Welcome back to DMA Success Stories Week, showcasing some of the standout student profiles we’ve presented this fall! Here’s a second look at a talented photographer who’s attended three DMA tech camps!

Every great photographer has a special eye, a certain instinct for the image – and she’s definitely got it.

Check the photos shot by DMA photography student Ainsley Vanzyl. See how close she gets to nature.

DMA photography student Ainsley Vanzyl took our Academy for Visual Arts at UC-Berkeley. In the end-of-class survey, she ranked DMA in the highest possible category for overall camp experience.

Her photos of a bumblebee making a pollen run, a dragonfly caught in repose or even a mosquito hanging in mid-air are shot so close to the subject. It’s like nature’s given her a backstage pass.

Or if she’s shooting a city scene, you get the full flow of motion, from the blur of a crosstown bus to the shadows found in the concrete we walk on. She always gets the unique shot – and that was just one of the reasons we wanted to talk to the talented Ainsley Vanzyl.


What did you actually create in your DMA summer course?
I took photos and edited them using Lightroom and Photoshop.

How exactly did it make you feel when you completed your final project?
I had an amazing sense of accomplishment. I started the camp with moderate skills and ended it with a complete body of work and knowledge that represented my view and style as a photographer. It was awesome. I now have a professional portfolio of my own to showcase all my work.

What were the most fun things about attending a DMA summer course?
Meeting new people and the locations that these camps are set up at are amazing and awesome for photography.

Close enough to count its eyelashes: Ainsley coaxes an extreme close-up out of this bee.

Do you think you’ll use what you learned at DMA when you’re back at school?
Photography isn’t really something that is done often at school, so I can’t easily apply everything that I learned there. But my DMA experience has certainly made a huge difference for me when I take photos while traveling (or just in general) and edit them back at home.

Would you like to attend a DMA course next summer?

In fact, this wasn’t your first summer at DMA, was it?
I have actually taken a DMA photography course in the past (so two now), and one on graphic design, too.

Wow! You’re a three-time alumnus! We’d love to have you back. Any chance you’ll return?
I really enjoyed all of them and would love to try other courses, as they all look really interesting.

It was awesome. I now have a professional portfolio of my own to showcase all my work.
– DMA Photography Student & 3-Time DMA Attendee Ainsley Vanzyl

Were your parents pleased with your DMA experience?
They were really blown away by the quality and the knowledge that I gained in such a short period of time.

Ainsley finds interesting images everywhere, even in concrete and shadows.


Ensure you’re going to have the most tech-tastic summer ever, by attending DMA summer tech camps. Certain classes (like our photography camps) fill up early, so make sure you get into the tech camp of your choice by registering soon.

DMA is gearing up for what is sure to be our biggest and best summer camp season. Come be a part of it by choosing among DMA’s tech camp locations and the course(s) of your choice.

Special thanks to DMA’s Rachelle Harding for coordinating this interview!