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  • NYFA Welcomes Hire Heroes USA

    On June 24, The New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) Veteran Services Department was fortunate to collaborate with Hire Heroes USA (HHUSA) to host a daylong exclusive employment workshop for NYFA’s veteran students. The NYFA military students also benefited from one-on-one time with the Transition Specialists from HHUSA.

    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members, assisting veterans and spouses with finding employment.

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    Resume and job application cover letter coaching.

    The first half of the eight-hour workshop was a practicum related to resume theory, networking techniques, and how to affectively prepare for an interview. Representatives from Hire Heroes USA, Jamie Rimphanli and Walter Serrano, coached veteran students on how to properly format their resumes and discussed, in-depth, the importance of networking and how to prepare for a job interview.

    For the second half of the workshop, industry professionals from Disney Studios, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Legendary Entertainment, and Plan A Locations joined the workshop for a moderated Q&A panel discussion. Panelists discussed how they began their careers in the entertainment industry and how they’ve navigated their careers for success.

    Highlights from the day included an exercise that had all of the participants do a speed networking session. Also, HHUSA brought a photographer who took professional head shots for the veteran students’ LinkedIn pages.

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    NYFA veteran students and panelists mixed to give their job skill pitches.

    “We felt that this training and these types of vet student-centric activities are increasingly important because they help prepare our students to meet with HR/Talent Acquisition teams from the major studios,” explained NYFA Director of Veterans Services Department John Powers.  

    Retired Army veteran and MFA cinematography student Bryan Hudson stated, “The Hire Heroes USA workshop was a fantastic forum to introduce veterans with industry insiders and provide the opportunity to learn from them. The event was beneficial to everyone involved about learning the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the interview process and how to break into the entertainment industry. One thing that I learned from the workshop is to establish relationships that will be beneficial to both parties. Thank you to the NYFA Veterans Department for putting on this marvelous event, and I hope that this will be the first of many events with Hire Heroes USA.”

    The NYFA Veteran Services Department is extremely grateful to Hire Heroes USA for partnering with us to bring this wonderful opportunity to NYFA veteran students.

  • MFA Photography Graduate’s “Coming out Stories” Featured on BuzzFeed

    While those who identify as LGBTQ+ can often share a common bond remembering the moment they officially “came out,” the way in which he or she comes out is hardly ever a similar experience. After discovering this through a conversation with a friend, New York Film Academy MFA Photography alumnus Alejandro Ibarra decided that he would dedicate his class project to individuals’ “Coming Out Stories.” His series, in which Ibarra photographs his subjects and asks them to write about their “coming out” experience, has recently caught the attention of BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post.

    We recently had a moment to chat with the graduate about his inspirational “Coming Out Stories,” his time at NYFA, and what’s to come in his photography career.

    alejando ibarra

    Alejandro Ibarra

    Can you tell us where you’re from and what made you decide to attend NYFA’s MFA Photography Program?

    I’m from San Diego, CA — although I’ve lived kind of all around the States — and was raised primarily in Mexico. I had been a commercial photographer for about five years, and my knowledge of the medium was strictly technical, so I decided to pursue an MFA because I wanted to broaden my understanding of photography, and to go beyond the technical so that it would enhance my work.

    When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?

    I honestly don’t remember ever making that decision or anything; in a way, it sort of just happened. I began taking pictures, portraits specifically, after my brother passed away. This was before smartphones were the norm and everyone had countless pictures and selfies, and we realized we didn’t have a single decent picture of his to use for the funeral. We ended up cropping him out of a family photo that was taken with a tiny point-and-shoot and then blowing it up. It didn’t look great, and it didn’t do him justice, so I decided to begin shooting everyone in my life after that; not in case anyone died or anything, more-so because I think I realized back then the importance and the power of capturing at least part of someone’s essence in an image.

    coming out stories

    What inspired you to create “Coming Out Stories” as one of your NYFA projects?

