• Q&A with Army Veteran and NYFA Photography and Cinematography Alum Xavier Velasquez


    Two-time New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography and Cinematography Alum Xavier Velasquez has been making waves in sound design and cinematography since graduating from NYFA in 2019.

    Velasquez spoke with New York Film Academy about what he’s been up to since graduating, what inspires his work and his advice to anyone looking to get started in filmmaking.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA): Can you tell us a bit about yourself and life before NYFA?

    Xavier Velasquez (XV):My name is Xavier Velásquez. I am a Cinematographer, Photographer, Audio Engineer and Sound designer. I also do a lot of conceptual/surrealist digital art work and I am originally from Brooklyn, NY. 

    Before attending NYFA, I served in the United States Army for 5 years. I was stationed in Germany for 3.5 years and Fort Bragg for the remainder of my contract. I was deployed twice during my service. Once to Turkey for 6 months and the other to Kandahar, Afghanistan for 9 months.

    NYFA: What brought you to the New York Film Academy?

    XV: Honestly, the idea of making films as a career or professional was so far-fetched to me. As a kid I would force my sister and cousins to make films with me on my dad’s old VHS recorder (which I still have). As I was graduating high school, I realized that you could go to college for filmmaking, media, arts – things like that. I decided that was the route for me and applied to the Art Institute of Boston. I was accepted, went to orientation and took the placement tests only to learn that I would also need to do math, science, english and all the other regular subjects before I even got to learn anything about making films. That right there was a NO for me. I looked up other film schools on Google and found out about New York Film Academy and I was hooked. Everything they provided and showcased on their website was exactly what I was looking for. So I applied and got approved for a grant NYFA offered at the time, but then I couldn’t attend because I was 18 and broke and was unable to cover the rest of the tuition. A few years passed, I joined the Army at 20 and while I was deployed to Afghanistan, I was debating whether to reenlist for more years or get out. After having a conversation with my platoon sergeant about college, I decided to google the New York Film Academy again. I saw that the school accepted the G.I bill, a benefit I received from being in the military which would pay for my schooling; that sealed my fate right there. The decision was clearer than ever. I left the military on Veteran’s Day 2015 and by December I was signed up for school and ready for classes in January.  

    NYFA: You mentioned you studied Filmmaking, Audio and Photography. What motivated you to continue your studies and transition from Film, Audio and Photography?

    XV: Well there’s no question about it, as much as I love cinematography, compositions, framing, lighting, you NEED really good sound or, in my opinion, your  films don’t work. You can be very experimental with how you shoot and light anything but bad sound is never forgiven. I had months left on my G.I Bill and decided that sound was something I wanted to get more involved in. I love the sound design part of filmmaking. The audience might hear clothes rustling but they wouldn’t know that it’s just me balling up one of my sons clean diapers. It’s exciting creating noise from anything to be anything. I felt solidified in my decision to endure the world of sound design when a film I executive produced, Dp’d, colored and did the sound design for actually won best sound design at a festival. Photography is also important. In my opinion, it is the foundation of good cinematography. The photography program at NYFA really opened my eyes to the artistic world and what a lens can capture. That program alone is what made me the DP I am today. It taught me to appreciate what the light captures and what it doesn’t. It taught me to appreciate the shadows and embrace them because everything has a story. Care about your framing because that one frame can tell a story.


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    A post shared by Xavier (@_eckz_)

    NYFA: Tell us more about your latest project & how you got involved in the project? What was your role in the project?

    XV: My latest short film is Sutherland. It is an atmospheric horror film that I co-executive produced and was the director of photography for. I got onto this project because another project I was supposed to DP for fell through. I spoke to the director of Sutherland about it because he was also supposed to be on that project with me and since the first project had fallen through, he offered to write a script for us to work on, if I was interested. He wrote it (what would be Sutherland). I loved it and we went from there. We got a cast and crew and spent 5 nights in July shooting a horror film in a historic house in Virginia. It’s by far one of my favorite projects I’ve been blessed to create. It is currently going through the film festival circuit It has been selected in the category of Best Cinematography for the Montreal Independent Film Festival. 

