Guatemalan photographer Jaime Permuth returned home for an immensely popular photography workshop entitled “Artistic Identity and Transcendence.” It was a homecoming for Permuth who hails from Guatemala City. He has been a member of the faculty at New York Film Academy since 2011, having taught the majority of the courses offered in the Photography program at one point or another.
Over a series of three intensive sessions, participants explored the intersection of who they are as artists and how to find the right context for their practice in the photographic marketplace. For attendees, there were two avenues of exploration. The first looked at personal and artistic identity and featured writing and visual literacy exercises along with group dynamics. The second segment was more practically focused about how to place artwork within the context of the marketplace.
Prior to the workshop, Permuth was invited by La Fototeca – the sole photography school in Central America – to present an Artist Talk. La Fototeca was founded in 2009 and is known, in large part, to their prestigious triennial called GuatePhoto, which draws talented photographers worldwide. Jaime’s event saw over 350 people reserve seats in advance. Due to the overwhelming interest, organizers had to switch venues and hold it in the building’s parking garage instead. Clearly in popular worldwide demand, in December, the New York via Guatemala photographer will lead a workshop in Cuba for Camera Voyages. His work can currently be seen at Harlem’s El Museo del Barrio in the exhibition “nasty women / bad hombres.”
“New York City taught me to work professionally at the highest level. But Guatemala is where I learned to see and feel the world and the life around me. My native country is never far from my mind,” Permuth says proudly. “As a Guatemalan who has lived abroad more than half of his life – I worry that people back home have ceased to think about me. Or worse even, that I have ceased to be relevant to the cultural life of the country. And yet, coming back to a standing-room only-crowd at my talk and a sold-out workshop reassures me that perhaps this is not the case.”
We can confidently say it most certainly is not the case.
Over the course of his career, Permuth’s work has also been featured on NPR, TimeOut, ArtNet, FeatureShoot, and many other publications. His photography has been displayed all across New York City in the Museum of Modern Art, Queens Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Bronx Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, and many other museums. Along with being NYFA faculty, he teaches at the School of Visual Arts in their Digital Photography program. To learn more about Jaime and his work, check out hiswebsite.
The New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles hosted a special industry workshop in partnership with Phase One.
Manager of Educational Services Scott Niedermaier brought the Capture One software to the event to share with students. Capture One Pro 10 is a revolutionary piece of image editing software billed as the “professional choice” by Phase One.
Of course, Phase One brought in many of their own cameras for students to use, including one with a 100 Megapixels. This is one of the sharpest images available. This is one step closer to a film look recorded on a digital media.
Students in attendance were given the opportunity to photograph four different set-ups inside the newly acquired studio at Burbank Studios. Each set up was designed after a preferred style of a famous photographer. One such set up was designed after the work of noted head shot photographer Peter Hurley.
Ari Lighting was used during these tests. Shadows and high contrast were the focus of the day. Students were able to learn this latest technology under the advisement of the professionals instrumental in the software’s creation.
“This is just another way students can walk away from NYFA and be prepared to walk on to a set,” Senior Coordinator of Photography Kristine Tomaro said.
The New York Film Academy would like to thank Phase One for taking the time to further prepare our students for a career in photography.
NYFA photography alumna Sinem Yazici is no stranger to success. As her interview with Asli Pelit illustrates, Sinem was a successful ad agency director before the age of 30 in her homeland of Turkey. This alone is an impressive feat, not least of all because she’s a woman, but more impressive still is her decision to leave her profession and start from scratch as an aspiring photographer.
As a NYFA photography student in New York she was able to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion photographer, proving that it’s truly never too late to pursue your dreams. Her dedication to the craft has quickly made her one of the rising stars in men’s fashion photography and while she has changed careers, her determination and success remains unmuted.
She recently sat down with us to discuss her experience at NYFA, her passion for New York City and men’s fashion photography.
New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Sinem and wish her continued success in her endeavors.
Below you can find her full interview with Asli. Note: the views and opinions expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect those of the New York Film Academy.
