Sophomore Adeline Nieto faces a white screen, holding a black, scuffed guitar over her head and lets it hang behind her. The neck of the guitar becomes her spine and the curves of the guitar match hers perfectly. She poses.
Sophomore Sarah Furie snaps the camera and captures the picture she now calls her proudest photographic achievement.
“It was one of those moments where you just love it , and you’re just smiling so much because of what you had just created that I never knew I could,” Furie said of the photo she took last fall.
Furie, a television-radio major, is president and founder of IC I Capture, the only photography club at Ithaca College. The club offers the opportunity for any student with an interest in photography and access to a camera to experience that same feeling of photographic satisfaction. While no experience is necessary, the club is mainly focused on photo feedback, not teaching.
Every other Monday, the group meets to hear its newly assigned theme and spends the following two weeks taking pictures to share with each other. At their first meeting Monday, Furie announced that a “happiness” theme would kick off the semester.
Senior Brack Hightchew, a cinema and photography major and member of the group, said he is excited for the first theme.
“Happiness is something you can pretty much find in anything, so it’s going to be interesting to see what people bring in,” he said.
Eight prospective members were at Monday’s meeting and listened to Furie’s expectations and goals for the group, which included getting students outside of the Roy H. Park School of Communications involved in the club. The members ranged from freshmen to seniors and from chemistry to cinema and photography majors, all wanting to improve and looking to display their photographic skills.
Furie emphasized the friendly atmosphere the group will maintain and her openness to members’ ideas as the group grows.
“Even though you can take a ton of photography classes here, this is supposed to be a fun critiquing environment instead of cutthroat,” she said. “It’s supposed to be a good way you can share your creative photographs with peers and still get something out of it.”
Furie’s interest in photography started in high school, but taking Introduction to Photography last fall allowed her to truly explore different techniques, set up professional shots and think abstractly. For her, photography became more than family portraits and Facebook photographs; it was about artistic perspective.
Hightchew said he is considering opening a local photography business after graduation to continue his interest in photographing people candidly.
“I’m always looking for more reasons to take pictures,” he said. “I really would just like to get my stuff out there a little more. If this is a means to actually show some of my work, then I’m all for that.”
Ahndraya Parlato, professor of cinema, photography and media arts and the adviser for IC I Capture, said photographers have greater responsibilities as artists.
“Being an artist is essentially agreeing to a life of self-doubt,” she said. “I have a series of questions I’m asking of myself and of the world around me, but all these questions have myriad answers. … All you can do is answer them in the way that makes the most sense to you.”
Parlato said she would like group members to find their photographic niche and use the medium as their voice to convey their ideas. The organization also hopes to serve as an outlet for the members to explore photography in a non-academic environment.
The group allows for peer collaboration to improve individual ability and encourages members to appreciate how others see, perceive and capture a fleeting moment.
Furie said she hopes members will be able to develop as artists, learn from each other’s feedback and gain an appreciation for photography like she has over the past few years.
“Photographs are very easy to take, but good photography is very hard to take,” she said. “There’s so much work behind it that I
appreciate more of the little photographs that aren’t that complex, because I still know they were difficult to take.”