October 04, 2016
Q + A with Photography major Amber Ford
How has the photography faculty helped you progress?
I think the photo faculty is really great. They’re very hands-on, always there when you need them. If you have any ideas of any sort and want to try something new, they are always behind you. All of the faculty are also working photographers. It’s really nice, especially when it comes to exhibitions. To see your faculty still exhibiting their work and actively trying to get shows. It’s much more helpful for those of us who have no clue to learn how to put a show together.
What do you think of the campus environment in this part of the city?
I really like the location of CIA because we’re around a lot of museums. It’s key being around a lot of art and having access to that art. There’s the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is free and open six days a week. And having the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in walking distance. And having so many places to eat nearby is good. You get hungry working all of the time.
What did you gain from your internship experience?
I’ve had one internship, at TRG Reality. It’s a commercial photo studio in Cleveland. They do a lot of product photography. I did that last summer, going into senior year. There are four photographers on staff there. My daily routine was pretty much going in and seeing who needed my help that day. Whether it was setting up their lighting, or helping them pack their equipment for an on-location shoot, or assisting on location. I don’t necessarily know if I want to work in a studio, or work with a team. But I was able to learn what that’s like.
Do you have any advice for high school students looking at art colleges?
My big advice for high school students is: Don’t base your school choice off the price. Because if you apply, you never know how much money you might get [from scholarships] or how many people are willing to support your art. People are willing to support you if they see passion and progression and see that you want it and deserve it. There are so many scholarships out there. Also, CIA is a very open campus to experience even before you get here. In the summer, they have pre-college programs with so many classes you can take.
What were some of the biggest surprises for you at CIA?
The equipment check-out. The equipment check-out is this room where you are allowed to request equipment, like cameras, laptops, speakers, and projectors. Anything that you would probably need for a project, they probably have it.
Also, here we don’t have sports, so I didn’t feel as involved as I was in high school, where I was a cheerleader. But I still know a ton of people. I know everyone in Student Life + Housing and the Library. Everyone is so friendly. And it’s not like fake-niceness. People here genuinely make an effort to know who you are, and know your name, and have conversations with you and keep up with your artwork. I like that.
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