Tom Gifford, Photographer
When Tom Gifford was 13 years old, he broke his lower back in an accident—after which he was in a brace for months and faced chronic pain for years.
“You’re stuck inside and can’t go hiking, and it’s like, what can I do?” Gifford said. “So I started learning everything about lighting and photography. I read the whole manual for my camera from cover to cover many times. Since then, I’ve been a photographer and videographer; it’s one of those things I can’t imagine myself not doing.”
Tom got serious about his photography in 2010 and mostly focused on landscape. He loved the challenges that photography brought, lighting, night-time shooting, the imperfections that would happen when taking the image from camera to print. He is mostly self-taught and found out how much time you can emerge yourself into learning about even just one topic when it comes to photography and Youtube was a good source for him. He also spent time learning video, and at one point spent more time with video capture than he did with photography, two video cameras, side-by-side.
Photography has always been my passion. I have been a videographer and photographer for 12 years. Anything visually captivating interest me. Nature has never failed to impress me. It seems every road trip, hike and bike ride brings a new sight that amazes me. After all nature seems to have the best art. – Tom Gifford, Muskegon Chronicle
He now has been able to establish a living doing what he loves (in addition to selling his photography, he travels around the country for his videography work and routinely makes 3-D videos that receive millions of views). He also secured 5th place for his piece, “Michigan Effect” in 2018 and is going to be returning to ArtPrize for 2021.