    Take a look at the Sutherland teaser below!

    There is also and Instagram page for the film : @sutherland_film. 

    NYFA: What other projects have you worked on since graduating?

    XV: Aside from Sutherland, I have also been working on 2 other projects. A documentary that I’m DPing, GodsChild, that I’ve been filming for about a year now with former NYFA student, Darius Green. It focuses on a DJ who was a rising basketball star in the early 2000’s here in Virginia. The second project is an episodic comedy of which I am DP and co-producer, Simpleton. An observational comedy that follows the life of our protagonist Gerson. Episode one is finished and we are getting ready to release that soon.

    NYFA: What kind of stories do you want to be known for?

    XV: I don’t know. That’s tough question because I seem to have fallen into the suspense horror genre. Don’t get me wrong, I love that world and creating it but I also want to see if I can venture into other genres but still maintain my artistic integrity where if someone watches anything I’ve made they can tell I either filmed it myself or influenced the project. It is one of the reasons I took on the episodic comedy I mentioned before. At that point, I had never shot a comedy and wanted to see if I could pull it off. Sutherland and Simpleton are polar opposites. I wanted to see if I could do it and make it fit my style of shooting.

    NYFA: What is the importance of film and storytelling in your opinion?

    XV: Film and storytelling are outlets for artists. If it’s documentary work, it gives people a voice. They can choose to use that voice to bring awareness to social issues, tell the truth, or persuade an audience. 

    If we are talking about fiction it gives us the power to use our imagination. For the most part, we are taught to go to college and get a job and that’s it. Our creativity dies out as we fall in line with this “life plan”. With that plan, when are you being creative or imaginative? Being able to create something that tells a story, either using film, photography or art is something creatives cherish. I feel that we are true risk-takers as not everyone can make a living doing something in this field. A lot of artists don’t even get recognized until they pass away. We do this for freedom of self expression but most of the time we don’t care if everyone loves our work because we do. It’s our outlet at the end of the day and if people don’t like it or they think they can do it better, they should pick up a camera or a brush and do it.


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    A post shared by Xavier (@_eckz_)

    NYFA: Have you won any awards or been showcased in any festivals or competitions?

    XV: Yes I have. Both in my film work and my photography work. My conceptual work was accepted in both the APA (Annual Photography Awards) and the Fine Art Photography Awards. I also had my work in the Conception Art Show in Tribeca and The A.R.T (Artistic Recreational Therapy) in the UK. 

    NYFA: Who has inspired you in your work? Who has inspired you personally?

    XV: This is such a hard question to answer. Inspiration comes from too many places. I could be listening to a song that gives me a feeling or makes an image pop in my head and I would go from there. That’s how most of my digital artwork is created. Either life experiences or music I’m listening to at the time. But if I had to name a few in the film world it would be directors like David Fincher, Ari Aster, Jordan Peele. Tod Campbell’s cinematography work. The photography work of Gregory Crewdson, & Dan Winters are just a few of the many artists that inspire me.

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that you applied directly to your project?

    XV: Everything. I knew absolutely nothing about cinematography, photography or filmmaking as a whole. I legitimately left the “comfort” and “stability” of the military without knowing if I would be good at any of this. The first time I held a real camera – outside of my fathers old vhs recorder – was at Nyfa. Whenever someone asks me about going to film school, I tell them if they can afford it then go for it. If they still have any doubt all I have to do is show them my work. I will always consider myself a student of this art form but I do feel that I know what I’m doing simply because I went to NYFA.

    NYFA: Any advice or tips for anyone looking to get involved in photography, film or the visual arts?

