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  • An Evening with Chris Buck and His “Uneasy” Photos at the New York Film Academy

    The Photography Department at the New York Film Academy hosted an evening with Chris Buck, one of the most captivating voices in celebrity portraiture. NYFA Photography Chair David Mager introduced the prolific photographer to a room full of photography students and avid fans of Buck’s work. Buck has been creating a unique space within the world of celebrity portraiture for three decades. His charming, odd, and captivating photos from 1986 to 2016 have now been compiled in a cohesive collection entitled “Uneasy,” which he will be signing before and after the event. The new book features his portraits of some of today’s most famous celebrities including Jay Z, Mary Tyler Moore, President Barack Obama, Louis C.K., Mac DeMarco, Lena Dunham, Snoop Dogg, George Clooney, William Shatner, Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer, and many others.

    Chris Buck

    photo by Alejandra Arias

    Buck began the evening with a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his photo shoots. He joked that while the production process may look easy and glamorous in a short film, most of the time he is freaking out and obsessing on whether he will be able to get the right shots.

    He soon recalled his early childhood where he didn’t have many friends and began to cling to pop culture through movies and music. It was his increasing interest in pop culture and the fact that his father worked at Kodak that led to his passion for photography. As a young photographer Buck would follow local bands in Toronto and take photos. Initially, Buck was so “uneasy” around his subjects that he would only take photographs of their feet rather than a proper portrait.

    chris buck

    photo by Alejandra Arias

    While known for his work with high profile individuals and celebrities, Buck says he’s also interested in exploring regular people and working in advertising. “My real mission is to project my wounded ‘damage’ personality onto the photography,” said Buck.

    As Buck’s confidence and experience grew, he soon learned that being a great portrait photographer requires a focus on making an image for the audience and yourself — not the subject. As a professional with 30 years of work under his belt, Buck says its his ability not to act like “buddies” with his subject that creates an atmosphere in which the subject sees him as a serious professional. This is typically when his best work comes through.

    After elaborating on his work and wisdom through a series of videos and slides, Buck signed copies of his new book, “Uneasy,” which constructs a road map of contemporary culture, featuring a wide range of subjects, including many of the most recognizable names today: President Barack Obama, George Clooney, Joaquin Phoenix, Lena Dunham, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Louis C.K., Judd Apatow, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William Shatner, Aziz Ansari, Kristen Stewart, Jay Z, Cindy Sherman, Jimmy Fallon and Donald Trump.

    May 19, 2017 • Guest Speakers, Photography • Views: 885

  • NYFA Photography Alumna’s “Living Shape” Selected by the Prestigious Florence Biennale

    Zhuoqun Jiang

    photo by Zhuoqun Jiang

    New York Film Academy Photography School alumna Zhuoqun Jiang’s photography work, “Living Shape,” has been selected by the Florence Biennale. The Florence Biennale is the major contemporary art exhibition in Florence (Italy), where it is regarded as an outstanding showcase of the international contemporary art production. Every two years the Florence Biennale enlivens the Medicean city with a program of collateral events such as conferences, displays, performances, workshops and lectures. All this with a view to offer artists and their audience the opportunity to engage with art and culture, and know more about the theme of each edition of the biennial.

    Originally from China, Jiang moved to NY to attend Photography School at NYFA, where she created this piece as her first year final project. She then moved on to her MFA in Photography at NYFA Los Angeles.

    “This piece was created to show my respect of life,” says Jiang. “I am a minimalist, and I think the most simple thing carries the greatest power. The triangle represents strength and the color means growing and blooming of life. I handmade the costume as a soft sculpture and asked a model to dress it up.”

    Jiang says she was always encouraged by her instructors to create and explore new ideas and concepts. “The skills I learned at NYFA made me confident to face any problem while shooting my projects,” she added.

    Jiang has experience in many fields of art; her work consists of sculptural, fashion based, fiber art and photo illustrations. They can be exhibited both as photographs and individual pieces. Her current focus is on exploring the artistic expression through craft, sculpture and photography.

    The Florence Biennale 2017 will be held October 6th – 15th at Fortezza da Basso, Florence.

    May 10, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1152

  • NYFA Photography Student’s Photo I Project Makes Cover of “Imirage” Magazine

    mirage rutvik

    Photographer/Retoucher: Rutvik Katuri
    Model: Camille John @ BMG Models NY
    MUAH: Sonia R
    Magazine: Imirage, Issue: Living For Love #3.

