Forums > Photography Talk > Brooks institue?

Model

egyptmachine

Posts: 11364

El Paso, Texas, US

a good friend of mine graduated from there about a year ago. She was already really talented to begin with, she learned a lot. They school had really famous gust speakers, and now she's about 100K in the hole with student loans.  Is her stuff amazing? Yes...  Do I think she could of done it without going there? Yes...

You gotta weigh all your options logically and financially

Aug 07 10 10:35 am Link

Photographer

Andy Pearlman

Posts: 3411

Los Angeles, California, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
I went to Brooks and value what I learned there

Arny Freytag (Playboy photog) went to Brooks and was a top student

Several of my photographer friends that do advertising and commercial also went there.

If you have what it takes to make it in photography, Brooks will give you a good foundation to succeed.

If you don't have any talent, nobody can teach you how to make it in this business

As Chuck Goodenough says a few posts below this post of Ken's, its not the same Brooks that Ken went to. There were stories in the LA Times a few years back about the changes since CEC took over, so I would contact the recent graduates mentioned in this thread and do some internet searching before you commit. It may be a fine school, but only those who've been there lately can tell you for sure. BTW, its way up in Santa Barbara, about 2 hours north of LA. Not the end of the world, but Art Center, in Pasadena, is right in the middle of things, and many of LA's top commercial photographers are AC graduates (I went to neither - no axe to grind either way). One thing to consider is what your goals are. While Brookes and AC are more commercially minded, Cal Arts (in Valencia) is more Fine Art, so check your schools. And remember the one thing I have heard over and over during my many years in the business - almost every photographer I know regrets not having had course in business to go along with that photo degree (if they have one). Make sure wherever you go, you have business education accounted for, either at the school, or some other school.

Aug 08 10 12:34 am Link

Photographer

Fred Greissing

Posts: 6412

Los Angeles, California, US

"Don't let school interfere with your education".. Mark Twain

I took a quick look at your portfolio and read your profile.

You wrote:

"All The Cameras Can Caprute What You See....But First Of All You Need To SEE".

You are on the right track with what you are saying here, but let me add...

What distinguishes a good cameraman from a photographer is what you do with what is infront of the camera.

What you really need to learn can be seen in the great images of great photographers.

Rather than a school like Brooks that is in the middle of nowhere... ,don't get me waron Santa barbara is a pretty place, but it's timbuck two as far as the world of fashion goes.

What I would recommend is attending good and specific workshops. Then spend time in Milan, London, Paris and New York. Do as much testing with models as you can. Go to art museums, photo galleries and study the history of art and photography. You only need a few good books for that.

Assist a few photographers just to snoop around. Doesn't have to be a fashion photographer.

Then when buisness starts to get going for you take the money you would have spent at Brooks and hire a buisness consultant to make the most out of what you are good at.

Take a look at these workshops:

http://www.mainemedia.edu/workshops/photo


Regarding my "education" it went like this.

My A-Levels were Physics, Chemestry, Biology and Maths.

I went to a photography school in London.

I was kicked out for taking school cameras out to shoot portraits of actors in the theater District of London.

Went to Milan an strated to take photos for models books and composites.

Learned my lighting by looking at the irises of the models in George Hurrels models and the models of the fashion photographers I liked. I would mingle with other young photographers. I learn't most things with experimentation and from/with friends.

Most important thing is that you have to shoot, shoot, and shoot. Light, Light and Light. Process, process and process.

Models books are real world... what you do in school will be .... well not real world.

I got my first fashion ad campeign.. not with accadenic qualifications, not with editorial tear sheets (had a lot), not with my book (had a good one)... I got it from a models composite.

Oh yea one good thing about Brooks.... the surf is pretty good in Santa Barbara.

Aug 08 10 01:16 am Link

Photographer

Kati Thompson

Posts: 56

Rochester, New York, US

I went there when I was doing college visits. My mom asked our tour guide whether they like to see potential students portfolio's before acceptance, and she said..

"Oh no. We like to start completely fresh with our students and teach them the RIGHT way"

I was very put off.

Aug 09 10 12:47 pm Link

Photographer

JimenezPhoto

Posts: 2

San Francisco, California, US

They are a business.

