Student Photographers Refine Young Talent

A Student Showcases from R Culture: Mixtape Blue

R Culture (2) Mixtape Blue Photo PAGEPhotographers in New York City are a-plenty—from tourists aiming at the tall buildings to the inspired-semi-pro who just enjoy shooting up the city. And, of course, there are the true professionals who chose the most beautiful city in the world as their home.

Sometimes, within the 35mm and DSLRs, you find some green gems. It is truly incredible how these gems can be so young in age and in experience, yet blow your mind with their composition and passion. This is the story of four high school students and their journey growing up photographers in their city:

Sydnie L. Hyams, 16 years old, 10th Grade
Canon Rebel T4I & Vivitar 35mm.

“I have been doing photography for fun for about six years, but I’ve been doing it seriously for three. Photography is a way to capture moments. A box of film is full of potential memories, and I like to capture those. Certain songs can bring back memories, and I would like my photos to do the same. Some photographers I like include Petra Collins, Annie Leibovitz circa 1970 and Lauren Greenfield. My favorite thing to photograph is people.”

New York City, Summer 2015 Paris, Summer 2015 Paris, Summer 2015 2

“I do photography for myself.” – Sydnie


Rea Brayshaw, 16 years old, 10th Grade
iPhone & Fujifilm x-Pro 1

“I’ve been doing it for 6 years. A picture is worth a thousand words, that’s why I love to take photographs. It’s time machine, you capture a time, place, and story all in one… exactly how it is. Other arts can bend reality and make it seem like something else, whereas photography captures a truth. I love to photograph people and architecture.”

Rea 1 Rea 2 Rea 3

“As cheesy as it sounds, I take photos for the generations to come, to show them what things were like. To remind myself in 50 years of what I did in my life.” – Rea


Gus Grossman, 15 years old, 9th Grade
Bessa r2a

“I started taking it seriously like 6 months ago. Some photographers who’s work I enjoy are Pat O’Rourke, Bobby Dekeyzer and Niko Krijno. There is so much that can be done and so many different types of photography. Hopefully I can attend an art school for a BFA in photography, so it can put me on the path to figuring out where I would like photography to take me. For the most part, I am self-taught with the exception of some of my friends who have shown me some stuff…”

Gus 2 Gus 3 Gus Front

“…but I don’t know I guess the best way to learn is by just going out taking a bunch of pictures and looking at other photographers work.” – Gus


Jack Cooper Grossman, 18 years old, 12th Grade
Canon T3 / Kodak Funsaver / Fujifilm 300 Wide Instax / iPhone 6

“I really started to take photography more seriously sophomore year of high school. I love photography because it allows me to capture moments throughout my life and always having a visible relic to refer back too. Whether it’s pictures from a tropical vacation to a picture of my block I walk down every day, I will forever have that memory stored. For most my pictures, I can remember a lot of the background information, from the weather that day or sometimes even my mood at the time. I also love to capture street scenes throughout New York. I take pictures for myself really, nothing is better than capturing the right shot and seeing how it comes out. I get frustrated if I don’t have a camera on me and I miss the opportunity to take a picture of a scene or just something I find beautiful. I plan to keep taking pictures up in Vermont during college and will see what happens there. I will definitely continue to take pictures on the daily for a long time.”

Jack 1 Jack 2 Jack 3

“As a history lover, I like to take pictures of different sites throughout the city as a record of the current time period. It would be cool if someone in 2090 would look back at my photos and see what life was like 2016; similar to a time capsule.” – Jack



This piece is featured in the latest issue of R Culture: Mixtape Blue. An art and culture magazine produced by Anthony Gaskins of PCP Media and myself, R Culture aims to open the possibilities for artists, writers, and other creative people to feature their work, while focusing on teaching students how to take part in their culture, art, and social movements.

Spending my first year at such a creative school like Calhoun, I got to meet a lot of students with a variety of passions and talents. Since I take pleasure in taking photos, I gravitated to watching these students work on their skills throughout the year, and it was such a joy. All four of these students have so much talent and are continually working on their photography, I can’t wait to see what else they produce.

R Culture (2) Mixtape Blue Photo SPREAD

– Nahuel F.A.

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