    The inspiration for the series came after a friend of mine told me about how he came out to his family. My own experience was very different from his, but I somehow really related to it. I realized that there’s an entire community who has experienced this key moment in various ways, and that it would be potentially appealing to other people who didn’t identify as LGBTQ+, because the themes are universal. At the same time, for a final in one of my classes in my first semester, we had to come up with a book project that we were actually going to have printed. The series then made sense to do as a book because of the narrative element of the handwritten text over the images.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the process of finding your subjects? Was there any pushback or did you find that most people were proud to participate?

    At first, I photographed a couple of friends as a way of testing the concept. Once I finalized the aesthetic, I put them out on social media and invited people who wanted to participate. It was all word-of-mouth and social media up until BuzzFeed and other media outlets began publishing articles on the series. Now it’s mainly people messaging me through instagram. There have definitely been several people whom I approached who didn’t feel comfortable doing it, especially now that there’s a larger audience for it on social media.

    A few people I had shot over a year ago actually didn’t give permission to appear in any articles because the amount of attention it would receive. The people who did give permission, however, have been as happy and grateful as I am, and it’s been so wonderful seeing their friends and family now saying how proud they are of them.

    coming out stories

    Would you say your NYFA experience was useful in terms on working on this project?

    Oh, definitely. Having critiques when the series was in its early stages was super helpful in terms of figuring out how to get the right look, and how to make the text pop without it being hard to read, and all sorts of details and ideas that might’ve never occurred to me. Furthermore, I was able to pitch the project to BuzzFeed while attending the Palm Springs Photo Festival last month with the school, so the exposure she series has had never would have happened had I not been invited by the school.

    coming out stories

    Is all of your work this personal?

    All of my work is personal, whether in film or still photography, so all of my projects deal with themes of equality and identity, specifically from the Latin-American and LGBTQ+ perspective. “Piece by Piece,” which was my thesis project, was about challenging the terms “non-traditional” and “traditional” families, and addressing the irrelevancy of sexual orientation as it pertains to what constitutes a family. It originated after a series of pro-traditional families (a.k.a. anti-gay rights) nation- wide marches that took place in Mexico last year. It’s currently showing at Bergamot Station in a group exhibition.

    Do you have any other projects coming up that you’d like to share with us?

    Other than focusing on my celebrity editorial work, my goal right now is to turn “Coming Out Stories” into a book. Furthermore, I want to keep telling stories of real people in real life situations, similar to this project.

    June 9, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1964

  • NYFA Invites Students and Alumni to Submit Work for Brooklyn’s Photoville

    The New York Film Academy invites you to submit your photographic artwork for consideration in our 2017 Photoville Exhibition. Now in its sixth year, Brooklyn’s waterfront photography exhibition provides photographers of all stripes to come together and interact with a diverse audience — a veritable cross-section of the world’s photographic community. This year’s Photoville will once again take place at the Brooklyn Bridge Park from September 13-24, 2017.

    photoville

    All NYFA students and alumni, from campuses worldwide, are invited to apply. There is no fee to submit work. Current faculty members are not eligible. If accepted, the New York Film Academy will handle the final printing and presentation of the accepted artwork, at no cost to the artist.

    Please visit the NYFA FAQ sheet for more info.

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    Submission Requirements:

    Please submit up to 5 jpegs, no larger than 2,500px on the long edge at 72 dpi of your best photographic images. Please also include a brief statement, in 500 words or less, explaining what the artwork is about. Final high resolution tiff image size should not be smaller than 16” x 20” at 240 dpi.

    Submissions are open now. CLICK HERE for Submission information and forms.

    The DEADLINE for submitting images is Midnight EST Monday, July 10th, 2017.

    Notification of acceptance: Monday, July 17th, 2017.

    June 8, 2017 • Community Highlights, Contests, Photography • Views: 1641

  • NYFA BFA & MFA Photography Student Showcase at Bergamot Station

    The Los Angeles campus held an exciting showcase of the New York Film Academy’s top BFA and MFA graduating photography student’s work entitled Tracing Nuance. Held at the historic Bergamot Station in Santa Monica from May 27th to June 7th the exhibition highlighted the range of talent emerging from NYFA’s student body.

