Since moving to NYC in 2014, a few months after graduating from ArtCenter, freelance photographer and alumna Heather Sten (BFA 13 Photography and Imaging) has photographed a diverse group of celebrities, filmmakers, musicians, actors, artists and executives including Spike Lee (wrapped in an American flag), Lena Waithe, Tiffany Haddish, Stormy Daniels, Neko Case and Glenn Close for outlets such as the The New York Times, Time, Vice, Out and Google, and for fashion clients such as Steven Alan.
“I love meeting new people and photographing them, which is interesting, because I used to be so shy when I was younger,” Sten says, scratching the head of her black-and-white dog Calcifer, named after a fire demon in Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle.
Her down-to-earth approach to photo shoots reflects a certain vulnerability. “I try, with my photos, to capture someone’s personality in their natural calm state,” says Sten, wearing a gold Buddhist necklace her mom gave her in elementary school. “I don’t like to push people. I want to get a feel for who they are and be as fluid as possible.”
Sten’s mom, who immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam and raised Sten as a single parent, wanted her to be a doctor. Taking photos since she was 14, Sten instead decided to go in a creative direction, diving into photography at ArtCenter. Inspired by instructors Mary Trunk and Jona Frank, whose work ranges from portrait photos to films, Sten created a visual diary about her grandma, who had Alzheimer's. It became her series Con Chau. An internship with fashion and advertising photography duo Juco (Julia Galdo and Cody Cloud) motivated her to pursue freelancing.
In the summer of 1967, Photography and Imaging alumna and pioneering commercial photographer Barbara DuMetz, then 20, took her new Kodak Instamatic—a gift from her dentist father—and walked through her Detroit neighborhood, photographing houses and beauty salons burned during the uprising there a few days earlier. African-American residents had clashed with police to protest deep-seated racism, economic disparity and police brutality.
“I used that camera to start photographing life before I knew I would become a photographer,” says DuMetz by phone from her home in Atlanta, Georgia, where she retired eight years ago.
Starting in the early ‘70s, DuMetz ran her own advertising photography business in Southern California for more than 40 years. She’s known for her photos of African-American actors, musicians, visual artists and luminaries such as Maya Angelou, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Miles Davis, Pam Grier, Rosa Parks, Betye Saar and Charles White, as well as groundbreaking national ads depicting African Americans for brands such as Kraft, Coca-Cola, Delta, Nestle and McDonald’s.
Photography alum Camillo Longo (BFA 12) was featured as the cover artist for ArtCenter’s Fall 2018 Dot Magazine. Raised and is based in Southern California’s Antelope Valley, photographer and graphic designer Camillo Longo finds inspiration for his striking photos everywhere, from sprawling national parks and tattooed motorcyclists to moths whose textured wings look like paintings. You can view his featured works and profile in the Fall 2018 Dot Magazine, or online here.
Congratulations to Outstanding Service award honoree Paul Bielenberg! Paul is a highly respected architectural photographer with numerous clients and projects nationwide. Dedicated to the widespread ArtCenter community of creative professionals, he regularly collaborates with fellow alumni on client shoots. He has taught architectural photography at ArtCenter since 1986. He epitomizes the entrepreneurial graduate with an established career and teaches a high standard of professionalism in his classes. A deeply committed teacher, he works tirelessly with students and supports them with guidance and expertise to discover solutions to artistic and business challenges.
ArtCenter College of Design will honor Paul and three additional distinguished alumni at the 2018 Alumni Awards Dinner on Saturday evening, October 27 at the Chevy Chase Country Club. The event, held in conjunction with the College’s inaugural Alumni Reunion, honors those who best represent the impact of an ArtCenter education on the world to shape a more humane future.
Congratulations to ArtCenter alum Christie Hemm Klok (BFA 2010). She was one of five photographers featured in PDN’s September 2018 Portrait Issue. The issue interviews portrait photographers on handling tough assignments. Read the article here.
Hemm Klok, a San-Fransisco-based editorial photographer, was recognized for her work in a March 2018 Washington Post article photographing the Silicon Valley elite’s latest status symbol: chickens.
From a series shot for Tidal magazine's January 2017 issue.
Congratulations to alum Sami Drasin (BFA '13) who was one of the winners in this year's The Look, PDN's annual fashion and beauty competition that highlights the best professional and emerging photographers in the industry.
Head over to PDN to see a full list of all the winners.
We are happy for alum Celia Sanchez ('16) for this well-deserved write-up in Upworthy. The story features Celia's series that challenges conventional depictions of motherhood.
As a young mom, Celia Sanchez felt like an outsider.
Sanchez, who became a mom 11 years ago at age 23, had many run-ins with fellow parents that she won't soon forget.
"When I would take my children to day care, I felt kind of ... like I didn't look like the other moms," Sanchez said. "They were much older than me. I just felt kind of separated from them. I would get a lot of 'Oh you're so young to be a mom,' 'You don't really look like a mom,' and I always thought that was a silly thing to say: 'Oh you don't look like a mom.'"
We view this yearly issue as a celebration of emerging talent, but it’s also a reflection of the photography industry. These photographers’ stories not only highlight their willingness to learn the business and what it means to be professionals, they also demonstrate the impact experienced photographers—those willing to teach, to encourage and to make connections for others—can have in helping to define what professionalism will mean to new generations of photographers. - Conor Risch, PDN Editor
Profiles on each of the 2016 PDN’s 30 photographers are featured in PDN’s April 2016 issue. See more at: http://www.pdns30.com/gallery/2016