Asli: New York is a difficult city to be successful or to live in. To be successful is even more difficult. To leave your life behind you and start over again and even start a totally new career, which is photography that you have never done before also as a woman, how did you decide to come to New York?
Sinem: Of course! I should tell you a little bit about my life before I answer this question. I was in the advertising business. For about 15 years I worked for a big international agency and two of the biggest companies in Turkey. When I became a director at my company I was 29. My goal had been to become a director before I turned 30 years old. After I reached my goal, I started asking myself, “Ok what is going to happen now? What is my next goal or target?” because I always set goals and targets for myself in life. When I started asking myself these questions I realized that I did not want to work in advertising anymore. I was so tired, and felt like I had been working for 30 years: never ending meetings, writing back and forth, working on the weekends. I remember that some days I was working 20 hours a day. At the time that I asked myself these questions, I already had an interest in art and photography. While I had never been the type of person to walk around with a camera everywhere I had been in the photo studio a lot and had worked with photographers because of my job in advertising. So I said to myself, “Why don’t I do this job? I would love to do this! What can I do about it?” One of my clients was a photographer. I called him my brother, Kerim Sandiman. I went to him and said “Kerim can you take me as an assistant to work for you? I don’t want money. I just want to learn what you are doing.” He said, “My dear Sinem, you have to take a class first.” So I said “ok,” and I started going to a class instructed by Muhammer Yatmaz, who is a photography teacher. I loved his classes and I had a great time. I completed two levels. I started taking pictures of my friends and family and I was enjoying it. I told myself I had to educate myself more about photography. I decided to go to NY because Advertising business was almost done for me. When I started doing this, I was up and down and I couldn’t decide what to do but I didn’t stay home and do nothing, I kept learning about photography. I came to NY and took a program at the New York Film Academy. The program was extremely fun and for years I had been dying to live in New York City. This period in my life was fun and I made a lot of good friends. I was stopping people in the street and telling them “ I am sorry, are you a model? Can I take your photograph?”
Asli: Yes, it is a classic NY story.
Sinem: I took a lot of pictures in NYC and then I went back to Turkey. I started working this time with Tamer Yilmaz, who is a professional photographer and my client. I started working as his assistant and editor. I got a chance to see the real fashion world when I worked with him. When I started taking pictures, I knew I wanted to be a fashion photographer, and mostly I wanted to photograph men’s fashion. My advertising background taught me to focus on one thing and do your best. I told myself that this was my goal, and I wanted to focus solely on being a photographer. I am really enjoying what I do. I worked one year with Tamer and slowly, slowly started missing NY and started wondering if I should go back. I decided to go back. It was a really tough decision but I told myself this, “If I do something really good in one year, I will give myself one more year, but if I cannot do anything, at the end of the year I will go back and continue my photography career in Turkey”. I came to NY on a tourist visa and I had to leave the country every six months. After the first six months, everything went very well. I realized that I had not done a portfolio because I was taking pictures of my friends and family. I started working with professional models, and while I was doing this I submitted everything that I had done and sent my photography everywhere. All of a sudden I started seeing my photos all around and set-up two or three photo shoots a week. That was unbelievable and I started to have a good network of models, agents, hair and makeup artists. I saw that everything was going very well and decided to do my own portfolio. When I did the portfolio, I decided to try to get an artist visa and I was able to get it two years ago. Now I am working legally, I have my clients, and everything is going well but NY is a tough city. There are always ups and downs. I have one more year and we will see after that.
Asli: When I look at your industry from the outside, men have all the good positions. Do think that women in this industry are behind men or are they equal?
Sinem: Openly, I cannot say that they are equal. There are a lot of successful women photographers but when I look at the top 10, 70 or 80% are male. As someone who wants to be in the men’s fashion photography business, I’m pushing my luck because the business is already male dominated. There are a lot of gay photographers in this business. As a woman photographer, I am trying to survive. Being a woman, I believe gives me an advantage. The feedback that I am getting from my models and agents is that there is a difference as to how a gay male photographer sees a male model and a woman photographer sees a male model. I believe this minor difference makes my work unique.
