Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meet the Photographer :: Philip Thomas

Today begins a new series on the blog:  "Meet the Wedding Vendor".  Today's feature is one of San Antonio finest photographers, Philip Thomas.  Philip's photography is just beautiful, personal and often breathtaking.  On top of all that, Philip is so great to work with.  When building your wedding entourage, synergy and teamwork are key to a successful event.  Philip would be a great addition to your team.  Thank you to Emilie Duncan for the great idea. 

Business Name: Philip Thomas Photography
Name: Philip Thomas
Phone Number: 210-833-1168
Email: info {at} philipphotography {dot} com

How did Philip Thomas Photography come to be?
I've been shooting professionally since leaving college in 1991 starting a newspaper photographer in my home town in England. After spending ten years working on cruise ships in charge of nine other photographers, it was in 2002 that I met my best friend and wife, Marcie. After many visits between England and San Antonio Texas, we decided to tie the knot in 2006 and settle here in San Antonio. That's also when I started shooting weddings.

How would you describe your style?
I capture 'decisive' moments. A phrase made famous by the master photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and this is what I try to emulate in my very pure documentary style. I shoot unobtrusively capturing the bride and grooms day from start to finish, reacting and anticipating moments. Absolutely love it!

What is your favorite aspect of the job?
Well, I have two favorite parts. Leaving the wedding feeling as part of their family and having the honor that they chose me to capture their day. Corny, but true.

How many people shoot for Philip Thomas Photography?
I have sometimes one or two assistants. Other than that, I don't outsource to anyone. I'm your photographer.

What is the starting investment for a wedding?
$2800 includes full coverage, an engagement or a bridal session and a gorgeous coffee table book hand crafted in Italy.

Anything else we should know about Philip Thomas Photography?
I've started to win awards for my photographs in international competitions with the WPJA, the Wedding Photojournalist Association. I shoot no more than 30 weddings a year. That may sound like allot to some folks, but it's certainly less than many photographers. I like to keep myself fresh by limiting how many weddings I shoot and careful of the burn out factor. I'm a real homebody. Even more so since our daughter Lily was born in May 2007. Yes, now I'm an expert diaper changer.

Childhood Ambition?
A documentary and television cameraman.

Dream Vacation?
To return to India and explore for a year. I was last there in 1995 traveling to many parts of the country but I ran out of time and had to return home.

Last time you laughed until it hurt?
I think the moment I missed my ship about 5 years ago.
Yes, and I didn't get fired for it. Even more funny or wait, is it embarrassing? Well, this is also the MOST embarrassing moment in my life. I was on the wrong ship when my ship left dock. Long story but I'll keep it short. We were in hurricane season, I met up with the other photo manager on his ship and moments later, because of the hurricane, the ships has to leave port in a hurry. So, I was stuck on the wrong ship for a few days. I got a wrap on the knuckles from my boss in Miami, bought my own flight tickets to rejoin the correct ship I was in charge of, and of-course, I was the laughing stock of approximately 1500 crew members. Add that to the ship that I was incorrectly sailing on, and that's oh, another 1500 crew members. Very funny now and also very embarrassing. Now I've told you that one, I'm going to shoot myself in the head.
So, not only do I laugh until it hurts telling that story, I'm sure many other folks enjoy that one too!
Philip - I laughed out loud at this one too - jennifer

Favorite part of the wedding day?
Actually, my favorite part is many parts. Every wedding has a certain structure to it, but for me, my favorite moments are the small nuances that happen between all these more structured parts. Emotion, light, shadow, lines and tones all play a part here.

Greatest length to get the perfect shot?
Often, it's just a fleeting moment, a look, the light and lots of patience. I've learned to not pursue moments, but let the moment pass if it's just not going to happen. Trusting oneself, relying on self-confidence, reacting and anticipating is the way that works best for me.

Favorite animal at the zoo?
We go to the zoo weekly. My daughters favorite is the lion. Naturally, this is my favorite too, especially when we're both mimicking the lion together.....grrrrrr.

Can't live without?
Oh dear, here's my nerd element coming out...My plasma TV. Actually, my wife and daughter.

Hidden talent?
I can draw and paint. I also love to cook.

Favorite quote?
Bill Cosby's "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

Best compliment ever received?
At the end of a wedding and the couple mention that they hardly ever saw me and then letting them know I shot around a 1000 images. I've done what I set out to do in an unobtrusive fashion.

If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
Probably another nerdy thing, a Apple computer tech of some sort.

Describe your perfect day?
Well, is this past or present tense? Past tense would be the day our daughter Lily was born. The perfect future day would be no telephones, no internet, no technology at all in fact, living with my wife in a shack somewhere in a small village along the Mediterranean coast. Drinking margaritas and reading a good book.

 Philip:  Thank you for sharing.  I love the story about Lily!!

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