Ernie Brooks’ spirit and legacy will live on in the photographs and work of his accomplished students, in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have known him, and in the foundation that bears his name. Ernie, you will be greatly missed!

Our Mission

To support and enrich the knowledge and education of those who shape our
understanding of the world through photography and the creation of visual media.

The Ernest Brooks Foundation is the embodiment of the 70-year Brooks’ philosophy to
inspire and uphold the highest standards of excellence in photographic education and research. We promote the advancement of careers in the field of visual arts through academics, scholarship, and community outreach, and maintain the legacy pioneered by Ernest Brooks Sr. by facilitating and nurturing relationships and opportunities among its alumni.

As a first step in our mission, we have established a collaborative partnership with UC Santa Barbara for students to explore their passions and ambitions through a critically-grounded,
hands-on curriculum to become insightful, skilled, creative photographers and visual artists.

Our Courses

Taught by Award-Winning Photographers and Former Faculty of Brooks Institute of Photography:

Ernest Brooks Foundation

Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, Brooks at UCSB classes have been cancelled indefinitely.

Offering Brooks’ Experience to a New Generation.

We are proud to announce the establishment of an exciting new collaboration between The Ernest Brooks Foundation and UC Santa Barbara. Through this relationship we will build on the 70-year history of producing the most perceptive, skilled, and creative artists in the field of visual communications. We look forward to offering innovative courses and programs to our students and members of the community who wish to carry on the Brooks tradition of excellence. We are particularly excited to draw on the highly-accomplished  base of creative and entrepreneurial Brooks alumni and former faculty.

We invite you to join us on this inspiring and important journey.

Ernest Brooks II


Dr. John Majewski



Founded in October 1945, Brooks Institute of Photography owed its existence to the vision of Ernest Brooks Sr., a pioneer in the use of color photography. Returning from service in World War II, he recognized that the increasing importance of visual communication in contemporary… read more >

Board of Directors

Ernest H. Brooks II
Founder Emeritus
Former President, Brooks Institute
Brooks Alumnus '62


Tom Ligare, CLU®, CAP®

Executive Director,
The Ernest Brooks Foundation
Founder, Planned Giving Marketing
  Solutions, LLC
Former Instructor, Brooks Institute

Lynn Martin
Arts Advisor and Advocate
Former Brooks Institute Trustee
and Academic Affairs Chair

James W. O'Keeffe
Professor of Film, USC
Producer, PBS
Brooks Alumnus '80

Bill Robbins
Educational Outreach
Former BFA Program Chair
Instructor, Brooks Institute


Marcia Rubenstein
Board Chair (Interim)
Educational Outreach
Former MFA Program Chair
Instructor, Brooks Institute

Michael Verbois
President, Media 27, Inc.
Former Vice President of Education
Instructor, Brooks Institute
Brooks Alumnus '72

Advisory Board

Shukri Farhad
Advisory Board Chair
Founding Board Member
President, M27 Editions LLC
Brooks Alumnus '87

Chris Buckpitt
Advisory Board
President, Chris Buckpitt Photography
Brooks Alumnus '03


Thomas Maddrey
General Counsel,
The Ernest Brooks Foundation
Attorney / Founder, Maddrey PLLC
Brooks Alumnus '05