Asli: And this gives you an advantage.
Sinem: Yes, yes, yes.
Asli: Generally, when I look at the world and we talk about women’s rights, human rights and women doing two jobs at the same time – on one side they have a family, and at the same time try to have a career – do you think there is anything that has to change or do you believe that this idea gives women a chance at a higher position at work? Do you have any advice that you would give women?
Sinem: Clearly, until this time, I was able to accomplish this as a CEO, but I believe I got tired. That was the reason I stopped my career. When I look at successful women’s lives as a CEO or Executive level, they have a great family life. This shows how strong we are already. You are a mom at home but you are a CEO or boss at work. When I search their personality, the successful ones always listen to their brain, not their heart. We, as women are very emotional and when we leave the emotions on the side we become equal with men. Men do not work with their emotions. I experienced this 15 years and the last six or seven years, I experienced it a different way. I believe that if women leave their emotion on the side there is nothing that can stop them. They can do anything. That is the only advice I can give. Other than that, we are already strong and powerful.
Asli: I know that two years will go by quickly, but I hope that you stay here longer and continue your career here. What is your goal now in your career?
Sinem: Hmm, I want to be in the top ten. You know, there is the top ten in the world. There is already a Turkish photographer in this top ten, Mert. I am very proud of him, he is my idol. I hope to reach his level. This is a big dream for me. If I do reach his level, I will be the happiest person in the world. Even if I cannot, I would be very proud if people are discussing the work of a woman Turkish photographer. I don’t want this just for myself, I want to represent my country. We have a lot of problems in Turkey right now and when people hear this type of story they get happy. This would be my other goal if I cannot be very famous. This is my plan for the next couple of years. I don’t know what I am going to do after that, we will see.
My ultimate goal is to help students find their own creative voice, to create images that simply don’t look like anyone else’s.
New York Film Academy blog has decided to catch up with a few of our talented faculty. Meet Brian Dilg, Chair of the NYFA Photography Department…
Photo by Brian Dilg, all rights reserved.
“I teach courses on the techniques and aesthetics of cameras, lenses and lighting, as well as digital darkroom practices. I also help students investigate their own creative process, the themes they’re particularly attuned to, and how to bridge the gap between theoretical understanding of technical concepts and real-time application. Part of that process is learning exactly how the human brain-eye system actually perceives the visual world, and the surprising ways in which we don’t actually see what we think we see, both as image-makers and as viewers. Understanding how cameras actually “see” light allows photographers to exploit the way the human eye seeks visual balance and harmony. Image-makers can than build layers of perception and meaning into images, which creates a rich discovery process for the viewer and rewards repeated viewing. At this image-saturated time in history, having this ability at your command gives photographers a major competitive advantage, and helps them overcome the tendency of flawless modern equipment to produce generic, forgettable work. My ultimate goal is to help students find their own creative voice, to create images that simply don’t look like anyone else’s.”
Photo by Brian Dilg. Shot on assignment for filmmaker Kim Cummings for the feature film In Montauk.
Brian Dilg is an internationally published and collected photographer and award-winning filmmaker with over 20 years of professional teaching experience around the world. His images have been published in the New York Times, Time Out, and the Village Voice, and on book covers by Simon and Schuster, Random House and Hyperion. He has provided image retouching services to clients including Victoria’s Secret, Polo Ralph Lauren, Revlon, Nike, NBC and Allure. He is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, an Adobe Certified Instructor, and a frequently consulted authority on retouching and color management hardware and software. His feature film directorial debut, “Auf Wiedersehen,” premiered at the 2010 Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. He recently shot “The Greims” starring Wes Bentley (American Beauty), featured at the 2009 Vancouver International Film Festival. He previously served as the Technical Director of the film program and as the Director of the digital imaging program at the Maine Media Workshops. He did his graduate work in film production at New York University, where he was a full scholarship student. He has worked as director, cinematographer, and editor on over 70 other narrative, documentary, music video and commercial films. He currently serves as the Chair of the New York Film Academy Photography Department.