NYIP – A Word of Warning

For those NYIP students, like myself, who are following the instructions from NYIP and advising poeple you are “on assignment from NYI Photoworld Magazine” (a quote from the instructions they send with their Photopass)… NYI will NOT validate your credentials if they are asked.

HUGE black mark for NYIP in my book, and I know I’ll use their pass much less-frequently now, if at all.

Short version of my particular story — I contacted the media relations department for the AZ State Fair a few weeks ago requesting a media pass. Used my NYI Photoworld Press Pass as credentials, and gave them the story-line from my NYI Photo Pass instructions, explanation of Photoworld Magazine, etc, etc. Great — all they need is validation from NYI Photoworld that I’m on assignment at the Fair. No problem, I say, and write my student advisor for a confirmation fax/email/form-letter, whatever they’d like to provide.

NYIP’s reply:

“My apologies, but due to legal ramifications, as well as liability issues, we can not present you with a letter of that nature. I apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. If there is anything else I can assist you with, please let me know.”

When pressed for a better explanation of why we, as students, are told to represent ourselves as “on assignment” from NYI Photoworld, but then to have no one back up our claim (which makes us look like idiots, and/or as though we are misrepresenting ourselves), they said:

“I’m sorry but Photoworld does not assign students in any formal sense. We do encourage students to develop “self-assignments” in order for them do gain experience and develop their skills. […] Sorry again for the inconvenience.”

So, again, just a word of warning to other students using their pass — don’t expect NYI to back you up if someone presses for confirmation “you are who you say you are.” You’ll have to spin your own story as best you can, without any assistance from NYI.

Back to my story — I didn’t get a pass for the Fair via NYI. I spun the story as best I could, and re-submitted myself with credentials for a newspaper I shoot for (who WOULD back me up, and has before, as any media outlet should)… and never heard back from the media relations folks at the fair again. I suspect I am on their “bad-list” now.

On a related note, just to show how seriously NYI takes their whole Photoworld idea… Here’s the information I got when I asked some time ago how to actually submit work to Photoworld (this probably should have been warning enough for me to stop using my pass, but I kept pressing my luck…)

“Students can always send pictures to the Photoworld Editor. However, most of the images on Photoworld are from Photo Projects for which the student received a Merit Award. We also show profiles of students who have had some sort of success and these are always illustrated with the student’s photos. The Editor doesn’t have much use for random photos that are not accompanied by some story about the pictures.”

I’m not sure what that last sentence was about (I understand what they are saying — but I specifically asked about submitting STORIES (articles and photos) to Photoworld — not “random photos” — I assume it was just a canned reply they cut-and-paste).

Anyway, this isn’t meant as some anti-NYIP rant… Just want to let other students know you need to use your Press Pass with caution, and don’t expect anyone at NYI to help out if someone presses for proof or verification of your pass. It’s pretty common to have your credentials verified when looking for a media pass to any event, and if you’re using your NYI Pass, you’ll be spinning your wheels — You’ll do better, obviously, being crendentialed by a real magazine or newspaper.

I wouldn’t feel so ill about it if they didn’t explicitly encourage students to use it and claim they were on assignment with NYI — if they just warned us up front that we are completely “on our own” and should only use the pass in cases were no one would ask for follow-up.

Anyway, that pass is staying in the bottom of my camera bag from now on…

In general, I’m beginning to feel very disillusioned with NYIP overall.  I’ve contacted my advisors a couple of other times as well — simple things like asking for advice how to clean and “un-crease” the backgrounds that came with the lightbox they sold me with my subscription (i.e. Can I iron them, should I steam them, etc) — their replies have been rather nebulous, generally unhelpful, and appear to be cut-and-paste form letters that try to address broad issues or questions which have little to do with what I’m asking.

In a couple of replies, they didn’t even bother to re-format what they paste, making it completely obvious it was simply paste from another email/document/etc. I get the impression they either think they have better things to do, and/or they just don’t care to answer questions.

I’ve considered asking to change advisors, but one of my advisors is already the “advisor supervisor,” “chief advisor” or whatever the title is… and I’ve received the same kind of replies from that advisor as well.

2 comments to NYIP – A Word of Warning

  • Smitty

    PhotoWorld Magazine is a fictitious publication when it comes to NYIP. There are two sites that have a photoworld magazine. One site is http://www.alphamountworld.com/photoworld-magazine and the second ca be found at http://www.behance.net/gallery/PhotoWorld-Magazine/4978121. Why NYIP misleads its students regarding this issue can only mean one thing. They prey on eager, excited people seeking to become Professional photographers through the NYIP program by presenting a non-existent magazine and fraudulent press pass. It is a incentive that exist solely for the purpose of luring potential students into their program. Ask NYIP reps for a copy of the latest “PhotoWorld” magazine associated with NYIP and see what happens. They lure you under a false pretense that deserves a legal challenge at the very least.

    • Thanks for the reply, Smitty. While I didn’t intend for this post to become an NYIP-bashing session, it became hard to avoid. Over a period of time, I became completely disillusioned with NYIP and their program. I now agree with many other opinions I’ve seen — For the same money, you can get a MUCH better and relevant education in photography elsewhere. NYIP is largely a marketing machine and not much more. A fraction of their material is useful, but the vast majority is fluff, and very out-dated fluff at that.

      I have been contacted quite a few times by other prospective students, asking my opinion of the program and my answer is always the same — take your time and money elsewhere; NYIP does not provide the education, experience or materials they promise.

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