    XV: I mean not to sound cliche but just go for it. For the most part nobody is stopping you from doing anything but yourself. Yeah, you can bring up money but if you’re old enough to have these kinds of questions then you should have a phone in your possession and the phones nowadays can do everything. I’ve shot films on my phone. One of my photos that was included in an art gallery I originally took on my iPhone 11. If you want to be a storyteller, there’s literally no reason as to why you can’t write a story, and then find the people that can help you bring it to life.

    I’ll end this Q&A with this: there’s this saying or quote I don’t really remember where I heard it from or who said it but I remember it like this, “there’s pen and paper everywhere, but not everyone is an author” I used that quote to inspire me all the time. I don’t consider myself a writer at all but it reminds me that just because people have access to things doesn’t mean they know how to use it. So if you want to be an author – write stories, a filmmaker – make a film, a photographer – take photos. You never know you just might have that artistic voice someones been waiting to hear, see or feel.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Xavier Velasquez on his accomplishments! We look forward to seeing more of your work!


    February 11, 2022 • Acting, Cinematography, Diversity, Photography, Student Life • Views: 953

  • New 1-Week Photography Workshop in Florence this Spring 2022


    Start the New Year strong. 

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is offering a new 1-Week Photography workshop in the beautiful city of Florence this spring. Where better to study photography than the Central-Northern capital of the Tuscany region, rich with historical landmarks, culture, and light? 

    From April 24, 2022 – April 30, 2022, students will explore techniques of light, shadow, digital technology, and composition with the Chair of the Photography Department at NYFA’s New York City campus, David Mager. 

    Mager has extensive experience working as a commercial photographer spanning 20+ years, shooting for the publishing market and working with clients including Disney, DK, Scholastic, Der Spiegel, McGraw-Hill, Penguin, Time Out NY, Parents Magazine, and Park Place Magazine. David is also an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop Lightroom. 

    In addition to the new 1-Week Photography workshop, NYFA is offering its 4-Week Photography workshop for students interested in continuing their time in Florence’s city and surrounding hill towns to learn extensive digital photography techniques. The 4-Week Photography workshop will run between April 24, 2022 – May 21, 2022

    Photo by Lisa Maria Valeskini, former NYFA student

    Photo by Lisa Maria Valeskini, former NYFA student from Austria, taken during the 2019 1-Week photo course in Florence

    The NYFA facility is located in the Santa Croce neighborhood, whose curved streets are the remnants of the 2,000-year-old amphitheater. The location is near the Piazza Santa Croce, one of Florence’s most prominent squares and historical landmarks. The square is home to the Basilica of Santa Croce, which houses the chapels and tombs of Italian figures including Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, and Ugo Foscolo. Throughout the course, students will explore Florence with trips to surrounding towns, museums, and galleries to explore photography in relation to classical and renaissance art. 

    No prior photography experience is required for either workshop. Students are required to bring a digital camera with manual exposure control. Former students and alumni will have their $50 application fee waived upon application to either course. While English is the language of instruction at all NYFA locations, the school welcomes students from all over the world. United States college credits are available for these courses.** 

    All students who will attend classes at the Florence, Italy location must meet ONE of the following TWO requirements:

    • Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 AND provide proof of vaccination prior to arrival
    • OR Provide an active European Green Pass

    For questions or for additional information on the above, please contact

    Check out NYFA students’ trip to Florence back in 2018: 

    **Please Note: New York Film Academy (NYFA) makes no representation that credits awarded by NYFA will be accepted or applied toward the completion of any degree or certificate by any other postsecondary institution. The acceptance of transfer credits is always governed by the receiving school.


    January 20, 2022 • Photography, Study Abroad • Views: 968

  • NYFA Photography Alum Jon Henry Named on The “TIME 100 Next” List


    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is excited to announce that Photography alum Jon Henry has been featured in TIME Magazine’s TIME 100 Next list for 2021.

