Adjunct Faculty, Digital Photography
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
You have to be able to rely on yourself and become an expert at your craft. Alex Ingram , Adjunct Faculty, Digital Photography , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
When I was going into my undergraduate, I declared my major as business and found myself completely uninterested in it. I switched to become an art major, which I thought was an easier track, and was later surprised at my level of engagement throughout my education. I loved the coursework and it lead to my first internship as the photographer for my school's newspaper and continued to spiral forward into my career.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran’s sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?
I weave in my professional experience in a two-fold manner, the first of which is coming from a heavy production and art direction background. I utilize all of the technical skills that I learn from lighting to Photoshop. In addition, I incorporate an entrepreneurial mind-set that nothing will be handed to them, develop strong community relations and create a portfolio that they can ultimately sell.Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?
During any final project or capstone for my class, students have to partner with an organization in the community that they feel lends a hand to their style in photography. They have to document their process, write a blog, and create a one minute video pitch on what the organization means to them and how collaborating with them can help establish their brand.
What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?
Collaboration is imperative to student success so they can define roles in their own business building process so that they know how to delegate tasks in the future.
In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the
most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?
You have to be able to rely on yourself and become an expert at your craft. In addition, you also need to be able to develop a process so that it can be replicated if you were to develop a creative team.Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?
After finishing my masters in digital arts at The Pratt Institute in New York City, I was offered a job as a producer at Art Partner under Mario Testino, an Internationally recognized fashion photographer, and from there worked in luxury goods and services with IMG models. Upon coming back to San Diego, I wanted to find purpose through my photography so I joined non-profit organizations such as Outside the Lens, The AJA project, The David's Harp Foundation and The Lux Institute.