Durham College Photography graduate Brooke Warner builds her portfolio and the foundations of a career

Category: Student Profiles

For Photography graduate Brooke Warner, her time at Durham College (DC) has been all about opportunity to not only showcase her talent but to launch her photography career.

She decided to pursue photography at Durham College in 2021 and will graduate at Spring Convocation in 2024.

“I have loved every minute of my photography program and the valuable lessons I have learned here as a student,” said Warner.

“I have had so many opportunities because of my faculty and professors and was lucky enough to complete a Work Integrated Learning Project with the City of Oshawa and the Fire Department,” she added. “I also competed at the 2024 Skills Ontario Competition, representing the college in photography and served as a member on my Program Advisory Committee.”

Warner found success at the recent Skills Ontario Competition, earning a silver medal provincially and then a bronze medal at the Skills Canada National Competition.

Being a DC student made it possible for Warner to display her work on a larger scale and led her to real-world work opportunities in her field.

She exhibited her work at both the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) and Station Gallery. At the RMG, Warner showcased a striking portrait of Oshawa firefighter Jessica Crombie. The photo was part of a collection of photographs she called Heroes of our Community focusing on Whitby and Oshawa firefighters.

“Additionally, I had the opportunity – for the past two years – to photograph the 2023 and 2024 versions of the Field to Fork Cookbook in conjunction with the culinary students at the Whitby Campus which is an amazing addition to my portfolio.”

Warner said her favourite thing about Durham College is the caring faculty.

“I love the feeling that you matter at Durham College, your professors know your names, and you’re not just a number,” she said. “That made me feel that I matter and that bettering my education is important to my professors just as much as it is to me.”

As well, she credits DC faculty for helping her prepare for the future.

“DC has helped me prepare for my career because my professors have encouraged all of us as students to self promote ourselves throughout our semesters so that way when we graduate, we already have promotional pieces and materials to put forth and a website to showcase our talents to get potential jobs.”

Moving forward, Warner aspires to work with the police, paramedics, and firefighters to photograph their stations, personnel, and training through documentary portraiture to showcase community heroes.

Her advice to current students?

“Don’t compare yourself and your work to others, compare your latest works to your first attempt to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve improved and grown in your field.”