The PhotoVideoEDU Featured Student for April 2014, Carli Choi, is working toward a BFA and plans to pursue a career in fine art photography after graduating. She talked with us about why she chose the San Francisco Art Institute, what she values most about its program, and what inspires her to create her distinctive landscape images.
Click here to learn more about Carli Choi and see her portfolios.
PhotoVideoEDU: How did you get into photography?
Carli Choi: When I was in junior high, my dad sent me to Canada and bought me a pocket camera to take snapshots. That's how I started, just with a tiny snapshot camera. I started posting online and people started saying that I should consider doing photography more seriously. So I started doing more and really got into it.
PhotoVideoEDU: Why did you choose the San Francisco Art Institute?
Carli Choi: Because of the location. It’s very accessible to nature and I do landscape photography. I also wanted a school where I could have a more personal relationship with the professors and be able to talk with them. The San Francisco Art Institute is so small that everybody knows each other.
PhotoVideoEDU: What do you value most about the San Francisco Art Institute's program?
Carli Choi: The first photo program that I did in Korea taught me a lot of techniques and how to shoot, but at the San Francisco Art Institute it’s more about how to think and form a body of work. Before, I would take pictures just because they were beautiful, but now I think more about where I can go with them.
PhotoVideoEDU: How did you get interested in landscape photography?
Carli Choi: I just love landscapes. I grew up watching nature documentaries, so it just feels natural for me. I was going to study science instead of photography, but I changed my mind at the last minute. I’ve always been fond of nature.
I started doing night landscapes because when I was going to high school in Korea, I’d have free time after school, around 10:00 p.m., and I would walk around with my flashlight and look at things. I liked how the light changed the landscape, so I started photographing that. It was just fascinating how the light could change everything.
PhotoVideoEDU: What have you shot your landscape projects with?
Carli Choi: I used 4x5 film for the night landscapes and 645 medium format for the other work. I processed the film and scanned it.
PhotoVideoEDU: What inspires you as a photographer?
Carli Choi: Every day just looking at things inspires me. I see them in a two-dimensional way, and sometimes I’ll take a snapshot and then go back to that place. Right now I'm doing a project on droughts, so I go to places where water is and walk around and find things that inspire me.