I would describe my self primarily as a portrait and event photographer. I focus collaborating with my clients to identify what story they are looking to tell and how best to do it. I look forward to hearing your story and telling it with you. - Tom
What to Expect
One of the best parts of being a photographer is working with clients and delivering the images they need and the ones they never expected - this all starts with good communication.
No matter the size and scope of the project I talk with every client before a shoot. In that initial conversation, we answer three basic questions:
1) What are your goals for your images?
2) What is the story you're trying to tell with your images?
3) How do you plan on using your images?
Sometimes it is as simple as, "Can we get a picture of all of us where the kids look happy-ish and are not crying?" Other times it's a bit more complicated, and we are selling a complex personal or business brand either in one image or over multiple images.
Whatever the case we will make it happen but it starts with clear communications and expectations.
I love email and text messages as much as the next guy but call me a traditionalist; I still like to use my phone for talking with people. I have found that face to face meetings and talking on the phone are the best way to get a sense for a project.
So please contact me, and let's get the conversation started about how we can make the pictures that tell your story.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved a good story. For me, stories have always come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are written, sometimes they are photographs, or they could just be imagined. Whatever their form the story has captivated me.
I began my career telling the stories of politicians and issue advocates. This often meant traveling the country working on campaigns for larger than life brands like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. John McCain. In that world, I served as a spokesperson, helped to build a narrative or simply made the trains run on time. Regardless of my role, my focus was always on telling their story.
The story of Cole's Law is one of my proudest professional moments. I was working in the California state legislature at the time, and on its surface, it was a simple bill that would allow children who had been abused to testify over closed circuit TV.
The bill, however, faced steep opposition and was defeated when first introduced. But through the power of an authentic story founded on the idea of using images to show people how the policy would be implemented in real life, the bill became law.
It was not too long after that my passion for photography and images became more focused through the lens of personal tragedy. In 2010, I was diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While I was, lucky in that the type of cancer I had was treatable, I wanted to save every memory I could, so I picked up my camera, and I never set it down.
Since then, I have learned all that I could about the craft of making a photograph. I have taught myself how to use natural light; then off camera flashes; to how to pose subjects; to post processing. I continue to learn and grow in my craft both technically and artistically. This continued learning is one of the many joys of a creative life.
I strive to make my pictures tell a story. To do this, I take the lessons I have learned from politics and communications and apply them to my photography.
This is why I work with all my clients in advance to find out what their goals are, and what message they are trying to convey with their images.
Sometimes this is simple and straightforward, "can I just have a picture where my kids look 'normal' and are not crying?" as a dad of two energetic boys I can appreciate this.
Other times it is more complicated, and the client could be launching their business, or is looking to sell a policy initiative/ idea. This is where I take all of my skills as communicator and photographer and help them to create that authentic visual narrative, and take it from conception, to production, to implementation.
I work with each client to understand their existing brand and/or help them develop their visual brand from scratch.
From there, we collaborate on what images will be needed, to support and tell their story, such as headshots, environmental portraits, establishing images, detail pictures, etc. My goal is to give them a collection of images that can be used in all types of promotional materials both web and print-based.
I look forward to hearing your story and telling it together.
Additional Booking Notes
The best camera I have is the one I have with me.
But if you are wondering what gear I will bring to your shoot, the answer is whatever it will take to get the job done.
I have on hand a selection of professional Nikon cameras, lenses, and flashes. In addition to studio strobes, lighting modifiers, and speed-lights. Moreover, if I don't have whats needed on hand I work with a number of production houses both locally and nationally to rent gear as needed.
Influences & Inspiration