Photography Projects

Build Your Photography Portfolio at NYFA

NYFA’s Photography programs offer students the opportunity to strengthen their creative and technical skills while building an engaging photography portfolio. In our MFA, BFA, certificate programs and workshops, aspiring photographers complete challenging, hands-on projects that cover a range of photography styles and themes, short videos, editorial work, business and marketing plans, as well as self-branding assets. Degree program students also work on advanced projects that include a Photographic Series, contributions to our in-house FAYN Magazine, and a Thesis Exhibition.

As our programs are available at multiple campuses, projects vary by location. The projects listed below are examples of the type of work that our photography students complete and not an all-encompassing list. For more information, please see the course catalog.

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Projects By
Degree Program

FAYN Magazine Production

Students learn the ins and outs of publishing a magazine from concept to creation. Topics include curation, production, editing, layout and print management and styling. The magazine provides incredible hands-on experience of the world of publishing.

Fine Art / Commercial Portfolio

Through the duration of their degrees, students consistently create bodies of work, ranging across topics and genres, culminating in a final project. During their last semester they take time to organize their work for their website and create a printed portfolio to show to potential clients.

Music Video

Today’s photographers are expected to be equally as skilled at using video as they are the still image. This project offers students a solid introduction to time-based media, allowing them to practice core skills in cinematography, continuous light sources, directing, producing, and non-linear editing. Students study concepts to help achieve maximum psychological impact by studying the director’s decisions in camera placement, blocking, staging, and design. Students think comprehensively about their music video projects in terms of the branding of the music and the marketing of the musician. Using their own and collaborative class projects as prototypes, students learn to break down their ideas and videos in terms of story and emotional beats, shot selection and composition.

Fashion & Power Series

Through contemporary postcolonial critiques of fashion, students examine the structures of power beneath commercial and fashion work. Discussion, research and lighting techniques focus on cultural anthropology and sociology, to inspire informed fashion projects.

Monsters in Full Sun

This project asks students to create their own mythical land, filled with original creatures, ecosystems and logic, through advanced Adobe Photoshop techniques.

Low Key Lighting (Chiaroscuro) & Film Noir Project

Through an in-depth exploration of Film Noir and its relationship to light and shadow in storytelling this series examines how the formal qualities of dramatic lighting exemplify the mood of this cinematic genre.

The Diary, the Atlas, & the Magic of the Small Print Series

Inspired by Gerhard Richter’s project Atlas, this project utilizes students’ personal archive of photos, found images, and sketches, to uncover hidden themes and concerns.

Personal Narrative Series

Through the analysis and critique of work from contemporary photographers who use their identities to gain access to vulnerabilities, students explore self-portraiture, still life, and set design to examine personal ideas and narratives.

Business and Marketing Plans

Students take a minimum of two business related courses that cover how to pitch ideas, insight into galleries, form an idea and work through an entire busisness model from concept to creation.

Digital Branding

All students leave the program with an updated website showcasing their portfolios, CV’s, and promotional materials.

MFA Thesis Project

Students that take advanced classes work on multiple Photographic series in classes such as Deconstructing The Body in Fashion, Invisible Structures, Mythical Lands, Alternative Processes, and many more.

Thesis Exhibition

In the Thesis Exhibition, students present their final projects, which culminates in a gallery exhibition with an opening night.

Certificate Program

In the one and two-year programs at NYFA, students hone their photography skills as they build a strong body of work. Students complete projects that help them pursue their creative goals in photography, including a self-branding assets, a self-published photography book, contemporary and historical research projects, as well as a final exhibition and portfolio.

Alternative Processes Series

In the Alternative Processes photographic series, students explore alternative silver processes including lithography printing and liquid light. Students are encouraged to explore the myriad creative uses of a variety of processing and printing techniques as a way to expand their photographic vocabulary and personal work.”

Let’s Get Personal: Identify & Photography

This project explores self-portraiture, still life, and set design to examine personal narratives.

Photographic Essay

This project balances a hands-on approach to furthering professional and technical image production skills with the development of visual literacy through a wide range of design and aesthetic techniques. Students produce a major photographic essay of a single photographic subject, through repeated explorations, anchored by research into similar-minded projects by other artists.

Digital Branding

All students leave the program with an updated website showcasing their portfolios, CV’s, and promotional materials.

Self-Published Photography Book (New York)

The printed book is a viable calling card for photographers, highlighting bodies of work, or a specific project, often called a monograph. Students create their first book through this project, learning concepts of design, typography, and layout.

Virtual Exhibition (New York)

Each student curates a virtual exhibition of their work and that of at least three other contemporary photographers. The exhibition is a final project in NY for the History of Photography II class.

Final Exhibition

Assisted by weekly critique sessions students develop, execute and complete their own final projects, culminating in a group exhibition. Students write their own artist statements, press releases, title their group show, design a promotional poster, prepare their work for installation including printing and framing; sequence their images, curate and install in collaboration with the instructor.


NYFA’s full-time and part-time workshops equip students with introductory skills to digital photography. During these workshops, students work on a range of projects tailored to the workshop, which conclude in a final portfolio of their best work.

Digital Branding

All students leave the program with an updated website showcasing their portfolios, CV’s, and promotional materials.


Classes culminate in the creation of a final portfolio. The bodies of work students create reflect the students personal choices created within the genre of the specific class.

Please note: Equipment, curriculum, and projects are subject to change and may vary depending on location. Students should consult the most recently published campus catalog for the most up-to-date curriculum.