From an ad agency assistant in Brisbane to a New York-based photographer with solo exhibitions, Brooke Holm has truly come a long way in the world of photography. Her work includes a variety of subjects and scenes, from interiors and architecture to nature photography. One could only be looking at some product photos shot by Holmes but little do they know that she has also captured breath-taking photos of Lake Tyrell in Victoria and the frosty landscapes of Svalbard, Norway.
We’re lucky to have worked with Brooke about four years ago for a campaign shoot of our Siesta Collection. The shoot revolved around the subject of bedroom essentials for kids and grownups alike. For someone who has worked on projects involving serious subjects, we love how Brooke pulled off a fresh, vibrant and youthful take on our Siesta Collection, especially the selection for kids’ bedrooms.
George Takes Twelve
We got an opportunity to chat with Brooke Holm and we’ll let you in on who’s behind the lens that captured that gorgeous photo you want to hang as a print in your living room.
1.What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really little, it was marine biologist. My room was decorated in everything dolphin-related. In later teen years, it was more singer/songwriter. I grew up playing the piano and loved to write music.
2.Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living?
I’m a photographer, currently living and working mostly in New York. Here, I shoot still life and interiors/architecture but my personal work is landscape-based so I’m traveling a lot too.
3.What’s been your favourite moment so far in your career?
Favourite moments are usually spent in nature when I’m working on my artwork series. Most recently, it was in the desert of Namibia. This kind of work is the most rewarding and means the most in terms of making a difference in the world. My commercial work is usually created for someone else. But I still love the process of shooting still life and architecture for clients. You can be creative but it’s in more of a controlled way. Nature is something you completely have to roll with and have a deep respect for.
4.What do you feel is the most challenging part about being a photographer today?
I’m challenged by advertising work to be honest. More and more it really needs to be a company or brand I believe in, otherwise we are just mindlessly feeding consumers stuff they don’t need and I don’t want to be a part of that–unless it’s an ethical/sustainable company, or someone with a good reason to sell the product. I have a responsibility at the end of the day–my landscape work is very nature-focused with the effects that humans have on their environment so why would I go and work for a brand that supplies one-use plastics (as just a basic example). Balancing my beliefs and concerns around the environment can be tricky when I also need to survive and pay the bills. But I’m getting better at this and sometimes the right people come my way to collaborate with. It’s just balancing when to say no if it doesn’t feel right.
5.What words of wisdom do you have for a go-getter looking at breaking into the world of photography?
Photography is the single most greatest discovery I made. I have a real passion for the process. You have to love it if you want to be a photographer. It’s hard work–hard on your body and expensive to own equipment. But it’s the most rewarding. I am fortunate enough to work for myself–be my own boss–and be creative on a day to day basis. Advice would be to always try and be better than yourself and don’t listen when people say ‘you have to do things like this’ it kills creativity and innovation. Photography is a continuous learning curve and no two days are ever the same. This is part of why I love it. I can’t stand monotony.
6.What’s the most treasured belonging/item in your own home?
Home videos of my 3 sisters and I growing up.
7.What’s one thing other people may not know about you?
I’m a total nerd. I love Nintendo and Space and Game of Thrones and sci-fi/fantasy novels, to name a few things. I’m also really good at most board games and Karaoke.
8.What’s next for you? Are there any exciting projects in the pipeline you can share with us?
My new exhibition is upcoming in March in Melbourne. Stay tuned for a release date!
9.Can you pinpoint the moment photography turned into a profession for you?
Yes, it was when I was working at an ad agency in Brisbane as an assistant. They thrust a camera in my hands and asked me to take pictures of work they had produced. I did a good job so they kept asking me to do it until I became their in house photographer. I decided to study photography part time while I was working full time so I could get a better grasp on the technical side. After that I quit my job and moved to Melbourne and started working as a full time photographer. From there, the rest is an organic snow ball of evolution.
10.When’s the last time you were on the opposite side of the camera lens?
Hardly ever, thank goodness! Though I do have to do some self portraits sometimes for new exhibition announcements. Who knows why I need to have my face in the shot when the artwork is the focus! Haha.
11.You’ve got 24 hrs to shoot any person or subject in the universe. Who or what is at the top of your list?
I don’t love shooting people so I am going to go with subject… I think if you are talking universe, then I will be in space shooting on Mars or the Moon. Though I may need more than 24 hrs….
12.Finish this sentence: I can’t go a day without….
Clean socks and coffee.
Meet the Photographer Radio
“These songs are all off the top of my head. Things I’m listening to lately, things I have listened to for years.. some songs I would choose at Karaoke or songs that have memories attached to them. They have all made me feel something at some point.” – Brooke
Brooke’s Top Picks
We asked Brooke to come up with her top picks. We can already imagine them included in her future shoots.