The Photography & Filmmaking Education Resource
0 Me Search
1 914-347-3300

Learning Center

Featured Student: Grace A. Pentecoste, Long Island University


Browse Library by

BY PhotoVideoEDU staff November 01, 2014 · Published by PhotoVideoEDU

The PhotoVideoEDU Featured Student for November 2014, Grace A. Pentecoste, is working toward a dual-major bachelor's degree in photography and education at LIU's Post campus. She talked with us about her love for film, the ways that cameras can be like people, and how her thesis project grew out of a trip to Nicaragua.

Photograph © Grace A. Pentecoste.

PhotoVideoEDU: How did you get into photography?

Grace A. Pentecoste: Through my high school. In 10th grade I started in the darkroom. I was just using an automatic camera and developing my own film. Unfortunately, the next year they took out the darkroom and put in a digital lab, so I switched over to digital. Then I went to school at Suffolk County Community College and started taking film and digital classes. I decided to pursue a visual arts degree with a photography concentration. Then I transferred to Buffalo State College and chose to study photography there. I actually ended up not liking it and stopped. I changed my whole major and went into special education. It only took me one semester to realize that I was missing something that I loved to do so much. I ended up going back, but I transferred back home to LIU Post, which is where I currently study.

PhotoVideoEDU: Why did you choose the Long Island University program?

Grace A. Pentecoste: I'm doing a dual major, getting my fine arts degree as well as getting certified in teaching. I wanted to be able to keep my options open for employment in the future, and putting my love of working with kids and my love of photography together is something I would like to pursue.

PhotoVideoEDU: What direction are you taking with your photography?

Grace A. Pentecoste:
I love shooting with film cameras. I’ve been enjoying medium format the most, but I also like to go to antique stores and find old cameras that people have turned in and experiment and see how well they work after being around for so long. I enjoy the individuality that each camera gives, because one will produce different images than another based on their history and how past owners have taken care of them. I think that’s so interesting in how it relates to people. People have their own experience and histories that shape how they are today, and I think that’s very similar to the history of a camera.

I like to shoot my surroundings, and I’ve been doing a lot of traveling. When I’m doing multiple exposures, I like to coordinate nature with people and statues and the impressions that I think those scenes express. 

PhotoVideoEDU: Are you doing a thesis project?

Grace A. Pentecoste: I’m doing my senior project now. My senior show is the first week of December. It’s based on a mission trip I did over the summer. I went to Nicaragua, and I actually did use my digital camera this time, because I was only there for eight days and wanted to take full advantage of my time.

I focused a lot on the kids. I spent so much time playing with them and running around with them living their everyday lives. What I noticed was how they had close to nothing, yet they were happier than most of the kids I can see here on Long Island. You go there and they’re so open to you and want to show you their love and have your love in return. No amount of food or clothes you could possibly give them would come close to the love that they wanted from you. I wanted to capture the raw emotion of the kids—they’d been forced to grow up so fast, with eight- and nine-year-olds acting like 24-year-olds—but to also show how happy they were and how through their hardships they were able to find community.

So I took my digital images and printed them on pretty low-quality matte paper and then transferred them through a gesso process onto found objects and materials like cushions, cardboard, plastics, Rubbermaid, windows, toilet seat covers—anything I could find. I wanted to relate that to the fact that when they build their houses, they build them out of anything they can find, whether it be tarp, wood, pool liners, rusted metal—whatever they can use to seal their homes, they use.

PhotoVideoEDU: So you'll be graduating soon?

Grace A. Pentecoste:
Technically I’ll be graduating in the spring, but I’m student teaching during the spring semester in the Patchogue-Medford district. It’s going to be a general art class in elementary and middle school. 

PhotoVideoEDU: Congratulations!

Click here to learn more about Grace A. Pentecoste and see her portfolios. 

To learn more about Long Island University's photography programs, read an interview with LIU's Daniel Mirer and Thom O’Connor.


Featured photographer: Grace A. Pentecoste

Back to list

to top

New to PhotoVideoEdu? SignUp now to see EDU discounts!

Log In
With Social Account
You can use your social services accounts to login to our system, but if you're logging in the first time please select if you are a



With E-mail