Although Brassai was a leading member of the French "school" of photography, he was born Gyula Halasz in Brasso, Hungary. (He takes his pseudonym from his birthplace.) Originally Brassai had an aversion to photography. As a young man, he studied painting and sculpture in the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. Later he became a journalist, coming to Paris in 1918. There he fell in love with the city and with the camera.