Tom Clark

  

  • I  was about 8 when my folks gave me my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic  that took square black & white pictures. Since we were living in  Italy and traveling throughout Europe and the Mediteranean there were plenty of amazing things to take pictures  of. Time passes and once again I'm back in Italy; this time in my late  twenties with my former wife and our year old daughter living in a  centuries-old villa in the rolling vineyards near Chiusi in Tuscany.  I  was in Italy to study music but every day I looked around me and all I  saw were people and places I wanted to take pictures of. So I did.  


  • One beautiful October day while sitting outside the villa looking across  the colorful fall vineyards I leaned over to my ex-wife and said, "I want  to be a photographer. That's all I want to do." And just like that a  whole new world opened up in my consciousness. A few months later we  moved to Hollywood where I hung out a shingle and started calling myself  a professional photographer, taking pictures of anyone who'd sit still long enough for me to  get my camera out of my bag.


  • It's  been an extraordinary journey for almost 40 years now with some of the  most beautiful, interesting, famous and talented people stepping in  front of my cameras. I've done it all from architectural and  interior design photography to weddings, parties, landscapes, products,  gardens and even Koi. As they say in Italy, "Tutto fa brodo." It all  makes soup! 


  • Through  it all there has been an unbroken thread of passion for people and the  bodies they inhabit. Nudes came into the picture very early on, starting  with the rowdy boys of summer that I met in  Laguna Beach after I first moved to California. From those first early  efforts at photographing bodies till this very moment I've been the  luckiest guy on earth to have a steady supply of people who are so at  home in their bodies that they're willing to allow me to photograph them nude. It's an arena that invokes my greatest passions as well as my  deepest respect for the people I work with. 


  • My interest in nudes likely  reaches back to my childhood in Italy where I was surrounded by the work  of some of the world's greatest artists. When I first started doing  nudes however I was completely unaware of any connection there; I was  just doing what I loved doing. It wasn't until many years later that I  became aware of the motivations and inspirations involved in my work,  which has made me grateful to have been raised in Italy without the limitations of US cultural norms. Today I continue to do  nudes with more comfort and freedom than ever; sustained in that work  every step of the way by the amazing models who make it all possible. 


  • Contemporary  influences include Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Greg Gorman, Annie  Liebovitz, Paul Freeman and Claire Jean among many others. Ritts and  Weber created imagery in the beginning of my career that somehow made it  acceptable to photograph men with unapologetic openness. Liebovitz's  work made it clear that her comfort with and respect for the people she  photographed created a level of intimacy in her portraiture that stood  her apart from the crowd. Greg Gorman's warm-toned black & white  nudes in his book "As I See It" speaks to a trust and intimacy with his  models that I aspire to and am inspired by. Paul Freeman has given us  skillfully crafted portraits of both male and female athletes that echo  the classic Greco-Roman status and veneration once reserved for the  Gods. 


  • And finally, French artist and photographer Claire Jean who lives  in Brazil creates with a joy for people, earth and color that has  excited me and riveted my attention more than any other living artist.  While the work of these gifted photographers has inspired me over the  years it has never generated in me a desire to imitate them but rather  join them in their unabashed love of what they do and to craft with the  same skill and passion they do.

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Beanie Cap Guys

My partner Jed and I crochet and sell high-end beanie caps and Nekkers and we are known professionally as the Beanie Cap Guys. I began designing and making caps almost twenty years ago and Jed joined me a few years back. We sell online and at art fairs around the mountain west. You can visit our website here: BeanieCapGuys.com