One thing I wish I had done more of over the past four years was take advantage of the facilities available at Parsons. Last week, for the first time, I reserved and used one of the photo studios available to AMT students to photograph some of my friend’s work. (She’s in Illustration.)
If you’re a student at Parsons and belong to one of the majors in the School of Art, Media and Technology (Communication Design, Design and Technology, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration) and you’re not a Photography major, you can reserve either of two photo studios. Students in Photography of course have their own system of studios, equipment, darkrooms, etc. available for their use.
Above and below are photos of the studio I used. There are three setups. Two are for 3D objects and have white and grey backdrops. The third is for flat work (books, posters, etc.) and has a camera stand expressly for that purpose. There are a couple different lights and tripods you’re free to use as well. And, if Maurice Sherman, whose office it is, is around—he usually can’t resist but to help you out a little. In fact, lately he’s been holding a host of workshops for AMT students regarding how to shoot your portfolio work in a photo studio.
Some of the tips I learned while at one of his workshops were:
- The time consuming part is the arrangement of the work, lights, reflectors and camera.
- Keep looking in your camera, don’t just eye something.
- Bring props (books, cubes etc.) to set your work up well to look good.
- Use metal sheets of paper and white foam core as reflectors to properly light your work.
- Pay attention to where shadows are being cast.
- Check the color of your photos against the color of the actual objects.
You can bring your own camera or reserve a camera before hand from the photo equipment available for AMT students.
It was fun shooting work in a semi-professional setup even if my own skills are a bit amateur. Still, the difference between the photos we took that day were vastly better than the photos I usually take of work in my apartment.