    Born and raised in the southern part of Hyderabad, India, Rutvik Katuri’s hobby of photography slowly grew into his passion after shadowing local event and wedding photographers. He grew even fonder of the art after discovering the work of fashion photographers like Emily Soto and Lindsey Adler. From there, Katuri moved to New York City where he currently studies at the New York Film Academy Photography School.

    “NYFA has definitely improved my skills in terms of getting the light setup quicker as well as with working on post-production in Photoshop,” says Katuri. “To give you a little bit of perspective, it used to take me 30 minutes to get a simple setup with one light. Now I take about 30 mins for a complex four light setup. Same goes for my post production — it has cut my time in half.”

    Katuri’s final project for his Photo I class was “Holi Colors,” which was inspired by the Indian festival called Holi, a festival of colors and love. “It’s a play of analogous and complementary colors,” he says.

    His photo was chosen for a recent cover of Imirage, a monthly magazine that applauds relevant and visually stunning features on art, design, writing, film, music, photography, style and other creative genres.

    “Technically it was just a simple one light setup with a beauty dish and capturing the images with a simple macro lens,” said Katuri about the work on his cover image. “To me it was more about picking the right colors and figuring out what were the right designs that fit the face. We started out by adding red around one eye and we let the design go wherever it took us, but we kept in mind that it has to be symmetric on both the sides.”

    Katuri says he is heading more into studio fashion and beauty and will be expanding to on-location fashion. Two projects that he is currently working on are “Futuristic Fashion” and “Symmetry.”

    May 1, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3750

  • NYFA Photography Instructor Chris Knight Listed on Profoto’s “Legends of Light”

    Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, New York Film Academy Photography Instructor Chris Knight’s work has appeared in Vogue, People, MSNBC, ABC, Ocean Drive, GQ and others. Knight says photography started as a hobby for him until it became compulsive.

    “It was something that appealed to me in a lot of different ways — technically and creatively,” he says. “Once I had a few years under my belt, part-time, I figured ‘why not?’ and dove head first. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into, but somehow managed to come out okay on the other side. I consider myself very lucky that I am able to work in a field that is my passion and fulfills me creatively.”

    Chris Knight

    Chris Knight

    Knight is the recent author of the book, “The Dramatic Portrait.” The book is a photography education book that talks about the techniques and creative use of lighting, styling, retouching, and developing your own personal creativity.

    “It was something of a bucket list item for me,” said Knight. “I had always wanted to write a book and about a year ago had the opportunity to do so. It has been a labor of love for about a year, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to release it.”

    Knight also recently completed his work with RGG EDU (rggedu.com), which is a video tutorial / documentary that covers the process of him creating and photographing three different shoots. “It’s a companion piece to the book, and the images I made for it are some of my favorite I’ve ever done,” said Knight.

    Chris Knight

    photo by Chris Knight

    Given his work, book, and teaching, Knight has been named one of Profoto’s “Legends of Light,” which honors photographers’ outstanding skills and contributions to the professional American photographic community. “Just being placed on a list with people I’ve had tremendous respect and admiration for over the years is incredibly humbling,” said Knight.

    “Don’t underestimate the power of time, patience, and hard work,” Knight advises his students and aspiring photographers. “It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting everything to happen quickly, but sometimes the process is a significantly longer one. Use that time as a way to continue developing your personal voice. Once your stumble on what is uniquely you, more opportunities will present themselves and you’ll be happier with the ones that do. Go above and beyond (without being asked) and have a positive attitude about it. Being a working creative is hard. Those that are strong self-motivators are always the most successful. When you’re your own boss, you don’t have someone telling you what to do, so learn to take the initiative for yourself.”

    For more of Knight’s work, visit chrisknightphoto.com or on Instagram at @chrisknightphoto. “The Dramatic Portrait” is available for pre-order on Amazon in paperback or ebook, and the tutorial with RGG EDU will come out this summer.

    April 11, 2017 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 1414

  • NYFA Photography Holds Exclusive Workshop For IVY Members

    Last week, the New York Film Academy Photography Department invited members of IVY to ‘learn how to capture the perfect photo’ in an exclusive IVY Photography Workshop. The evening began with complimentary cocktails and followed with an engaging discussion with NYFA Chair of Photography for the NYC Campus, David Mager.

    ivy photography at nyfa

    Mager focused on how photographers use light to capture the desired image. Following the discussion, IVY members dove into an immersive photography workshop at two different lighting platforms with NYFA’s expert instructors on ‘how to master the key techniques of photographic lighting.’

    nyfa photography ivy

    “It’s not often as young professionals that we get to re-explore the hobbies we have put aside for our busy work and social schedules,” said Phil Chan, IVY Arts and Culture Director. “Our workshop at the New York Film Academy was a great way to learn more about photography in a short amount of time from a great team of faculty members, and inspired us to take the lessons we learned and incorporate art-making into our every day lives.”

