Alumni Spotlight: Bryan SillorequezPosted: October 5, 2016
Classes at CCSF Photography helped jump start Bryan Sillorequez‘s education at Brooks Institute of Photography where he received the Brooks Institute Achievement Award and his BFA. Since then, in addition to focusing on his own photography career, he has been working with top photographers and magazines and is now currently working at the Annie Leibovitz Studio in New York City.
We asked Bryan to share some his wisdom and experiences that helped him get to where he is now!
How do you think CCSF prepared you for art school?
There were a few classes that helped prepare me for art school. First were the beginner 101 courses and the film classes which helped me get familiar with Lightroom, manual settings, and composition. This helped me get advanced placement so I didn’t have to start at the beginning, saving thousands on tuition. The lighting studio class prepared me for the basics on how to use studio equipment which I was able to build on and the view camera class helped me slow down and think about my images before I shot them. I wouldn’t say you would need all these to transfer to an art school, but having done so gave me a helping hand.
My advice for CCSF students wanting to transfer to an arts college is to stop and think before you make the transition and ask yourself if this is the direction you would like to take. If you’re motivated and you think that this is where you’d like to go, go for it. Also research the art school that you want to go to. Make sure it is the type of photography that you want to do. If this is seen as a hobby, I would think long and hard since art schools are quite costly.
How is Assisting a professional like Annie Leibovitz different than being in school and what advice do you have for students wishing to assist after school?
Assisting a professional like Annie Leibovitz, you learn a lot from the other assistants and get to experience how a large budget photo shoot operates. Learning from the Assistants, you learn many techniques that you may or may not learn in school. There is also nothing like being on set. It can be high stress or it can be the most chill day you’ll ever have, regardless that experience is something you don’t learn in school.
My advice for students wishing to assist after school would be to start assisting while you’re in school. Once I transferred to Brooks, the first thing I did was look for assisting jobs and found one. From there, I started getting recommendations to other people in Los Angeles and now I’m in New York. It doesn’t matter if you have experience or not, just find someone who you can assists (anyone really) because there is always something you can learn from other photographers. You don’t have to be done with school to assist.
Finally – what is a typical day for you like?
There is no such thing as a typical day nor a typical week in this business. I find my hours to be sporadic and everything can change in a moments notice. There have been many times where we had a day all planned out and sometimes a few minutes to a couple hours into the shoot everything changes and you just have to be flexible with whatever comes your way.