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Self-Trust and Striking Nostalgia
Chris Schoonover is a Brooklyn-based photographer that fuses classic retro nostalgia with expert fashion and street photography. His gorgeous visual enterprise creates a series of striking images that are delivered straight from the heart and through the lens. Schoonover’s unique perspective and talent have granted him access to high profile shoots for the likes of Urban Outfitters, Calvin Klein, Givenchy, and many more.
Owing to no one’s style, Schoonover’s body of work ranges from fashion to portraiture, street photography to the occasional moody still life shoot. Innovative angles, gorgeously faded grains, and bewitching nostalgia create intrigue, memorability, and originality.
I’m not sure if I could define my aesthetic or say that I’ve made a decision to choose one. My body of work is really just a series of choices I’ve made over the years. What inspires me is constantly changing, so it’s only natural that my work and choices would change along with that.
His favorite project is a collaboration with his mother on a series called Hand Colored Photograph. The project is inspired by hand-painted photos taken in the Middle East and Brazil on black and white film, which are then printed in the darkroom and hand-painted by Chris’s mother, Linda.
I’ve enjoyed the long photographic process. It’s made me a better photographer and helped me think in a different way about the photos I make. It’s been great to collaborate with my mom as well. That project is really special to me.
As for many successful creatives, the biggest reward for Schoonover is the opportunity to do what he wants creatively, and being able to support his family by doing so. “I don’t think I can think of anything more satisfying. It’s not always easy and I’ve really hustled over the last years, but it’s worth it. The most challenging aspect of being an artist is that there’s no clear path to go down. There’s no boss and every choice is a gamble. You have to trust yourself.”
Schoonover’s intuition and self-trust really pay off in allowing him to create original and heartfelt imagery. Recently, the artist started exploring other ways to be creative, which resulted in a handmade furniture business called Palm-American. His creativity and drive know no bounds, and it is exciting to see what’s next for Chris Schoonover!
Article written by Kate Smith