Meet Sunny Shokrae
ON HER MORNING ROUTINE
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.
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.
On HER FAVORITE SKINCARE PRODUCTS & nightly routine
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 Balm, Boscia 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.
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