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Photography Student Gets Journalistic At Eddie Adams Workshop

MFA Photography student Andre Hermann recently returned from a whirlwind trip to New York where he attended the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop, an intense four-day gathering of top photojournalism professionals and 100 carefully selected students. Every minute of the workshop is packed with speakers, shooting time and portfolio reviews geared toward creating the world’s next generation of great photographers.

“I barely had time to sleep. I came away with inspiration, motivation, ideas, friends and connections,” said Andre. “Anyone who is seriously considering photojournalism must attend this workshop.”

Andre was honored by his acceptance into the program made possible by the portfolio of work he has created at Academy of Art University. Not only is the workshop one of the most competitive gatherings of its kind, but Andre also felt a kinship with the late Eddie Adams, the workshop’s founder. Adams dedicated his life to doing what Andre hopes to do – reveal truths through photography that can change the world. 

Lauded as one of the best photojournalists of the last century, Adams received more than 500 awards honoring his work including the Pulitzer Prize. He was famous for both his war photos and celebrity photos, but what made him most proud where the photos he took that inspired people to do good.

“Photographers like Eddie Adams have always inspired me. Looking at photos from the Vietnam War made me want to be a combat photographer, but I’ve realized that there are many problems and conflicts going on in our own country that people don’t see. I could help tell those domestic stories,” said Andre.

Andre had a lucrative career as an art director in the publishing industry when he decided it was time to combine his passions for storytelling, photography, and helping people. He quit his job to pursue his dream of becoming a documentary photographer.

As he approaches his Summer 2009 graduation date, Andre’s main focus at Academy of Art University has been his thesis project, which revolves around a young boy with a rare genetic skin disease, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Andre met the little boy, Garrett, and his family while working as a photographer at a camp for children with genetic skin disorders.

“ Garrett had an energy about him that I immediately noticed,” said Andre. “I wanted to help him and his family get EB into the public eye. It doesn’t get much notice. I proposed the idea of doing a story on him to Garrett’s family and they were immediately on board. I was pretty much given what every photographer hopes for…access.”

Andre has been working with Garrett for eight months now and has been at the Academy for two years producing a body of work that is sure to make an impact on society. The photographer said he chose Academy of Art University’s School of Photography MFA program because he could achieve a professional degree with a great deal of personalization, and he loved the broad range of artistic outlets and inspiration the city of San Francisco offered.

“I wanted to fine-tune my specific abilities, and I really feel like I am able to do that at the Academy. It’s not a cookie-cutter program. Academy of Art University has helped me to realize my vision as a photographer and has helped me to focus on my strengths. Through the working professionals who have been my instructors, I have been given a good idea of what is waiting for me in the real world,” said Andre.

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