On any given day at Parsons School of Design, Hashem Eaddy can be found on the fifth floor helping a long line of students with anything from camera issues to existential life questions. He's always there to support the students.
Eaddy is the photo facilities manager as well as a photography professor at Parsons. As the facilities manager, he is in charge of the Equipment Resource Center, which is where much of the 2-D art-related equipment, such as cameras, projectors, and lights, Parsons students have access to is checked out to work on school projects. In the center, Eaddy manages six head technicians and 50+ student workers. Within this role, he is constantly sought out by students to answer questions on what kind of gear to use, if a hold could be lifted off of someone's account, or can an accommodation be allowed for a student such as a long-term checkout. He is also the faculty advisor for the photography club, PhotoFeast, where he helps the club officers navigate school bureaucracy to get funding for their meetings, as well as provides consultation as needed with planning and events such as their annual Pin-Up. 
With all that on his plate, Eaddy hardly has any free time often working six days a week, 10 hours a day. He bikes to work every day it’s not raining, usually arriving around 10 am, and leaving campus somewhere between 8 pm and 11 pm to head to his home in Queens.
“There is one thing I am guilty of, I don’t leave this place,” said Eaddy. “But I love my job, I like working here.”
Eaddy started working at Parsons in 2013 as a technician and was promoted in 2016 to a senior technician and then in 2018 to the facilities manager. His favorite part of the job is the comradery among the 150+ photography students, in which he plays a major role. With students joining the program from all over the world with different experiences and financial realities, Eaddy knows it can be challenging for some students to feel like they can fit in. He often takes the guesswork out of meeting new people and just introduces students to one another in what some have coined as ‘Hashem Speed Dating’.
 “A few days ago a student came in and they seemed like they were struggling to make work so I asked another student sitting nearby what they thought and they gave some great feedback,” said Eaddy.
He hoped the student would feel comfortable enough to ask for critique from another student on their own in the future. Throughout his time at Parsons, many students have become good friends solely off an introduction from Eaddy, and some have even gotten each other jobs like head or assistant photographer gigs. 
Aside from school-related questions, Eaddy also supports the students by offering them whatever snack he just picked up from Trader Joe's - usually almonds or dried mango. He’ll often be just snacking straight out of the bag, since he hardly gets time for a break, and share it by tilting the package towards whoever he’s talking to. Sometimes he’ll boost inter-student relationships by setting up entertainment like video games or movies on the fifth floor. During the part-time faculty strike in the fall of 2022, when almost all professors stopped holding class, Eaddy dug out an old PlayStation and some games for students to use to help keep those who still chose to use the facilities connected with one another in a time of separation and stress from the uncertainty. His drive to connect students with one another stemmed from the experience he had working in a photo lab right after finishing his undergrad in Environmental Science and Fine Arts at Queens College. 
“It was similar to what we have here in that there was a 'water cooler' moment when everyone was waiting for their prints to process,” said Eaddy. “There was a coffee table and couch right next to the processor. Everyone sat at that table and talked to each other. Then when your prints came out there were big, white, walls to pin-up and look together. You would get to know a lot of people and learn from their techniques.”
When working on the remodel of the fifth floor in 2019, Eaddy took from this experience and allotted space for a common area and pin-up walls that allow students to connect and learn from one another.
Eaddy has been a lifelong learner of photography, his earliest memory is when he was around seven years old when he used a small, flat 110mm camera to take photos of animals at the zoo. Sometimes he would borrow his mother's 35mm point-and-shoot which she mostly used to photograph family gatherings,  to take his own photos.
“We lived on the tenth floor of an apartment building in Rockaway, and there was nothing taller than three stories in front of our view for almost two miles. It was also west-facing so we would get crazy sunsets,” said Eaddy. “I was so in love with these sunsets that I would take a few pictures on my mom’s camera and then put it back in her room. When she would get her film back from Kalish Pharmacy, it would be photos of some events and then just sunsets. I’m shocked she never said anything because I’m sure she knew it was me.” 
In high school, Eaddy was inspired by his uncle who worked as a milkman in Queens and loved taking pictures in his free time. One day he gave some of his old cameras to Eaddy’s mom. She noticed that Eaddy kept looking at them and eventually gave him his first single-lens reflex camera. From then, on he took his camera with him everywhere.
Eaddy’s passion for photography got him many jobs before accepting a job at Parsons in 2013. One of the most influential positions he had was an internship with the photographer, Danny Hastings. He learned how photography can be much more than just what classical photographers do, there are many ways to show artistic expression within photos.
“On my first day, he had me going through this big, messy cabinet of negatives,” said Eaddy. “As I get deeper into the piles I begin to notice that it's every damn 90s R&B and rap album cover, he was taking all the pictures for Wu-Tang and Bad Boy. I saw that he was lots of experimental stuff with his negatives because this was before Photoshop got big and I was thinking to myself, when I was printing stuff like scratched negatives, fools at school were telling me not to do that, and then this guy was making $10,000 and doing exactly that.” 
Eaddy doesn’t share much of his work with students, mostly because they often don’t make it out of his hard drive these days due to how busy he is.
“When I think about making work, I think about going to graduate school but I’m not sure how I would navigate that,” said Eaddy. “This community has such a mix of people, with different backgrounds and socioeconomic status so it’s special and I’m definitely not thinking about leaving just yet.”
Back to Top