Monday, November 29, 2010

Statement of Intent

1. Please be concise and to the point.

2. Do your research: Does your statement demonstrate that you know about the specific industry you are pursuing and how the Academy of Art University will be a good partner for your purposes?

3. Show your focus and passion: Refrain from writing a personal biography. What about the subject inspires and motivates you? Be personal and passionate.

4. Tell us your goals: Be specific. What would you like to accomplish while in graduate school? Where would you like to be after you complete your degree?

I like the way the world looks through a camera. In the movie “Brothers Bloom,” a character named Penelope explains that with pinhole photography, “you can look at the most menial everyday thing, and depending on how your pinhole camera eats the light, it's warped and peculiar and imperfect. It's not reproduction, its storytelling.” It’s not just limited to pinholes either. How a photographer approaches the subject is just as important as what the subject is. I find that fascinating.

Photography has come in and out of my life for as long as I can remember. I started when I was eight years old by taking a class at the zoo. I came in 1st place and had it displayed. It was of a goat in the foreground looking unamused with kids playing in the background at the petting zoo. It wasn’t a staged photo and no one was making everyone smile so we could remember the day. It was just a mini-moment frozen in time. I eventually stopped taking photos that were interesting and fell into the habit of just documenting moments and forcing people to smile and say “cheese.” Flash forward a couple of decades, I find myself in the pit of a demolition derby with a point and shoot camera having fun taking different pictures and getting these amazing shots. I started carrying my camera with me and shooting everything from architecture to a capful of ketchup at a fast food joint.

Eventually, I out grew my point and shoot and got myself a digital(Pentax K2000) which I named “Gertie.” I take her on walks, show her the town, introduce her to people and generally use her as a companion when I’m alone somewhere. When I get bored at my day job, I pick a celebrity or a friend and decide how I would photograph them if I were doing a layout in a magazine.

While film school trained me on basic lighting, composition and structuring shots, it also taught me to tell stories with images. This sense of storytelling provides me with a way to extend my personality into my artistic work. Therefore, in this program, I am interested in getting comfortable with my camera and the photo editing programs to better express myself better through single photographs. While commercial work tends to be very cookie-cutter at times, I hope to learn how to add sprinkles.

I started volunteering as a photographer at various film festivals and events. I’ve experimented with various styles and learned a few things such as taking pictures of plants and flowers bores me to death and trying to be abstract nearly burned down my apartment. I thought back lighting colored tissue paper with a candle would look different and interesting. Not realizing that the chemicals they are treated with might as well be soaked in gasoline or lighter fluid. Non-flammable subjects, people and places seem to be more my speed.

I feel I have done as much as I can without proper training and this why I am interested in this program. In other programs, the is in Visual or Studio Arts with a focus on photography whereas this program is in photography so I can focus on the specific types. My goals are to learn more so I can focus my craft and eventually bring my work to a wider audience than my facebook friends and those that attend the events I photograph. I would like to have a portfolio that will lead me to be an asset to any art director or editor who will have me and still satisfy my inner artist.

In conclusion, I hope this statement of intent not only gives you the information you need about what brought me here, but a glimpse at my approach to pictures and a glimpse of my personality. I look forward to the next stage.

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