Photography & Film

Within the Visual Arts department at Brooks are myriad opportunities for students interested in the digital arts, photography and film, to delve deeper into those fields.


Photography students may opt to do an independent study, working one-on-one with a visual arts teacher to perfect their technique and skills. The course typically culminates in the artist completing a capstone project, then hosting an exhibit of his or her work on campus. Student photographers' work is often also included in campus publications, such as "Spectrum: Brooks School's Feminist + Intersectional Magazine," and the multi-school collaboration "The Tavern," an online magazine.

The campus' new Center for the Arts includes a darkroom, offering 10 enlargers and a full trough sink, plus a photography studio for setting up and taking photos. As far as equipment, Brooks offers students use of DSLR cameras, a variety of wide-format lenses and lighting equipment.

My photography teacher helped push
me to figure out why I photograph,
write an artist statement and develop
my drive as an artist.


A Short Film by Franklin Dong '22


Students interested in filmmaking have many opportunities as well. Thanks to a generous $50,000 grant for exploration of the digital arts from The Lehman Foundation in 2015, Brooks has invested in a wide range of film production equipment and editing tools that students are encouraged to borrow for independent filmmaking and class projects. The materials include: cameras, lighting equipment, microphones and other professional sound equipment, dollies, backdrops and machines to post-process film using Adobe Creative Suite.

"Students can utilize this equipment to significantly improve the quality of their video," said Brooks' Director of Technology Ryan Dobbins. "Having these tools available at our disposal, coupled with faculty willing to assist, can help students do any project in which they're interested — even launch them into film school."

Brooks faculty encourages self-paced learning and also periodically offers workshops designed specifically to teach students how to use the equipment, set up studio lighting and other techniques.

Students interested in creating their own films may do so through:

  • Independent coursework
  • Personal projects, often shown to the student body during All-School Meeting
  • Winter Term courses, including "Brooks History & Documentary Film," in which students write, edit and produce their own short films about Brooks history, which become a permanent part of Brooks' archival collection.
  • Digital storytelling class projects, such as the video below from Tianshu Wang ’19 for his World Literature class in response to the teacher's request to show character development through music.