Tom entered the family commercial photography business in 1991 and quickly found his love of graphic arts. The family photography business focused mainly on fine art reproduction but still had many commercial clients requiring product, aerial, and other photography services. It was a perfect opportunity to learn many aspects of photography and a perfect time to begin the transition to digital photography.
In 1995 Tom bought the family business and invested in a Dicomed Scanning Back, an Apple computer work station with a Barco monitor, and an Iris printer. With guidance from prepress and printing companies that were his clients Tom began the process to provide all his clients with the highest quality, press-ready digital photographic files and proofs available from any "photographer" at the time. Tom realized from the start of the digital photographic era that a photographer would need to take on many more responsibilities than they did in traditional, film based, work-flows. Gone were the days when the photographer would give his client a transparency or print and be done with the project. Now the photographer would need to learn the intricacies of commercial printing, prepress, and the new world of Desktop Publishing so that he could insure the work he did would reproduce well and fit within the new digital work-flow.
With an avid fascination for computers and technology Tom immersed himself in the study of the technologies, hardware, software, and applications of this new digital era. Tom often says that he "was raised at the perfect time. At a time when photography and graphic arts were manual processes and you had to plan and think through each process because they could take hours to complete. This ability to dissect, plan, and create new ways of doing something are the building blocks on which the "new" digital methods are based. The only thing that changes are the tools being used." From camera technologies to desktop publishing to printing, Tom has enjoyed learning how to perfect his craft and find new ways of creating and outputting images.
In 2001 Tom moved to Western North Carolina to enjoy the mountains and the change of seasons. The move created some challenges but Tom found a new passion in the coming months, teaching! Tom says he never anticipated going back to the classroom, especially as a teacher, but it has been a very rewarding opportunity.
Tom began teaching a beginner's Photoshop class in the fall of 2002 and has not looked back. Tom now has many different courses he teaches including several in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Color Management, Photography, and even a video editing course using Avid Xpress Pro. His most popular course must be his Photoshop for Photographers course where students study and discuss ways of creating perfect images that will print as well as they look. Using a process called "color correction by the numbers" Tom shows his students how to control dynamic range and contrast, remove color casts, and bring back lost highlight and shadow details. Additional topics include grayscale conversions, digital photography work-flows, and masking techniques.
Most recently Tom worked full time as the Creative Services Manager for Brevard College in Brevard NC. Tom's duties included Web site design and development, as well as design for print and other medias. Tom also found a creative outlet for his photography by shooting events and other projects for the college. Tom recently retired from the graphics arts field but maintains his teaching career and a consulting business helping individuals and businesses improve their efforts in the graphic arts field. Tom offers his clients basic to advanced training in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator applications as well as color management assistance and training.
While not working Tom enjoys spending time with his wife, Carol. "I have a couple acres in Mills River that keep me busy" says Tom. Adjoining his property is the nearby Pisgah National Forest. Hiking, biking, and playing on the Blue Ridge Parkway is where Tom would like to spend a bit more time. "Carol and I have found the most wonderful area in the entire country and look forward to living here the rest of our lives."