White FHU Logo
White FHU Logo

Henderson, Tennessee — (March 6, 2024) — During winter break, a group of FHU photography students embarked on a transformative journey to New York City for ART339: NYC Photography. This immersive experience took them through the vibrant streets of the Big Apple, where they captured iconic landmarks and intimate moments, each lens revealing a unique perspective. Participating students receive class hour credit for the trip.

The pinnacle of their adventure? A full day at Pier59 Studios, where they refined their skills alongside professional models, pushing their boundaries and unlocking new levels of creativity.
Splitting into smaller groups, students enjoyed an intimate setting with models ranging from novices to seasoned professionals. Tabitha Edwards, a senior double majoring in public relations and photography, found inspiration in the diverse personalities of the models.

“It was refreshing to work with models comfortable in their skin,” said Edwards, who aspires to pursue a career in editorial photography. “The studio’s professional equipment made the experience seamless.”

For Daniel Trimm, a senior business major with a passion for photography, the day presented both challenges and rewards. Guiding a new model through poses, he witnessed her transformation before the lens, underscoring the power of mentorship in the creative process.

In addition to the high-energy studio day, the group also spent a day visiting museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and Fotografiska, a Swedish photography museum, a location for which Edwards and Trimm expressed deep appreciation. During students’ free time, they split into groups and explored Chinatown and Little Italy; saw “Sweeney Todd,” featuring Josh Groban, on Broadway; or sang along with Billy Joel at his concert in Madison Square Garden.

Reflecting on the trip, Jud Davis, associate professor of art and coordinator for the photography program, emphasized the importance of hands-on learning. Organizing biannual trips since 2016, Davis highlighted the invaluable opportunities the program offers beyond the classroom.

Acknowledging the pivotal role of the Engaged Learning Initiative (ELI) Grant in funding educational trips, Davis expressed gratitude to Dr. C.J. Vires, FHU provost and vice president of academics, as well as to his own wife, Dr. LeAnn Davis, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, for their unwavering support.

“These educational trips, specifically the studio experience, would not be possible if not for the Engaged Learning Initiative (ELI) Grant, an educational program that enables students to learn outside of the classroom by providing financial assistance,” Davis said.

“Without Dr. C.J. Vires this program and these trips would not exist,” Davis continued. “He believes in fine arts and, without his support, the program would not be what it is.”

Davis’ wife, who also accompanied him on the trip, is a strong supporter of the program as well. “They have made it so the fine arts program exists in a positive way. We always have their support and they are outstanding in what they do.”

As plans for future photography trips unfold, Davis looks ahead to potential destinations, noting a possible return to Costa Rica in spring 2025.

The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.