The four weeks at TISCH were crazy, and I needed a few days to detox from the experience.
From guests artists to class field trips, our days were always packed with something different and exciting. We truly did see as much as the city as possible in the short time that we spent living in New York. Going into the program, I was very closed-minded as a photographer. When I shot outside of my home city, Boston, I never ventured far outside of my comfort zone. I’d generally stick to the obvious landmarks of the place I was in, or ride the subway and shoot some of the major stations. Never in a million years would I have guessed that my first project in the program would be based on the skateboarding culture of New York City. I had never been to a legitimate skatepark prior to going to the one at Pier 62. I didn’t really know what to expect going in, but I was engulfed in the culture almost instantly. I was surprised that the skaters had formed such a tight brotherhood, and they acted as a group, not individuals. As an outsider with a camera, they accepted me into their group with enthusiasm that someone would be photographing them while they do what they love. This is so similar to the photography family that I was a part of for the past four weeks. Everybody in the program wanted everybody else to be successful, and helped others when they needed it. Despite being strangers on day one, our class grew to become closer than I could have ever imagined in just a short four weeks. Going into the program I expected to have a lot of fun taking pictures and challenging my skills, but I could have never imagined the friendships that I would make. And I’m really thankful for that.
– Christopher Owens