Aug 09 10 12:54 pm Link

Photographer

James Neihouse

Posts: 9

Rockledge, Florida, US

Brooks is like any other "higher education" institution, you get out of it what you put into it.  I can say that you will learn a lot at Brooks, I know, I graduated from there in 1976.  I had learned the basics photography prior to going there and thought I was pretty good, I found out in a hurry that I still had a lot to learn.

There is no substitute for face to face education and interaction with fellow students is something you can't get on-line.  Being able to share ideas, get feedback and solve problems in a creative and supportive environment is one of the best ways to learn.

Yes, some of the greats are self taught, but with what you will learn at a school like Brooks will put you years further down your career path in a much shorter amount of time.

Just my two cents worth.

James Neihouse
1976 Graduate Brooks Institute
Recipient of the 1st Brooks Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award

Aug 09 10 01:34 pm Link

Photographer

Andrew Thomas Evans

Posts: 24078

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Paramour Productions wrote:
Brooks is probably the best school there is in terms of commercial photography.  There is no way you'll learn everything they teach you in a week or two, even with the internet and books.  If you really apply yourself, maybe in a year or two, but even then you'll probably miss out on much of the detail. 

It is much more of a tech school than an art school.

I'm a little torn with art schools. The majority of students from them suck and were just there to support the art school. However, a slim minority will take what they learned, and make it out in industry.

The trick to the whole thing is to have talent going in, take full advantage and work your living ass off while there, and use the whole experience to make as many contacts as you can. Also, the benefit of a place like Brooks over a regular tech school is that you're around really creative students and it's a great environment to learn and grow in. If all of that is worth the price tag, that's up to you.

Sure, getting a diploma from there will get your foot in the door, however after that your work speaks for its self.


Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Aug 09 10 01:41 pm Link

Photographer

HEF Photography

Posts: 1817

Jacksonville, Florida, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
I went to Brooks and value what I learned there

Arny Freytag (Playboy photog) went to Brooks and was a top student

Several of my photographer friends that do advertising and commercial also went there.

If you have what it takes to make it in photography, Brooks will give you a good foundation to succeed.

If you don't have any talent, nobody can teach you how to make it in this business

Best 2.5 years of my life, Class 72.....Boris Dobro...RIP

Aug 09 10 05:39 pm Link

Photographer

studio818

Posts: 113

Los Angeles, California, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
I went to Brooks and value what I learned there

Arny Freytag (Playboy photog) went to Brooks and was a top student

Several of my photographer friends that do advertising and commercial also went there.

If you have what it takes to make it in photography, Brooks will give you a good foundation to succeed.

If you don't have any talent, nobody can teach you how to make it in this business

I think I read that Hegre went there as well -- but due respect to the esteemed Mr. Marcus and Mr. Freytag, that was a different world-- I live in Ventura, and know a number of Brooks graduates -- the point is taken that learning the craft is a great advantage, BUT you still are going to have to make it out in the real world, and that's not in the coursework.

Aug 09 10 05:43 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

ronald n. tan wrote:
I am curious what is it that you learnt at Brooks that you can't profess yourself auto-didactically.

I never had any training in the arts. I was disciplined in Applied Physics and Pre-pharmacy. That was my world all throughout my life until 2007.

I am being intrigued as to what I am missing by not having a degree from Brooks?

As a former art student, I can say we could better medicate ourselves than any wannabe pharmacist.  smile

http://www.modelmayhem.com/28088

I may be mistaken, but I think Marko graduated from there and quite enjoyed the experience. You might message him and ask him.

Aug 09 10 05:50 pm Link

Photographer

Efan Bruder

Posts: 640

Vermillion, South Dakota, US

JimenezPhoto wrote:
They are a business.

Is that supposed to be a mark against them?  Businesses make their money by providing a quality product or service at a price the market considers fair.  It's what I do.  It's what you do if you're actually making money off photography.  Stop pretending business is evil.

Every school is a business.  They provide a service (education) in exchange for money.  Some of them provide a very good service and charge a lot of money, some of them don't and can't get away with charging a lot of money.  Some of them don't provide a very good service but still manage to charge a lot. 

F***in "artistes."  (Not necessarily talking to you, Jimenez, this is just one of the things that ticks me off.) Take an economics class.

