Kate Brooks began working as a freelance photojournalist in Russia at the age of 20 while documenting child abuse in state orphanages. The resulting photographs were published worldwide and used by the Human Rights Watch to campaign for orphans’ rights.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Brooks moved to Pakistan to photograph the impact of U.S. foreign policy in the region. In 2003, she covered the American invasion of Iraq and the beginning of the insurgency for TIME. Since then she has continued to work extensively across the greater Middle East, photographing political turmoil and impact of conflict on civilian populations.
Brooks has been the recipient of numerous international awards, and her photographs are regularly published in American and European newspapers and magazines. Her work has also been exhibited in galleries and museums in Europe, the U.A.E and U.S.
In 2010, Brooks worked as a contributing cinematographer on the film "The Boxing Girls of Kabul," which premièred at Independent Film Awards in November 2011. The documentary has since won the Inspirit Foundation Pluralism Prize at HotDocs and as well as a Canadian Screen Award.
Her first book, "In the Light of Darkness: A Photographer’s Journey After 9/11," was also released in 2011 and selected by PDN as one of the best photography books of the year. The book interweaves a selection of Brooks' images, from the beginning of the war in Afghanistan to the beginning of the Arab Spring, along with a series of personal essays chronicling her own journey as a young woman from 9/11 to 2011. Her images capture the harsh beauty and poignant pain of a region mired in conflict while her words trace a personal narrative of loss—of friends, of colleagues and of innocence.
In 2012-13 Brooks was a Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. Her study proposal asked the question “Can there be ecological preservation in an overpopulated world with diminishing resources?” She researched the poaching of elephants and rhinos for the documentary film project she is now working on in Africa.