Claudia Hoffer: On a quest to see the world
Feb 16, 2011 | 3203 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEHIND THE SCENES — Claudia Hoffer isn’t often in photographs because she is usually the one behind the lens. While capturing some surf and sand pictures on spring break, below, a photo was taken of her doing what she loves.
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Some may find it interesting that Claudia Nicole Hoffer was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but raised in Cleveland, Tennessee. Her father’s acceptance of a new job brought the family to the place she has called home since she was in the second grade.

After completing elementary school at E.L. Ross School, she went to Cleveland Middle School, Notre Dame High School and is in her second year of college, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and international studies (Spanish and Italian).

“I’m considering getting a double major and adding an art degree,” Hoffer said, “since I’m going to finish the classes for my major next semester and I’ll have extra time on my hands.”

With the extra time, Hoffer will be working on her life’s blueprint for post-college. She’s not sure what the future holds but is certain it will revolve around traveling and exploring the world.

She may travel a great distance to faraway places but will always find her way home to her brother, who is also her best friend, and the family she describes as “lovely and amazing.” It’s her family, Hoffer says, who has been the most influencing in her life — encouraging her to become the person she is today.

“My mother, father, and brother are all very intelligent and incredibly talented musicians. They’re good at everything. I would be nowhere without them. We’re close, and I know if I ever need anything they’re there for me.”

Before she blew out the candle on her first birthday cake, she was introduced to traveling by her parents. Being able to spend countless months in Chile has provided unique adventures as well as unparalleled education. In addition to Chile she’s enjoyed some adventurous trips to Japan, England, Spain, France and Guatemala with her family where she was able to make special memories.

“My parents have had a huge influence on my decision to travel. I feel guilty knowing there is no way I can repay my parents for giving me the opportunities to travel as much as I have. They’ve opened the door to the world for me and I know that I’ll be unable to settle down until I know I’ve seen all of it.”

The main reason she is considering an additional degree in art degree is her love for the arts — especially music — something else her family heavily influenced her on. The freedom she has to be creative in Art brings her pleasure she can’t compare to anything.

“Even if you’re a mediocre artist, like myself, you get to spend all class doing what you love the most. In my case, creating any type of art and listening to music. I can’t work unless I’m listening to something —  they go hand in hand,” Hoffer said.

Some folks may see a couple of artists in their lifetime, but for the girl who is passionate about all areas of music paired with a love of traveling, she has been fortunate to have seen more than 60 artists perform live.

“I love going to concerts! I have seen a lot and there are several more favorites I have yet to see,” Hoffer said. “I love discovering new music and sharing it. Sufjan Stevens is my favorite artist.”

According to those who know her best, one will usually find a book or a camera in Hoffer’s hand, but with all of the required reading college classes involve, there isn’t much time to read for the fun of it. Her senior year of high school she read an average of three books each week. With the busy schedule of college life, she is down to an average of one book every week or two.

“The one thing I don’t like about college is that it’s hard to find time to read for fun.”

Another enjoyable thing she doesn’t have much time for is taking pictures — something she has been doing since her sophomore year in high school. During a family trip to South Bend, Indiana visiting the University of Notre Dame she realized how nice it would be to capture the lovely campus.

“When I was walking around it just hit me. I later asked my parents for a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera for Christmas,” Hoffer said.

Photography is something Hoffer believes is the “purest way to capture an image.” One thing she does not like about photography is how often people manipulate pictures with excessive use of Photoshop or other digital editing software.

“For the most part, I don’t Photoshop my photos. I’ve taken a digital art class and I think if you’re a good enough photographer, you don’t need mass amounts of editing.

Taking her love for photography a step further, Hoffer has enrolled in a film photo class this semester. She has also created an online site at to store and showcase her photography skills.

“I am so excited to be enrolled in the class. I think the course will help me become a much better photographer since there is much less room for error.”

As a young woman with an exciting future ahead of her, she has a lot to discover to add to her belief that the world, in and of itself, is incredibly beautiful.

“I don’t even know where to start, people should go out and see it for themselves,” she sad.

On her journey she had decided not to worry about things that don’t matter. She is going to let small things go.

“The world will weigh you down if you let it, but don't. Just explore it. If it’s not going to bother you in a year, don't let it bother you now,” Hoffer said.

When Hoffer comes to a slowing down point in her adventures of exploring the world’s beauty, she plans to write a book and on down the road start a family. As for the time she has in between, she plans to spend it in the Ocoee region where she enjoys rafting, hiking and trail running. A few naps are also on her “things to do” list.

“I’ve been known to get a solid 10 hours of sleep, wake up for a little while, and go back to sleep for four hours. I adore naps.”

Hoffer is looking forward to warmer weather to be able to set her hammock up. It’s there she will be catching up on her reading and enjoying a long-awaited nap.