The High School of Fashion Industries was visited by the creators of MFON: Women Photgraphers of the African Diaspora; Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Adama Delphine Fawundu. Laylah and Delphine began their visit by speaking about their individual work as well as how they began working together. Laylah photographs queer black women in New York City, while Delphine focuses on hip hop culture across the world. Laylah and Delphine connected over their work and trips to Africa, together deciding to create a book showcasing “women photographers of African descent.”
After discussing their photography and how they came to create MFON, Laylah and Delphine answered questions from the students about how they got started in the photography world and how they created their book. The two also shared their insights on the industry and gave advice to the students.
Following the presentation, the students were excited to share their work with Laylah and Delphine who went over the students’ progress on their personal vision projects, discussing how the students’ work could evolve in the weeks leading up to their final critique and giving feedback on their artist statements.
We are looking forward to seeing what the students bring to the final critique and are extremely grateful to Laylah and Delphine for visiting and speaking to our students at the High School of Fashion Industries.
This winter, our Teen Photography II class welcomed photographer Cynthia Vargas as a guest artist. Cynthia shared her experience as a young photographer starting out shadowing her grandfather throughout New York City, photographing everything he came upon as a way to save memories of a time that he feared would soon be forgotten. This inspired her to pick up a camera and begin her own photographic journey which involved documenting New York City’s break-dance scene, parties and events, and everyday life in Washington Heights. She spoke of the importance of community and it being not only a place where we live, but also a place we create. Cynthia also spoke of the importance of documenting these spaces and the people in them, along with their stories.
We viewed multiple bodies of Cynthia’s personal work all based on the theme of “community and self exploration”. After Cynthia presented her own work, she then took time to view the students’ work and give invaluable feedback on their personal projects.
This weeks student blog post is by Carmen Salas and Nicolette Armijos.
Vivian Maier was an amateur street photographer in the 1950’s. She was a nanny who would always document her surroundings by taking photographs. Nicolette and I find inspiration in Maier’s photos because we can relate to them in many ways. One of the reasons we find inspiration in her photographs is because she was not a professional photographer, she was a nanny. She was from New York City and would document her surroundings as she lived her life. She was a very private person and would keep her photos to herself. Despite not being a professional and photographing in secret, her work is now admired by many and is now an important artifact of our history. I personally find inspiration in the first photograph shown above, taken by Maier in New York in 1953. This photo shows many things happening and represents New York City very well. With the train station, architecture, and busy street, it is a photo similar to the kinds I like to take. I like taking photos of my surroundings, the people I see every day, and the city I live in, which is something I felt I had in common with Maier.
The second photo was shot by Vivian Maier on the street. For me, I find inspiration from this picture in particular because I really like the way this was taken. It’s obviously a candid shot, but it looks as if the subjects are being posed. It looks like Maier made the women stand there on purpose so she can capture them all against the wall. What I also love about this photo is the geometrical aspect. The shadows in the photo create a line above the first woman and there’s the shape of a triangle that you can outline. The highlights and shadows really give this image an interesting vibe. To me, I connected to it because of how it can seem like a candid shot but also a posed one, which is something I’ve been working on with my personal vision project.
This week’s student blog post is by Veronica Adu.
During my time at ICP’s Photo Club, we were asked as students to create a personal vision project. For my personal vision project I have decided to base my project on natural hair and beauty. For my inspiration, I had chosen a photographer whose work I really admire, Glenford Nunez
. Glenford Nunez’s work consists of beautiful photographs of mostly dark-skinned women with gorgeous natural hair, focusing on light and how it hits the subject. Glenford Nunez is a Baltimore photographer who advocates for black beauty in the fashion industry. When I was growing up, natural hair was seen as a burden because I was very tender-headed and with natural hair it can cause some pain when combing and trying to braid the hair. When I was younger, perming natural hair was seen as the easy way to solve the issue of maintaining it. Growing up has allowed me to understand the effects of what the perm was doing to my hair. Making it my decision to transition and see what my hair is capable of has allowed me to see the beauty of my natural hair for myself. Embracing natural beauty is something very beautiful that I want to reflect on to my personal vision project.
This weeks student blog post is by Melanie Nunez. Lauren Greenfield was born in Boston, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Harvard University in 1987. She worked as a photojournalist based in Los Angeles. One of her exhibition, that took 25 years called “Generation Wealth” focuses on the concept of how consumerism/money impacts everyone especially the youth. When we were in ICP Museum I remember focusing on a image of a boy with a go go dancer. This photo taken place during the boy’s Bar Mitzvah, which is a religious ceremony of Jewish boy who has reached the age of 13. Due to his parents being rich they spent over millions of dollars on the event and even hired go-go dancers. Being born into money propels kids to grow up faster and be exposed to more things than someone without money. Most likely these kids are being forced to do certain things and don’t really have a choice of their own when young. Not only can anyone be famous today via social media but the idea of money has become more apart of our everyday lives. The title of Generation Wealth and many of the pictures could contribute to mislead thinking that this is a project about people who are wealthy. It is not. It is about how the aspiration for wealth has become even more of a priority. People who are wealthy don’t make a big deal of being wealthy while people who are not wealthy pretend to be wealthy. It is about how, although we have less social mobility now than we had in earlier generations, and an even greater concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, the American dream has not withered but grown, to out sized proportions and a less realistic goal to reach.
This weeks guest blog post is by Yolanda Hernandez Susan Meiselas is an American documentary photographer, she is best known for her war-torn Nicaragua and of American carnival strippers. Her works have been published in newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Time, Time, GEO, Paris Match. These photographs were taken from 1972 to 1975 when Meiselas spent her summers photographing and interviewing performers in small towns in New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. She not only photographed their public performances but also their private lives. The women she met ranged in the ages seventeen to thirty-five. The performers were either runaways, girlfriends of carnies, club dancers, both transient and professional. What really caught my attention is that they don’t seem bothered that there’s someone photographing them, knowing that these photographs will go up on the internet. Most of these shots are off guard which makes it more real.