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New York Film Academy Faculty

FACULTY

Photography Department

Kean O’Brien Kean O’Brien
Co-Chair of Photography, NYFA Los Angeles

Kean O'Brien is an educator and community organizer living and working in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA degree from the California Institute of Arts and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

O’Brien has served on the 2016 Artist Grant Review Panel for the City of West Hollywood, and has sat on multiple College Art Association Media Panels. He is published in Issues Volume 1 and 2, Buzzfeed MOTHA awards 2015, International Performance Almanac 2013 and 2014, and Wild Gender 2014. He has exhibited at Human Resources in Los Angeles, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archive, Waterloo Arts in Cleveland, Barnsdall Art Center in Hollywood, REDCAT in Los Angeles, SRISA Gallery in Italy, and has been awarded curatorial grants from the City of West Hollywood Arts Council, Ronald Feldman Gallery NYC, and CalArts.

In 2017, Kean lectured at the University of Illinois Chicago and The School of The Art Institute of Chicago to discuss his work about community building through art practices, deconstructing and reconstructing ideas of identity and politics. Kean is currently working on a curatorial project and associated book that will be exhibited in 2019 in LA.

Naomi White Naomi White
Co-Chair of Photography, NYFA Los Angeles

Naomi White is a feminist, visual artist, and educator working in Los Angeles. She is the winner of PDN’s Objects of Desire award and has exhibited throughout North America and Europe, including with Tobey Fine Arts, Christopher Henry Gallery and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in New York; GE World Headquarters in Connecticut; Saatchi Art Gallery in Santa Monica; and the NAA Festival Novas Artes Associadas in Barcelos, Portugal, Art Basel, Miami, and Photo LA.

Her work has been published in PDN, The Brooklyn Rail, Uncertain States in the UK, and On Art & Aesthetics. White holds an MFA in Photography and Related Media from SVA in New York, and a BA in English Literature from San Francisco State. White investigates themes of consumerism and identity construction in our camera-bound world, focusing on the transformative power of photography to affect desire and change.

Amanda Rowan Amanda Rowan
Full Time Faculty

Amanda Rowan Parker is a visual and performing artist and educator, currently living in Los Angeles, California. She graduated cum laude from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her visual style is timeless, with an emphasis on color and juxtaposition. Her photographic work examines performance and power within the realm of domesticity. Some of her publishing credits include: Float Magazine, People Magazine, I-Dress, FVM Global, and Bluegrass Today. Rowan's images have been exhibited at the Carrie Able Gallery, Red Cat, Photo LA, Paris Photo, and the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles.

Daughter of Grammy-winning Bluegrass and country legend Peter Rowan, Amanda began shooting rock concerts during high school. In 2014, she launched the project "Born Backstage," a portrait series that chronicles artists and performers who are all the children of folk and rock legends, including The Grateful Dead; Crosby, Stills & Nash; The Beatles; Frank Zappa; and many more.

Rowan's colorful lighting, combined with her knack for engaging with her subjects, has led to a flourishing commercial practice that translates her distinctive visual style into imagery for advertising campaigns, as well as corporate branding including Disney, NBC, HBO, and Hilton Entertainment. Her editorial portraits include global artists, performers, and pop celebrities alike.

Kwesi Kennedy Kwesi Kennedy
Kwesi Kennedy is a multidisciplinary artist working in the areas of photography, illustration, design, sculpture and animation. While the majority of his work has been contract freelance and studio work for entertainment, the internet and education, he has a wide range of experience producing art and animation for various media platforms, as well as his personal work shown at the Hive Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. His primary interest is in conceptual expressions of future societies, technology and fantasy.

A graduate of Howard University’s School of Fine Art, Kwesi went on to complete his master’s of Industrial Design at North Carolina State University, where he was inspired to pursue various forms of visual expression and technology.
Johanna Breiding Johanna Breiding
Editorial, Advanced Film Photography, The Critical Eye

Johanna Breiding is a photographer and video and installation artist who intersects analog and digital technologies to emphasize voice, movement and experiential pathos. Breiding attended Scripps College, the Glasgow School of Art, and received her master’s from CalArts.

