Instructor Spotlight: Michelle Wenz

164723_612017570075_5287360_nMichelle Wenz born and raised in Queens, NYC, found her love of the arts, mainly photography while she was in high school. She became President of the Art Club her Senior Year and decided to focus on Photography in college. After she attended a Summer Live class at FIT and knew this was her college of choice. Her senior year at FIT, she found an internship at ROCK 101.9 RXP and later was hired as part of their digital team. For the next three years there, she photographed some of the most famous rock ‘n roll artists to date. After ROCK 101.9 went off the air she started working at local printers, freelancing, and then teaching art in high schools and elementary schools. She is currently teaching art, kindergarten to eighth grade.
Michelle Wenz teaches HPH 159  Digital Camera Use and Photography for the Beginner  
Teaching tumblr_nj67ozKtTi1qgeys5o1_1280Philosophy:
Everyone, inherently, can create art. It’s the first and ultimate form of non-verbal communication. By showing kids and young adults the path to success in creating original art work, you open the door to a world of possibilities and expression. Through photography, you can capture life moments, create original visions, and express oneself through the still image.
On Precollege Programs:
I attended a Precollege Program while I was a senior in high school. I absolutely loved it. It helped me make the decision to step into the art world and make it a career. It opened my eyes to all the roads I could go down and that the possibilities are endless. I’m glad I stuck with it and attended FIT after my summer program was over. I got a feel, not only for the classes, but the campus, the people, and found confidence in myself right away.
Freelance & Published Works Featured On:

Smithsonian Rock & Roll:
John Varvados
New York Market Radio Events:
Riverside Church, Weekday School Web Site
The Road Recovery Foundation
Long Island Roller Rebels
Cover of Radio Ink Magazine, 2012

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The Blue Rainbow

Well, here’s my last blog of the season, *sigh,* it went by so quickly, a reminder to me that life goes pretty darn fast and you shouldn’t take ANYTHING for granted. Enjoy every second of it. 

Before class, I was sitting outside near the Haft Auditorium entrance in the metal high chairs and tables. I felt a little sad knowing it was my last class, but when I looked across the way, I saw something that caught my attention. There was a blue arch that formed part of the design of the outside of the building, and it looked like a “rainbow” hovering over the entrance. The blue of the “rainbow” matched my mood at that moment, but it also inspired me and seemed to say, “Miranda! Get it together! It won’t be the last time you’ll be at FIT!” (Ooh… foreshadowing, perhaps?)


To wrap things up, we’ve been drawing the face – here’s my last homework assignment for FIT:


It looked more like me at the time.

Of course, we also did some drawings (um, it’s a drawing class), but the best part of it for me was the critique. A critique is where everyone lays out three to five pieces of their best artwork and the class walks around and gives constructive criticism. So that means people say “I think you did this really well, but I think you could have incorporated more of that,” or “I like this technique you used, but it could use more ____,” and so on. This process always intrigues me because it lets me have a chance to look at art through someone else’s eyes. It always makes me feel better about the world to see other young people who have an interest in something and are committed to learning more about it.



Quick two minute pose.

Thank you all for taking the time out of your day to read my blog posts. I hope you enjoyed reading about my new experiences as much as I enjoyed writing about them. It’s official – I completed my first precollege drawing class. Stay tuned – I hope to write more blogs in the fall when I take another FIT class!


Until next time,


All Good Things Must Come To An End…(Until next semester)

Hey Precollegers!

Sadly, this will be my last blog post for the semester :(. Today I’m going to focus on my final project and portfolio review! For my photography class last week we had to submit our portfolios with 5 darkroom images, 4 aperture, 4 studio, and 5 images for our final on the theme of our choice. We had to submit prints of these in our portfolios, and also as .jpegs on a flashdrive as well.  My favorite images were definitely my studio shots and my final. This week, we got our portfolios back, and had to hang and display our finals on the walls around the classroom. We then spent the class each presenting our final, talking about our technique, theme, message we wanted to convey, style, lighting, and any other side notes or specifications. It was very cool to see everyone’s work because throughout the past 11(ish) weeks, we have all worked together, yet we really haven’t seen anyone’s images, unless you got to glance at their prints in the darkroom. It was exciting to see how everyone’s subject matter and styles varied, and I was blown away by how talented some of my classmates are! I have definitely grasped onto some inspiration after watching everyone present their finals. The concept of my final was to focus on the the pains that humans (specifically women) go through in order to be deemed acceptable and beautiful by society. This isn’t the most unique concept, but I believe that my way of approaching the subject was creative. Instead of using mirrors, makeup, and measuring tapes, I used glitter. Silver glitter. Silver glitter masking my model’s face in a public coffee shop and in a bathtub. She was not wearing any makeup or had anything done to her hair in order to not distract my audience from anything but the glitter. I chose glitter because it is a texture that catches people’s’ eyes, and glitter is a pretty thing. I wanted a pretty thing to represent an ugly subject. On the surface, glitter is beautiful and glamorous, but in reality, the glitter was making my model uncomfortable and even unhappy at times from how long she had to be plastered with it. In the 2 images of her in public, she looks uncomfortable and upset–even though in these images she is stereotypically the ‘most’ beautiful. She averts eye contact with the camera, either looking down or to the side, showing the  humiliation and insecurities that she possesses as she feels vulnerable, even though she is the most covered in these images. My next 2 are of my model in a bathtub in only lingerie, removing the glitter from her face and rinsing off in the shower. In my third image, she is making direct eye contact with the camera, defying her insecurities and finally taking hold of herself and taking charge of her body and beauty. I loved the colors and lighting in these two images, and someone in my class even commented that the one of her in the shower looks like a movie still (a huge compliment to me!). My last image is of my model in a glass room, still in her lingerie, but with her glitter cleaned and her face bare. She is at her most vulnerable state here–half naked in a room with a towel on her head and no glitter mask to hide her flaws and face. But if you look at her body language and facial expression, it is clear to see that she is her most comfortable here. Although her eyes are closed and she can’t make eye contact with the camera, I wanted her eyes closed to show that she is finally in touch with herself, alone in her head and in her body, and comfortable. At the end of the day, we as humans, expose ourselves and our flaws, and we need to learn to accept ourselves. Even without glitter on her face, my model is still beautiful, even more so than with the mask. True comfort should be seeked from within ourselves, and we cannot rely on outside factors to help radiate our internal beauty to our outside.

