The Photography BFA is quite a broad program with various tracks students can follow depending on their interests and future career goals. Electives help shape each track (tracks include fashion, fine arts, editorial and advertising, and photo-editing). Kristin Barr found that her interests lie in the latter track.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Kristin for a couple of years now, first meeting her when she was a student worker in the admission office. Now a recent grad (Photography BFA ’11), it was really great to catch up with Kristin and see what she’s been up to.
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you decided on majoring in Photography. Why did you choose Parsons?
I went to an arts magnet high school in Dallas, Texas where I focused mostly on fine arts, like drawing, painting and sculpture. I also got into photography there and took photo classes at a local community college during the summer. I chose to come to Parsons because my mentors told me I would succeed in a creative design-oriented environment like Parsons.
Can you talk about any internships you completed while at Parsons? How did you gravitate towards photo retouching?
In school, I did a few internships with freelance photographers. They mostly did on-location work and not so much studio work. I got to go backstage for fashion week shows and also assisted with more elaborate set-ups for portraits. I learned a lot while interning for less well-known photographers because I was able to get a lot of one-on-one time and ask them any questions I had. I also learned being a freelance photographer was not something that felt right for me. With my interest and skill in drawing and painting, I was inclined to the retouching aspect. I was more interested in the post-processes of photography because I felt like photographs could be reworked, modified, and perfected. My aesthetic leans toward striving for a clarified and clean image to lessen distractions from the subject matter. I currently intern for a freelance retoucher who has her own studio in Greenpoint.
Can you talk a bit about your current position? How did you find it? What’s your average day like?
I am currently a photo editor and retoucher for the imaging and marketing team at Lord & Taylor. I work on images that go on their website and images in emails they send out. There’s also a lot of file management and some managerial duties I am responsible for. I found it through a friend who used to work there and had posted about it on Facebook.
Any advice to new photographers?
Immerse yourself in school and utilize school for every opportunity that you get. Find your voice and shoot, shoot, shoot!
-by Victoria O’Neill-