Stefanie Schneider (born 1968 in Cuxhaven) is a German photographer living in Berlin and Los Angeles. Schneider's photographic work exploits the distinctive appearance of expired Polaroid instant film. Her photographs are enlarged by hand in her Berlin laboratory. Random visual artifacts can be found in the resulting imagery, a consequence of deterioration of the chemicals and film involved.
Combined with her preferred choice of location, the American West (especially Twentynine Palms, California, which served as location and title to one of her books), and the mounting of sequential images in a panel, the photographs evoke the impression of faded film stills. Schneider's work is released in books and exhibition catalogs. She holds a MFA in photography from the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany.
Schneider is currently working on a project called "29 Palms, CA" which is a feature film / art piece that explores and chronicles the dreams and fantasies of a group of people who live in a trailer community in the Californian desert. To date, the project includes six films: "Hitchhiker", "Rene's dream", "Sidewinder", "Till death do us part", "Heather's dream" and "The girl behind the white picket fence". A defining feature is the use of still Polaroid images in succession and voice over. Characters talk to themselves about their ambitions, memories, hopes and dreams. The latest of these short film is "Heather's dream", starring Heather Megan Christie and Udo Kier, and was selected in May 2013 by the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and is also nominated for the 2013 German short film award.
In a review of her book Stranger Than Paradise, Daniel Kothenschulte writes in the German magazine Literaturen that:
Stefanie Schneider stages imaginary movies. She cribs the titles of the series of her enlarged Polaroids from her favorite movies: Red Desert, Zabriskie Point or The Last Picture Show. Even if most images remain connected to the genre of road movies—in one case one seems to get a glimpse of Ridley Scott's tragic runaways Thelma and Louise.
- Daniel Kothenschulte: "Fehlfarbige Filmhelden regieren diese Welt: Stefanie Schneiders Foto-Band "Stranger than Paradise'", Literaturen, April 2006, p. 4. Online version retrieved 14 January 2010.
- NZZ am Sonntag: "Ausgewaschene Farben, unheimliche Welt", 2006-04-23
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "Zwiegespräch von Wand zu Wand und andere Verwirrungen", 2006-04-03
- Die Welt: "Polaroid Movie: Stefanie Schneider bei Lumas“, 2005-02-09
- Diario Sur: "La belleza del error calculado", 2004-12-19
- ARD, Kulturweltspiegel: "Stefanie Schneiders inszenierte Schnappschüsse: Die 'Polaroad Movies' von Deutschlands neuem Star der Fotoszene" 2005-07-24
- Arte, Metropolis: "Mises en scène photographiques de Stefanie Schneider" 2005-08-13
- Stefanie Schneider's website
- 29 Palms,Ca Project
- Schneider at Robert Drees gallery
- Different Girl
- Schneider shoots Cyndi Lauper
- Till death do us part1
- Till death do us part2
- Rene's dream
- The girl behind the white picket fence