Showcase: Ryan Schude
Ryan Schude is originally from the suburbs of Chicago, he lived up and down California for the last 15 years. Outside of photography, he spend a great deal of time perfecting the art of consumerism…
Interview by Lucia Ferrazzano
Hi Ryan, Where are you now and what can you see out of the window right now?
The Cypress Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. In the distance I can see downtown, Dodger’s Stadium and some highways. On my immediate block is a grocery store, family houses and bus stops.
Many life experiences are drawn upon in the narratives depicted in my photos. One example could be “the Saturn”, a picture of a young girl throwing her boyfriend and his possessions out of their apartment. Of course this is a much embellished version, but I witnessed my parents in a similar situation growing up.
When did you start taking photos?
I went to business school and took up photography as a hobby. By the time I got my degree, I knew I was going to pursue photo and had completely abandoned the path I was previously on. This was all about 10 years ago and within that time there has been developmental shifts, but I have not spent my time doing anything besides trying to make the next photo.
Your photos, and especially the ones in “BOOK ONE”, seem to be taken from real stories. Can you tell us more about them?
The inspiration for those photos comes from a bunch of different places, i.e., film, literature and personal life experiences. The “Diner”, for example, started off as the story of a couple having their breakup in a classic restaurant while chaos ensued around them, the food spill being a central focus. Once I found the right location, the narrative developed around the enviroment. “At the Inn” was a based off a short story by Davy Rothbart and so me and Dan Busta (who I collaborated with) pretty much went to find a location to tell the story of Davy’s experience sleeping at an abandoned motel on a dare.
“BOOK TWO” is a collection of extraordinary portraits. How do you choose your subjects? Is it the model to suggest the story or do you find the right model for a story you already have in mind?
Each photo has its own unique origins, some from real experiences and many are determined by the location. The picture of the old man in front of the ice cream truck is a collaboration with a painter, Chad Attie, who had a whole book of pencil sketches that he wanted to turn into photographs. Another was a collaboration with a medical student who wanted to make a mock pharmaceutical ad based around the ancient Greek story of Prometheus. There really is no set method for how they arise, the redhead had great hair, done.
Who is your favourite photographer?
There is no winning with this question. Too many to name. Erwin Olaf, Julia Fullerton Batten, Eric Ogden, Gregory Crewdson, Alex Prager, David La Chapelle…
If there were no limitations, what would you like to photograph?
Go read Roald Dahl’s, “My Uncle Oswald”. I developed an idea around that book with my brother Collins and an architect named Tino Schaedler that would be a ton of fun to see through.
Are you working at a new project?
The next thing is a collaboration with Tamar Levine shot at an old, vintage, movie theater in Los Angeles. It’s a fashion-based narrative that I’m really excited about.
What are you having for dinner tonight?
Tonight I celebrated a friend’s birthday downtown Los Angeles at a restaurant that spins 360 degrees while you eat on top of a hotel, it’s a great, fun, touristy thing. I had a burger, rare, with swiss cheese and french fries. The birthday girl drank a double, strawberry daquiri in a glass boot.