John Schoenwalter has lived in the Cole neighborhood for the past fifteen years and has been a photographer for over forty years. He can be reached via email at

Why did you choose Cole for your business in and to live in?

I moved here because the pottery studio at East 38th and Franklin, that was originally built to house a church, was being offered for sale. The building seemed perfect to use for my photography studio, with its high ceilings and soft diffused light. The unexpected bonuses were that I could also use the building as my residence, and it has a big yard, which is currently in use as a community garden.

What about Cole jives with your business culture?

The street where I live and work is quiet during the day. I can walk around with my camera, photograph a dove drinking from a puddle, a bumble bee browsing among my neighbors’ lamb’s ears, kids riding by on their bicycles, sunsets against a large sky (there’s a different light show every evening!). I can use the middle of East 38th as my open-air studio to pose my model in front of an expansive sky for an incredible back-drop, or take my model inside and use the studio light. If we ever have a block party for the residents here, it would consist of five human adults, one young boy, and five dogs.  It’s also a ten minute drive from the State Capitol. It’s truly my farm in the middle of the city – a surprising urban oasis!

Why are you passionate about your business? What’s the story?

My work is also my pleasure. I encounter a spectrum of personalities- celebrities, friends, strangers, humans, animals, insects and birds. Reflections in mirrors fascinate me, and require exploration; shadows reveal details that are not displayed by their three dimensional sources. What’s not to like here?

What inspired the look of your business/ the design?

I’ve become something of a super collector of “stuff”, and it’s time for a major overhaul. I’ll convert this clutter into a gallery space, to showcase my photographs and the works of other artists, while I continue to use the space for a photography studio. The place lends itself for this new form.



Want to know more about what is happening in Cole? Reach out to Paul with any of your questions!