    Last year, Henry won the prestigious Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture­ and the Kodak Film Photo Award—for his series “Stranger Fruit.” The alum also had his photographs from the series displayed on multiple pages in the October 2020 National Geographic issue.

    Cover of the ‘TIME Magazine’ issue featuring the ‘Next 100’ (TIME Magazine)

    TIME reporter Josiah Bates, who wrote the profile on Henry for the Time 100 Next issue shared that Henry’s prolific series “Stranger Fruit” is weighted with significance: “In visual artist Jon Henry’s series ‘Stranger Fruit,’ sons pose with their mothers as if they are lifeless, re-creating scenes of mourning. The mothers stare through the camera’s lens as if holding onlookers accountable for threats their sons could one day face. In 2020—after the killing of George Floyd by police­—the series took on new poignancy.”

    The alum was featured alongside other artists who made the list including director Boots Riley, Lakeith Stanfield, Florence Pugh, and more. Henry shared his gratitude for being included in the list on his Instagram account: “Honored beyond measure to be included in #time100next. The 2021 TIME100 Next list highlights 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, health, science and activism, and more. Crazy.”

    NYFA alum Jon Henry

    Henry was also featured on the cover of JRNL 4 and was also profiled by Photograph Magazine. The NYFA alum and Photography instructor’s “Stranger Fruit” series is currently on display in Portland at BlueSky Gallery through March 27, 2021, and will also be featured in Miami from March 11 – May 21 at DotFiftyOne Gallery. The series has also gone international and is currently on view at the KP Gallery in South Korea, the first international solo exhibition for the project.

    Untitled 60, St Charles, MO (2020) – Photo Credit: Jon Henry

    New York Film Academy is thrilled to congratulate one of its own for being among those selected for TIME Magazine’s TIME 100 Next list for 2021 and is proud of the recognition that Jon Henry is receiving for his body of work and the “Stranger Fruit” series.

  • NYFA Alum Rozette Rago Named an Honoree in 2020 Edition of Annual Photographers List


    She has shot some of your favorite icons from Natalie Portman and Will Smith, to Steven Spielberg and Ryan Coogler, and capturing music icons U2, Metallica, Kanye West, and more. The NYFA Filmmaking alum, Rozette Rago, has had quite the career and she is only getting started, having recently nabbed a spot on the coveted list of “The 30.”

    Please note, NYFA does not suggest that Rozette Rago’s success as a photographer is due to her study in NYFA’s eight-week film program, nor do we imply that this is a typical outcome. The success of any NYFA alumni is the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.

    The 30 is recognized throughout the professional photography industry as a “go-to” outlet to discover some of the best photographers in the world and serves as a platform to elevate emerging photographers growing their careers. Each year, The 30 are selected through a nomination and jurying process that includes the input of established photographers, photo editors, art directors, curators, and other industry leaders that are cultivated by Photo District News Magazine.

    Rago attended an 8-Week NYFA Filmmaking program in 2010 and has since gone on to shoot for The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Vanity Fair, The FADER, HBO, A+E Networks, Rolling Stone, and many more. She has also been profiled by CNN and Masterpiece for her body of work and has been hailed by Culture Photo Editor at The Times as “one of those photographers who elevates the ordinary,”

    NYFA alum used for U2’s promotional materials (Photo by Rozette Rago)

    After arriving on the scene in Los Angeles, Rago shot for bands like U2, Interpol, and Metallica, which then allowed her to leverage her portfolio to get a job as a photo editor at Time Out Los Angeles. For the past three years, she’s been a photo editor at Wirecutter in addition to contributing to other publications and networking with other women in the industry. She’s a member of groups including Authority Collective, Women Photograph, and Diversify Photo.

    Steven Spielberg (Photo by Rozette Rag0)

    The Filipino-American photographer shared with The 30 that she is grateful for the path that she has taken and shares it has “landed me exactly where I want to be,” with a career that has captured stories, scenes from music, performers, and more.

