My Ealing

Getting to know people who live and work in the borough

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Stephen Brooks

For any work you would like undertaking; or if you want to learn more about photography visit Stephen Brooks Photography
Twitter @SteBroPhoto

My Ealing: Catherine Gunnewicht



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Stephen Brooks is 28 and works part-time in one of Ealing's leading Church of England Primary Schools.

He's a Professional Photographer & Digital Imaging Specialist and specialises in sports work. He's the official club photographer to the borough's newest local community based rugby football club - Hanwell R.F.C.

Where do you live/how long you been there?

I live in Hanwell, very near to the green and leafy area of Elthorne Park and Boston Manor, and have done so all of my life (28 years)

What do like most about the Ealing area?

I love Ealing. I was born; bred; and brought up here. I'm proud to be part of the local community in which I live, and love and the whole vibe of commUNITY. I love our local parks; local shopping; great schools; and our close proximity to just being able to jump on public transport and be in Central London in as little as 20 minutes. It really is a great place to live and no wonder our borough was formerly known as "The Queen of the Suburbs" She truly is something to be proud of, and be a part of.

What could be improved?

Not so much improved, but helped to build and grow further I guess, I would love to see that spirit of commUNITY feeling that I love in Ealing to grow bigger; stronger; and wider. With the likes of great initiatives such as that of #EalingHour there is only one way that feeling can go!

Which are your favourite restaurants/bars?

Simple... Monty’s Nepalese Cuisine on the South Ealing Road. I love a good curry, and theirs is second to none.

Tell us about your theatrical interests...

I am a member of GLOC Musical Theatre . We are a non-professional society based in Ealing, that specialises in the performance of musicals and music written in the last fifty years.

We are currently a week away from staging our latest production of Kander and Ebb's musical comedy whodunit "Curtains" at Ealing's very own Questors Theatre on Mattock Lane. The show runs from Wednesday 21st May to Saturday 24th May, 7.45pm and tickets can be bought from our Box Office: T:020 8572 0475

It's been a real blast to be a part of (as it always is). The principals and the rest of the cast are truly amazing; and I cannot recommend it enough that you get yourself a ticket and pop along and see myself and the rest of the cast in our 50's attire - and have a cheap and amazing local night out.

How did you get involved with Hanwell Rugby?

I am great friends with one of the founders of the club, John Bodman. He knew that I am a local professional photographer and had seem some of my previous sports work about, and asked if I would mind creating some promotional work at the start of the season last year - with the club just forming and starting out as the new local community rugby club; new kits; and the Summer Touch Rugby initiative which began last year and in which I also got involved and started playing rugby again after about a 15 year absence. (Its back this year, as am I, and information can be found here on about its return in just a couple of weeks) The relationship with myself and the club has blossomed from then on in, from covering a couple of the opening matches, to covering almost every game and event that the club has been a part of in its inaugural year.

Where are your favourite places in the area to photograph? Any hidden gems?

I have many places that I love to photograph, but there are a couple places that are gems for me. One is not hidden place at all and the other is an online hidden gem. The gem that is not a hidden place at all is Christ the Saviour Church on the Broadway. It is one of Ealing's many outstanding places of beauty, but regardless of whether you are religious or not, it is a place that I like to spend a little time in every now and again. Somehow the world outside just feels like it stops when I spend time inside those four walls. It's nice to stop, reflect, and take stock of what you and I have, and I find that Christ the Saviour is somewhere that allows me to get off the rollercoaster that is life - and stop; listen; and be thankful for all I have.

My little hidden gem is that of the commUNITY of the amazing people that make up #EalingHour on Twitter. We meet every Tuesday from 8 - 9pm. It brings the local Ealing Twitter community together, with people supporting each other; sharing local knowledge; as well as allowing people like myself to advertise their businesses. It's a real gem; and enhances that Ealing commUNITY feeling that I have come to know and love.

What's your favourite photograph or photographer?

I have two photographers that I have used as an inspiration to apply to my work - Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Adams is renowned for sitting a waiting for that perfect moment to capture his images and has been known to sit around and wait for hours to capture “that moment” that – “once in a lifetime” image, and that is something that I have aspired to try and recreate in much of my own work. Good things come to those who wait... I guess! Cartier-Bresson was all about capturing the “moment” (known as The Decisive Moment) – and that really resounds to me with my sports work and capturing that split moment where the image really does tell the story of 1000 words.

What tips do you have for budding photographers?

Honestly, it's just to keep at it, whether it be a business or pleasure, and enjoy the results it can bring. You may not always get the shot you want first time (but yes trust me, it is a blessing when it happens) but with the digital age now, we don’t have to worry about only having those 36 exposures anymore. Shoot, Learn and Enjoy. I find real that my photography takes me to a different place. I can’t describe or explain what it is that photography does for me or even what I see different to any other, but I just enjoy it and learning and seeing something new every time I use my equipment excites me. Plus, the relationships and friendships it has allowed me to grow through it has been really amazing . Corny as it sounds but I like to think that:

Life is like a camera…
Focus on whats important,
Capture the good times,

Develop from the negatives,

And if things don’t work out… Take another shot!

What would be your slogan for Ealing be?




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14th May 2014