Aug 09 10 06:02 pm Link

Photographer

BlackArts - Jenna Black

Posts: 4100

Riverside, California, US

joeyk wrote:

Learn everything they teach from the internet in a few weeks... lol

Quite simply the best photography school available.

By that logic, everyone on the internet is an amazing photographer, right?

Aug 09 10 07:02 pm Link

Photographer

Benjo_Arwas

Posts: 73

Los Angeles, California, US

thank you everyone for your answers and long variety of responses!!!

im beginning my studies at brooks at this end of the month!

wish you all the best and again - Thank you! appreciate.

cheers mates,

Benjo Arwas.
www.benjoarwas.com

Oct 14 10 04:21 am Link

Photographer

michaelGIORDANO

Posts: 593

Austin, Texas, US

I remember a very good photographer asking me why I wanted to major in photography to be a photographer. He asked me if I wanted to teach it? I said, no. He tells me, "Fuck photography! Major in something else...something you can fall back on."

Good wisdom. I shared a space with a graduate from Brooks and his complaint about Brooks was they don't teach you Business 101.

Petter Hegre assisted Richard Avedon. Herb Ritts assisted Bruce Weber. I think that's where you refine craft if you already know the techincal aspects of the camera...by assisting.  Pay your dues by assisting. Lots of famous shooters of today have assisted someone and at some point it is the one profound thing in their life before embarking on their solo journey of being a freelance photographer.

I have never been asked, "Where did you graduate from?" it is always, "Let me see your portfolio."

Dec 11 10 01:49 am Link

Photographer

NYC Agency Polaroids

Posts: 225

New York, New York, US

.





" Imagination is more important than knowledge " .........Albert Einstein

Dec 11 10 02:01 am Link

Photographer

HEF Photography

Posts: 1817

Jacksonville, Florida, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
I went to Brooks and value what I learned there

Arny Freytag (Playboy photog) went to Brooks and was a top student

Several of my photographer friends that do advertising and commercial also went there.

If you have what it takes to make it in photography, Brooks will give you a good foundation to succeed.

If you don't have any talent, nobody can teach you how to make it in this business

Ask any graduate.....don't think you will get any negative feedback.  I understand they have a new President of the school...

Dec 11 10 04:26 am Link

Photographer

Porcelain Perspective

Posts: 298

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

http://modelmayhm-1.vo.llnwd.net/d1/photos/101013/03/4cb5876020893_m.jpg

That photo leads me to believe that you would get a lot from the EXPERIENCE from school but I feel like it probably won't teach you anything you don't already know. You are very talented and I think you already have an eye.

I would personally suggest that you invest the money in being a second shooter with established photographers, doing workshops, and reading books and following blogs. I've learned a ton from just what I've been able to learn from my very generous peers. Mind you, I don't think that I am as talented as you are, but I have come so far with my own "hands on" learning.

Whatever path you choose, I'm sure you will be incredibly successful one day.

Dec 11 10 04:39 am Link

Photographer

Porcelain Perspective

Posts: 298

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

BlackArts - Jenna Black wrote:

By that logic, everyone on the internet is an amazing photographer, right?

No but if you have the drive to be great and the will to learn just as much as you do if you were going to a school you CAN learn everything that you will find in text books.

Dec 11 10 04:43 am Link

Photographer

Houser

Posts: 59

CAPE PORPOISE, Maine, US

Nicely Disturbed  wrote:
Best educated photographers i can think of?
Houser  ( I Love his work)
Jacob Foko
Tracy trotter
Gary Bernstein

I'm actually a self-taught hack smile

Oct 08 12 10:24 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12825

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Brooks is one of the best photography school in the US.  They have also added a lot of business and marketing to the program, very important.

Oct 08 12 10:41 am Link

Photographer

Shot By Adam

Posts: 5936

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I've worked with a few graduates from there. The way I see it, it's like getting a degree in anything else. If you want to get hired by someone else as a "job", then it's great.

If you want to hang your shingle out and open for business on your own, it's pretty much worthless.

You could take 1/2 the amount of money you'd spend on tuition and other costs and pay a killer photographer as a mentor and learn 10X more actual, practical applications for photography, save a ton of money, and also learn it in 1/5 the time.

Just my $0.02

Oct 08 12 10:43 am Link

Photographer

RachelReilly

Posts: 1730

Washington, District of Columbia, US

I agree with above,
Try a school in Paris London Milan NYC
I'm going to Milan next fall!

