What made you decide to open up a photography studio here in Homewood?
Angela (Colin's wife and business partner) and I have been working as commercial photographers for the past four years and in that amount of time we have seen our industry change in several different ways. As the economy continues to recover, we are now in a unique position to expand. When we decided that we were in fact going to open a studio, there was no question of which town that would be (in): Homewood. We have a history here. Angela grew up in California but I was born and raised here. I am fifth-generation and there is a sense of pride that goes along with that. The first time I brought Angela to Homewood, she thought she was driving through Mayberry. For its size, Homewood does have a great small town feel with so much to offer its residents. I hope that what we have to offer the town can enhance its charm and let others feel as proud of Homewood as we do.
Has photography always been a passion of yours?
Angela always had a passion for photography, and in some way, shape or form knew that this was the field I was supposed to be in. I wanted to be a landscaper and was one for the longest time before coming home to photography. I never even owned a camera until I was in my 20s. Angela started much earlier than I did by taking darkroom classes in high school and continuing with photography into her college career. My education was a little less formal at the start. I have always been in the arts in one form or the other, so composition and subject matter was easy for me. Add to that my love for nature and hiking and you have the opportunity to make great images. It was several years before I sought out a formal education in photography. Harrington College of Design in Chicago was the place I went to get that formal education. It was also the school of choice for Angela. She and I both attended this school over others, such as Columbia, because Harrington stressed the commercial aspect of photography as well as how to make a good image. Obviously, it was also here that I met Angela.
Tell us about what we can expect from your studio/gallery?
Our store will offer a variety of photo related services. The front half of the space will be dedicated to a gallery/store where people can come in, admire artwork and make purchases. The back half of our location will be dedicated to portraits where we can photograph people, pets, cherished items and anything else you can think of that fits through the door. We also offer location photography services and photo retouching and manipulation. In the near future, we plan on having gallery nights, classes, music and events throughout the months. This will be a place to learn as much as (it is) a place to get a portrait taken.
What makes your portraits stand out from other portrait studios?
Our portraits stand out because we are free to change everything. Sure we can use the same light setup for just about everyone who walks through the door, but we can also add a more unique perspective to each image simply by lighting them differently. Whether we are coming to them or they are coming to us, we make sure to listen to clients and give them exactly what they want and need. We also take pride in printing portraits and artwork in house on museum quality papers which, with proper care, will last hundreds of years.
What are your favorite local spots to eat and or shop?
Homewood and Flossmoor both have great shopping and we always try to spend locally whenever possible. Cilantro and Asian Harbor always seem to be getting our money and Eat Rice has some great steamed dishes that I always order. Climb On: we hope to get there more as we settle into our new schedules. I can't wait for Little Tokyo's new location to open up. The Flossmoor Station has great root beer. If ever I am a happy man, it is when I have a good root beer!
Tell us about your studio opening and specials...
From May 1 thorough May 7 we have a different special each day. We are offering everything from art sales to $10 portraits. There is also a day that people can come in and pick our brains on anything photography related. Want to know how I got that shot of such and such? I'll tell you! For more information on Thomas' Photographic Services, check out their website.