    “We had a great first event with IVY, participants were engaged, learned a lot, and had a great time,” added David Mager.

    If you’d like to check out the gallery of photos from the event, please CLICK HERE.

    April 5, 2017 • Community Highlights, Photography • Views: 1553

  • NYFA Photography Alumni Spotlight: Eunnym Cho

    Born in Seoul, South Korea with a background as a theater designer, photography has always been a passion for New York Film Academy Photography alumna, Eunnym Cho. Cho used her elaborate sets as backdrops for what were the beginnings of her exploration into photography as an art.

    looking into the lives

    “Looking into the Lives” by Eunnym Cho

    “I would always take shots of the theater sets and costumes I designed for my portfolio,” said Cho. “At one point I figured having a deeper knowledge of photography would be helpful to get the shots I wanted, so I decided to take the One Year Photography Conservatory at the New York Film Academy. I started the program just to learn more on the technical side, but the course was a lot more than just that. I discovered the huge field over the program and took it serious from there.”

    Since graduating from NYFA, Cho’s work has been recognized by several galleries, including:

    • The Art at the Center National Juried Exhibition 2017, Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, KS, 2017
    • 45th International Art Show, Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, TX, 2017
    • City Lights Spring 2017 Juried Exhibition, City Lights Art Gallery, NV, 2017
    • New York International Photography Contest, Gateway Art Center NYC, NY, 2017
    • 40th National Photography Exhibition, Larson Gallery, WA, 2017
    • Next Up, Next Gallery, CO, 2017
    • Conroe Art League 2017 Invitational Show, TX, 2017
    • LA Artcore Annual Photographic Competition, CA, 2017
    • 38th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, Monmouth Museum, NJ, 2017
    • Dreams, The Darkroom Gallery, Essex Jct. VT, 2016
    • Primary Colors, Final list, Honorable Mention, New York Center for Photographic Art, NY, 2106
    Untitled Gaze

    “Untitled Gaze 3” by Eunnym Cho

    “Untitled Gaze” is her first ongoing project and “Looking into the Lives” is the one that followed. “Looking into the Lives” is a series of street shots. The project involves two sub-projects: Part I was taken in the Dominican Republic and part II was taken in New Orleans, LA.

    “One of the most memorable parts of the NYFA Photography program was the school trip to Dominican Republic,” said Cho. “It was the most enjoyable way to learn about the topic and, as it turns out, was where one of my projects, ‘Looking into the Lives,’ began.”

    Untitled Gaze 2_Honorable Mention_NextUp_Denver

    “Untitled Gaze” by Eunnym Cho

    Her other ongoing project, “Untitled Gaze” is a series of images taken in various bars in Manhattan. “At first I was searching for unique, interesting elements of bars, but then I became more aware of the patrons, especially those who were alone,” added Cho. “So I set out to photograph, using the point of view of these individuals. Without looking at their phones, how did they fill the void? What would their eye focus on? In their inebriated state, what do they see? Focusing on singular item or area, I began to create abstractions of what they might see. Drawing inspiration from Uta Barth and Saul Leiter, I looked for things that might catch their eyes as they looked around from their barstool.”

    Cho hopes having her work at galleries across the country will provide exposure to her work, but she would love to have an exhibition in her current hometown of New York City.

    As Cho puts it, “There is no better place in the world in terms of the amount of galleries and museums that focus on photography.”

    March 6, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1536

  • NYFA BFA and MFA Photography Gallery at Famous Bergamot Station

    The New York Film Academy BFA and MFA Photography Gallery show of graduating students was held at the famous Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA. The four MFA students and two BFA students had a wonderful turnout of 210 people, not including family, friends or alumni.

    olive banerjee

    photo by Olive Banerjee

    The curators from the various Bergamot Station galleries themselves said that the show has a beautiful cohesiveness, and, once again, one of the guests was the retired curator of photography from the Getty Museum, Weston Naef, who stopped by to enjoy his third New York Film Academy MFA/BFA exhibition.

    Tingting Lou

    photo by Tingting Lou

    Bergamot Station was previously a railroad station from 1875 to 1953, serving the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad and later the Santa Monica Air Line. The station was named after the Wild Bergamot flower, which once grew in the area. The Bergamot Station is in line to become a Historical Landmark in the next few years and it currently houses multiple art galleries.