Oct 08 12 10:57 am Link

Photographer

Maxximages

Posts: 2042

Los Angeles, California, US

I wonder if the OP has graduated yet smile

Oct 08 12 11:59 am Link

Photographer

Jason Herring Photograp

Posts: 106

Valencia, California, US

http://www.paulcaprafilms.com

My good friend whent there and his work is AMAZING,

Oct 08 12 09:11 pm Link

Photographer

fullmetalphotographer

Posts: 2784

Fresno, California, US

Brooks in the '70s - '90s was the the place to go if you wanted a career in commercial art photography. I had friends that went through the program who started working as soon as they graduated. One of the big positives you can earn a real degree there.

Is Brooks at the same level as it was in the past no, but it is still a one of the best programs in the nation. If i had not gone into photojournalism I would have gone into Brooks.

There is always a group who will try to make an argument against a formal training and education. I have yet to a solid reason against a formal education.

Some will say you can by gear with the money. Gear devalues as soon as you by it. A good education is forever. Others will say you can get what you need to know from internet. Yes if want to spend a lot more time and effort to learn. You are looking 3-4 times longer than a school and it is not as thorough.

Oct 08 12 11:20 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Jewett

Posts: 2460

al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia

I think sometimes we miss something in these discussions...

Once the credentials of the individual institution have been discussed ad nausium, we generally move on to "should photographers go to school, intern, or self-teach."

The answer lies in how the photographer learns best.  Going to the best institution in the world won't help someone who doesn't learn well in that environment.

Oct 08 12 11:32 pm Link

Photographer

Mike Collins

Posts: 1916

Orlando, Florida, US

Well OP?  This is a two year old thread.  Did you go to Brooks or any other school?  Just curious.  Seeing that it and many others are two year programs, and it's been two years.

The internet did change education.  Especially You Tube.  But if your at all serious about getting into this business, at least from a commercial standpoint, you have to have access to various equipment and working in a studio environment.  AND you have to take the time to learn how to use them and do a variety of assignments.  Sure you COULD do this on your own but I don't think you could learn as much in two years as you could at a "good" pro photo program. 

Schools give you access to knowledge.  It's up to you whether you want to learn it or not.  I went to Daytona Beach CC back in the 80's.  We had several big studios.  2 large darkrooms for B&W.  Several color darkrooms.  A huge commercial studio that we shot cars in from time to time.  An arsenal of Speedotron and Bron lighting gear.  All for the price of a community college tuition.  And some of the teachers were experienced commercial shooters as well.

So there are cheaper options out there without sacrificing quality.

Oct 09 12 03:23 am Link

Photographer

Wild Image Media

Posts: 173

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

In photography I studied at the SOHK, no tuition fees, hard lessons well learned.

To actually get a job that paid, I studied PR Communication at Uni.

Oct 09 12 11:17 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Maybe somebody could point out what has changed at Brooks over the years? It was a school I was considering years ago (like 20 years) when I was between high school and choosing a college. At that time it was one of thee renowned schools for photography and I wasn't feeling the love when I applied.

About 3 (edited) years ago I simply requested some info online out of curiosity and they heavily recruited/marketed me for over a year with constant spam emails, phone calls and printed literature. I literally had 3 calls/week from a rep.

The experience changed my view of Brooks as an exclusive institution. They seemed desperate and perhaps hurting financially? I don't know that Brooks has that same cache it used to.

What's the saying? Anyone who would want me in their club...

Oct 09 12 11:31 am Link

Photographer

Chicchowmein

Posts: 14486

Palm Beach, Florida, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:
Maybe somebody could point out what has changed at Brooks over the years? It was a school I was considering years ago (like 20 years) when I was between high school and choosing a college. At that time it was one of thee renowned schools for photography and I wasn't feeling the love when I applied.

About 3 (edited) years ago I simply requested some info online out of curiosity and they heavily recruited/marketed me for over a year with constant spam emails, phone calls and printed literature. I literally had 3 calls/week from a rep.

The experience changed my view of Brooks as an exclusive institution. They seemed desperate and perhaps hurting financially? I don't know that Brooks has that same cache it used to.

What's the saying? Anyone who would want me in their club...

They have always taken anyone with money to pay. Now staying in is something else.

