Meet Sunny Shokrae

Born in Tehran, raised in So-Cal, Sunny went to UCSC to study Politics & Sociology. After college, she worked in LA for 3 years in various fields. Unfulfilled with the post-college 9 to 5 life, Sunny uprooted and moved to NYC to pursue her passion in photography and attend ICP. Today, she is an acclaimed photographer with a wide variety of clients like Barneys, Oyster, Nylon, & Levi’s. Right now she is very stoked to be working on a long term book project with Brooks Headley of Superiority Burger.
O   utfit Details:    Top, Alexander Wang    ; Jeans, Courtshop

Outfit Details: Top, Alexander Wang ; Jeans, Courtshop

Outfit Details: Top, Alexander Wang ; Jeans, Courtshop

Outfit Details: Top, Alexander Wang ; Jeans, Courtshop


My mornings always consists of - waking up, brushing my teeth, washing my face, moisturizing my face, making coffee and eating a bowl of greek yogurt with an apple cut up in it.

ON her struggle with pursing a creative career

I’ve always wanted to be socially and politically aware and engaged. I thought I could make my parents proud by maybe being a lawyer even though I always wanted to try photography...

The desire to pursue photography as a career never left me and it only got stronger so I figured I could do an intensive program at ICP and try it out and if it didn’t work I could always be proud of myself for attempting it. Luckily, it worked out and I’m quite happy to be doing what I’m doing. It’s nice to be part of a moving thing that’s always changing, meeting people along the way, discovering new perspectives, fine tuning what I’m trying to say with it all, learning lessons & trying to tell visual stories that can create real feelings in humans etc. The only downside about the photo industry is when I walk onto a set and someone tells me they are waiting for the photographer or ask if I’m the stylist. Nothing pisses me off more than that. But, hopefully, we will evolve out of that perception.

On her equipment

I work with a handful of cameras and I don’t really favor one over another because they are all tools that work for different ideas. I will always swoon over the quality of images my 4x5 creates or my Hasselblad 500cm, although I don’t use them as often as I should. I’m inspired by so much - light, color theory, everything around me really, I try to absorb as much as I possibly can. A lot of older photographs inspire me, or very current stuff that feels like poetry, that’s not so obvious.

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Sunny Shokrae Passerbuys

On Her personal style

At this point, I have everything I’ve ever searched for in my closet in some way or another. I get dresses or suits here and there for weddings or formal events usually from online sales or sample sales. My aesthetic consists of a lot of different layers and phases in my life so it’s all over the place, but I like to keep it strong, masculine at times, and fun. I’ve gotten rid of anything that doesn’t flatter my body type. Editing out what I don’t wear and donating every 6 months has also been a big relief. 


I use Bioderma's H20 micellar water to take makeup off and Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel for washing my face after, it’s my nightly routine. I also love, Avene Cold Cream Nourishing Lip BalmBoscia Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask and Oribe Women's Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray

I’ve really been into natural deodorants after realizing how toxic most of them could be and how they correlate to breast cancer. Weleda is great (and it actually works!).

On her favorite records

I bought the Sabbath record in Tehran in 2010 at a flea market, I was out there trying to do a story on the underground music scene and it was my “in” into talking to someone who would be able to help me. I watched him check out that record and walked up to him because we had something in common - liking that Sabbath record. I think because I left Iran at such a young age, I’m always looking for things to connect me back to this place I know so much about and have so much admiration for but have spent such little amount of time in.

Outfit Details:  JNOUN

Outfit Details: JNOUN

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Sunny's Favorite Records

Sunny's Favorite Records

The Trois Fois Rien book by Petra Mrzyk & Jean-Francois Moriceau is one of coolest illustration books I’ve ever looked through. I’m pretty sure the first time I looked through it, my jaw was just hanging the entire time and I wished their brains were my brain.
— on the Trois Fois Rien Book
Sunny's Favorite Books

Sunny's Favorite Books

Sunny's Favorite Books

Trois Fois Rien by Petra Mrzyk & Jean-Francois Moriceau, Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings (Illustrated Edition) by Ferdowsi, Wolfgang Tillmans by Chris Dercon, Japanese Photobooks of the 1970s and 1980s by Ivan Vartanian, Fancy Desserts by Brooks Headley, Songbook by Alec Soth

sunny's Favorite Records

Pari Zangeneh - The Series of Music for Young Adults: Iranian Folk, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath by Black Sabbath, Innervisions by Stevie Wonder

sunny's favorite places

Best Pizza: Totonno pizzeria 

 Best Burgers: JG Melon's

Best Japanese Brunch: Okonomi

Best Vietnamese: Bunker 

Best Vegetarian: Superiority Burger

Streetstyle Details:    Top, Topshop    ; Jacket, Levi's ; Shorts, Lee ; Bag, Chloe ; Shoes, Philip Lim

Streetstyle Details: Top, Topshop ; Jacket, Levi's ; Shorts, Lee ; Bag, Chloe ; Shoes, Philip Lim