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    MFA graduate Alejandro Ibarra’s, “Piece by Piece,” challenges the terms “traditional” and “non-traditional” families and addresses the irrelevancy of sexual orientation as it pertains to what constitutes a family. His work explores the themes of equality, sexuality, family and identity.

    This is Ibarra’s first gallery showcase. He said of the experience, “Exhibiting in a gallery is a new experience for me, and it’s mind-blowing to see how different the work feels as a proper object hanging on a wall; it becomes more real somehow and elevates the piece. Seeing people react to your work as they make their way through the gallery is slightly nerve-racking because you keep wondering what they’re thinking and if the message of the work is being conveyed.”

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    Though his nerves may have been on edge the experience has been eye-opening, “It’s also incredibly inspiring to be in a group exhibition because you can find relationships between your work and another artist’s work, while also noticing the uniqueness in the artist’s voices.”

    MengMeng Lu, BFA Photography, is also showcasing for the first time. Her series of photographs explores visual dichotomy. She said of her work, “My project explores the connection between external appearance and internal sense of self… searching for a common ground among a diverse group of people. Each photograph proves that it is impossible to replicate perfectly. We are each our unique selves.”

    MFA Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres was also moved by seeing her art hang at the Bergamot. “Having this piece shown in a gallery means more than I can put into words,” she said. “It shows me, and others, that work that makes a statement against the status quo is not only relevant but also interesting. It shows that the boundaries of the art world are still yet to be determined and that we all have a space in that world.”

    nyfa photography graduation

    Torres selection entitled, “Tras los Muros,” is a collaborative piece that explores the concepts of shared authorship, social commentary and a critique towards the prison institution; by allowing people who have been in prison to photograph their realities after being released.

    There are many more outstanding artists being featured. The exhibit closes today (June 7) so don’t delay in getting to Santa Monica to see all of our talented graduates.

    Featured Artists:

    MFA

    Alejandro Ibarra

    Silvia Catalina Quintero Torres

    Seham Sultan

    Sara Alsahaly

    Ebtehal Akram Farhat

    Chun Hsun Huang

    BFA

    Wai Yan Lau

    Edward Vincent Rubia

    Kivansh Choksi

    MengMeng Lu

    June 7, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1346

  • NYFA Photography Alumna’s Work Featured in Miss Vogue Turkey

    Born in Izmir and growing up in Istanbul, Turkey, Didem Civginoglu says she has always wanted to take the photos that she had imagined in her mind for so many years.

    “I had been working in corporate life for the last nine and half years and I was feeling as if I was missing something in life,” said Civginoglu. “I wanted to be out there to catch all of those instant unexpected moments, knowing life changes in an instant. I wanted to be present in the moment.”

    Didem Civginoglu

    Miss Vogue Turkey

    In order to accomplish her photographic aspirations, Civginoglu decided to move to New York where she attended the Photography School at the New York Film Academy.

    “I was lucky to be a part of an amazing class of talented people who were so willing to learn and share and be as curious as I am,” said Civginoglu about her experience at NYFA. “They were all from different disiplines and cultures, so it made it even more authentic. In addition to our creative and supportive spirit in our class, our instructors and teachers were very open and tolerant. They shared their attention with us generously and patiently.”

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    Didem Civginoglu

    Since graduating, Civginoglu has worked on numerous projects including Miss Vogue Turkey and Xoxo Guillaume Canet. “My agency 85|90 Projects showed my portfolio to the Vogue team and they offered to do the photo shoot with Sima, Miss Turkey,” said Civginoglu. “For the XoXo Guillaume Canet photo shoot, they needed a photographer together with an interviewer, so my journalist friend who was assigned to do the interview recommended me as a photographer and it happened.”

    While she continues to work on projects in Turkey, Civginoglu is currently based out of New York. She recently worked on a cookbook project called Teldolap, which incorporates backstage photos into a story, as well as a documentary called “Kim Mihri.” She is also working on an upcoming publishing project with a fashion designer.

    For more of Civginoglu’s work, visit her website at didemcivginoglu.com.

    June 5, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 948

  • 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: 1221

  • 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: 1392

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

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    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: 4008

  • 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: 1617

  • 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: 1721