Brooke describes her work as “dark art”. Her photos take you into new worlds that she is able to create. At such a young age Brooke is know throughout the world for her “dark art” and when I came across her work I was interested to know a little more about her and how she get’s things done.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and i’m sure Brooke would appreciate any comments you may have so leave them below.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, otherwise known as Amish Country. While I grew up in a suburb, I love rural life. I love being in nature and surrounding myself with trees or water or mountains. I went to college at Temple University to study film and English, and graduated with both degrees in December 2008 when I was 21 years old. Shortly after graduating, I picked up my still camera properly for the first time and began taking pictures of what I saw in my mind. Immediately they were surreal and dark, and I have always strived to create what I see in my mind. I moved to Los Angeles shortly after that to pursue filmmaking, but very quickly switched gears and decided to do photography. In March 2010 I began doing photography full time and have been a fine art photographer ever since.
What made you get into photography?
For me, I wanted to have full control over the creation process while putting my ideas forth. In other words, I’m a bit of a control freak! I wanted to be able to create exactly what my imagination looked like to me. I tried writing but didn’t feel that was a good enough outlet: I was missing the visual aspect. I tried filmmaking but I enjoy creating on my own rather than with a team, so photography seemed like the next logical step.
How did you get started?
I got started taking self-portraits all by myself in my apartment in Philadelphia. I picked up my camera, got a tripod, and started shooting! I knew from Day 1 what I wanted my photos to look like, and that really helped me figure out how to shoot and how to edit. Because I already knew what I wanted I could look for specific tools in editing to achieve certain effects.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I shoot fine art photography exclusively. My style is defined as being surreal, whimsical, often of a fairy tale nature. I shoot in the square format, which is another signifying factor of my work.
What gear are you using?
I currently use the Canon 5d Mkii with a 50mm f/1.4 lens and a tripod.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
I love a 50mm lens. I often joke that I see the world through 50mm eyes.
How are you marketing yourself?
I was largely born online in an artistic sense. I began my career on Flickr.com and have marketed myself on social networking sites for my whole career. I definitely see it less as marketing though and more of a way of life. The people I am connecting with are friends for the most part. They are people that I love to talk with each day and we all share the same passion. I believe that if you put your passion out there, someone else will share it with you, and that is how I market myself.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I’d say right now, my answer to that would be “A Storm to Move Mountains”.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
First and foremost, before you do anything else, be honest with yourself about what your passion is. If you can answer clearly and concisely the question of “What are you passionate about”, you will be able to propel yourself forward. When you have passion, you are limitless. After you have your passion, set clear goals for yourself. With everything that I do I truly believe that there is a way to achieve my goal. I refuse to take no for an answer; instead, I find a different way on the path to success. Believing that there is always a way to do something is key to moving forward.