• Photography (BFA)

    Silja Magnusdottir

    Silja Magnusdottir Profile

    Silja Magnusdottir has a natural instinct for fashion photography; her pictures have the kind of beauty and mystery typical of Italian Vogue. “My teachers at Parsons are always trying to inspire me to take more art photos, but somehow the images always come out looking like fashion,” she says. That has nothing to do with clothes, however. Many of Magnusdottir’s sensual and dreamy images are semi-nudes of young women whose bodies are half obscured by sheer fabric or ripped clothing. The success of her photos has everything to do with creating a mood. “Often when I shoot, it’s just me and the girl, so it’s a very relaxed and intimate atmosphere,” she says. “I look for a moment of honesty, when the girl is being herself.”

    Magnusdottir’s career has led her to travel in reverse. She started teaching herself photography in her father’s studio (her brother and father are also photographers), but decided to go to business school because she felt there were enough shutterbugs in the family. In college, however, she started styling and shooting assignments for the university magazine. Eventually she was picking up magazine assignments on a regular basis. “I never had formal training,” she says. “I just jumped into shooting digital photography.”

    So why come to Parsons for a BFA in Photography? Magnusdottir explains, “I wanted to learn to shoot on film and work in the darkroom. I also wanted creative freedom to explore. When I was working in Iceland, there was always an art director telling me what to do. Parsons has been a great place for me to discover what I want to pursue in my work.”