We had the good fortune of connecting with Chad Brooks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chad, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I decided to pursue an artistic/creative career in high school and I owe most of that motivation to my Dad. He always told me from a young age to put my effort into what I love, that way going to work everyday wont be such a chore. He would always say, do what you love and the money will come in, and don’t just pick a career based on money. I wanted to be driven to do better and create better work and after having stayed at my first job through high school and most of college and absolutely hating it there, it motivated me to do everything I could to work in a creative/artistic field. I had/have always loved playing music and shooting photographs so I knew I had to make one of those my career.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One reason why I am where I am in my career today was by never saying no to any jobs in my first few years. If I didn’t know how to do it, then I said yes to the job or opportunity to intern and I learned it. I wanted to make sure I could do every part of the job from being a production assistant, to producing my own shoots, being able to do all my own lighting and digital teching, being able to edit and retouch, shooting and editing video, and being an AC. A teacher I had in college told me that I should never keep all my eggs in one basket and that really stuck with me. I worked for a photographer in my early stages of my career and would watch him miss out on work because he didn’t know how to do most of the work outside of shooting and directing and if the budget was low, then he couldn’t hire people who knew how to do the work he needed outside of shooting to get the project done. I watched him always hurting for money and missing out on all those jobs and I told myself I would never be in that situation to where I couldn’t take on a job because I didn’t know how to set up lights or tech a shoot or edit photos or video or anything like that. That mentality also helped me in other ways. For a while, I was just photo assisting and digital teching, and one day was out skateboarding and tore my rotator cuff and couldn’t lift anything for a while. If I was only photo assisting, that would’ve put me out of work for a long time but luckily i was able to just digitech and retouch and video edit while I was healing and I didn’t lose any work. That’s helped a lot in putting together my own editorial shoots which has gotten me the clients I have today. With editorial work, more often then not there isn’t a budget so if you don’t know how to do all aspects of the shoot, and don’t want to spend your own money on a team, then you can’t do it properly. So I would do just about everything on some of my shoots, aside from the hair and make up, just so I could get my work published.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough one, being that I haven’t done anything like this since March when we went into quarantine lockdown and can’t even picture life in a pre-covid time. I always loved the restaurant Home in Silverlake and Los Feliz. Public House was always a bar I loved to go to in Los Feliz. Button mash is an awesome barcade in Echo Park. I’m totally blanking on this because I haven’t done anything like this in what feels like forever. Tenno Sushi is a great spot in little Tokyo. Spitz is another great restaurant. The older I’ve gotten, I’ve turned into a homebody and stopped going out as much and I’m from this area so all of my friend are in this area and I’ve actually never had to plan anything like this haha. Arts district has lots of good spots. Sorry, I’m not the best person to ask this question.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that I could write down here that I’ve learned from and have been inspired by and who have helped my career but the list would go on forever. I think the main person would have to be my Dad though, as I had previously wrote in the first question. He’s the one that guided me in this direction and when lots of others were telling me my internships were wasting my time, he helped support me while I worked non stop and interned for months and months in lots of different areas of this industry. And again, there are so many others to put on this list but the next main person would be Eunice Park, who was an art director that really helped pave the way for me to transition into shooting and no longer photo assisting, digital teching, editing and AC work. At the time she brought me on, I was just getting small editorial shoots and other small fashion shoots but not enough to transition into full time shooting until she set me up to shoot for Fabletics which completely changed my work.