Making Pictures. Telling Stories.

Welcome,

For as long as I can remember, I have loved a good story. For me, stories have always come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are written, sometimes they are photographs, or they could just be imagined. Whatever their form the story has captivated me. 

I began my career telling the stories of politicians and issue advocates. This often meant traveling the country working on campaigns for larger than life brands like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. John McCain. In that world, I served as a spokesperson, helped to build a narrative or simply made the trains run on time. Regardless of my role, my focus was always on telling their story. 

The story of Cole's Law is one of my proudest professional moments. I was working in the California state legislature at the time, and on its surface, it was a simple bill that would allow children who had been abused to testify over closed circuit TV. 

The bill, however, faced steep opposition and was defeated when first introduced. But through the power of an authentic story founded on the idea of using images to show people how the policy would be implemented in real life, the bill became law. 

It was not too long after that my passion for photography and images became more focused through the lens of personal tragedy. In 2010, I was diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While I was, lucky in that the type of cancer I had was treatable, I wanted to save every memory I could, so I picked up my camera, and I never set it down. 

Since then, I have learned all that I could about the craft of making a photograph. I have taught myself how to use natural light; then off camera flashes; to how to pose subjects; to post processing. I continue to learn and grow in my craft both technically and artistically. This continued learning is one of the many joys of a creative life.

I strive to make my pictures tell a story. To do this, I take the lessons I have learned from politics and communications and apply them to my photography. 

This is why I work with all my clients in advance to find out what their goals are, and what message they are trying to convey with their images.  

Sometimes this is simple and straightforward, "can I just have a picture where my kids look 'normal' and are not crying?" as a dad of two energetic boys I can appreciate this. 

Other times it is more complicated, and the client could be launching their business, or is looking to sell a policy initiative/ idea. This is where I take all of my skills as communicator and photographer and help them to create that authentic visual narrative, and take it from conception, to production, to implementation. 

I work with each client to understand their existing brand and/or help them develop their visual brand from scratch.
From there, we collaborate on what images will be needed, to support and tell their story, such as headshots, environmental portraits, establishing images, detail pictures, etc. My goal is to give them a collection of images that can be used in all types of promotional materials both web and print based.

I look forward to hearing your story and telling it together. 

Tom
 

Twitter / Facebook /TKise@TomKisePhotography.com/ (916) 425-1314