Mookie Brooks, about styles money can't buy.
"I really don't enjoy digital photography, it's too real, too precise"
Tell us about yourself.
I'm Dominique « Mookie » Brooks, I'm 21 and study engineering in France. I grew up in NYC, moved to Paris with my mom when I was 12. I got both passports, I can watch both football.
When and how did the film journey begin for you?
My grandpa was always using film, I always preferred it to digital stuff. He had a Minolta SRT 101, now it's mine. I really don't enjoy digital photography, it's too real, too precise. Cats shooting bums with super crispy details, I find it obscene, it's the opposite of what photography should be. It doesn't take an artist to see bums as human waste, society already does that. Show me what nobody sees.
What camera makes you click?
I'd say the Minolta, because of where it comes from. I took my first photo with it, when I was 9 (the Ferrari in a big plastic bag). I don't even remember where it was, but I remember the feeling, the car looking like a ghost, the urge to take the pic, the excitement...
What do you focus on?
Getting access. To an interesting place, a statement or a person. I enjoy talking as much as shooting. Sometimes I talk to people because I like the way they look and I wanna shoot them, sometimes I meet someone, talk a bit, and realize I should really take a pic.
What inspires you most?
Beauty that ain't easy, styles money can't buy. I see everybody falling for the same model types, it's crazy. Imagine a street where everybody would have a yellow Lamborghini parked in front of their house. Instagram is funny that way. I like people who have no idea they're beautiful, the ones that don't wanna sell you anything. Also, I try to cure myself from the average cute shit, but it's difficult.
Do you have a favorite analog photographer or website you would like to recommend?
Martine Barrat is my all-time favourite. The relationship she has with people is incredible, you can feel how much she's touched, how much she touches people... Decades of work, and she's still active, she still manages to get unique pictures in today's New York... also, being a music lover, I've always like Chi Modu and Danny Clinch, for different reasons. Both are very skilled, but the first one has unique access to the guys he shoots (Tupac, Mobb Deep, Nas...) and the second one is more laid-back. I bet he doesn't talk much, but at he end of the day, he's gonna sculpt the shit out of you. His portrait of Tupac is not just iconic, it's biblical.
If you were to recommend a film camera to a person who starts shooting film, which would you recommend and why?
I'd say a point-and-shoot like an Olympus mju2 or a yashica T5. That way you can focus on the subject, the frame, finding the right light and the right moment. I'd say, learn to find interesting people or places first, and always carry one of those, 24/7. Save the rest for later. Otherwise you gonna end up using film to shoot chairs, cats or rugs and the world's gonna be one drop sadder.
You can find Dominique « Mookie » Brooks here: