For our October collection, ‘Surreal Fall,’ we wanted to reinterpret our designs through a Surrealist lens by taking ordinary objects and spaces, and decontextualizing them. In the process of doing so, we wanted to open up a whole new world of possibility with those subjects and places. The photographer that immediately came to our minds to help us achieve this was Chris Schoonover, whose mastery at decontextualizing everyday objects, spaces and architecture into abstract, geometric forms, and his ability to choreograph subjects into similarly odd poses, were perfect for the shoot in Bushwick, Brooklyn. After the shoot, we sat down with him for some insight…

When we first met with you over coffee, we were inspired by your decision to leave your day job and make the leap from photography hobbyist to full-time photographer. How did you make this happen?

I had been working on my Instagram for about two years and started to get a lot of offers to work on photo projects. I had to turn down a lot of offers to work on projects, because of my job as a web designer, so I had to make a choice. The time seemed right and I went for it.

 

 

Tell us about your style – what and where you like to shoot? Go ahead and throw in ‘why’ as well…

I really enjoy photographing in a photo-journalistic style where the subject is interacting with the environment. Most of the time my photos have a cinematic feel where there is a huge emphasis on the positioning of light. A lot of the time I find myself looking for vast or vintage surroundings like a quarry or an old diner. Vast landscapes are great because they automatically make the photo more surreal. Vintage establishments are perfect for my style, because of the color combinations and shapes.

 

Your brother Jon Schoonover is also a photographer, and your girlfriend Hallie Hutchinson is a model. What’s it like for you all living in this photography powerhouse clan? 

We are constantly making work together and it’s never forced. There’s nothing like working with your best friends. Part of it is just being there for each other when they need help on a project. It’s easy to be productive when art/photo is a pretty typical topic of conversation and everyone feels a need to make work.

Finally, if you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I would be able to turn into Pat Sajak anytime I wanted.

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THE BEDFORD BAG AND ARTIST MAGGIE BARD