Brad Crooks – Photographer
“A Fan’s Guide to Sports Museums and Halls of Fame”
Brad and I met just this past year when I invited a friends over for a summer BBQ. He is an amazingly talented, giving man and also extraordinarily humble about his skills. Viewing his images, it’s almost like he is painting with his lens. One of the most interesting things about Brad, he and his camera truly are one… every time I talk to him he’s heading off somewhere to take shots of something, just because that’s what he does. It’s not his job, although I’m positive he could make a living from it if he wanted to. Because of his love for what he sees, his images always have a unique personal touch. Currently you can not purchase any of his work… but maybe one of these days he’ll share his talents with the world so you can be one of the lucky owners. I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to talk with Brad face-to-face and so thankful to be able to call him a friend.
How did you get started?
My Father was a photographer. By the time I was ten I had a twin lens Rollei, a studio, a darkroom, all the film and paper I needed, a teacher (my dad), and a job taking photos for my local newspaper @ fifteen dollars a print.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t ever want to grow up!!
Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives
1) I love the Hudson River School artists. They were mid 19th century American landscape artists. Their landscapes had a very real, but romantic quality.
2) Andrew Wyeth is also one of my favorites. His simple landscapes and portraits are amazing. Andrew died three weeks ago (1/16/09).
3) I should probably pick one photographer… since I am one. How about Alfred Eisenstaedt. I believe he was chosen by his peers as the photojournalist of the century. His images appeared in Life Magazine for 50 years. They represented ‘America’.
What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?
I had no official training other than working at my Father’s Studio for years. I guess part of my training was, and still is, to study the work of great photographers. Constantly shooting, trial and error, and learning through experience is my number one teacher.
Do you feel you’re successful?
There are levels of success, so my answer would be yes – but there’s still many facets of photography I want to succeed at.
What do you like most about what you do?
The people I meet, and the places I travel to.
What #1 piece of advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
Study great photographs to see how they were done. Learn how your camera sees versus how your own eyes see. Practice, practice, practice.
What are you most proud of?
That my photography has appeared in over 45 major US newspapers, including the New York Times and the Boston Globe.
View more of Brad Crook’s photography through his flickr gallery.