As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com.
Today’s featured photographer is: Tom Hussey
How long have you been shooting?
Professionally 20 years. Add in the time when my father first handed me a camera and that makes it seem like 100 years ago.
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I am photography school taught. I went to SMU for my undergrad and RIT for my Masters. But with the way technology changes, I am self-taught every day.
With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I have always been a football fan and aside from my time in high school, I never really followed high school football. Then my stepsons started playing. Their school is small so they played 6 man football. It’s really exciting and high scoring. I was given compete access to the practices, games and locker room for a season. It was so much fun.
How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I was excited about it right away. I put it out there as soon as I could get the files edited.
How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I think I am like all creative people. I always second-guess myself. I will work on a project and think it’s going nowhere. I put it away and step away from it for a while and revisit it after I have done some other work. If I do not pull a whole promo out of the project I usually always find one or two strong images for my portfolio. I also use my blog as sort of a working laboratory for a place to get images out there. Things that may never be in my portfolio but images that have merit. Interesting enough, I have walked into creative meetings at agencies only to find they have pulled numerous images from my blog. I guess what I am trying to say is never give up. Something’s working if you are shooting everyday.
Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I am excited by the difference. If you are standing still in this business and not attempting different things, you are dead in the water so to speak.
Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Since I post new images daily to my blog those same emails are carried over onto Facebook and linked on Twitter. I use Instagram as a kind of personal sketchbook of thoughts (all random) and behind the scenes things happening on set.
If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I have had a couple of things go viral. It’s crazy. Great press is always good. I was in London shooting and when I got back to my hotel the concierge called me over to show me a campaign of my images was featured in The Daily Mail. That stuff always surprises me.
Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes. I chose to share the football project not because it was my most recent personal project but because it has been referenced by creatives and been attributed to a lot of awarded jobs over the past few years.
In the course of a diverse 20-year career in commercial advertising photography, Tom Hussey has established a successful advertising studio. Respected industry wide for his lifestyle photography and admired for his lighting techniques, Tom has worked on local, national and international campaigns. Based in Dallas, Texas, TOM HUSSEY Photography, LLC is a full production photography and motion studio.
Tom’s passion for photography began in the early 70’s when his Dad got a new “expensive” SLR camera. Tom asked to take a picture and much to his mother’s horror was handed the camera. He put the camera down briefly but was never far away from it. Tom has taught photography on the college level and worked in the Conservation Laboratory at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House.
Tom is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production with a minor in Photography. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Museum Practices and Conservation with an emphasis in Photography from The Rochester Institute of Technology.
Tom Hussey is represented by Michael Ginsburg, 212.369.3594 and in Texas he is represented by Carol Considine 214.741.4034
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information. Follow her@SuzanneSease.