    The cast of “Crazy Rich Asians” and Director Jonathan Chu by Rozette Rago

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Rozette Rago on her incredible journey and for the well-deserved recognition by her peers on being named in The Annual 30 Photographers List.

  • NYFA Photography Alum & Portrait and Fashion Photographer Arif Minhaz on His Award-Winning Career and Photo Inspiration


    It’s no secret that NYFA alum and India native Arif Minhaz knows how to take a stunning portrait. Don’t believe us? See his stunning work for yourself.

    The Photography alum is also a decorated photographer, having won four WPE International awards for his fine art portraiture and fashion work, which also landed Minhaz on their list of Distinguished Photographers.

    NYFA Photography alum Arif Minhaz

    Minhaz has also won two WPPI awards, received honorable mentions at the Monochrome International Awards (2019), and has had his work exhibited at multiple galleries in New York, London and Paris. “This was only possible because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone,” shared Minhaz. “I urge every aspiring photographer to do the same.”

    One of the four awards won by Minhaz was for one of my high key street fashion photographs shot on the streets of Soho, New York, with the other three awarded for Minhaz’s portrait series “Maanavatvam.”

    Maanavatvam derives from the Indian language of Telugu and translates as ‘Humanity’,” shared Minhaz. “This body of work dives into the true essence of what Maanavatvam stands for: beings capable of inclusive emotional intelligence. It celebrates the diversity we encounter and our understanding and acceptance of the many differences in appearances, behaviors and traits that make all people human.”


    Minhaz came to NYFA in 2019 to study in the 1-Year Conservatory Program. “It was a dream come true and I am forever grateful to my aunt, mom and grandma for gifting me this opportunity of learning from photographers I’ve idolized, at one of the top photography schools in the world,” shared Minhaz. 

    The acclaimed photographer credits NYFA as a key factor to helping him evolve as a photographer. “I would like to thank each and every instructor at NYFA for helping me push my boundaries, refine my photographic style, hone my skills both technically and artistically and put them all together to serve my vision.” The NYFA alum also has this to share with any incoming NYFA students: “Never stop investing time in yourself, be persistent and stay committed.”

    The photo alum continues to be based out of New York City and has shared that he is inspired by “monochromatic dramatism” for his projects and incorporates contemporary elements of style.

    Minhaz has also explored personal projects that address societal issues “that break stereotypes” by incorporating his personal style of “dramatic portraiture“ into his work to give the illusion of a contemporary painting.  

    “I am inspired by the people I surround myself with, their characteristics and everything else in between,” explained Minhaz. “I take a lot of inspiration from paintings, my country (India) and its culture, my past experiences, and things that I have come across in my life everyday.

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA alum Arif Minhaz on his award-winning career and looks forward to seeing what is next from the talented alum.

    Check out Arif Minhaz’s website | Follow him on Instagram


    October 14, 2020 • International Diversity, Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2669

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Photography Alum Paquita Hughes Works on Hulu’s ‘Little Fires Everywhere’


    Paquita Hughes, Navy veteran and alum of New York Film Academy’s Filmmaking and Photography schools, has added Little Fires Everywhere to her growing list of Hollywood credits. 

    Little Fires Everywhere, which debuted on Hulu on March 18, stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, who both also served as executive producers on the dramatic miniseries. The show is adapted from the 2017 novel of the same name by Celeste Ng and tells the story of two mothers from diametric socioeconomic backgrounds in Shaker Heights, Ohio during the 1990s.

    little fires everywhere
    Hughes is a
    veteran of the United States Navy and first attended NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory in July 2011 at our Burbank-based campus in Los Angeles. After completing the program, she then enrolled in the 1-Year Photography conservatory. Her thesis project was a pilot for the dramedy web series Sugar, which dealt with the sex industry and included strongly written, complicated female protagonists.

