At PCA, we are training photo students to become image makers from year one. Freddie Karabela is a Freshman in Photography, from London. He is currently in his second semester at PCA, and shares with us snippets of what his year has been like so far.
“This year has been packed full with different subjects, I feel like I am already more advanced than some of my friends studying photography at other schools. Because of the variety of classes offered, you are pushed further into your personal practice, you realize that you acquire varied and complementary skills, you have more confidence in yourself, you learn to present your ideas, your work, yourself.
I share some of my classes with Foundation students, which is great, you create connexions with students who have different levels of experience, and you help each other using your complementary skills. In the end, everyone develops and catches up, if you were not good in a subject, you work it out and everyone is at the same level and speaks the same language.
One of my favorite classes is the “Black and White” analog photography course, you get to do some technical shooting, and learn to develop films in the darkroom, it makes you understand how to use light. I am also super excited with this semester’s course “Contemporary Portraiture”, where I can work on my final project all semester long, while also reading about portrait artists and write creative reviews after attending exhibits. In my first semester, I had a class called “City as the Studio”: we had the freedom to take the final project wherever we wanted while using everything we had learned previously, so I shot a short movie and printed stills from it to show during my final critiques.
I have to be honest, there are a couple of subjects that I find hard, critical thinking and writing are more challenging for me because you just have to sit down and do it. There is always someone to help you though, whether faculty or other students from other levels, including the MA students in Photography, you are not on your own like in bigger schools, and you can ask more experienced students for help.
I find that this first year is a solid base where I am developing analog and digital skills, as well as already exploring different ways of presenting my ideas, my work.”