Photography School

  • Wild West Fashion Shoot Sponsored by ProFoto and Phase One at New York Film Academy


    This spring, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Department did a fashion collaboration featuring emerging Los Angeles-based fashion designers, sponsored with equipment from two of the biggest equipment brands in the photography industry: ProFoto and PhaseOne. The event was executed like a high-end commercial shoot, and NYFA students were able to experience what it is like to work with art directors, producers, models and designers.

    Joe Lavine from ProFoto brought the latest in portable strobes to the set and helped students build flawless fashion lighting, while Scott Nidermaier from PhaseOne brought medium format Diegel cameras, so that the students would be shooting the highest resolution and quality images available.

    Faculty Art Director and Lighting Instructor Amanda Rowan said, “It was really important to show the amount of work that goes into big fashion shoots to create the final images for a magazine spread.”

    The shoot took place on the Universal Studio Backlot’s Western Set, and the models were all NYFA acting alumni. Working with celebrity stylist team DShaunte Mcknight and Kenee’ Thompson, students produced and shot a 10-page fashion spread that will be featured in our next issue of the NYFA photography magazine FAYN.

    “Because of the amazing location we had access to,” said Rowan, “We asked that the stylist curate looks that express the modern spirit of the Wild West in Los Angeles: living your dream an artist.”

    This workshop was the first production shoot for students after their semester-long journey into the one-year photography program. It is in their last semester class, called Production Practicum. For the rest of the semester, the students take on the roles that were learned on this big shoot and are able to become their own producers and art directors.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Universal Studios, our sponsors PhaseOne and Profoto, stylists DShaunte McKnight and Kenee’ Thompson, and all the New York Film Academy students who worked hard to make this day a huge success. We can’t wait to see your photos in the next episode of FAYN.



    May 24, 2018 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights, Photography • Views: 2407

  • Finding Your Photography Niche(s)


    photographerTo say that photography as a profession has changed somewhat in the past decade alone would be the understatement of the century. While many photographers are still able to run a successful business specializing in one field of photography—be it wedding, fashion, or portraiture—more and more photographers are finding that to succeed as a professional in 2014, they need to be versatile and able to shoot one-of-a-kind photos across a range of genres.

    Since camera photography began in the 1820s, photographers were limited to a particular specialty for well over a century, often shooting locations or portraits. However, with the rapid technological advances in photographic technology and cameras now available on smart phone and tablets, photographers, whether professional or amateur, now have the mobility to dabble in a wide range of styles.

    However, for the aspiring professional photographer, he or she must be well-versed in a wide range of styles and techniques to optimize the number of jobs they are qualified for and to support the field of photography that is their passion. For example, numerous fine art photographers supplement their work with jobs in commercial, journalistic, and fashion photography, including many members of the faculty at NYFA’s Photography Schools. As such, our instructors make it a priority to ensure that students are as well-rounded in as many genres as the length of their program or workshop will allow.

    Below is a list of some of the different types of photographic genres available to the aspiring professional photographer. As fashion, fine art, journalistic, and commercial photography are taught across our workshops and programs, we’ve decided to focus on lesser known fields of photography that a professional photographer can practice.

