Thomas Sawyer

Thomas found his love of photographing people in 2008 while on a two week trip to El Salvador. He was volunteering at an orphanage and he started taking pictures of the kids staying there. Every time he’d show them a photo, their faces would light up. It was in that moment he learned he could use photography as a way to communicate and make others happy, which became the cornerstone of his work.

The main focus of Thomas’s work is honesty and authenticity. His work is almost journalistic in a sense that he only cares about capturing the true nature of people. Each photograph is a memory of the subject at a certain moment in their story. It doesn’t matter if that moment is good or bad. It just matters that it’s true.

He started to build a name for himself as a photographer while working a 9-5 and in March 2015 he made the leap into full-time freelance. He realized that the decision would only be more difficult as time went on and that if he was ever going to do it, now was the time.

As Thomas pursued of photography, both personally and now professionally, he found his second love; video. Music was always a heavy influence on his work and being able to pair that with moving pictures was kismet. Thomas started working on “Artisans" – a fast paced, music driven video series documenting artists, craftsmen, and creators at work – which was featured in the Cleveland International Film Festival in 2017.

By summer of that year, Thomas could feel a burn out coming on. After some reflection, he realized that he hadn’t lost his passion for photography, but the way he was creating and sharing his art was leaving him unsatisfied. He had spent years using his Instagram to show off his “best” work, hiding behind a portfolio and never showing people his face. He made the conscious decision to change the way he interacted with social media.

He started documenting his journey as a freelance creator; engaging with his audience on a more personal level and taking his own behind the scenes photos. The response he received was overwhelming. Not only did the existing audience welcome the change, but his page began to grow. He started to branch out onto new mediums such as writing blog posts, producing a weekly podcast, and creating videos on YouTube.

Thomas continues to pour his heart into everything he does. He uses his work as a means to encourage and inspire the only way he knows how – honestly.


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