Getting the Shot: Kyla Duffy ’18

Kyla Duffy double exposure self-portrait
At URI, Kyla Duffy majored in political science and history. A native of Foster, Rhode Island, she graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is currently living in Dublin, Ireland. Kyla’s “Self-Portrait” is a double exposure of a studio self-portrait and a photo she took on the High Line in New York City.

“Getting the Shot” features the photography of URI students and recent alumni whose work illustrates the intellectual curiosity and big thinking characteristic of our community.

Kyla Duffy was hooked on film photography from the moment she took her first darkroom class at URI.

“At the photo lab in URI’s Fine Arts Center, known affectionately as the Cage, the art of film photography is very much alive,” Duffy says. “For those looking to explore this artistic process, the Cage is equipped with tools for developing and printing black-and-white film, providing students with a portal to the past.”

Working with black-and-white film

It’s pushed me to put more thought into every shot I take. Since the average roll of film allows you to capture only 36 photos, every shot is valuable. Without the ability to immediately review my images, I quickly learned the importance of contemplating the composition of a photo before taking the shot. The constraints of film photography forced me to improve my skills as an artist.

On fearing you’re in the opening scene of a horror flick

sun coming through windows of an abandoned space
“Untitled” is a double exposure of a studio portrait and a shot from Kyla’s memorable foray into a somewhat creepy abandoned building. She shared the story of her adventure with us here.

I went on a shoot with a friend to photograph an abandoned building. There was a gate, but it was wide open. We probably spent an hour exploring the place and taking pictures. At one point, I remember hearing something falling or metal hitting metal, but we didn’t see anyone else around. When we got back to the gate, we discovered it was chained shut. So, naturally, we began freaking out. I got out of the car to assess the situation, and much to my relief found the chain wasn’t locked. It had just been wrapped around the gate multiple times to make it appear locked. I remember being so afraid of being locked in a creepy place, afraid of getting in trouble for trespassing, afraid of who it was who chained us in. Despite all the fear, I would do it all over, because I got some breathtaking shots, which led to some of my favorite pieces I’ve ever created.

Read more about Kyla in URI Magazine. Follow Kyla on Instagram @kylaelizabeth