Samantha, Sally, Mary & Brooke.
If you’ve come across those four names in recent years, you know that combined they form the Voltron that was the founding editorial staff at one of the most worship-worthy magazines to ever exist—MissBehave.
Although, Brooke Nipar was the last to be added to the original group of editors, her job was just as important! Being the Photo Director/Editor of MissBehave required Brooke to handle all things photo based. She researched and hired all the photographers and then edit and chose all of the images that went into each issue. The special chemistry she had with the rest of the staff translated into every issue and the readers responded, falling head-over-heels, not only with the mag but with the ladies behind it.
Today, we feature Brooke, the gone-but-not-forgotten magazine’s former photo editor and a successful freelance photographer in her own right, as a woman making history.
Check the official bio:
After spending 23 sun-soaked years in the valleys and on the beaches of southern California, Brooke Nipar broke for New York City. Reared at the hands of rock n’ roll parents, she brought with her a unique vision. Years of listening to her forebears’ records, crashing punk shows and fleeing to remote desert raves have forged a singular energy and anyone who’s lucky enough to have met her can attest to it. Now transformed into a city girl, Brooke likes to spend free time from photo projects on the elusive hunt for an authentic L.A.-style burrito in New York and dancing with anyone bold enough to try and keep up.
Let’s get into some Q&A with Brooke Nipar…Ready? Let’s go!
M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
There are so many women I could mention here… One woman that always stands out as creatively inspirational is Bjork. She’s always evolving and pushing the boundaries. She’s strong, innovative and does whatever she wants.
M.I.S.S.: How did you get your start?
I started taking photos when I was in high school. My grandfather was a photographer, and when he passed away he left me his 35mm camera. I began taking black and white lab classes, and by the time I was out of high school I knew I wanted to study photography further. I went to Art Center College of Design, got my BFA and moved to NYC to start my career as a photographer ten days after graduation.
When I moved to NYC, I literally cold called photo editors and art buyers and begged them to take a look at my book. I cringe when I think back to the portfolio I used to show then, but you gotta start somewhere! The first person to give me an assignment was Jennifer Miller at Jane Magazine. I continued to shoot for Jane until the magazine folded in 2007.
M.I.S.S.: What’s your favorite photograph that you’ve taken?
This is honestly an impossible question for me to answer. My favorite photos ever taken are definitely not my own.
M.I.S.S.: Who do you want to work with and/or photograph?
I really want to work with Karen O. I’ve been dying to shoot her for years. I’m a huge fan and I think she’s got such awesome style. I keep putting it out there in the universe, so hopefully it will happen one day!
M.I.S.S.: What part of photography is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
The most challenging moments of being a photographer are the times when I have to make something out of nothing. This happens way more than most people realize. For example, there are times when you get hired to shoot a portrait and you have 5 minutes to make it happen and the location is terrible. That’s the toughest cause you still have to go back to the photo editor with a dynamic image, even though all of the elements aren’t perfect.
M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path similar to yours?
Define your style, be persistent and don’t get discouraged.
I would also remind them that becoming a successful photographer is much more than just taking good photos.
Thanks so much, Brooke!
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