Phebe Schmidt’s Photographs Look Like Surreal Ads

Melbourne-based photographer, Phebe Schmidt, creates brightly colored portraits with a humoristic edge. Her highly polished images look like advertisements until you examine them closer.

The editorial and portrait photographer treats everyday objects with a healthy dose of skepticism, highlighting the generic beauty ideals in the age of consumerism.

Gravitating towards props that have everyday use, she places them in a hyperreal landscape as if positioned and conceptualized for an advertisement, making for a surreal effect.

“My aim is to draw the viewer in with bright cheesy colors and curious props; on second glance, they realise that something is not quite right — floating razors or a melting block of cheese often placed together with a profiled product,” explains Schmidt, in an interview with Redefine Mag.

“I want people to feel that same sense of lack when looking at my work as they do when looking at an advertisement,” she says, “then re-examine that sense of lack when they notice the imperfections that wouldn’t be present in a typical advertisement. I think that feeling means different things to different people, so I’d rather not dictate a clear set of ideas that are essential to the viewing of my work.”

Take a look.