The New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Department’s Guest Lecture Series offers students the opportunity to meet active, working artists and engage with them personally and professionally. In each series, lecturers present their work, discuss their practice, and talk about how their particular career has evolved in the dynamic and ever-changing field of photography. NYFA students are able to ask questions and lead discussions with the guests that range from technical challenges and solutions, to conceptual and philosophical explorations.
The guest lecturers range from fine art photographers, commercial photographers, and multimedia artists, to photography reps and creative directors. Photography reps and creative directors discuss the process of selecting and working with photographers, offering advice on presentation, websites, and branding. This spring, Jen Jenkins from Giant Artists, Maren Levinson from Redeye, and Dara Siegel from I heart reps., brought books of their clients’ work and other printed materials for students to peruse and touch — tactile experiences that bring photography to life.
Of NYFA’s Spring 2018 series, BFA Photography student Lotta Lemetti said, “For me these artist guest lectures are always inspirational because it takes away a little bit of the mystery of being a successful artist: they are human beings too, just like us. Each one of us could be there one day. That’s how I always feel after seeing these people talk. I think the intimate small group size also helps to feel the human connection between the lecturer and audience.”
Commercial artists such as Rose Callahan, a NYC-based photographer who was in Los Angeles on a book tour, also brought books. She discussed her books on men’s fashion, which had blossomed from her personal project photographingdandies in NYC; Gestalt publishing in Berlin had seen her blog on the subject, and sent her on a world tour through Africa, Japan, and parts of Europe. The students loved hearing about her process of making her pictures — what kinds of lights she used, how she approached her subjects, and her journey through the mystical world of book publishing.
Another commercial artist, Taj Stansbury, a local LA-based filmmaker and photographer, discussed how his eloquent and mindful artistic practice is based in gratitude, and shared personal stories of getting his foot in the door to make videos with Rihanna, Eve, Ludacris, JLo and many others.
Guest Lecturer M. Rasmussen, a creative director discussed the importance of color and listening to your inner voices, while Zen Sekizawa, an advertising photographer and activist, talked about her personal project, You and I See Why, which explores the “fleeting nature of memory and the inevitable loss of context that occurs when revisiting old ideas.”
Jordie Oetken, a local photo- and video-based artist, discussed her original approach to art making, using her body and her experience studying the art of stunt doubling, to get to a more nuanced and authentic place in her work. She discussed the importance of community and how she often uses the people around her to engage and assist in her art making practice.
The NYFA Photography department would like to thank all the wonderful Spring 2018 guest lecturers for their generosity of spirit and willingness to share their expertise and experiences with our students:
Thomas Locke Hobbs
The Photography Department is gearing up for a great new summer season of exciting guest lecturers, so stay tuned!