    • Landscape Photography: An historically popular strain of photography, landscape photographers are continually in demand and boast such luminaries as Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell as pioneers in the field.
    • Wildlife Photography: Like zooming in on the landscape, wildlife photographers get up close and personal with nature, often shooting assignments for nature publications.
    • Sports Photography: A field that requires fast reflexes and an ability to get the perfect shot in a matter of milliseconds, sports photographers get a front row seat to the action on the field or court.
    • Wedding Photographer: While the wedding photography industry has declined in recent years with the proliferation of affordable and quality cameras, an accomplished and well-reviewed wedding photographer can still expect to find steady work.
    • Aerial Photographer: For those not afraid of heights, aerial photography has grown in demand as services like Google Earth have created a demand for quality aerial photographers.
    • Event Photographer: While shooting a seven year-old’s birthday party might not be the realization of your artistic ambitions, experienced and qualified event photographers can often find a steady stream of gigs as one positive recommendation can often lead to many others.
    • Concert Photographer: Grab your earplugs and stake your ground in the front of the stage in this exciting yet competitive field. While there is certainly no lack of concert photographers out there, those that can truly take one-of-a-kind images can often find additional work quickly.
    • Family Photographer: If you have the wedding and baby photography market cornered, why not expand your business to take timeless pictures of familial bliss?
    • Scientific Photographer: A field of photography where a degree in science is almost as important as a degree in photography, science photographers take stunningly intricate and breathtaking images and once one has established oneself in the field, one can expect a high demand for work.
    • Food Photographer: Having exploded in popularity over the past couple of decades, now any publication or restaurant simply can’t exist without hiring an extraordinary food photographer.
    • Street Fashion Photographer: An area of photography that is constantly expanding, street fashion photography was popularized by Bill Cunningham in his weekly column in the New York Times, but has become a much more crowded field in the age of blogs and social media.

    Of course, there are many other photographic genres the professional photographer might want to consider including stock, pet, real estate, astrophotography, medical, school, and micro and macro photography. These fields can be explored at New York Film Academy. The fundamental and hands-on experience taught at the Academy focuses on creating versatile photographers who could quickly adapt to these different genres. Best of luck in finding the fields of photography that work for you!


    May 9, 2014 • Photography • Views: 1368

  • Celebrity and Portrait Photographer Robert Trachtenberg Speaks to Photo Students at NYFA Los Angeles

    jerry larry

    The New York Film Academy‘s Photography School in Los Angeles was honored to host a guest lecture by renowned photographer, Robert Trachtenberg, last week. Robert talked students through his work, describing his shoots in detail from conception through execution. Students were encouraged to ask questions which Robert answered with humor and wit. He discussed the role of the publicist in celebrity shoots and how he works with actors from commissioned magazine shoots to off-the-cuff moments he’s captured.

    Robert also described his transition to the moving image. His response to an art director who doubted his ability to shoot a commercial – “I have to tell a story in one frame so 30 seconds is a huge luxury for me!”  Robert  is the winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Direction for his latest production, the American Masters film, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise.

    Robert Trachtenberg’s photographs have appeared in The New York Times MagazineEsquireVanity FairEntertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone among other publications. Advertising clients include NBCCBSABCTNTTBSDisneyMGM and HBO. The work can be viewed at

    -Bobbi Fabian, Chair of NYFA Photography LA
    For more information on NYFA’s Photography Programs, visit here.

    November 28, 2013 • Guest Speakers, Photography • Views: 7307

  • New York Film Academy Photography Students Meet Historical Processes Through Hands-on Field Trips

    Students enrolled in New York Film Academy photography courses at the Los Angeles campus attended two exciting events last week. Renowned photographer, Abelardo Morell’s retrospective exhibition, The Universe Next Door, opened at the Getty Museum and students were treated to a talk by the artist last Thursday night.
    NYFA Photography
    It’s a small photography world –  one of our regular guest instructors, Luther Gerlach, built a special camera obscura for the Getty exhibition and NYFA photo students attended a wet-plate workshop with him on Friday.

    Luther Gerlach has been making images using historical processes for over thirty years, and he makes them big! With these processes, big means big negatives – not made from the computer using transparency paper. He uses large format cameras (8×10 inch through 30×40 inch) and lenses dating from 1850 to 1940, which he has been collecting and restoring for many years.

    The wet-plate photographic process dates from 1851. For tintypes, he uses black sheet metal bought from a trophy manufacturer (it’s clean and painted black – which is necessary for the negative image to show up).

    One of Luther’s terrific qualities is how open he is. He opens his home for students, shares his historical collection of daguerreotypes and wet plate images, and makes a 12″x20″ tintype group photo (see below) using his mobile dark room – a truck. He’s generous with explaining the process and it’s clear he is one of the most knowledgeable people on this format. We like Luther.

    NYFA Plate

    Interested in our photography courses? Find out how!



    October 9, 2013 • Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4181