Photography Alumnus Shoots Major Recruitment Campaign for FDNY

Wagner (right) photographs firefighters extinguishing a car fire for the FDNY’s recruitment campaign.

An FIT alumnus and former adjunct has played a role in increasing diversity among New York’s Bravest.

On a sweltering day last June, Dan Wagner, Photography ’80, captured New York firefighters in action at the FDNY’s training facility on Randall’s Island, as part of a $10 million recruitment campaign focused on improving diversity. This February, the images of female and minority firefighters were unveiled in subway stations, on trains, and outside all 217 New York City firehouses. The campaign was also featured in newspapers and on TV.

Wagner is an accomplished street photographer who has also worked on recruitment campaigns for Comcast and Chubb Financial Services. For the FDNY campaign, he photographed firefighters climbing ladders, wielding axes, and putting out fires. He used professional-build Nikon cameras, keeping the focus shallow to soften the backgrounds. Simple lighting techniques such as reflectors created dramatic contrast.

“I try to photograph people enjoying their careers,” Wagner says. “If you can communicate the virtues of a given job, people start to consider working for that company.”

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