Ryan Schude is here to pay homage to the car capital of the world with his series Them and Theirs. Shelby Duncan and her 1987 Chrysler. Lebaron, West Hollywood.

In these cinematic, slightly campy, images, Californians pose in eternal sunshine with their wheels of glory. Nicole Dreyfuss and her 1971 411 Squareback, Burbank, California.

"My work is mostly created narratives," Schude tells Co.Design, "so this is a blend of that while incorporating more of a documentary, portrait series at the same time." Forrest Kahlil Perrine and his 1983 Toyota Pickup, Downtown L.A.

Tashina Hunter with her 2002 Jaguar XJ8. Pasadena, California.
Schude intends to photographs people and their cars for as long as he can--even for another 20 years, he insists.

Jimmy Marble and his 1991 Jeep Cherokee. Elysian Valley, L.A.

Sven Barth and his 1985 GMC Suburban. Elysian Valley, L.A.

Adi Goodrich with her 1988 Chevy Cavalier. Glendale, California.

Matt Hummel with his 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, 1966 Porsche 912, and 1964 Beach Formula Vee. Auburn, California.

Kestrin Pantera and her 1976 Mercedes Benz 450SL. Burbank, California.

Emily Caldwell with her 1963 Chevy Corvair. Malibu, California.

Dave Lefler and his 1969 Chevy Nova. St. George, Utah.

Justin Gilbert and his 2010 Ford Crown Victoria. Bedford, Indiana.

David Browne and his 1975 Datsun 620 Pickup. Elysian Valley, L.A.

Huy Doan and his 1971 Honda CB 350. Glassel Park, L.A.

Megan McIsaac and Jean-Paul Jenkins with their 1977 Toyota Dolphin. Korea Town, L.A.

John Agnew and his 1966 Oldsmobile 98 and his 1964 Ford Condor at home in Altadena, California.

Emily Shur, Isaac Walter, and the Baroness with their 1964 Volkswagen 1500s Notchback. Echo Park, L.A.

Jenny Messer and her 1980 Subaru Brat. Silver Lake, L.A.

Adam and Krista Bork with their '67 Pontiac Tempest Wagon, '63 Plymouth Belvedere, and '62 Plymouth Valiant. Marfa, Texas.

Reynaldo Valencia Ayala with his 1993 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Aguila, Arizona.

Floyd Watson and his 1990 Ford F150. Burgaw, North Carolina.

Zack Stratis and his 1966 Mercedes 300D. Glendale, California.

Co.Design

These Photos Of Angelenos And Their Cars Are The Most L.A. Thing Ever

Ryan Schude photographs people and their cars in this sun-drenched photo series that captures the essence of L.A.

Ryan Schude is here to pay homage to the car capital of the world with his series Them and Theirs. In these cinematic, slightly campy, images, Californians pose in eternal sunshine with their wheels of glory.

It's no surprise that the vintage cars in these photos come across as characters, even companions, rather than modes of transportation. Perched on the hoods of Mercedes and Volkswagens in big sunglasses and wedge sandals, some of the women photographed gently parody L.A., with heady fantasies of what Hollywood might be, or is, for some. Other photos are staged like film stills—a man paints a staircase with a long ribbon of yellow, a woman holds a bouquet of flowers in the driveway of a castle-like church. "My work is mostly created narratives," Schude tells Co.Design, "so this is a blend of that while incorporating more of a documentary, portrait series at the same time."

The project began back in 2001, when Schude was enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute. He started taking pictures of cars with vanity license plates, but soon abandoned the project and didn’t pick it up again until 10 years later. Many of the subjects he shot were friends or acquaintances. He also found models by leaving notes under strangers' windshield wipers in parking lots, along with examples of his car portraits by way of explaining that he'd like them to participate in his project.

And he meant "participate." Before each shoot, Schude talks with the subject about the location and scene they'd like to build together. Wardrobe choices and props are chosen collaboratively. It's a decent gesture.

Schude intends to photographs people and their cars for as long as he can—even for another 20 years, he insists. Well, for now there's certainly no shortage of cars or willing models in town.

[h/t Slate]

[Photos by Ryan Schude]

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2 Comments

  • Bruce Koren

    Not just a 63 Chevy. A 63 Chevy Corvair. It was my first car. This rear-engine design was dubbed "Unsafe at Any Speed" by Ralph Nader.