Photographer Spotlight: Tommy Reynolds

Posted by: on Aug 26, 2015 | One Comment

Tommy Reynolds is a professional portrait photographer and music video director based in South East England.  His work can be found at

I would describe my style of photography as… 

Sri-Lanka+2014_66I would describe my style of photography as unique. I know that’s a really vague answer but everyone’s style is unique isn’t it? My portfolio has a nice mixture of environmental and studio portraits. Environmental stuff is my favorite but what’s in common is 90% of my work is using flash. I love using flash to create dynamic lighting pieces and can achieve this most of the time using a single Speedlight and reflector.

I like to believe the way I edit my shots has its own style. Especially in the last 10 years, editing your photos has become an absolute must as a skill to have. I believe it’s almost 50% of the final image and something every photographer has got to know. I am far from knowing everything about Photoshop but know enough to create looks I want to help tell my story. I love to tell stories in my photos and love visiting Sri-Lanka every year to capture portraits alongside a close charity of mine called Take Heart Mercy Mission. I’ve captured the best stories of my career in Sri-Lanka. To sum up, I would say my style of photography is the way I light, edit and tell the story.

How did you get started with tethered photography?

The ballet video featured was one of my first experiences shooting tethered and that was only last week so I’m very new to this. I don’t know how I’ve been contented for so long without shooting tethered!  The session went so well thanks to shooting tethered. I learnt so much from the experience including just how convenient it was; not just for me, but everyone in that room.

The makeup artist jumped in and touched up any makeup as the hair stylist also. They were only able to do this because they were seeing images as they pop on the laptop screen. I was able to show the model the shots and gauge which she liked, didn’t like and very quickly load a few presets to give everyone an idea what processing direction I’m going in. The model, who was actually more a dancer, remarked how good the experience of seeing the images straight out was and was able to tell me her favorites straight away without me going back and fourth after the shoot. She was able to select her favorites from the shoot so I knew which shots to work on knowing which ones were her favorites. I will now always shoot tethered in my studio for all the same reasons…plus, it looks pretty badass to show off this feature to your clients.

My dream gig would be…

I photograph a lot of portraits of artists and musicians and I love Ed Sheeran’s music so a portrait session with Ed in my studio would be absolutely amazing.

My favorite piece of gear is…                     

It has to be my 16-35mm f/2.8 Canon lens. I love shooting environmental portraits and this is always my lens of choice. Usually you wouldn’t photograph portraits with this but if used properly and you’re aware of barrel distortion then you can use any of these focal lengths in this lens to make the subject stand out from the background. Longer focal lengths will compress the background, which is cool, but I like to shoot wider for my commercial assignments. Trying to make your subjects leap from the photo is great for your adverting clients.

The best advice I can offer a fellow photographer would be…

Ballet+Shoot_02+copySomething I learnt only in the last 2 weeks, which is to set yourself a task of photographing ‘YOUR OWN PROJECTS’. This is so important for photographers every once in a while to photograph something for you! This ballet shoot was my first project in a long time where a client wasn’t involved. We were all helping each other out to expand our own portfolios. This is great because it keeps my work fresh and keeps me busy when I’m not working on commercial assignments. It was so nice to do something for me.

This is also a wonderful way to try out new lighting setups, new gear you’ve just bought or just for fun and try out new ideas without the worry of trying something new on a client. In the ballet shoot, I had never tried using 3 different flashes at once and the result was great! I would never have tried this on a paying client in case it didn’t work out but now I know how to archive the same result every time will only get better using this setup. You also learn more from the mistakes you make.

My next self-project I have planned is putting a blow up bed on a lake during sunrise with a little girl waking up on the bed and having an assistant in the lake holding a softbox. It’s going to look awesome!

The key to success is progression. You don’t have to worry about delivering a certain amount of photos at the end of the day. If I come away with only one image then I’m happy. It’s kept my creative juices flowing nicely.


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