Originally from a small village in Switzerland, Johanna currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She has exhibited work at art venues and museums including Photo LA, LAXART, Human Resources, Ochi Projects , Elga Wimmer Gallery, the Armory Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the Oakland Museum of California. She is a recipient of the 2017 Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant.

Pascal Lebegue Pascal Lebegue
Photography I, Introduction to Lighting

Although Pascal studied cinema at FEMIS (aka IDHEC) in Paris, his first inclination was for photography. His love for film and light found a wonderful way to express and develop when, out of school, he encountered some of the most talented people in ‘90s Paris and, later, in Los Angeles.

Through commercials, he had a chance to work with some of the most recognized photographers of our time, therefore reconnecting with his first inclination: P. Lindbergh, P. Roversi, Rankin, R. Depardon, D. Issermann, Herb Ritts, S. Sednaoui, D. Lachapelle, to name a few. Based in Los Angeles Pascal is active in the world of beauty, where he is lighting celebrities for the Shiseido and Neutrogena campaigns.
Katerina Stratos Katerina Stratos
Katerina Stratos is a multi-disciplined artist and designer from Australia with a range of credits on feature films, documentaries, television and advertising. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she has a studio shooting portrait photography and working as a digital artist. Katerina freelances on feature film projects as a concept artist and designer, pre-visualizing scenes and creating look-books for filmmakers. She has also worked as a production designer, costume designer, graphic artist and illustrator, primarily in the Australian film industry.

Katerina worked in some of Australia’s best creative institutions, including The Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In Los Angeles she has taught Photoshop and Illustrator to costume designers at the Costume Design Guild. She has a BA (Hons) in Visual Communication from the UTS and a post graduate diploma in Production Design from the AFTRS.

Natasha Rudenko Natasha Rudenko
Natasha Rudenko is a photographer and an educator, and has exhibited her work internationally. Her work was part of a few group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, Budapest and some others as well as a few annual publications of feminist and queer art, including Issues II and Femme Fotale Volume III Analog and Femme Fotale Volume IV Leafless.

In her work Rudenko interprets her personal experience as a human being. She addresses self-reflection and investigates the realm of her feelings and emotions. Through being honest and personal she aims to make people relate to the ideas explored in her work and provoke their own self-reflection. Rudenko also believes art education can change the world and make it a better place. MFA, New York Film Academy.

David Blumenkrantz David Blumenkrantz
David Blumenkrantz is a documentarian and street photographer whose professional experience includes eight years in East and Central Africa covering social issues and relief and development projects. He has freelanced for the Los Angeles Times and various other publications as a writer and photographer, and his work has been exhibited and published internationally.

A photography instructor and educator for more than 20 years, David has taught classes and workshops for, among others, Wuhan University in China, The All Africa Conference of Churches, the French Cultural Centre in Nairobi, and the Watts Towers Art Center (for the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles). He is currently a tenured professor at California State University, Northridge. David holds a BA in Journalism, an MA in Art Education, and an MFA in Visual Communication.

Bridget Batch Bridget Batch
Bridget Batch began teaching at NYFA in 2016, drawing upon years of experience in both the art and commercial photography worlds. She has exhibited photography, video and installation internationally, and completed artist residencies including Italy’s Fabrica, Salem Artworks in Salem, New York, and at the Grand Canyon South Rim Program. Recent exhibitions include "De La Tierra a La Tierra," at the Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador; "Im(Materiel)" at Headlands Center for the Arts; and "...And I Feel Fine at the Re-Institute in upstate New York.

As part of neverhitsend, she participated in their first exhibition at 356 Mission, as well as "Post:Private" at Monte Vista Projects and "The Promise of Something and Nothing," curated by Ann Harezlak, at Sonce Alexander. She recently worked with neverhitsend on the internet project "Toggle," launched at ISEA 2015.

Batch received her MFA from CalArts. Batch received a 2016 New York City Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and was nominated for PDN.

