Corey Schjoth was born and raised in De Kalb, IL an hour west of Chicago. He began his love of photography with his first camera, a Kodak Instamatic he received as a birthday present.
Even as a child Corey was intrigued by horror movies and all things paranormal. This lead to his life-long obsession with ghost stories, collecting of classic horror films, and his ever-expanding Halloween themed collection.
As a career photojournalist, Corey had been employed to pursue the vision of editors and reporters on demand. In order to express himself and realize his own artistic vision, he wanted to combine his love of horror, the paranormal and photography. He wanted to convey those feelings of dread and sense of mysterious atmosphere into his photography like the scenes he has watched in so many classic horror films. He wanted the subject matter to be diverse from Victorian mansions, old cemeteries, gothic castles, forsaken roads, bizarre effigies and items associated with hauntings and death. He wanted to photograph only the most evocative places that offer interesting architecture and history.
After many experiments in trying to create what he envisioned for his art Corey began his infrared project called “Phantasmagoria” in the spring of 2009. Corey had one camera converted internally to photograph infrared which allowed him to capture the moment and atmosphere as he saw it and his project blossomed.
The name "Phantasmagoria" refers to the French pre-cinema projection ghost shows that where popular in the late 1800s. The shows used a modified magic lantern to project frightening images of skeletons, demons, and ghosts onto walls, smoke, or semi-transparent screens to shock, amaze and horrify spectators. Corey feels this best describes how he wants to use the magic of photography to portray his black and white infrared images of haunted realms to amaze, shock and frighten those who look at his photography. Creating each image to portray a mood or atmosphere, Corey tries to suggest the idea that maybe there is a world just beyond our own separated only by a thin foggy vial. Sometimes that veil is lifted and we may get a glimpse in to that mysterious world.
Corey and his family reside in Wausau, Wisconsin, and is always looking for intriguing, mysterious and macabre legends to explore, photograph and write about. He remains passionate in preserving haunted legends of our culture.
COREY SCHJOTH (Wausau, WI)
Professional Affiliation: Phantasmagoria Photography
Education: Self taught
Medium & style: Black and White Infrared Photography of haunted places.
2016, Group exhibit with other artists in The Art of Darkness Exhibit, Minneapolis, MN
2011, Co-exhibit with other artists in Poe Prints Exhibit, Whitewater, WI
2010, Paranormal convention, DeKalb, IL
2009, Lecture on infrared photography at the Woodson Museum, Wausau, WI