Over the summer I returned to Youngstown NY (where I lived when I was a teenager who had just moved to the United States from Canada) to photograph the reenactors and historical interpreters of Old Fort Niagara. The fort, first built in the 1600’s, played roles in a number of conflicts such as the Seven Years War The American Revolution, and the War of 1812. Every summer there would be an influx of reenactors who would descend on Youngstown for various encampments and events at the Fort, spilling out from the usually contained historical bubble of the Fort itself into the streets of the town. People in period dress would cram restaurants, and traffic would slow as drives watched the fife and drum corps march by — giving a feeling both anachronistic and otherworldly that stuck with me long after I moved away.
I’ve loved traveling to New Mexico the past few summers to photograph the musicians, artists, and characters of Santa Fe and Albuquerque — its a world apart from the cold and snow people so often associate with Buffalo. The landscape itself is living art.
Garry Blackchild is a folk musician I met first in Albuquerque, and upon meeting him I immediately felt that I was in the presence of a real-deal wandering performer and road tested musician. I photographed Garry at the Albuquerque Rail Yards on a long, hot, and dirty shoot day that thankfully ended with one of the craziest desert storms I’ve ever seen to wash away the grime and sweat. I was also lucky enough to hear Garry perform a few impromptu songs as he wandered the interior of the rail yards with his guitar during the shoot. Check out some of Garry’s music here (this live video also features Freddy Lopez, another new Mexico performer I’ve had the pleasure of photographing on a past trip to Santa Fe)
Infamous in both photography circles and bars across the country, Aaron Ingrao is on a whiskey-soaked multi-year journey across the country to document the lives and passions of Americas hardest working bartenders (and to squeeze in some quality mountain biking along the way). I shot this for a liquor.com story about Aaron’s trip in his vintage trailer along with his dog Luke (which he claims was named after me) to tell the story of the America’s craft cocktail revival and the bartenders behind it as part of his project Keepers of The Craft. Aaron was briefly home in Buffalo for a visit that coincided with the story, so we were able to meet up at Ballyhoo — one of our favorite local bars, to shoot these these portraits.
I don’t remember a lot of what happened after the shoot, but I think it had something to do with a bottle of Four Roses.
Did you know that my team and I have a public Spotify playlist where we post some of the best tracks we’ve been listening to in the studio and on road trips? Usually curated by me, but sometimes by Cassandra Lyons, Brandon Watson, or the occasional special guest! We’re a music driven group and big on the sense of atmosphere it can create for shoots and office hours in the studio. Usually updated weekly but there can be the occasional delay on extremely busy weeks/months.
Right after my return from an incredible trip New Mexico this summer I hopped right in the truck with my crew to head to Boston MA to shoot this assignment for M&T Bank as part of a series of client success stories. I love working with the creative team from Crowley Webb, the agency behind this project. The subject is David DiAntonio — the CEO of McCue Corporation, a company that makes industrial barriers and safety barricades. Always great to see my work in use!
I was immensely proud when former Buffalo Sabres Captain and Western New York Native Brian Gionta was named as the captain of the 2018 US Olympic Hockey Team. A veteran of teams like the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Sabres, and Bruins, Brian actually turned down additional NHL offers as his tenure with the Sabres came to an end in order to play alongside Team USA in South Korea – a long time dream of his. I was even more excited to get to create some portraits of him after he was announced as team captain for a brief back page interview piece with him for Sports Illustrated.
Tom’s second solo episode while I was back home in Buffalo with Alistair Huxley Copping — the newest addition to my family!
In this episode Tom chats with Lynn Goldsmith about her images of figures in entertainment, sports stars, film, literature, and “the ordinary man on the street”. Her images appear in numerous collections: The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Museum Folkwang, The Polaroid Collection, The Kodak Collection, etc. Her work over the past 50 years in the editorial world has appeared on and between the covers of Life, Newsweek, Time, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, People, Elle, Interview, The New Yorker, etc.
Middlebury Magazine sent me to Cleveland OH for a cover story on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ GM Koby Altman back in March. We got to spend the better part of a day with Koby shooting portraits and documenting what a game day is like for him leading up to tip-off as he and the Cavs geared up to Face the Milwaukee Bucks that night.
You can read the full story over at Middlebury Magazine.
A quick look at my newest portfolio.
It took a while, but I finally got my friend David Butler back in front of my camera after all these years.
Dave is a production designer, art director, and set dresser for feature productions like Marshall, The First Purge, TMNT 2, The True Adventures of Wolf Boy, Emelie, Sharknado 2, and After the Sun Fell – And that doesn’t even begin to touch on his decades of work in theatre and television.
We first met back when I was the studio manager at the wonderfully infamous production space in Buffalo, NY that David would do prop and set work for, and I consider myself unbelievably lucky to still be collaborating with him for the past ten years or so. He has built almost every set piece in my studio and he has been a true guide in helping me to turn my ideas into the finished images I share with you.
