Q&A With Alum Kenneth Grzymala
Spotlight Date:February 26, 2015
After graduating from Dreyfoos in 2005, visual arts alum Kenneth Grzymala went on to the School of Visual Arts in New York to study photography. He graduated with his BFA in 2009 and spent 4 years working under photographer Jonathon Mannion. Kenny now runs his own company, KRG Photography and has returned to Dreyfoos as a Digital Media Artist in Residence. Here he talks to us about his photography and what it’s like being back at his alma mater.
Q: Favorite Dreyfoos teacher?
Q: What is the most profound change you experienced at Dreyfoos?
Discovering what I loved to do and putting in the extra effort to get where I wanted to go.
Q: Is there something Dreyfoos could have provided that could have better prepared you for your college and career?
A better understanding of the business side of the arts.
Q: In New York, you worked for Jonathon Mannion, what was that experience like? What was your day-to-day?
Jonathon Mannion was one of the biggest hip-hop photographer out at the time and also shot advertising campaigns for companies such as Pepsi, Reebok, Bushmill’s, and Crown Royal. He photographed album covers for Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, Drake, etc. It was a great experience in which I learned a ton about what to do and what not to do in the business. I also saw what it really takes to produce photos for advertising and editorial campaigns. My day-to-day consisted of managing his archive, producing photo shoots, and retouching his work.
Q: What are some of your favorite subjects to photograph?
I enjoy shooting portraits that really focus on the person being photographed. I try to keep the photos simple as not to distract from the person. Recently, I have started photographing dancers at my fiancé, Chelsea Nasby’s (Class of 2005 dance alum) dance studio, Ballet East. When doing portraits you have the time to be a little bit more meticulous, when photographing dancers you have to learn the movements to know when the best time is to catch the shot.
Q: What do you feel has been the highlight of your career so far?
I don’t think there is one specific time that is the highlight but being able to have my own work recognized by others is a great feeling.
Q: You are now back at Dreyfoos as an Artist in Residence. What is it like being on the other side?
When I first started it was a little strange, but now I am trying to teach students things from the professional world that will have them ahead of other students when they go to college.
Q: What recommendations do you have for our current DSOA students?
You should really utilize the facilities that we have here. There are very few schools in the country that have the capabilities that we do. If you put in the time and effort you will be greatly ahead of your peers in college.
Q: In a brief statement can you explain “What Dreyfoos means to me”?
It is a diverse school that allows students to collaborate with others, get a great education, and also pursue their art. The teachers here really care about seeing their students do well, both in arts and academics.