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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
By Thomas Kuhl
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Hello Everyone and welcome to my first blog post.  I was thinking about the content and direction of this blog and thought:  "Let's make this a fun blog where people get a little more insight about me and what I do.".  So let's get started!


I am not going to post any photos here today, I am just going to write.  I am not going to worry about proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and whatnot...but I think you will still get my message. I am going to allow comments so feel free to comment, ask questions, etc.


I am feeling a bit frustrated at this moment because I spent about an hour typing away and didn't hit save!  Now I am starting again.  So for those of you who don't know me well, I will give you some background info on how I got into photography...stay with me--I promise to entertain!


Alright...it started in 1984.  Took a drawing class and hated how long it took to make an image.  My drawing of the Fresno State Library took 4 hours and still didn't look right.  (Napoleon Dynamite could do better).  I did learn about perspective and composition though.  In 1985, I was given a "point and shoot" film camera by my father just prior to a semeter abroad in England.  I caught the bug there and came home where others encouraged me to continue.  


Still with me?  I then took a "photojournalism 101" at Fresno State from a wonderful man named Greg Lewis who was tall, lanky and had big feet.  Anyway, he got me excited about the darkroom, looking at light and shadows and how the camera worked.


After graduation, I landed a job in the bay area from a Department Store photo company.  The woman that hired and trained me is still my friend today.  Thank you Marquita (who still photographs today and works at Apple store at Arden and who you should buy a Mac from).  That was a fun job--I learned about working with all sorts of people and personalities and how to pose them.  But the camera and the lights never moved so after about two years there it was time to move on.  


Next I got a job working for a Master Photographer.  I worked in the back room prepping orders for the lab and assembling wedding albums (I was too hideous to be seen by customers).  Got some great experience here and learned how to shoot weddings and portraits on location.  Right around this time I was also going to school in San Francisco at the Academy of Arts College and taking photo classes there.  


Over the next few years, I had various jobs working in picture framing and photo labs and I started shooting my own jobs and getting paid (a little) for it.  In 1993, I started my own photography business "Thomas Photography" and worked from home while also working at Garrett Photography in Roseville.  Monty Garrett was my mentor when it comes to working with kids and he taught me a lot. I photograph some small preschools now and do a fine job with them thanks to what Monty taught me.  "What did he teach you?" you ask?  He taught me to talk to the kids, say some silly things so they forgot a camera was pointing at them.  My favorite game to play with the kids is to tell them there are animals in my camera and if they hear animal sounds it is coming from inside the camera. This works well on 3-5 year olds.  I don't recommend trying it on adults.


In 1995 I took my photo business full time photographing weddings, preschools and families.  I started doing senior portraits a few years later.  Today, my business hasn't changed much.  Oh yes I use digital cameras now and I have a website, Facebook and look, a blog!  The business climate has changed a lot though and many photographers quit, retired or got left behind when the internet and digital cameras came around.


I remember in 2000 when I was photographing a wedding and everyone was huddled around someone's laptop.  That someone (a guest) had taken digital photos with a new point and shoot camera and everyone was able to see them on his laptop just a few minutes later.  I looked at my big film camera and realized then and there that it's days were numbered.  Two years later, I was completely digital.  


Today, I work from home in Elk Grove.  My small space here is used for production, headshots, projection for sales and a place for me gather my thoughts to write this blog.  Did I mention you can post comments here?  Please do so I know that someone other than my family and friends reads this.  Thanks for reading this far and put me amongst your "favorites" so you can return from time to time to see what I am up to.



Leave a comment:
Tim Murphy - Tom,

Was a pleasure to be on that trip to England with you in 1986, and to have you come back to England in 1990 to photograph our wedding on location. We still have the wedding photo book, and have enjoyed sharing with family and friends all these years. Our 25th wedding anniversary is coming up, we should do a family photo. Have always enjoyed your passion for photography.
Nathan - Great post. Yes, I read it all. Congrats on starting your blog (mine needs attention). Now just keep it up!