Today we’d like to introduce you to Corey Schmogrow.
Hi Corey, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
First, I would like to thank you so much for reaching out to me; I really appreciate this opportunity to be a small part of what you do. I would say things really started when I was young. Even though I wasn’t taking photos yet, I had a very curious nature and was fascinated with science and the natural world. This, coupled with the fact that I was shy growing up, really turned me into an observer. I also loved watching movies that centered on imagination and the wonder of what was out there. Things like Spielberg movies and Star Wars always resonated with me. Even though I had no camera I was always impressing so much of what I saw firmly in my mind. My parents never bought me a camera growing up because they thought it might just be something I would grow out of quickly. Growing up in a bigger family, frivolous spending wasn’t really in the budget. Once I got older and smartphones rolled out though, I was always able to have a type of camera on hand. It wasn’t always the best one possible, but there was no better tool for learning the basics of photography and editing. It also taught me how to use the best of whatever I had on hand. During this time, Instagram was a good way for me to be inspired by others’ work and to see what resonated with them. Eventually, I was able to get a camera of my own. I worked hard to learn what I could and to craft my own style. I went on multiple cross-country road trips during this time, hiking like mad and snapping photos along the way. Even though I visited many places, and often had limited time, I made sure to really take in each place I went to. I never treated any of them like a drive-thru where I just snapped a photo and moved on. I took the time to capture each place in my heart and mind as well. Many of the photos I share are from these road trips. I was constantly in awe and extremely grateful for the opportunities that I was able to take advantage of. I always make sure to appreciate whatever is around me, and that includes when I am at home. Ohio has beautiful places of its own, and I try to cherish them as well. Sunsets, lakes, animals, forests, and flowers all hold a beauty of their own that we must take the time to appreciate. I think that is what my art is about most though: establishing connection. Nature doesn’t care who we are, and it treats us good as long as we do the same. Eventually, this led me to taking portraits as well. Collaborating with another person and sharing a creative mind is another great way to establish the connections that I seek. I was even able to do photography semi-professionally for a few years. The pandemic, as well as a big shift in social media, introduced a damper that has created new challenges though. During this time, I’ve had to really focus on how to maintain my passion despite there being less interest and connections. I’ve had some success in doing so by trying new styles, improving my editing, and most of all by trying a new form of photography. I recently dove into the world of analog photography, and I’ve really come to appreciate the process and how much of a labor of love it can be. I’ve been focusing on capturing older things such as barns lately, and I think this method of photography showcases them in the best way. I look forward to mastering this craft, and I hope with the right focus and support that I can maintain the desire to share with others some of the amazing things we can experience if we take the time to do so.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I touched on some of the challenges earlier but I think the two biggest obstacles lately have been money and a waning interest in photography from society. Some people ask me why I don’t go head-on into professional photography so that it would support itself. Often though, the gigs that pay don’t align with an artist’s creative values. I’m not knocking anyone who does that though, I just know that for me personally that if I went that route without being able to direct myself, I would likely lose my desire for photography altogether. Rising costs have hit more than just items of daily life though, and film is no exception. So that has been another thing to contend with. Also, the environment for photography has become so saturated that I think many people feel as though they’ve already seen it all. I think many are burnt out on technology as well. I do not take pictures just for myself though, so I’ve been working hard at finding more direct and personal ways to share with others. Even though the audience might be smaller, it is no less meaningful.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I would say that my specialty would be capturing the essence of a natural scene. One thing that many have noted is distinct with my portraits is that I often incorporate many elements of the environment into the photos. This makes each portrait feel unique and atmospheric. I really feel that my photography captures the dreamlike nature of my inner being. I’m very proud at how I’ve improved in visually conveying what I’m trying to. I feel like the focus of my photography isn’t to have the image jump out at someone but to draw them in.
Any big plans?
I would like to move somewhere where there are mountains close by. So far Montana has been the place that has resonated most so my plans are to move there. I would like to go deeper into analog and drone photography and eventually cinematography/videography. I am looking to rework my website soon so that it is more accessible to others. I also love music so I hope to start writing my own very soon. I also would like to start a YouTube channel for my creative endeavors. I really hope to create meaningful connections in whatever way I can. And it would be especially awesome if I could open my own studio someday as well!
- Prints – DM or email for pricing
- Portraits (Base) – $300 / hour + 10 edits
- Website: www.eastandnorthphotography.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eastandnorthphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eastandnorthphotography
East and North Photography