Brooks Institute is one of the top photography schools in the country. I’m fortunate to live in the same town and see the growing talent of some of the students. Last week I sat in on “grad reviews” of half a dozen students who were almost out the door; in fact this is the last step in the process. Bill Robbins, Chair of the Professional Photography program and a top advertising photographer for decades, asked me to join himself, faculty Paul Meyer and a career counselor in the final 45 minute review of the emerging photographer’s portfolio and plans.

It’s a tough field, you need talent and tenacity to succeed. But there were some students who definitely inspired me with their work.  Here is a sampling of photographs from Benjo Arwas, Grace Kathryn, Maxwell Frank, and Augusta Sagnelli. I was fascinated with the talent and volume of work from Benjo, perhaps it was the discipline from five years as a combat officer with the Israeli Defense Forces but considering he first picked up a camera just over three years ago I’m simply astounded.  We went well beyond 45 minutes looking through 3 volumes of portfolio books, one of them reminds me of Peter Beard’s african journals with it’s collages of notes and polaroids. Seeing the work, Jigisha (formerly of TBWA\Chiat\Day) arranged for those polaroids to exhibit inside their cavernous lobby in LA. Good stuff.  Congrats to all.

BENJO ARWAS:www.benjoarwas.comwww.benjoarwas.comBenjo Arwas 4

GRACE KATHRYN:Grace_Kathryn_D3GK_20130407_079_E1Grace_Kathryn_D2

MAXWELL FRANK:Maxwell_Frank_120624_02 l

AUGUSTA SAGNELLI:1045ab47a3d55eac-sagnelli_website_story25 5308b1e4d1b20dce-sagnelli_website_story34