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Exposed DC: Homegrown Photography of Erika Nizborski

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Meet Erika Nizborski! After graduating from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 2010 with a BFA in photojournalism, Erika went on to pursue a successful career in wedding, event, and portrait photography. Recently we got to catch up with Erika to congratulate her on winning
one of the Best in Show titles in the Exposed DC annual contest and to hear about her experiences after graduation.

Erika’s winning photograph in the Exposed DC contest is part of “The Hyattsville Project,” which she started a few years ago after purchasing a house with her fiancé in Hyattsville, MD. The goal of the project is to keep the photography homegrown. “It’s shot within the city limits, processed in my house, and printed in my basement. It’s very personal. It’s about me setting my roots in this new place and starting my adult life there. About building my new home.”

Corcoran College of Art and Design alumni Erika Nizborski photojournalism photography DC

‘Carnival Giraffe,’ Erika Nizborski. Best in Show winner for Exposed DC 2014.

After receiving positive feedback and winning one of the six coveted Best in Show titles, Erika has only positive things to say about the experience. “It was a great honor to show my work in a gallery again, especially because Long View Gallery is such a big name in DC. The win has given me a push to focus on my personal work”. Erika says she has “more confidence with the project, and the drive to keep going and submitting work to local galleries in Hyattsville as well as next year’s Exposed DC exhibition.”

As a professional wedding and event photographer, Erika uses the skills she learned at the Corcoran School of Art and Design to tell a story through her photos. Her personal work, she says, has more of a fine arts focus, and acts as an outlet for her to “hone more of my craft and my skills at a more relaxed pace” without external pressures of deadlines. Erika says that she takes what she has learned from her personal work and applies it to her professional work, thus making herself a stronger photographer.

I learned how to see things and compose my frame in an effective way, how to organize my work, and how to walk into the situation, evaluate my surroundings, and then successfully go and tell the story.

When asked about her time studying at the Corcoran, and her most striking memories, Erika said, “My most memorable moments were during the first Obama election. All of my instructors were working in their field in addition to teaching here. I will never forget that some of my teachers were on assignment during the campaign. Looking back, the feedback the teachers were able to give us, and the knowledge they shared with us about what they were doing at that groundbreaking time in our history, it was amazing.”

For Erika, studying at the Corcoran allowed her to really become a photojournalist:

“I learned how to see things and compose my frame in an effective way, how to organize my work, and how to walk into the situation, evaluate my surroundings, and then successfully go and tell the story.” Additionally, “learning to shoot with a digital camera was huge for me, because now I have the fast turnaround and fast pace that’s crucial to wedding and event photography”.

Erika’s future looks bright – having only started with The Hyattsville Project, she even wants to try to find a way to make photographic paper out of the hosta leaves that grow in her yard. “That would really bring the project full circle into being home grown from beginning to end, literally! That’s something I want to strive for.”

We are very happy that Erika is pursuing her passion and doing what she loves and want to congratulate her on winning one of the Best in Show titles in the Exposed DC exhibition. We are excited to see what’s next for Erika and The Hyattsville Project.