Brooks Institute - Comments and Student Experiences|
Right now they are going through a lot of change, they are in the process of leaving Santa Barbara and joining the film campus down in Ventura (should have done that from the beginning) that means CHEAPER living and easier to take more classes instead of choosing between Ventura and Santa Barbara campus classes. Although, Santa Barbara was AMAZING to live in.
College is expensive, period. I barely got into ANY college let alone Brooks. It's 80k to graduate. If you want the "college experience" DON'T GO HERE or go somewhere else first, like i did. It's boot camp for photographers the first 15 months and you have to have a lot of time on your hands and be willing to spend EVEN MORE money besides tuition such as: Models, Makeup artists, wardrobes, camera supplies, etc. Now when i say that i don't mean every week you need to spend 100s on models, there are a lot of aspiring models that will trade for print and supplies you can usually return to the store and get money back. Models, a lot of times, you can find someone in your class that will model for you, but you want to be different, so network outside of school too!
They have an awesome checkout system and you can get about anything you want, i know students who didn't buy a camera the whole time through Brooks, but don't do that.
One of the greatest things about this school (and main reason i went here) is EVERYTHING is focused on photography EVEN THE GE'S. The business classes are all focused on the business of photography and same with even the English classes, etc. Hence the "BFA"
Professors and classes i HIGHLY recommend:
Christy Schuler - Any post production classes she teaches TAKE THEM. She is very good with her students and knows what she is talking about. She's worked on feature films and does high-end retouching.
Dean Dephilipo - An all around fantastic guy and a great teacher in the video classes. One of the most helpful teachers I had.
Ralph Clevenger - The owner of the "iceberg picture" that everyone has seen, a master of stock photography and also a great teacher in video.
Greg Voight - Another awesome guy. Great in the commercial photography class and great to learn from in lower division classes.
There are many more, but these are a few that made the biggest impact on me personally.
Most people HATE Brooks because of the price. NEWSFLASH if you want to go to a private school you're gonna pay more! (still cheaper than the art institute and has better credentials) Education should be free, but I'm not gonna get all political on you right now.
Let's get this straight now. You DO NOT have to go to school to be a photographer, I chose to because i wanted to LEARN. If you're going here for "just the degree" than you are an idiot, straight up.
Fact: Most people who graduate from here start freelancing or assisting other photographers in the field right out of school. I am currently with a small company and DID NOT have to go to Brooks to work here, but I'm glad i did because i have better knowledge about the business of photography and what i learned helps me everyday.
Fact: Brooks does not guarantee you a job! Unless they wanna get sued again ;) but what i can say is they have helped me and a few others i know get jobs. In fact i wouldn't have my current job if it wasn't for their job leads they send to my email nearly EVERYDAY. I could be biased, but i spent my entire last semester job hunting and Brooks pulled through with my internship with a celebrity photographer (while I was in school) and my current job which I look forward to having for the next few years to come.
Most of your concern may be the price. Let me put that part in perspective for you. I took out a lot of loans, the maximum you can, for living expenses AND tuition. My monthly loan payments are around the 1500/mth range. NO, that is not a typo. School is expensive, because it's a business and they can charge any amount they want. 'Murica
Some of the employees are full of sh*t. I was offered, from the vice president of admissions, to buy my portfolio, well after interviewing with her and me calling her 100 times she completely stiffed me. I'm convinced it's still the best school for photography. For film you'd have to ask someone who graduated from that dept.