I never thought I would be a professional photographer, except maybe when I was nine years old and started taking pictures with my first camera, a Kodak Brownie. Instead, I have worked as a radio disc jockey, a television reporter, and a documentary filmmaker. I also compose music for documentaries. Since 2012 I have been on the faculty of the Mass Communications Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
For years I took photographs at my son and daughter's cross country and track meets. Then in 2010, one of their teammates asked if I would take her senior pictures. So I did. In 2011, a friend asked if I would shoot her wedding. A frightening prospect, but I did it, even though I had never taken wedding pictures before.
Since then I have shot thousands of portraits, family pictures and weddings. My objective in every photograph is to create something beautiful and unusual. I am not a big fan of pretty pictures, but I love photos that make you look twice, ask questions, or see things in a different way.
I believe in pursuing odd angles, shallow depth of field and unexpected moments.
How is that for a philosophy?
-- Tom Atwood