    Since filming Sugar and graduating, Hughes has been very busy working in Hollywood working in various positions, including as location manager on hit productions like Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Marvel’s Runaways. Additionally, Hughes is working as location manager on the new period-set reboot of Perry Mason, starring NYFA Guest Speaker Matthew Rhys.

    “I had an epiphany when I was in the Navy,” Hughes says in a NYFA video spotlighting her success as an alumni, “and I thought to myself if I could succeed at serving my country during a time of war, I could succeed at following my dreams attending film school, so I decided to get out and study film.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Filmmaking and Photography alum Paquita Hughes on her prolific work on Hollywood productions and encourages everyone to watch Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu!

  • Editor at Large for Special Projects at ‘TIME’ Paul Moakley and Magnum Photos’ Moises Saman Lead Discussion with New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Students


    On Friday, February 7, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted, along with Magnum Photos and Mana Contemporary, Magnum Photos photographer Moises Saman and Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME Magazine, Paul Moakley. Both presented highlights from their body of work at NYFA’s New York campus and screened TIME Magazine’s documentary short, The Capital Gazette Won’t Be Silenced 1 Year Later, which was directed and shot by Saman, and produced by Moakley.

    Moises Saman, a member of Magnum Photos, began his career at Newsday, covering the fallout of the 9/11 attacks. Throughout his career, he spent most of his time in the Middle East, shooting monumental moments of conflict like the Iraq War, the Arab Spring, and the Syrian Civil War. “As a journalist, I’m a product of the time I’m living in,” he said when asked about his professional career and motivation for visual storytelling.

    Saman opened the discussion by recounting the start of his career in the newspaper industry. “It meant working really fast,” he says, emphasizing the constant deadlines and, at times, the personal sacrifice it took to get a story out. He then went on to describe how engulfed in his work he had become as a photojournalist, being constantly on the road 12 months out of the year. That kind of dedication, however, produced his stunning photographs capturing moments in time, like an image of a boy with a hunting rifle running through a sandstorm or another image he displayed of a man taming an Arabian horse, looted from one of Saddam Hussien’s palaces in Baghdad.

    Moises Saman (Left) and Paul Moakley (Right) speak with the audience | Photo courtesy of Cecilia Collantes, Magnum Photos

    Saman also discussed developing a professional relationship with Paul Moakley. Moakley, Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME Magazine has managed TIME’s visual coverage of breaking news, presidential elections and key franchises such as TIME’s Person of the Year and TIME 100 for the past decade. Moakley was always interested in Saman’s work, but it took both of them at least 20 years until they ended up actually working together.

    Moakley opened up to the audience about how the professional relationship between himself and Saman evolved over the years from photographer and editor to producer and director. “It is incredibly cool when we work together,” he says, “it’s not a transaction, it’s a relationship.”

    Moakley, who recently worked with climate activist Greta Thunberg for the TIME’s Person of The Year for 2020, recalled when he asked Saman to shoot the TIME Person of the Year cover for 2018. This particular assignment meant Saman having to fly 30,000 miles around the world to shoot 18 people for 4 covers. This was the year TIME profiled “The Guardians and the War on Truth,” acknowledging slain reporter Jamal Khashoggi, imprisoned reporters Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, Rappler founder Maria Ressa, and the entire staff of the Capital Gazette.

    Saman recalls meeting each person he photographed saying, “for me, the people on these covers, especially the two women (the wives of the two imprisoned reporters), had experiences I related to. It was an intimate experience for me.”

    Moakley and Saman then screened their documentary short about The Capital Gazette reporters one year after the shooting that plagued their newsroom and took the lives of five of their colleagues. Moakley and Saman recalled that this experience, for them, required the utmost amount of trust and time to cultivate the relationship with the paper. To this day, The Capital Gazette has not let any other outlet other than TIME profile them on such a personal level.

    New York Film Academy thanks Magnum Photos, Moises Saman and Paul Moakley for taking the time to share their knowledge, expertise, and experience with students and guests of NYFA.