Tom flies solo in this episode as I was back home in Buffalo with my family in the final days before my wife’s due date!
Ron Haviv is an Emmy nominated, award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the VII Photo Agency, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. Tom and Ron discussing what Haviv has learned while covering more than twenty-five conflicts in over one hundred countries. Ron has produced an unflinching record of the injustices of war and his photography has had singular impact. His work in the Balkans, which spanned over a decade of conflict, was used as evidence to indict and convict war criminals at the international tribunal in The Hague. President George H.W. Bush cited Haviv’s chilling photographs documenting paramilitary violence in Panama as one of the reasons for the 1989 American intervention.Haviv’s work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries, including the Louvre, the United Nations, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Haviv’s photographs are in the collections at The Houston Museum of Fine Arts and George Eastman House amongst others as well as numerous private collections.
Big thanks to Adorama and The Photo Bridgade for their continued support!
A group shot with the team at Angelica Tea Room.
One of my favorite places to drink in Buffalo — with unforgettable beverages and an amazing crew behind the bar! Occupying the same space as the former Club Diablo (a goth/metal bar and a dearly departed former haunt of mine) The Angelica Tea Room is a much brighter and more refined space than the former occupant — instead of beer, shots, and thrash the focus has shifted to a mellower mood and features a collection of classic cocktails inspired by the exodus of master bartenders to foreign lands during America’s prohibition and the exotic new tastes they discovered and incorporated into the American cocktail tradition upon their return. ⠀
Clay Patrick McBride told me on the day the we recorded this episode that Anne Geddes has sold more books than Beyoncé has sold albums — and I’m inclined to believe it because Anne Geddes is as close as you can get to a household name in modern photography. Tom and I were thrilled to get to speak with Anne about her best known work photographing babies, children, and pregnant women — but perhaps more so we were excited to speak to her about her decades of philanthropic work and her experiences navigating an ever changing publishing industry that has had a radical effect on the photographic world.
Shot on the shores of Lake Erie for the latest issue of Valuation Magazine (the in-house publication of the Appraisal Institute —a trade association for real estate appraisers.) James is the Director of Appraisal Standards for global real estate services giant Colliers International, and was recently elected president of the board of directors of the Appraisal Institute.
Tom Kennedy and I talk with Clay Patrick McBride live at Adorama in New York about both his career creating portraits of the biggest names in music and sports, as well as his new role in teaching the next generation of up and coming photographers at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Clay’s classes and hang out with him a few times. Aside from being an incredible photographer I find him to be one of the most compelling and realist educators I’ve ever met.
Clay’s portraits of top athletes and musicians such as LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Metallica, Norah Jones, Jay Z, and Kanye West have appeared in countless magazines, among them Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and NY Magazine. His commercial work includes dozens of album covers for Sony, Blue Note and Atlantic Records, as well as print campaigns for Pontiac, Boost Mobile and Nike
A multi-talented artist and musician, Edreys Wajed is best known outside of Buffalo under his stage name of Billy Drease Williams. This successful emcee and producer has been a member of both Raw Intel and The Elements, and founded the non-profit cultural preservation and educational organization The Art of Hip-Hop. A hiatus from recording has recently allowed this avid painter to focus on the visual aspects of his art — recently completing a series of large-scale portraits of American civil rights leaders William Wells Brown, Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frank Merriweather, Dr. Lydia T. Wright, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Harriet Tubman as part of The Freedom Wall, a project commissioned by one of the oldest public art institutions in America — the Albright-Knox Gallery.
When I first discussed the idea of photographing the multi-talented Lindsay DeDario the original intention was for it to be part of my ongoing white + white series of portraits… that quickly changed when I found out that this accordion was on the table as a potential prop.
If I was ever going to learn to play another instrument it would be the accordion —I think it’s a terribly underrated instrument and I’ve always had secret aspirations to play fancy French waltzes for my wife like a character from a film set in a seedy 20’s cabaret. Naturally, when Lindsay mentioned that she had gotten her hands on this incredible white and gold specimen (she plays) I immediately fell in love with the idea of photographing her with it (because accordion… right?)
Thanks to Lindsay’s influence I might have to follow though on this hidden obsession and start playing to occupy my time between shoots.
My team and I spent an amazing day working with these dedicated and competitive youth hockey players to create this series of portraits for a segment of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York’s Live Fearless campaign. If you’re a Sabres fan you see the whole campaign in action this season at the Key Bank Center.
Episode two of my new live streaming show with ASMP Executive Director and former Director of Photography for National Geographic Tom Kennedy features NYC based photographer Alyssa Meadows.
We talk about the Young Photographers Alliance, her own experiences being a young photographer in New York, and her work documenting environmental and societal issues — taking an especially in depth look at “Every Woman I Know” a personal project of hers that depicts the women in her life who has been victims of sexual violence.