Photography by Ryan Schude
Ryan Schude is a master of whimsy, and his photo sets are some of the most intricately detailed works of art you’ve ever seen. His intricate compositions transport you to another time and place, though often ones you have never seen, or even imaged. Usually, nostalgia hits when you are reminded of something in your past, but somehow, Schude’s images make you long for memories that were never yours in the first place. It’s magic.
MC: Your locations and sets are insane. What’re the furthest lengths you’ve ever gone to secure a set?
RS: The last shoot for Motorola on Coney Island was a pretty intense process since each of the rides, shops and the boardwalk all had different organizations and owners that required separate permits.
There’s obviously a lot of planning and production going into your shots. Do you hire a small army to put it all together?
Depends on the shoot. Many of my personal projects I have produced on my own and handled everything from props, wardrobe, permits, lighting, casting and everything in between. Something on a larger commercial scale almost always has a production company take care of all the details.
Do you remember any photos from your first ever roll?
I just looked at some really bad landscapes from ’93 the other day, which have always been a weak point for me.
If you could live in any of your images, which would it be and why?
There’s so many since the main inspiration for many of the photos was the location. One that comes to mind is this house in Big Sur where I shot my sister with her children. It’s perched on a mountain side and shrouded in fog, like nowhere else I’ve ever seen.
Have you ever tried your hand at street photography?
I’ve always been in love with street photography but always struggle with it myself. There is something out of place for me when taking people’s pictures who are not complicit in the act, but I am constantly in awe of those who do it well.
Your images are awash with nostalgia. What decade do you wish you could visit?
Where do you spend most of your time – past, present or future?
Physically in the present, mentally in the future, and emotionally in the past.