    March 9, 2020 • Guest Speakers, Photography • Views: 2410

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Alum Jon Henry Wins Film Photo Award from Kodak


    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography alum Jon Henry has won one of photography’s most prestigious honors—the Film Photo Award.

    Jon Henry

    NYFA Photography alum Jon Henry

    The Film Photo Award is sponsored by Kodak Alaris and Kodak Professional and is awarded twice a year, providing three distinct grants of Kodak Professional Film and complimentary film processing by Griffin Editions to photographers who demonstrate a serious commitment to the art and who are motivated to continue the development of still, film-based photography in the 21st century.

    During each Spring and Fall award cycle, two Visionary Project Awards and one Student Project award are granted to winners selected from emerging, established, and student photographers worldwide, who are 18 years old or older.

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    The Fall 2019 Film Photo Award Winners have been announced! A big congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to those that submitted their work along the way. It was an honor to be apart of this award and we're very excited for the amazing work to come! Congratulations to… New Project Award: Guanyu Xu for his project titled "Resident Alien" ⁠⠀ Continuing Project Award: Jon Henry for the projected titled "Stranger Fruit⁠" ⁠⠀ Student Project Award: Leah Schretenthaler for her project titled "The Invasive Species of the Built Environment" #kodakprofessional #filmphotoaward #griffineditions #standcardcameras #filmisalive #analog #analoglove #35mm #120 #4×5 #colorfilm #colorfilmphotography #c41 #blackandwhitephotography #grainisgood #filmcommunity #analogcommunity #filmforever #fineart #fineartphotography

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    Henry enrolled in the 1-Year Photography conservatory at NYFA’s New York campus in Fall 2010. In his visual artwork, he focuses primarily on the American black family and the community at large, as well as the representation of athletes in fine art. His work has been featured in in ArtExpo New York, Smack Mellon’s Hot Picks 2017, and Miami’s Spectrum Art Show, as well as on the covers of Jungle and PDN magazines.

    The Film Photo Award was awarded to Henry for his series Stranger Fruit, using the imagery of Michelangelo’s Pietà as a response to the ongoing, senseless murders of African American men by police officers across the United States. To capture the haunting images, Henry travelled across the country for five years and plans to continue for at least another two years through various additional locations, including New Orleans, Nashville, and throughout Texas in 2020.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Photography alum Jon Henry on winning the prestigious Film Photo Award from Kodak and looks forward to seeing his continued work in the field!

    Jon Henry

    NYFA Photography alum Jon Henry


    February 25, 2020 • Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2821

  • Photo Arts Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PAC at NYFA) Showcases Work in Photo LA


    This year, the Photo Arts Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PAC at NYFA) participated in Photo LA, the annual event that links local and global artists and thinkers by sharing work to create an encompassing photographic experience. Students, alumni, and faculty were able to showcase their work alongside galleries, artists, collectors, dealers, and publishers. 

    Photo LA 2020

    PAC at NYFA curated an exciting show representing the values, aesthetics, and the intellectual rigor of our students, alumni, and faculty. The work shows our strong commitment to facilitating an education that combines fine art and commercial skills with critical theory and contemporary issues. We are thrilled to be a community of global visual storytellers, made up of students and faculty from around the world. 

    Additionally. PAC at NYFA also produced, hosted, and moderated three panels at FOCUS Photo LA. Our first panel featured photographer and NYFA faculty Lane Barden discussing his work in the MONUMENTality exhibition at the Getty. Frances Terpak, Curator of Photographs at the Getty Research Institute, joined the discussion, sharing her process of curating the show and the ideas behind it. Also there to deepen the conversation was Roberto Scheiberg, architect from the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, who was present and an active player in the funding and exhibiting of the Linear City project at Woodbury University’s gallery in Hollywood (Wuho). 

