PHOTOS: Summer Sparkler Portraits

Over the weekend, we had our first summer BBQ party at BKC Bushwick and celebrated the evening with some spectacular sparkler portraits. Special thanks to Andrew Oberstadt for stepping in with some colorful gels which we used to create these vibrant effects with our camera set to bulb mode.  Andrew also fashioned a really handy sparkler holder out of wire so we could easily paint around our subjects.  The result: SPARKLER SUCCESS! (and no one got burned, thankfully!)

Below, some images captured that evening by Andrew Oberstadt, Justin Lin and Shavon Meyers. 

Thank you to all for coming out and contributing to this epic evening of photo magic!  

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt 

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt 

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt

Photo by Justin Lin

Photo by Justin Lin

Photo by Andrew Oberstadt

Photo by Shavon Meyers

Photo by Shavon Meyers

Photo by Shavon Meyers

Photo by Shavon Meyers

Photo by Shavon Meyers

Carefully painting sparkle fire around our very patient subject Iris Ebert! 

PHOTOS: Psychedelic Polaroid Portraits


Over the weekend Justin unveiled his Psychedelic Polaroid Portraits, a double-exposure live portrait series deploying his last remaining packs of carefully-hoarded discontinued Fuji FP-100c peel-apart film.   Shot using a Polaroid 600SE camera with a Mamiya 127mm lens, these images seek beyond the traditional portrait and into something more personal and emotional.

"After hours of discussing and pondering the nature of portraiture with some of the other teachers, I've been trying to figure out what it is I like about photos of people," says Justin. "When we think of people, even our closest friends and family, we often see a still image rather than a fluid, lifelike memory.  I've always thought that looking at a photo of a moment changes your memory's relationship to that moment.  But for me it's not a clean, sharp image but rather a fuzzy one.  If you were to ask me to picture my mother in my mind, for example, I would have not just one image but a few overlapping freeze-frames suspended in my mind, jockeying for position."

"This serves as the basis for my double-exposure portraits, as they are the closest I can get to replicating the shifting nature of memories."  Justin continues.   "I think it's particularly relevant to use this discontinued film stock as the medium for these images, since memory is so often accompanied by loss and forgetting.   These two feelings still fill me with a certain primal fear, for which photography can often be a positive coping mechanism."


See the full set below:

Want to get yours done?  Contact Justin ( for the next Psychedelic Polaroid event coming in January! 


FRESH CUTS: Lanna Apisukh x Bust Magazine FTW


Superstar BKC student and photographer Lanna Apisukh got her work published in Bust Magazine this week, marking another stunning accomplishment for the BKC Fam.  Check out these dreamy portraits of teen skateboarder Kabrina Adams, aka Moonbear, a founding member of NYC's all-female Skate Kitchen and young renaissance woman, part of the next gen of creative power.  

Check out the entire series on Bust.

PHOTOS: Essential Street Photography Show by Iris Ebert

Iris is currently completing our first Essential Music and Live Events class with Gretchen Robinette

See more work by Iris @irisvebert

Saturday Spotlight: Kayla Farrish

In this blog we'll be spotlighting some of our students to celebrate their work and achievements, and learn a little more about the people behind this creative endeavor we call BKC.  This week meet Kayla Farrish!   A recent graduate of Digital Photo I, Kayla shares some of her thoughts on photography and getting inspired.  Read on:

How do you get inspired?

I'm really inspired by our human experiences. What makes us blush, how we feel when we're in love, what we do even in fear, our whim and magic, how we are burdened, what's in our webs of intimacy and onwards. Music, writing, dance, film, reading, and photography allows me to get closer to people, and to more unfolding questions. 

What's your daily routine - How do you approach shooting?

Both with some planning like screenwriting or choreographing because I have to borrow a camera from friends. I also improvise and love to shoot when I am inspired by some idea of image. I like to set up the camera and do self portraiture work with a timer- running back and forth. I also like to set up my space and lighting creatively with what's in the room. I love shallow depth of field, the mystery of -2 exposure, a bit of blur sometimes, motion, and mood and emotion.

What do you look for when you shoot?

I look for how I see a person. I look for feeling, movement, light, and honesty.

Do you work in the creative industries? If so, how do you find balance between work demands and your personal creative pursuits?

I grew up dancing and am now a freelance professional dancer. My personal creative pursuits luckily intertwine. I've always choreographed growing up, and I discovered a strong interest in studying photography in college and also developed an interest in film from performing in numerous dance films post-school. The past 2-3 years I have kept journals of my new choreographic ideas. I find that they all mostly unfold within imagery and through cinematic quality of film (video). I have absolutely loved adding photography and film as mediums to dance. Dance can be more interpretive or a bit more internal and the lens of a camera can help translate the feeling, meaning, and story. The camera creates intimacy in my work. My choreographic projects this year have included dance, film, and also photo series with writings in between.

I balance the work demands of teaching Pilates whenever I can, and also continuing to freelance. 

How did you become interested in photography? Has that interest changed or grown over time?

Photography became the first art form I admired from afar as a viewer. I took a course in college that I thought would be an introduction to photography in techniques and learning how to use a camera. However, it was actually a course of the themes, concepts, and history of photography instead. I loved it! We looked at various genres- original family portrait, landscape, street, erotic, voyeurism, portrait and so on. We evaluated meanings through discussion and essays. I was hooked on photography since. I'm happy I got to get a hold of the camera through my Photography 1 course at BKC.

What did you most enjoy from the course[s] at BKC?

I loved how incredibly helpful this course was for any one interested in using a camera. The technical information and methods for using a camera were all clear, broken down, and even personal in describing the functions of each camera for each person. I was excited and amazed to learn how to use this tool with my own creativity and perspective. It was inspiring to see the work of others and also have a teacher encourage you and gives you new ideas or ways to explore your voice farther!

I feel like I got the start I needed to begin making my film work and various photography series. 

Any other comments, ideas, remarks?

The camera is so cool because you get to project what you imagine or what you see into an image! A product! 

I loved and am thankful I got to take this course at BKC. I love portraiture and self portrait work so much!


Follow Kayla on Instagram @decentstructures_arts and @fulloutfarrish

Sign up (and save $50) for the next Digital Photo I starting this Monday

Submit! Summer Print Sale

Hey Students!  

Did you make some amazing work during or after your BKC class that you'd like to share?   We're having a big Print Sale Show in June to give all of you a chance to show off your best and maybe sell some work.  Any and all projects created and photographs captured since your first BKC class is eligible for submission.  

Submit up to 10 digital images to our Print Sale, featuring work from our students and staff.  Accepted work will be printed free-of-charge by BKC, to be displayed during the show, as well as on our online Print Gallery.   
Submissions are due by June 8.  Show opens June 22.  
To make a submission, go here: