NEW YEAR = NEW YOU #neverstoplearning

It’s a new year and for many of us it’s an opportunity to change and try something outside our comfort zone. Whether it’s a new way of looking at things, a career change, adopting a new process or kicking bad habits to the curb, we believe the new year is the best time to start a “new you” and create a fresh path that may lead to something amazing in 2019.

Take inspiration from these successful late-bloomers that took winding career paths before discovering their passions later in life:

Julia Child  worked as a researcher for a government intelligence agency before discovering her passion for cooking at the age of 36.

Julia Child worked as a researcher for a government intelligence agency before discovering her passion for cooking at the age of 36.

Designer  Vera Wang  was a professional ice skater and even appeared in Sports Illustrated before she dipped her toes into fashion and launched her own brand at the age of 40.

Designer Vera Wang was a professional ice skater and even appeared in Sports Illustrated before she dipped her toes into fashion and launched her own brand at the age of 40.

Photographer  Brandon Stanton  worked in finance as a bonds trader before pursuing his passion in photography with  Humans of New York , a photography project celebrating everyday New Yorkers through portraits and interviews that lead to even bigger things.

Photographer Brandon Stanton worked in finance as a bonds trader before pursuing his passion in photography with Humans of New York, a photography project celebrating everyday New Yorkers through portraits and interviews that lead to even bigger things.

Writer, Comedian and Radio Personality  David Sedaris  didn’t make his national public radio debut until he was 44 and worked as a Christmas elf (!) at Macy’s before gaining recognition in his 30s for his memoirs.

Writer, Comedian and Radio Personality David Sedaris didn’t make his national public radio debut until he was 44 and worked as a Christmas elf (!) at Macy’s before gaining recognition in his 30s for his memoirs.

87-year-old Nobel Prize-winning writer  Toni Morrison  published her first novel at age 40 as a single mom before receiving critical acclaim later in her career. On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and most recently, she received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction in 2016.

87-year-old Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison published her first novel at age 40 as a single mom before receiving critical acclaim later in her career. On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and most recently, she received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction in 2016.

Academy Award-winning film director,  Ang Lee   (dir. Brokeback Mountain, Ice Storm, Crouching Dragon Hidden Tiger)  didn’t screen his first big movie until he was 38.

Academy Award-winning film director, Ang Lee (dir. Brokeback Mountain, Ice Storm, Crouching Dragon Hidden Tiger) didn’t screen his first big movie until he was 38.

Blondie’s  first album wasn’t released until she was 31 and her commercial breakthrough didn’t occur until she was 33, when “Heart of Glass” topped the charts as a No. 1 Hot 100 hit.

Blondie’s first album wasn’t released until she was 31 and her commercial breakthrough didn’t occur until she was 33, when “Heart of Glass” topped the charts as a No. 1 Hot 100 hit.

48-year-old actor, director, producer and pro-skateboarder, Jason Lee didn’t discover photography until his late 30s. Now, he’s launched an entirely new photography career and chases his passion through the lens of a 4x5 large format film camera. His latest photo book,  A Plain View  is a beautiful and nostalgic homage to his new home state of Texas.

48-year-old actor, director, producer and pro-skateboarder, Jason Lee didn’t discover photography until his late 30s. Now, he’s launched an entirely new photography career and chases his passion through the lens of a 4x5 large format film camera. His latest photo book, A Plain View is a beautiful and nostalgic homage to his new home state of Texas.

And the list goes! So what we’re trying to say is that it’s never too late to change or try something new that excites you, because you’ll never know where it can lead you to next! 

PHOTOS: Holiday Fam Portraits

This month, we brought a little extra cheer to our neighborhood by offering FREE Holiday Portraits for families and friends – including furry ones! It’s our way of bringing folks together, giving back to this awesome community and spreading joy from our new home base.

The result: Holiday Portrait Success!

Below are some of our favorite moments captured that day, including some pre-production BTS shots of Justin creating our spectacular hand-painted cityscapes backdrop for the shoot.

Very special thanks to our BKC members/fam: Sina Hickey, Iris Ebert, Mariana Spirindon, Gloria Cook, Ellen Qbertplaya, Lanna Apisukh, Alizay Junejo and Adam Barcan for coming out to support our event AND to Fotocare for providing us with some sweet gear for the shoot. You guys are the best!

Happy Holidays and enjoy the memories 🎁🎄

Pre-pro BTS! Justin hand-painting NYC skyscrapers on our seamless to create a festive cityscapes backdrop.

Pre-pro BTS! Justin hand-painting NYC skyscrapers on our seamless to create a festive cityscapes backdrop.

