Thomas Swofford is a nature and city photographer living in Atlanta whose images have been displayed throughout metropolitan Atlanta in small businesses and non-profits and in some Georgia State Parks. His work is currently hanging in the Mayor's Office in Atlanta City Hall. He has been photographing since the age of 12, when he first picked up a 1978 Olympus camera. He continued practicing and learning the skills and trades of photography throughout high school and college. Although he has not yet completed all degree requirements, Thomas has attended Georgia State University to study Print Journalism and Environmental Geology. His desire for an objective view and a powerful passion for nature led him to further his education in those fields. During these studies, he has kept his camera by his side.
Thomas began photographing nature during his teenage years while visiting his father’s childhood home in the Appalachian Mountains and his mother’s childhood home in the Wasatch Mountains. With his father being from North Carolina and his mother from Utah, a large amount of respect toward nature was instilled into his core values and upbringing. He took this respect and carried it with him on a road trip out west in 2001, when he was 18. He spent three months living in his Jeep and photographing scenery in many of the National Parks west of the Mississippi. During this time, his love for photography blossomed, and he fine-tuned his eye for composition. To push his talent further, he sought new ways of chasing light and finding ways to maximize the story a photograph can tell.
In the fall of 2001, after returning from the road, Thomas moved to downtown Atlanta and started college. Living on Peachtree Street a block from the Fox Theater in the heart of the city enabled him to include urban geography in his photographic interests. In doing so, he wandered the streets of the city looking for his next frame. As he did this, he learned the history of Atlanta’s people and its buildings. This experience of photographing and documenting the city helped him to advance and sharpen his skills with composition and the use of natural light.
Alfred Stieglitz, a prominent photographer, once commented, “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” This is a goal that Thomas strives to achieve with his photography. He believes that a photograph is more than just an image. The subtleties, the nuances of a photograph, do more than show a place and time; instead, they pull the viewer somewhere else, quietly telling a different story to every viewer, allowing the photograph to achieve the function of art.