It's a business.

I wonder if they still shoot the Mission with 4 x 5's as the first assignment.

Oct 09 12 11:49 am Link

Photographer

Legacys 7

Posts: 33856

San Francisco, California, US

Paramour Productions wrote:

Brooks is probably the best school there is in terms of commercial photography.  There is no way you'll learn everything they teach you in a week or two, even with the internet and books.  If you really apply yourself, maybe in a year or two, but even then you'll probably miss out on much of the detail. 

It is much more of a tech school than an art school.

This.^ I'd attended a combination of both art and tech. (still have 12 classes to go. Money/expensive is the issue.) It'll take more than a few weeks to grasp everything. From what I've read over the years, Brooks isn't what it use to be. If I recall, the owners sold the school to another company. Back during the early 90's when I use to assist, I remember this one assistant photographer praising the school and stating that it wasn't easy getting in.

Oct 09 12 02:40 pm Link

Photographer

Art Silva

Posts: 9451

Santa Barbara, California, US

I went there for a week and hated it, actually no i didn't hate it, it just turned out NOT to be for me but that was 29 years ago so i wouldn't be any help but the town and student community here are awesome.

Too bad from what I hear since the buy out from Ernie Brooks that it's all digital now, no film and darkroom work which eliminates 80% of seriously learning photography in the first place... I could be wrong about that as I dont hang out with Brookies anymore.

Oct 09 12 03:40 pm Link

Photographer

Art Silva

Posts: 9451

Santa Barbara, California, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:
Maybe somebody could point out what has changed at Brooks over the years? It was a school I was considering years ago (like 20 years) when I was between high school and choosing a college. At that time it was one of thee renowned schools for photography and I wasn't feeling the love when I applied.

About 3 (edited) years ago I simply requested some info online out of curiosity and they heavily recruited/marketed me for over a year with constant spam emails, phone calls and printed literature. I literally had 3 calls/week from a rep.

The experience changed my view of Brooks as an exclusive institution. They seemed desperate and perhaps hurting financially? I don't know that Brooks has that same cache it used to.

What's the saying? Anyone who would want me in their club...

In a way that was true. When I applied in '82 I had to interview and show I was serious, I think I might have shown them a portfolio, not sure but now they are owned by well known education corporation and compared to when Ernie owned it it's pretty much cookie-cutter, get 'em signed up and heard them thru. Many don't finish but those that do has relied on that "past" good name for career placement.
they are aggressive now if you show interest and will pretty much take you even if you never held a camera before, but there are some (not many) that are really talented that come out of there and become successful.

Oct 09 12 03:50 pm Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4822

Houston, Texas, US

.... I think Fred gives some stellar advice.
Also you might look at the local ASMP organization. You'll meet some great photographers and assistants.. Plus they may have a more relevant opinion on Brooks.

Living in LA can be a great opportunity to learn from some excellent shooters.  Getting into see them and getting hired.... won't be easy..but if  you're persistent and show great enthusiasm, you might get a break...

Oct 09 12 04:13 pm Link

Photographer

Andrew Thomas Evans

Posts: 24078

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

James Neihouse wrote:
Brooks is like any other "higher education" institution, you get out of it what you put into it.  I can say that you will learn a lot at Brooks, I know, I graduated from there in 1976.  I had learned the basics photography prior to going there and thought I was pretty good, I found out in a hurry that I still had a lot to learn.

There is no substitute for face to face education and interaction with fellow students is something you can't get on-line.  Being able to share ideas, get feedback and solve problems in a creative and supportive environment is one of the best ways to learn.

Yes, some of the greats are self taught, but with what you will learn at a school like Brooks will put you years further down your career path in a much shorter amount of time.

Just my two cents worth.

James Neihouse
1976 Graduate Brooks Institute
Recipient of the 1st Brooks Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award

+1

Also, as others have said, school only works if you work your ass off and take advantage of it. Sure the name behind your name will help, but you need to network, learn, push yourself, go beyond the classroom, and get yourself out there.




Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Oct 09 12 04:16 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12825

Atlanta, Georgia, US

JimenezPhoto wrote:
They are a business.

So is photography and we photographers are looking to get paid work from other bsuiness.  Best to learn about business from a successful one right.

Oct 09 12 04:29 pm Link