A Conversation with Tom Woodward
I have been a professional photographer for many years. Shooting landscapes, doing commercial studio work … Every skill polished and honed to a sharp edge. I found that I enjoyed my work, was interested in it. But I was never consumed by it. I know now that what was missing was passion.One day, something changed. I began to see differently, into a place beyond the obvious. And then everything changed.
ON THE CREATIVE
When I began to see the abstractions, the patterns and reflections in the world around me, it was like slipping into a parallel universe. In this place, life morphed into art and anything was possible. Everything was beautiful. Suddenly, nothing mattered as much to me as the image. I couldn’t stop shooting and had to have my camera with me always.
Now, I see whole universes in the smallest slice of detail. Many of my pictures point to this. Often the viewer participates, building his own story about what he is seeing. It’s very fulfilling to me when my work invites exploration and sparks the imagination.
I graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. Then continued my training by becoming an assistant to many creative photographers, including Aaron Jones and Michelle Clement. All of these experiences happened a long time ago but I mention them because they gave me the confidence to work independently and pursue commercial projects.
Even today I find that the time I spent developing my craft actually sets me free as an artist. Taking technically precise photos is second-nature to me – not something I have to think about. This becomes the foundation, the bedrock for all the surprising things that happen next.