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Meet Tom Clark of Tom Clark Photo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Clark.

Tom, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My original plan was to work in culinary arts. I spent four years as a cook in the USMC figuring I’d do a little service and get an education out of it. Of course, things took a turn and I found myself in Iraq heating and serving tray rations from the back of a Humvee. I brought a camera over there and was dubbed the unofficial photographer for my unit. This gave a more unique sense of purpose than slopping gruel on people’s trays. From that experience, I decided to switch my focus in life from culinary arts to photographic arts.

Fast forward to civilian life… After schooling, some traveling, and some brainstorming I decided to settle in Miami. I knew there was a market here and was convinced it would be less saturated than New York or L.A. Assisting work kept me afloat in the beginning and taught me that I would make a much better photographer than an assistant.

However, figuring out how to reach clients was probably the most stressful experience. It required endless hours of research, web/portfolio development, nail biting, and room pacing (with the omnipresent fear of impending, crushing student loan debt.) Today I’m super excited to be where I am. The industry is growing in Miami and I see a lot of potential in the future of this city.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wish I had focused more on computer sciences in my youth. It’s embarrassing to admit, I didn’t own a personal computer until 2008… well into my 20’s. I just lack a certain familiarity. I essentially ignored computers until I realized they were as integral to my profession as the camera itself. I spent a ton of time (and still do) learning to code and manage my marketing strategies. Some of my ideas actually take days to execute, when a more knowledgeable person could accomplish the same task in minutes.

Tom Clark Photo – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I have narrowed my specialty down to 3 areas of commercial photography; portraiture, still life, and architecture/interiors.

Today’s media and social environment requires more from commercial photographers and I’m proud to be in a position to deliver on those demands. Things are moving quicker and the more you can provide, the happier your clients will be. Having the skillset and experience to photograph people, places and things definitely has given me an edge.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, success is synonymous with independence. The fact I’ve remained self-employed after so many years is honestly enough. Anything above that is just icing on the cake. As far as the work goes, I measure success based on client satisfaction. I like creating images that are truly useful. What defines usefulness differs with each situation. knowing how a client will use a set of images is just as important as having a technical and creative handle on the photography.

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