Today we’d like to introduce you to Thomas Bassett.
Thomas, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was always my families camera/video man for birthday parties and that kind of smooth jazz, so ever since I was a young lad I had a camera in my hand. I got my first DSLR freshman year of college, which I originally got for filmmaking purposes, but I ended up using it for taking pictures 90% of the time. At the beginning I would mostly just take pictures of my friends being drunk ignorant sluts, but when I found out I was going to study abroad in London I youtube’d how to shoot manual. London is where my work first became some what professional, aka don’t look like complete shit. It is also where I learned how to use Lightroom and Photoshop, and how much I loved editing photos. There have been many days where I forget to eat dinner because I am so wrapped up in editing photos. The next year I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia, so I became very good at landscape and travel photos. After graduating I spent a year in Ethiopia making promotional videos and photos for Kuriftu Resort & Spa, but I did some work for other companies as well, such as the African Union and Ethiopian Airlines, as well as personal photos of my travels around that spicy yet delightfully sultry country. Now I am in LA, and am focusing on portraits, as I’ve grown tired of landscapes and travel photos. Over everything else, I just want to make art, and make people have an emotional reaction when they see my work.
Has it been a smooth road?
Up to now I have been in college, or Ethiopia where they supplied housing and food, so I haven’t really needed to rely on film and photography to pay my bills. So I feel like the challenges are going to start now that I have to find constant work, so I don’t end up sleeping on the street.
What’s your outlook for the industry over the next 5-10 years?
I actually have no clue. I am new to the industry and still am figuring it out myself
Has there been a particular challenge that you’ve faced over the years?
The biggest challenge I’ve been facing is figuring out who I am and what I want to do with my life. I am in a weird transition time of my life where I am figuring out taxes, interest rates, and how to adult in general. I am still figuring out what I want to do exactly, and what route I want to take in my career. My whole life I thought I was going to be a filmmaker first, but now that I am in the industry, and actually doing it, I think I might want to focus more on photography. So the uncertainty revolving around my life and my future, both personally and professionally, has been my biggest challenge.
Let’s change gears – is there any advice you’d like to give?
Find the thing that gives you that feeling of complete satisfaction in your nuts, and follow it. I only edit photos that give me that feeling because I know those photos are an accurate depiction of me. That’s what good photography is, putting you and your emotions in an image, and having the viewer experience those emotions with you. Trust your gut and do whatever feels right, don’t overthink things. Deep down you know what is right for you, so just chase that, and you will make pieces that are distinctly yours, and they will be fucking sexy for that reason alone.
- Photoshoot: $750 a day
- Headshots: 5 looks for $550
- Events: $750 a day