Robert Hugo Brooks


Robert Hugo Brooks was raised in a family of photographers in metropolitan, Washington DC. His full name is Robert Hugo Brooks.  Robert after his father and Hugo after his mother's favorite author, Victor Hugo.  Brooks Photographers Inc was founded in 1898 by his father, Joseph R. Brooks in Abbeville, South Carolina.  During the great depression Hugo along with his brother Duncan began working with and training under their father in his Washington DC studio on F Street  NW. Their three sisters (Beverly, Betty, Mary) also worked for many years in the business as well.  In addition to his experience and apprenticeship with his father, Hugo worked for the National Press Photo Bureau, The Hecht Co. Advertising Dept and following WWII, Underwood & Underwood and Ira Hill both photographers on 5th Ave in New York City. 

Hugo married Emily G. Bogley in 1937, daughter of S. Walter Bogley (Past President, Bank of Bethesda) and Virginia Marie Houghton Bogley.  In 2008 Hugo and Emily celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.  They lived for many years in Bethesda (Hamden Ln, West Virginia Ave), Friendship Heights(Wooten Ave) , Rockville (Lorre Dr), and their cottage on the Chesapeake Bay and after retirement Wintered in Florida.  They had two daughters, four grand children, and seven great grandchildren.


Hugo attended Western High School., and Winona School of Professional Photography.  During his career he  earned many awards and National Print Merits for his Commercial, Architectural and Portrait photography.

The Professional Photographers Associaton of America awarded Hugo the Degree of Master of Photography in 1967, and the Degree of Photographic Craftsman in 1973.  He served on the PPofA Board for 7 years, Chairman Commercial Divison, Program Chair, as well as an International Judge and Jury Chairman of Judges for twelve years.  He also served as Chairman of the Publications, Qualifications, and Education Committees of the PPofA.  He was also President of the PPA Society of Greater Washington DC,  PPA commercial councilman of MD,  Representative Commercial Photographers of MD,  Board(Trustee) Winona School of Professional Photography. 


Hugo was active in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase business community serving as Past President of Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, Past President Montgomery County Commerce Association,  Past Board Member Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club, and member Lions Club.  Hugo also held the coveted AUXOP rating in the US Coast Guard Auxillary and was the Membership Training Officer of the 5th Coast Guard District.


Hugo served in WWII as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Transport Command.  He flew over 400,000 miles as a Navigator of four engine aircraft.  Besides flying the Hump, he navigated across the Atlantic over 100 times and saw service in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, Africa, India, Burma, Chile, and South America.


After the War, in 1946,  Hugo rejoined his father and his brother Duncan and opened up a second photographic studio in Bethesda, MD.  His nephew Barry Brooks also joined the business.  Hugo remained active in the business into his mid 80s  following the death of both of his partners in business... his nephew Barry and brother Duncan.   Brooks Photographers then merged with Brooks Glogau Studios in Bethesda.

Upon retiring, Hugo continued his passion for photography further expanding his skills from black and white and color to digital photography.  Even after his retirement, Hugo was actively sought after for prints of his vintage images of  the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area.  

Hugo Brooks passed away on October 15, 2008 at the age of 95 1/2, six months after his beloved wife Emily passed away.   His daughters continue to carry on the legacy of photographic memories he left by making these wonderful vintages  images available  through this website.

This website is dedicated to the  many memories and love that he gave to his daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews as well as the many lives he touched and enriched throughout his entire life.  Hugo  summed up his  life long positive attitude and philosophy of life was based on the simple practice that every morning when he awoke his goal for the day was "To have more fun than anybody else."   

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