    Our next panel was called Social Media Giants: Thoughts and Advice on Instagram, which featured Baz Here (NYFA MFA Photography student), Maddie Smith (BFA Photography student), and Alejandro Ibarra (MFA alum and NYFA instructor), who all have strong Instagram followings. Silvi Naci, artist, curator, and NYFA faculty, moderated the discussion exploring their use of Instagram as a platform, how they got their following, and what they saw the future of Instagram to be for photography. 

    Photo LA 2020

    Our last and totally sold out panel was a round table discussion called Photo Reps: The Inside Scoop on Intersectional Trends in Advertising. Artist reps and photo producers discussed their experiences in finding and representing diverse photographers and the roles women and people of color take in the making of commercial imagery. This panel featured Maren Levinson (RedEye), Jigisha Bouverat (BOUVERAT COLLECTIVE), Jen Lamping (Director of Photo Production at RPA), and Clarissa Garrett (Producer at 72andsunny), and was moderated by artist and PAC at NYFA faculty Amanda Rowan.

    Artists from PAC at NYFA that exhibited at Photo LA included:

    Changhao Song, BFA Alum
    Eric Magana, BFA Student
    Baz Here, MFA Student
    Dia Yunzhi Wang, MFA Alum
    Oluwasegun Oladele-Ajose, 1-Year Conservatory Alum
    Suge Hou, BFA Student
    Yilin Li, MFA Alum
    Jon Henry, 1-Year Conservatory Alum and Faculty
    Mengmeng Lu, BFA Alum and Faculty
    Angel Alvarado, Digital Lab Coordinator
    Amanda Rowan, Faculty
    Andre Keichian, Faculty
    Jackie Neale, Faculty
    Lane Barden, Faculty
    Naomi White, Chair


    February 5, 2020 • Faculty Highlights, Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2200

  • Study Photography in Florence with New York Film Academy (NYFA)


    Where better to study photography than in a city steeped with history, culture, and extraordinary light?

    This May, New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) will be running its hands-on and intensive 1-Week and 4-Week Photography programs in Florence, Italy—the birthplace of the Renaissance and where our understanding of portraiture originally stems from. 

    Florence photography violin

    NYFA Florence itself is located in the perfect setting for a photo workshop. The facility is in the neighborhood of Santa Croce, whose curved streets are the remnants of an amphitheater built 2,000 years ago! It is just steps away from the Piazza Santa Croce, one of the city’s most prominent squares and historical landmarks. The square is home to the Basilica of Santa Croce, which features sixteen beautifully decorated chapels as well as the tombs of many illustrious Italian figures, including Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, and Enrico Fermi. 

    Throughout the courses, students will explore the city of Florence, take day trips to surrounding towns, and visit museums and galleries to explore how photography in relation to classical and renaissance art. This is all while students are immersed in the art and craft of still photography, and are introduced to the tools necessary to capture great images and refine them through digital imaging.

    The programs are open to all levels of experience. Those newer to the field will benefit from their more experienced peers, and those with more experience will not only learn new material but learn from sharing their knowledge.

    While English is the language of instruction at all NYFA locations and in all coursework, we welcome students from all over the world, and have done so since the Academy’s inception in 1992. The NYFA environment offers a true international experience thanks to the richness of so many varied cultures converging together. US students will interact with local communities and citizens through the lenses of their cameras.

    Florence Photography

    Lisa Maria Valeskini, a student from Austria, took this photo during NYFA Florence’s 1-Week Digital Photo Program in May 2019

    Please note that all students are required to bring with them to the photography workshops a digital camera with manual exposure control and a hard drive for image backup.

    US college credits are available for these courses.*  

    written by Hannah Gilliland, Study Abroad Admissions Associate

    *Please note:  New York Film Academy makes no representation that credits awarded by NYFA will be accepted or applied toward the completion of any degree or certificate by any other postsecondary institution. The acceptance of transfer credits is always governed by the receiving school.


    February 3, 2020 • Photography, Study Abroad • Views: 2321