Pittsburgh Filmmakers Alumni

The following is a list of just some of the talented alumni of Pittsburgh Filmmakers. 

Shawn Brackbill: Shawn Brackbill Photography, New York City

“My classes and time at Pittsburgh Filmmakers gave me a great basis on which to build my art as a photographer. I feel very lucky to have learned advanced analog shooting techniques through my classes which has helped me develop my digital shooting approach. I continued my education with additional classes there, even after graduating from University of Pittsburgh. Though a lot of time has passed since I attended classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, I still count it as an important part of my education in photography."

Freelance photographer with an extensive portfolio featuring independent music and contemporary fashion.

Client list includes:

  • Interview Magazine
  • J.Crew
  • Lexus
  • MOJO Magazine
  • Pitchfork
  • Polaroid
  • Spin Magazine
  • Sub Pop Records
  • Vogue Magazine
  • William Morris Endeavor



Tara Fallaux: Freelance photographer, Amsterdam

"I had a great time at Filmmakers. I wanted to follow all the classes! But the printmaking and editing classes really set the base for what I am still working with--photography and filmmaking.”

Client list includes:

  • Avantgarde Magazine
  • Carp Magazine
  • Dazed & Confused Magazine
  • ELLE Magazine
  • EsquireMarie Claire
  • New York Times Magazine


  • Silver Award in the category “Portraits”, PANL (Photography Awards of the Netherlands) 2008
  • Silver Award in the category “Documentary”, PANL 2007
  • Nomination in the category “Editorial”, PANL 2003
  • Silver Award in the category of “Portrait Series”, PANL 2002
  • Carp - Best magazine cover all times, 2002
  • Artist in Residence program in Japan with photographer Nan Goldin, Atlantic Center for the Arts, 1999



Lori Hepner: Associate Professor of Integrative Arts, Penn State Greater Allegheny; Board member, Silver Eye Center for Photography.

"I learned to print color at Pittsburgh Filmmakers right before the shift to digital printing occurred en mass. I didn’t realize then that knowing color adjustments for color enlargers would allow for better understanding of how to look at color in general. This helps me now in the digital printing of my work, which shifted from a mix of black and white to entirely color work shortly after my time at Filmmakers.  I learned so much more than just technique; conceptual thinking was equally stressed when bodies of work were being developed."

Selected Exhibitions:

  • Lishui 14th International Photography Festival: American Life Exhibition, 2013
  • Magenta Foundation Flash Forward 12 Traveling Exhibition, 2013
  • Houston Center for Photography, 2011
  • BilbaoArte, 2010
  • Brooklyn Museum, 2009
  • Carnegie Museum of Art, 2009

Awards & Residencies:

  • Selected US Photographer, Flash Forward 2012, Magenta Foundation
  • Carnegie Museum of Art Purchase Award, 2010
  • Heinz Fellowship, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, 2009
  • Resident Artist, Vermont Studio Center, 2009

Magazines & Catalogs:

  • Next Level Magazine, Edition 22, 2012
  • Time Magazine, 2011



Carol Maurin: Carol Maurin Photography

Commercial photographer based in Pittsburgh, PA & Winston-Salem, NC, specializing in portraiture of children, babies, adults, pets, and families.



Akihiko Miyoshi: Associate Professor of Art, Reed College

Awards & Exhibitions:

  • Aperture Portfolio Prize, Runner-up, 2013
  • Portland 2012 Biennial
  • Fellowship 12 International Award, Silver Eye Center of Photography
  • Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts, 2012
  • Mellon Research Grant & Stillman Drake Research Grant (Reed College)

Exhibited in museums and galleries (solo and group shows) in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Japan (various).



Heather Mull: Pittsburgh-area freelance photographer

Staff Photographer, Pittsburgh City Paper; Photographer, Table Magazine; served on the Board of Directors, Silver Eye Center of Photography

Client list includes:

  • BodyMedia
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • H. John Heinz Regional History Center
  • Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
  • Quantum Theater
  • R.K. Mellon Foundation
  • UPMC
  • Zany Umbrella Circus


Sue Wrbican: Associate Director of the School of Art at George Mason University; Previously Associate Professor of Photography at George Mason University

“My education at Filmmakers was crucial in my development as an artist and professional. Being surrounded by faculty, staff, practicing artists and fellow students from a variety of schools and backgrounds offered challenges on many levels. In discovering this terrific community of artists/educators, I found the support necessary for the creative process that ultimately led to a serious career in the arts.”

Past Work Experience:

Manager, Streaming Media Production at Maslow Media @ Morgan Stanley
Staff Photographer, University of Pittsburgh

Artist Residency:

Rauschenberg Foundation, Participant in Pilot Program for Residency at Robert Rauschenberg's Studio in Captiva, Florida, May 2013



Cynthia Zordich: Owner, Behind the Cage, Inc.

"Filmmakers was a passion project for me. I remember feeling stifled. Filmmakers helped me expand my business. It gave me a forum where I could ask questions and dive into new mediums. Because of filmmakers, I became more comfortable with the technical aspect of the craft. An area that had always intimidated me. I also discovered a passion to use photography as a tool to dig deep into the mindset of my subjects. Today, along with my other work, I hold therapeutic photography workshops through a local university. It is an after school program for middle school children. All of our work is experimental. The camera gives them a voice. I incorporate ways of using photography to help them work through many of the pressing issues that affect them directly. The kids are an integral part of that creative process. We talk about issues of the day and our ideas grow from there. What I love most is that they get a clearer picture of what's going in inside and have learned to be more empathic to each other's differences. Through the work they are breaking down barriers and getting to know each other more. In many ways, I reflect on my own experiences in helping them transition through their own. I definitely leaned on my advisor, Sue Abramson, during my experience at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. In many ways she brought me out of my own shell, personally and professionally and I will always appreciate that."

Behind the Cage, Inc.

Offering creative services in design, marketing, fashion, fine art, product design, portraiture, and sports and commercial photography.

Co-author (with Bill Lyon), “When the Clock Runs Out”, Triumph Books, 1999
Featuring candid portraits and provocative interviews with NFL players about the transition to life after football.