Friday Featured Photographer—Michael Schoenfeld

This week, we are featuring an award-winning photographer who has been a customer of ours for over 10 years. He's an incredible portrait, lifestyle, commercial and still life photographer and tells a story in every photograph. He recently was awarded 1st place in the 2019 APA Awards Gallery and has photographed for Sundance Film Festival, America First Credit Union, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Intel Corp and McCann Erickson, just to name a few. This week, we are excited to feature our friend, Michael Schoenfeld!

1. Tell us a little bit about how you first started in photography.

"I started photography twice; once when I was a child, faking an illness so I could process film in a dark (but not completely dark) bathroom…..I actually got a latent image to my surprise. Second time in the Army as a photojournalist—that led to college and a lifelong tug of war between music and photography; obviously photography won."

Image taken by Michael Schoenfeld of man surrounded by shoes

2. What is your niche? What type of photography do you mainly do?

"My niche? I photograph people mostly, but I also love still life. I believe still life is just beginning to revive, after a long cold stretch of mediocrity…"

Image taken by Michael Schoenfeld of man at beach surrounded by pigeons

3. What is your go-to gear set-up?

"I had a barista in Paris (originally from Atlanta) ask me yesterday why I didn’t shoot film. I said, “why should I?”—It pollutes, it has lower dynamic range, and since photography will always have a spontaneous immediate quality, digital scratches that itch for me much better. I shoot with Sony cameras right now—love them—changing camera systems often is boring, counterproductive, and takes me away from making images."

Image of African woman by Michael Schoenfeld

4. Where has photography taken you and what has been your favorite so far?

"I am currently in Paris, headed to Istanbul (really) working on a book project. I've been to Africa 4 times in the last 3 years. I’m from Kaysville Utah, so all of this freaks me out a little, in a good way."

Image of men sitting on curb looking up to bright sun taken by Michael Schoenfeld

5. What piece of advice do you have for someone just starting out?

"Best advice? Stay out of debt, buy real estate as early as possible in your career, work harder than everyone else, and learn the history of photography, please."

Image of model wearing a pair of optometrist tools taken by Michael Schoenfeld

6. If you had to choose one lens to take with you on a trip which would it be and why?

"Easy question. Either a 35mm or a 50mm; wait, that’s two!……Those focal lengths are just so versatile…"

Image of African plains taken by Michael Schoenfeld

Thank you, Michael, for letting us get to know you and learn more about your photography. For more on Michael and his work, check out his website or follow him on Instagram.

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