    Xiao Xu

    photo by Xiao Xu

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Bergamot Station for hosting our students. Congratulations to our graduating MFA and BFA photographers on this excellent showcase.

    February 14, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1200

  • NYFA Photography Grad to Display Work in Solo Exhibition at India Habitat Center

    of miles and me
    While currently based in Jaipur, India, New York Film Academy Photography graduate Nipun Nayyar has been gathering a mix of landscapes, portraiture and street photography from his travels in the US, India, Pakistan, Nepal and the Dominican Republic. Now, his photographs will be on display in his own solo exhibition called “Of Miles and Me” that will take place at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi from January 1 – 5, 2017.
    nipun nayyar

    photo by Nipun Nayyar

    “My major goal through this exhibition is definitely making the industry influencers, like photo editors or art directors, more aware of my imagery and content,” said Nayyar. “I’m also expecting this exhibition will help streamline my print selling, commercially, in a more structured manner as my prints would also be up for sale at the exhibit. I plan to initiate selling of my prints more professionally in times to come.”

    nipun nayyar

    Nayyar says that his experience at NYFA is one of the primary influences on his photographic learning, knowledge and exposure. “They [NYFA] played such a substantial role in refining my art,” he said. “Not just my exhibition, but also my photography work, in general, will always have me deeply thanking them.”

    Nayyar has his own personal blog, which provides insight into his travels and his photography. To check out more of his work, visit nipunnayyar.com/blog.

    December 20, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2600

  • Ralph Gibson, Chair of NYFA’s Department of Contemporary Photography, Opens Major Exhibition in Paris

    gibson and serrano

    Renowned American Photographer Andres Serrano and Ralph Gibson, Paris 2016

    Recently, the renowned photographer, and NYFA’s Chair of the Department of Contemporary Photography, Ralph Gibson, opened a major photography exhibition at the prominent Galerie Thierry Bigaignon in Paris.

    The famous American photographer exhibited a new series of large-format color photographs entitled Vertical Horizon. Gibson, best known for his black & white monochrome images of the human form, has also often explored architectural elements in his works. The works in this exhibition evolved from the time that Gibson began doing color digital photography some years back.

    As the gallerist Thierry Bigaignon states, “Ralph Gibson’s images highlight the idea of boundaries and opposition. They’re visual oxymorons, so we decided to title the exhibition Vertical Horizon, which perfectly encapsulates these concepts.”

    gibson and clark

    Ralph Gibson and Larry Clark, filmmaker and photographer, at the opening of L’ Histoire de France at the Hotel Scribe, Paris. Nov -4, 2016

    Gill Mora, one of the world’s most important art critics and historian of American photography, recently commented on Gibson’s new photography series, “Ralph Gibson is without doubt the most European of American photographers, and knows our culture perfectly. His mastery of composition, halfway between graphic artwork and abstraction, has never precluded the sensuality that is the particular trademark of his photographs. It is time to rediscover Ralph Gibson.”

    At 77, Ralph Gibson is as active as ever — both in his studio and at the New York Film Academy. In addition to lecturing to NYFA students, Gibson also takes on a mentoring role to students as part of a unique mentorship program that NYFA established for long-term photography students.

    November 17, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 1468

  • Fashion Photography from NYFA Alumnus Viktor Klimenko

    For as long as he can remember, New York Film Academy Photography alumnus, Viktor Klimenko has a fondness for the arts. His interest and pursuits began in fashion after designing his own clothing line and only grew from there when he created magazine advertisements that featured his garments.

    viktor klimento

    “Blase Affair” by Viktor Klimenko

    “I started to sketch and draw scenes that I would imagine a photographer would capture,” recalled Klimenko. “This lead to me experimenting with trying to recreate my sketches into reality.”

    After attending the New York Film Academy Photography program, Klimenko says he learned a lot from the instructors.

    Since completing the program, Klimenko has been working with fashion magazines, as well as individual projects for clients. While his current focus is on male models, he hopes to soon expand his work towards female fashion as well.

    “Now that everyone is a photographer, I feel like limits have to be pushed even more. I know many photographers that can’t get jobs, and the main reason is that while they may have quality work it could lack creativity. Today, when you look through magazines you can see why a certain photographer was chosen and why the editors used him or her to be published in their magazine. Now it’s all about that thin quality that’s hard to explain. I personally respect and value photography when I can see the effort that was put into it. It can be complex or simple and minimal, but the way the artist put it together will show the amount of creativity that went into the project.”

    Be sure to check out more of Viktor Klimenko’s fashion photography work on his website at www.viktorklimenkophotography.com.

    November 16, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1777