Aaron Giesel Aaron Giesel
Aaron Giesel is an artist, photographer, and educator focused on making photographic work related to his practice, which is centered on perception and histories vis-à-vis the landscape. Aaron holds a BFA from Art Center, College of Design, and an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. His work has been represented in many local, national and international galleries, museums, and institutions, and is held in several private and public collections.

Recently, his room-size camera obscura “Mirror/House,” situated in Wonder Valley, was included in a show with Epicenter Projects, at the Coachella Valley Art Center, that ran as a parallel project to Desert X 2017. He is working on a book that chronicles a year-long project out in the Anza-Borrego Desert, and has just been awarded a 2018 residency with the National Park Services in Zion National Park. He also regularly shoots editorially for publications and is involved in photographing the independent music scene in Los Angeles.

Lane Barden Lane Barden
Lane Barden is an architecture photographer with a fine arts background. His client list includes major national and international firms such as A.C. Martin, Harley Ellis Devereaux, Atelier Jean Nouvel (Paris) Audi Bank of Beirut and Coop Himmelblau. His work is included in the collections of The Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Fine Arts.

Lane has taught at the Art Center College of Design and the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles. In 2015 he was a guest lecturer at the Annenberg Space for Photography. He holds an M.A. and an M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico.

Ashley French Ashley French
Ashley French is the proud owner of Ashley French Photography, specializing in portraiture of all ages, weddings and events. In between photo shoots, Ashley works in group art shows and solo galleries.

Ashley completed her BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in photography from the University of Redlands, then went on to complete her MFA in Photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. While attending school, she worked for multiple award-winning photographers and shot for local magazines. Her documentary work on the Children’s Hospital of San Francisco was displayed at the DeYoung Museum, and her first solo gallery was held in the heart of San Francisco’s art district.

Linda Lewis Linda Lewis
Photography I, Introduction to Lighting

Linda Lewis received her degree from Cal State Fullerton. During a 25-year career as a commercial photographer, Linda has documented over 500 weddings, shot for dozens of artists throughout Southern California, and worked for a variety of corporate, editorial and university clients -- including Toyota and USC -- that have taken her to Cape Kennedy for a Space Shuttle launch and given her the opportunity to photograph five U.S. Presidents.

In addition to her work with the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, she has taught courses in media, photojournalism, wedding and public relations photography at Chaffey College for over 20 years, and given workshops at the Los Angeles Center of Photography and Brooks Institute.
Jennifer Penton Jennifer Penton
Jennifer Penton has worked at Warner Bros., Klaspy Csupo, Yahoo!, and on special projects for Disney. She has also worked with many independent filmmakers as an editor and web developer. One of her greatest joys is to help students explore their creativity and gain the technological tools to express themselves through live action and animated motion pictures.

Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from UCLA and a master’s degree in film with an emphasis in experimental animation from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Demetrius Fordham Demetrius Fordham
Demetrius Fordham is a portrait, editorial, and advertising photographer based in New York and Los Angeles. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Demetrius studied photography at the Brooks Institute (California) and The New School (New York). His work has appeared in W Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler India, Elite Traveler, and The Wall Street Journal. His portrait series have been featured widely in the media and in international galleries, and have been endorsed by brands such as Kenneth Cole.

He is the author of two photography guide books: What They Didn’t Teach You in Photo School (2015) and If You’re Bored With Your Camera, Read This Book (2017), published by Ilex Press and the Hachette Book Group.

Andre Keichen Andre Keichen
Andre Keichian is an interdisciplinary artist working across photography, video and installation. Working with the dynamism of these mediums, Keichian’s work exists at the intersection of image, sound, movement, and mass, conjuring fluid identities. Their personal history as a queer transgender Argentine-American operates as an indexical relationship that expands to interconnected subjects.

Keichian has shown both locally and internationally, and has been published as a part of Picture Newspaper and by the Zuckerman Museum of Art. Keichian has received fellowships with at land’s edge and WonderRoot’s Walthall Program; held two-year residencies with the Creatives Project and Dashboard Co-Op; and was a finalist for The Forward Foundation Emerging Artist Award and the Southwest Airlines Art & Social Engagement Project. MFA, California Institute of the Arts.

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