Brooks Institute Of Photography
Santa Barbara, California
Tamara is in the third year of Brooks's three-year program, concentrating
on advertising photography. She's also an on-call assistant for three
Photos © Tamara Graff, 2000
"Brooks offers programs in advertising, portrait, industrial/scientific,
digital media, digital imaging, and motion pictures. The first year is
heavy tech, then there's a business block--basics, marketing, promotion,
communication. A lot of assignments are treated as if the teachers are
clients and you have to be creative within the requirements of the job.
"Everybody gets a bit of everything here, which is great for me. I want
to be able to do just about everything. If someone says, 'I'm trying to
do a web page, do you know how to do that?' I want to be able to say,
'Yes, and do you need a brochure, too?'"
"My father was doing photography when I was a child and he let me play
with his camera and basically he never got it back. He influenced how
I use lighting--I liked the soft-touch lighting he used. And Ansel Adams,
Gertrude Kasebier, Joyce Tenneson, and Walker Evans."
"A photo teacher once said to me,'Walk around like you've just been born.'
"To have my own studio and do top-of-the-line advertising and editorial
work. I see a progression of working with really good photographers and
honing my style and maybe one day saying, 'Hey, I got the cover of Vogue.'
"I'll print a black and white negative on black and white paper but use
different chemicals, like one normally used to develop Kodalith, to produce
a warm-toned image. I've also done a series using the Sabbatier effect.
An upcoming assignment is to take styles you like to do and apply them
to a commercial job--I'm going to like that."
"The idea was to do aportrait of a loved one withoutusing that person
in it--to represent them, so someonecould get the age, the gender and
who they were without you actually showing them. I snuck a human in there,
butit's not an identifiable person."
Tamara Graff was recommended
to us by Paul Meyer, a member of the faculty of Brooks Institute.
Do you know a student whose
work deserves attention? If so, contact our editorial department.