Farmers market photographer was inspired by her travels
Photographer Sophi Hicken considers herself a citizen of the world.
She worked as a flight attendant for five years from 1987 to 1991 exploring abroad in ways most people are not lucky enough to have the time or money to do.
She lived in the Middle East and travelled throughout Europe, Asia and North America. She was involved with the United Nations.
Hicken said her life of travel was inspired by her upbringing in Lethbridge.
“My parents have always instilled a love of travel, exploring and adventure,” said Hicken.
Her travel plans came to a sudden halt in Toronto in 1993 when a blood clot in her shoulder threatened her life and kept her in intensive care for 14 days.
After regaining her health, Hicken opted for a change of pace in her life, and returned to Alberta to be closer to her family and friends.
“Sometimes it’s just nice to be home,” she said.
However, adjusting to a life back on the prairies wasn’t easy.
“You basically start over,” she said.
Those close to her recommended Hicken continue photography because she had developed a sharp eye behind the lens during her travels.
She had no formal training, but is gifted with photographing nature and landscapes.
Today, she lives in Calgary and has been selling her images since 1995, starting with film before making the switch to digital about two years ago.
She now sells her photography at the Airdrie Farmers Market, located at the Legion every Wednesday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
She has self-published four photo books featuring images of grain elevators in various parts of the prairies, including eastern and central Alberta.
Unfortunately, her bad luck with health recently returned when she had a benign tumour removed from her foot.
“I’ve had a number of different challenges in my life, mostly physical,” she said.
She said she has tried not to let these challenges get the best of her, and she depicts the world in a positive light through her photography.
“I’m trying to capture the beauty of the world we live in,” said Hicken.
She said she is grateful to be back in Alberta close to her friends and family.
“I’ve seen and been so many places, but when it comes down to it, I’m from Alberta. I’m a prairie girl,” she said.
While she misses her life of travel, Hicken is happy knowing a part of her still travels on.
“My pictures have gone all over the world,” she said.
For more information, visit www.sophihicken.com