Muni Photographer Brian Brooks: Full of Stories
Photo by Brian Brooks
Photographer Brian Brooks has been a regular contributor to Muni Diaries almost since the beginning. We love his black and white photos like this glimmering F car we featured in a weekend photo post. We caught up with himÂ to talk about what inspires him toÂ photograph public transit.
How did you get into photography?
I’m a transplant(circa 1994) from New Jersey and loved photography from an early age. My first job was at a 1-hour lab. A great way to learn about photography is through trial and error, working a lab where resources are unlimited is very helpful. I’m mostly self-taught with a few college classes here and there. I shoot about 40 percentÂ analog and 60 percentÂ digital.
What is it about Muni that inspires you to take photos there?
It’s where most San Franciscans can be seen. Itâ€™s also great because people are standing still, which gives you more time to focus on them. One of the most memorable moments was when a fare inspector ripped a transfer from my wife’s hand and I shot a photo of the interaction. It had expired while waiting on the platform for a late train.
How do you get a good picture on the bus?
I almost never ask people if I can take their photograph.) The few times I’ve asked while riding Muni they’ve always said, “No.” I can still see those photographs in my head. If you’re in the public space, youâ€™re fair game.
What’s your line?
I’m more of a train person so the N-Judah is my line. Every time I ride Muni I can tell a story about it.