Blinky was very photogenic as you can see.

Blinky was very photogenic as you can see.

Babies flying through the city with their parents!

Babies flying through the city with their parents!

Iris Ebert, Mariana Spirindon, Gloria Cook and Leila spreading a little holiday cheer outside BKC.

Iris Ebert, Mariana Spirindon, Gloria Cook and Leila spreading a little holiday cheer outside BKC.

Dressed to the nines for a night out in the city!

Dressed to the nines for a night out in the city!

Happy family!

Happy family!

Last but not least, our BKC FAM :) HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Last but not least, our BKC FAM :) HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

BKC x PHOTOVILLE 2018

What an AMAZING experience we had at New York City's 7th annual PHOTOVILLE! It was wonderful seeing our creative community come together for our ON ASSIGNMENT: FASHION IN THE REAL WORLD workshop and all of our talented attendees who brought their truly unique vision to the shoot. We're so incredibly grateful!

Now Presenting... this amazing video created by our awesome new collaborative partner ADULTR, who captured the energy and all around good vibes from the workshop! 

For those of you who aren't familiar with ADULTR, they are a creative agency focusing in content creation brand collaborations with the mission of bringing diversity and inclusivity to the creative industry. Check 'em out when you get a chance. 

And a huge THANK YOU to all of our awesome partners Photoville, Adultr, Fotocare, Leica, models, volunteers and special guests Rockie Nolan, Tayler Smith and Official Rebrand – we couldn't have done this without your support! <3  

What is Photoville?  Only the biggest and best independent photography festival organized each year by the brawns and brains of United Photo Industries and a zillion big-hearted volunteers.  Featuring thought-provoking and vibrant exhibitions inside converted shipping containers from the likes of PDN, New York Magazine, VII agency, Magnum Foundation and more.

Justin Lin  delivering the challenge to students at  On Assignment: Fashion in the Real World   workshop at  Photoville  2018.

Justin Lin delivering the challenge to students at On Assignment: Fashion in the Real World workshop at Photoville 2018.

Justin Lin  and  Lanna Apisukh  holding down the BKC tent activity with  Leica &amp; Adultr  at  Photoville .

Justin Lin and Lanna Apisukh holding down the BKC tent activity with Leica & Adultr at Photoville.

PHOTOS: Casual Courtyard Portraits

We had a little fun at the last Student Show, grabbing a few dramatic portraits using a one-light setup in our casual Courtyard. A little preview of our Photoville workshop running this Saturday, everyone was assigned roles as photographer, lighting assistant or model. Pretty fun!

CLICK TO SEE FULL SCREEN

PHOTOS: #BKCShoutout Bob Loudon

BOB LOUDON

BOB LOUDON

When he's not busy teaching biology to his students or looking after his new grandson, #BKCMember Bob Loudon is likely to be out exploring the city with his camera and producing lots of great images. In fact, he is one of our key members that consistently delivers thoughtful photos with unique perspectives for our monthly assignments.  Check out the interview below to learn more about Bob's interests in the environment and humanity and how it has influenced his work. 

#BKCShoutout is a weekly check-in with our students and active BKC members, posting their works-in-progress and achievements.  We hope to learn a little more about each photographer, and share about their inspiration, process and goals.  To be considered for a future #BKCShoutout, contact Lanna at lanna@wearebkc.com


Why do you make photographs?  What drives you?

As I’ve gotten older, I think what matters most are the connections we make with our humanity, with people. To me, photography is about sharing; sharing what I see when I travel to other parts of the world as well as when I walk out into my neighborhood. 

 

Who was your earliest inspiration and why?

I’m assuming photographic inspiration? Probably some of the great landscape and environmentalists photographers like Galen Rowell and Ansel Adams. I got my beginnings primarily as a landscape photographer and these two photographers, in particular, spoke to me with their love of nature and importance of protecting it. How they portrayed the essence of the natural world really and, in some cases, distant cultures not our own touched me. In recent years, a number of the great street photographers and photojournalists (Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Robert Doisneau, Edouard Boubat, Eugene Richards, Peter Turnley to name a few) are centermost in my life. 

 

Name 3 things that are essential to you:

 1) Others who love me in spite of myself.

2) Minimum of two cups of coffee a day.

3) To be able to go to sleep at the end of the day feeling that I’ve made the most of my time each day. 

 

Selected Works by Bob Loudon (click to see full view)

What makes you happy?

Being a grandparent, traveling (and then coming home!), making photographs.

 

How do you prepare yourself for each day? 

Always, always coffee first before I do anything! Usually, I skim over the news (scary to do these days!), try to have at least one hour of quiet, personal time before I head out of the house (I don’t like to rush out in the morning).

