Request information at [email protected] to learn more about the undergraduate photography school at SVA.
The BFA photography program at the School of Visual Arts grounds students in the creative and technological skills of the medium as well as in the job opportunities available in the field. This means that by the end of your four years here, you’ll know how to process and print both black and white and color material; how to light a studio; how to use medium- and large-format cameras and how to work with digital materials. You’ll have had the opportunity to pursue fashion photography, landscape photography, still-life photography, portraiture, photojournalism and other genres of the medium. But equally as important, you’ll have an understanding of the professional world outside of SVA—practical and strategic knowledge to land a position where you can put your formidable skills to work.
The department’s faculty has expanded to 100 members, including active photographers, art dealers, critics, publishers and photo editors. The more than 40 elective classes available to students—which we strive to keep inventive, challenging and current—include Photo Editing and Curating, Photography Business and Practice, Self-Portrait, Writing About Photography, Fashion: Concept and Narrative, Still Life: Objects of Desire and Disgust and Photography and Cinema.
The department’s technical facilities have recently been completely renovated, and all of our cutting-edge facilities, whether darkroom or digital, are open until 4am. Medium- and large-format cameras, as well as digital backs for both, are available for student use, and we offer 60 digital work stations and, for fourth-year students, a digital lab.
Fourth-year students have the opportunity to be paired with mentors to critique their work. Since we happen to call New York City home, the local talent pool we draw upon is as distinguished as you’d expect. Our mentor program includes renowned artists like Tina Barney, Gregory Crewdson, Glenn Luchford, Platon, Taryn Simon and Lorna Simpson. It also includes powerful industry players: photo editors at Details, Interview, The New York Times, Newsweek and Vanity Fair; creative directors at Fader and W; The New Yorker’s photography critic; the editor-in-chief of Artforum and many more. The internship opportunities available to students are equally impressive. They include Yossi Milo Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, Julie Saul Gallery, Yancey Richardson Gallery, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler, The New Yorker, David LaChapelle Studio, Annie Leibovitz Studio, Steven Meisel Studio, Art+Commerce, powerHouse Books and Aperture.
Some of our graduates are currently represented by Julie Saul, Yossi Milo, Yancey Richardson, Daniel Cooney Fine Art and ClampArt.
Those are the facts. Harder to convey in words is our dedication to your unique photographic sensibility. Beyond your technical expertise, we will encourage you to pursue a way of working that embraces the unknown and the as-yet-unseen. Our goal is that you will leave SVA with an intellectual curiosity and a playful, creative way of thinking, regardless of what path you choose in this amazing field.