Life motivates Mona T. Brooks. Her philosophy is to dive head first into any situation. To borrow a poker phrase her friends says she lives life "all-in." In her mid 20’s she felt trapped working in her cube in as a marketing manager. Her career felt stale, uncreative and she wanted more. Her fearless attitude allowed her to take her passion for photography as a hobby and turn it into a career.

Mona recieved her 2nd undergraduate degree, a BFA in Documentary Photography in 2006 from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her first degree was in Marketing from Auburn Universary. Recently she began teaching Collaborative Digital Magazine class at the Academy of Art part-time.

Mona has a genuine interest in meeting people and always has. "15 minutes is the amount of time I would give to anyone I encounter," Mona said. "I give the same amount of respect to CEO's and politicians as I do with people living on the street. I honestly think I can learn something from anyone."

Her 15 minute motto has undoubtedly helped her photography career by gaining trust and access to top state government officials, such as California Attorney General Kamala Harris, to national federal campaigns, Obama for America. Mona was the only professional photographer allowed on the podium area during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO., where she served as Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC's personal photographer.

Political photography is Mona's passion. She has been lead photographer for the Netroots Nation since the beginning in 2006  - that same year Mona's team has put out unConventional, YearlyKos: Citizens, Focus and Action. It was Mona's first photography book. She's also a contributor in Photo Op by Kevin Meredith and Let's Do Lunch.

She shoots frequently for Wall Street Journal, 7x7 Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, and California Home + Design.  Mona has also been published internationally, in Le Monde in Paris, Europa Quotidiano in Rome, and Intersection Magazine in UK.  Partial list of published work is listed here.

Photos of Mona are courtesy of Tina Lee and David Gonzales