 

What themes or ideas do you strive to communicate in your work?   

I think the idea of people in the context of a place or particular environment. A lot of the cityscapes/street photos I make reflect this. In recent years, I’ve been greatly affected by the work of Peter Turnley and the connections he makes with people through his photography. There is a soulfulness, a love and respect for humanity in his work. I am, only very recently, attempting to infuse my work more with these beautiful ideas. How to make photographs that people can relate to and connect with and that portray the essence of humanity: this is what I am grappling with now.

 

Complete the sentence: I've never tried it before but I would love to ...

So, I’ve never tried it but I would love to put together and publish a photo book of some of my work.  

 

What do you do when you find yourself in a creative rut?

First, I put the camera down (sometimes for a few days) and I look at the work of those I admire. Then, I may just begin photographing anything. It could be a fence, the city skyline, whatever, and I try to do it in ways that I’ve never done it before. Generally, I find that pausing from my photography for a short time and then doing a project that’s very limited in scope (such as what I mentioned above) helps get me back into the flow.  

 

What 3 websites / blogs / media platforms do you visit most?

  1. Peterturnley.com
  2. Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson (facebook)
  3. Eugene Richards (facebook)
  4. Most anything ICP (International Center of Photography) related -- I know, that’s four but….

 

What’s the one most important thing you learned through BKC?

I think to not be afraid to explore and try new things. It’s not always about lenses and f-stops; to try to allow your life to inform your photography and make a human connection through my work.

 

What do you want to learn next?

Spanish! 

 

To view more work and connect with Bob: 
@bobloudon
https://bobloudonphotography.com

PHOTOS: #BKCShoutout Maria Mammina

MARIA MAMMINA

MARIA MAMMINA

Maria has been an active part of our BKC Community for a few years now, and has taken pretty much all of our classes.  Her interests in documentary work, particularly in current political hotbed Russia, has taken her across the world as well as deep into immigrant neighborhoods in Brooklyn like Brighton Beach.  Check out some of her work and learn about her progress below!

#BKCShoutout is a weekly check-in with our students and active BKC members, posting their works-in-progress and achievements.  We hope to learn a little more about each photographer, and share about their inspiration, process and goals.  To be considered for a future #BKCShoutout, contact Lanna lanna@wearebkc.com


Why do you make photographs?  What drives you?

I’m the traveler in my family so at first, photographs were a way to share my experiences with my far away people. Then it became a passion to learn how to make photographs well - from a technical standpoint. Now that I am comfortable with my camera, it’s to convey my ideas through an image. That’s the hardest part.

 

Who was your earliest inspiration and why?

My grandpa was the resident photographer for my family — I remember him lugging his Canon SLR (and huge flash!) everywhere when I was growing up in Florida. I think that’s what inspired me to start taking photos of everything.

 

Name 3 things that are essential to you:

  1. Quiet time
  2. Learning new things
  3. Being outside — especially near mountains or a large body of water.

 

Selected Works by Maria Mammina (click to see full view)

What makes you happy?

Cooking meals for my friends and playing with my nephew.

 

How do you prepare yourself for each day? 

Drink coffee with heavy whipping cream! But seriously my 2018 goal is to have a better morning  routine so I start the day fresh. And now that I put it in print, I have to do it.

 

What themes or ideas do you strive to communicate in your work?   

 Recently I’ve been focused on the everyday, the simple life. So much of New York City is about striving, for your career, your goals, your bank account. But in this city that values the extraordinary, the ordinary can be just as powerful and beautiful. That’s what I want my work to show.

 

Complete the sentence: I've never tried it before but I would love to ...

Write a book.

 

What do you do when you find yourself in a creative rut?

Take a class at BKC :) 

 

What 3 websites / blogs / media platforms do you visit most?

  1. Absolutely love Miller Mobley’s portraiture: http://www.millermobley.com/ (I follow him on Instagram)
  2. Eurasianet.org (where I work), and especially my colleague Danil Usmanov’s work: https://eurasianet.org/search/danil%20usmanov 
  3. The Accidentally Wes Anderson account on Instagram

 

What’s the one most important thing you learned through BKC?

Too many things to write, but what I most appreciate is slowly learning to trust my own ability and my instinct for a photograph or project. It’s taking a long time, but the membership program and classes have really helped my confidence in my work.

 

What do you want to learn next?

I’ve started learning videography, and hope to create a Docuseries about Brooklyn neighborhoods with a few talented colleagues.

 

To view more work and connect with Maria
@birdonaledge
www.mariamammina.com