood dreams or the tiniest detail in a movie she watches.
“I absolutely love going for a walk through the woods, and spotting something like a perfect uprooted tree, and suddenly a whole scene comes to life in my head with a fairy door and a woodland nymph, and in my head, it’s beautiful,” she said.
Sora explained that it felt natural to integrate her love of fairy tales, magic and fantasy into her days and work.
Sora doesn’t use Photoshop. Everything in her images is really there, meaning each shot involves a considerable amount of planning, prop building and sketching to make sure she turns her vision into reality.
Sora came into contact with Engen Books through Sci-Fi on the Rock, which they both attend each year. Their relationship started when Engen Books asked her to shoot new covers for their “Black Womb” series. Not long after, they decided to put together a book of Sora’s work, giving
way to the flash fiction contest.
“I always have a concept and a viewpoint of what I’m shooting and often come up with my own backstories, but I don’t generally share them with others, as I love seeing everyone’s views,” Sora says. “Seeing the variance in the submissions and how people perceive and view the photographs has been so worth it.
“It’s definitely been an adventure. There’s an insane amount of creativity in the province, hidden within so many different people.”
Sora said she has enjoyed seeing the different interpretations writers have had, and their ability to pick up on details that were not her main focus when creating the photograph.
“Things I never would have considered have been told, and it’s been considerably eye-opening.”
Sora says she is excited to see the finished project, which will include each month’s winning story along with the photographs.
The current round of the contest closes Aug. 15. More information about how to enter, and this month’s photograph, can be found online at www.engenbooks.com.