Behind The Lens: Tom Stevens
Name: Tom Stevens
Camera/s: Canon 77D & recently upgraded to the Canon R5
Main Photography Styles: Mostly portraits and events, however I also like trying my hand at animals/wildlife and landscapes now and then.
When did you first get into photography and what was your first camera?
I first picked up an interest for it back in middle school, any trip or school event I always had at least one of those wind up disposable cameras on me, and always brought them back full. As for taking it seriously as a hobby, I was about 17 when my dad bought me a Nikon P90 bridge camera, I used to take it out & about with me and take pictures of almost everything. It wasn’t long after that I went to my first comic con, which is how I got into portraits & events, and why I bought I first DSLR: the Canon 500D.
What’s your dream camera and location to shoot?
Until recently my dream camera was the Canon 5D Mark IV, I always saw it as the top of the chain for DSLRs and had only been shooting with APS-C Cameras. However I have since treated myself the full frame mirrorless R5 and I’m still blown away by it. I guess I would like to have a go with beasts like the 1DX or the R3 at least once but for now I’m more than happy wrapping my head around the R5.
As for locations, I would love to do some location shooting in places like Cambodia with the Angkor Wat Temple. Or street photography somewhere like Japan or Hong Kong. In contrast when it comes to portraits and events I’d definitely want to check out San Diego’s Comic Con or do portrait/fashion shoots in New York.
What are you looking for when you go out to shoot?
Something unique, you know? Doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but just enough to stand out when you’re going through your photos. It’s one of the things I love about portrait photography, how everyone has completely different looks and styles. With landscapes and wildlife I try to find something that can identify the location without just telling you where it is. For example the Giant Pandas in Edinburgh Zoo, or St. Paul’s Cathedral in a London cityscape.
That being said sometimes I’m not looking for anything in particular at all. Just happy to find anything different to what I’m used to seeing.
Favourite shot and why?
Oh that’s a hard one! I have a few different animal and landscape ones that I’m particularly proud of, but I think I would have to go with one of the shots from a photoshoot just before Christmas. Reason being this was the first proper outing with the R5 and I had learned a lot more about retouching and editing since my last shoot, I was really happy with how the photos came out and I think it’s like a landmark for where my work has really improved.
Photography career goals?
To be honest I’ve always treated photography as ‘just’ a hobby, albeit my main (and most expensive) one. Though after getting work published in a couple magazines I think I’d like to see my work appear in more places, maybe cover more events or something where I can come away with that one big “I took photos at…” or “I took photos of this person” story.
Best piece of advice for new photographers?
Have fun with it! Every shoot/trip is a learning opportunity. Google and YouTube are your friends. And it’s perfectly fine to go through stages where you have no inspiration or motivation, not every admits it but it happens to EVERYONE.
All the best,