Overall I am extremely satisfied with my final, and I received nothing but good vibes and comments from my classmates and professor. Looking at my portfolio, it is amazing to see how much my art and technique have changed and improved in under three months. I am so grateful for my experience in this Precollege FIT course, and I am already looking forward to next semester.

Have a wonderful summer, and I hope to write again soon!


My final exhibition in my classroom

My final exhibition in my classroom

Final 1

Final 1

Final 2

Final 2

Final 3

Final 3

Final 4

Final 4

Final 5

Final 5


What’s Up With Fashion?

I take fashion journalism here at FIT, and one of the most important elements of the field is fashion reporting- or fashion news. Outlets like WWD and NY Times Fashion do it best, but I have a lot more opinions than they do, so here’s my attempt at rounding up a week in fashion.

John Boyega and Bel Powley

John Boyega and Bel Powley!3/john-boyega-and-bel-powley/

It’s Cannes time! Pictured above is one of my favorite actors, Star Wars’ John Boyega, and fellow cool actor on the rise Bel Powley. Last year the jury’s verdict didn’t matter because Sienna Miller won everything (I still have dreams about that blue Gucci dress), but this year honorable mentions go to Naomi Watts and Kristen Stewart. Some films were premiered too, I think.

Kate Middleton covers British Vogue

British Vogue celebrated its centennial issue in a big way. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, covers its June 2016 issue, photographed at her country home. I don’t know if it’s #basic to love the royal family, but I do and I will continue to. Did you see Prince George talking to Obama in his robe? Iconic.

harryIt’s not a drill guys. Harry Styles debuted his new cut this week in London, after posting a picture of his chopped off ponytail on Instagram. Harry, a trendy guy, knows that the man-bun is a dying art anyways, so when his film debut in Dunkirk prompted him to need a WW2 soldier’s look, he knew he could make it work. If you weren’t already wrecked emotionally after this news, you’ll be glad to know that he donated his hair to Little Princess Trust: an organization that provides wigs to children who have lost their hair. This just further proves the idea that no matter what happens in the fashion world, Harry Styles’ hair will always take the cake.



Style Saints

I have to confess something.

Contrary to what kids at my school would believe, my style isn’t as “unique” or “trendy” as they’ve apparently been lead to assume. The fact is, I steal. Every person interested (or not) in fashion can tell you the same: that their style stemmed from somewhere and will probably never fully blossom because they’re too dependent on Pinterest for style life support. When I was in elementary school, my obsession with all things French began. It was pretty random at the time (like my Revolutionary War obsession, weirdo) but I now realize that it was probably the style that attracted me even then. I won’t, however, count out my affinity for bread, cheese, and looking vaguely annoyed all the time as factors. Taking fashion journalism at FIT has confirmed by belief that fashion writers have the best jobs ever, because they write about people who inspire them for a living. Here’s a collection of just a few of the people and characters that have inspired my style and continue to make me blow my money on an excessive amount of striped shirts.,2000/QmuaSX1NRZGGcVJr/img.jpg

Might as well start at the top. Alexa Chung, in my eyes, can do no wrong. Not only was she one of about 3 people who looked good in the 2000s, but her style consistently improves what seems like every day. Writer/model/presenter, Alexa owns the slash game. Ever want to feel super boring? Look at her Instagram page. Every picture is just as stylish and cool as you would expect it to be. It’s impossible to choose just one Chung outfit to display so I’ve opted for this one where she’s probably taking the best photo you’ve ever seen.

Before there was Chung, there was Birkin. French yé-yé in the 60s is probably one of the best things to ever happen to fashion (note Francoise Hardy, Anna Karina, Brigitte Bardot and all the cool girls who I’m not including but still cry over). No one wears jeans and converse like Jane and no one ever will. The world’s most famous bag is named after her and she makes wicker baskets look cool (currently hunting for one this summer, hope it works out). She has inspired the likes of Jeanne Damas and her daughters, Lou Doillon and Charlotte Gainsbourg, are some of fashion’s favorite girls right now.


This one’s a bit stranger. Man Repeller wrote an article a little while ago about the New Kind of Prep, referencing the Dead Poets Society boys as a source of inspo and I was startled by how much I agreed. Those guys definitely appreciated the value of a Gucci loafer and Ethan Hawke’s character was probably so upset about that desk set present because he was lusting after a new Burberry sweater. Granted, if this wasn’t the 50s they would probably dress like lax bros outside of uniform, but I’m willing to suspend disbelief and appreciate their style up-front.


I watched Camille Rowe’s closet tour for British Vogue and almost cried from the overwhelming desire for everything she owns. I’m sure she’s been the only overall-clad face of Dior and she does it really well. She has the kind of dream collection of vintage shirts and jeans that make you think that high fashion is equivalent to levis and a slogan tee. She too has an affinity for wicker baskets and an enviable instagram feed- I’m sensing a theme here.

And that’s that! Honorable mentions go to Mick Jagger, Jon Snow (in the winter) and Florence Welch. Oh, and Luke Skywalker. Always Luke Skywalker.

Hannah Zwick