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At the upper levels of photographic education, fashion photography is too often thought of as unworthy of serious consideration, superficial and corrupted by style and commerce, despite its imaginative narrative, cultural relevance, playful subversion and its profound influence on “fine art” photography of the past 30 years. 

The MPS Fashion Photography program is a rigorous one-year intensive program for the technologically proficient photographer who wants to develop a more creative and original body of work through an immersion in the narrative, conceptual and cultural subtext of fashion photography, and with direct engagement with leading figures in fashion and fashion photography in New York City.

The goal of the program is the cultivation of an individual sensibility, informed by history and shaped by cultural forces that will withstand the pressure for aesthetic and market compromise, and will profoundly influence and affect the future of the medium. 

Why We Stand Out:
  • One of the few graduate programs specifically devoted to fashion photography

  • A program aimed at proficient photographers who want to develop their craft in this genre

  • The program utilizes the resources of NYC as a world fashion and media capital

  • Merit based scholarships available

Student Work

More About the Department

At the core of the program is a 30-week Critique course as well as the weekly Symposium. The Critique is a weekly gathering in which the students discuss and challenge each other’s work, guided by a faculty-moderator. It is a team effort: Two faculty-moderators take turns conducting the critiques throughout the semester. Symposium is a flexible format that acts as a framework for critiques with fashion photographers, creative directors, museum directors and fashion designers, and for field trips, lectures, readings and exhibitions, and various dialogues with industry professionals. An emphasis is placed on the synthesis of diverse and unexpected cultural information as pictorial inspiration. 

The influence of the Internet, social networking, and transformations in media and publishing will be part of the conversation, and each student will be expected to complete a fully realized video piece. 

One-semester courses will be held on fashion photography topics such as history, logistics, career development, digital practice, narrative and cinema. Video and its increasing importance in fashion will be central to the program, and what constitutes fashion video will be developed and defined and shaped.

Degree candidates must successfully complete 30 credits, including all required courses, earn a cumulative GPA of higher than 3.0, and create an original, challenging and provocative portfolio of images. 

Artist In Residence

The annual SVA MPS Fashion Photography Artist in Residence position names an individual fashion photographer or director, whose work contributes to the ongoing definition of the genre, and provides a framework for involvement with the graduate students. The work of the Artist in Residence represents creativity, innovation and dedication to the evolving genre of fashion imagery. The recipient of the Artist in Residence award will work with the students throughout the school year as well as presenting a lecture on his or her work at the Visual Arts Gallery. Previous Artists in Residence include director Gordon Von Steiner and photographer Erik Madigan Heck. 

Watch MPS Fashion Photography