Studied Underwater Photography at Brooks Institute
Santa Barbara, CA
I knew that I had to go to Brooks Institute — the prestigious photography school is world-famous for its programs in Underwater Photography, and the opportunity to learn from pros like Ralph Clevenger was a dream come true! While at Brooks, I balanced classwork with photo expeditions, turning every assignment into an excuse to get outside and shoot what I loved most.
My second year I was finally able to join the underwater class! The photos below are from class expeditions diving in the Channel Islands, all shot on a pre-digital Nikon F5. This was one of the best times in my life! After the underwater class, I managed to maintain access to the islands by getting a job as a deckhand onboard The Truth, a dive boat based out of Santa Barbara. I used the opportunity to continue honing my skills as an underwater photographer.
I took short breaks from school to pursue personal photography projects, including traveling through southeast Asia, documenting the Hmong hill tribe people. While still in school, I shot for Ventura Magazine, participated in print shows, and picked up paid assignments in between classes.