Tom Putt talks about keeping his work interesting!
“Our greatest competition is the iPhone”, said Tom Putt who runs Ella+Friends Photography, a dog portrait studio in Melbourne. “People come to see us and say they already have thousands of great pictures of their dogs, so we have to compete against them by offering something they can’t produce with their iPhone.”
Although 90 percent of Tom’s business is through the dog portrait studio, he keeps life interesting with other interests. “I get bored very easily. Once I can do something, I’m over it. My challenge over the past 10 years running this studio has been to keep my role fresh so I don’t get bored.” And certainly changing from a general family portrait studio to a dog portrait studio would have helped keep life interesting!
“I don’t take photographs in the studio anymore, whereas in the past, I really loved it because I was learning how to photograph people, then dogs. It was different to the sport photography I used to do.
“I’ve also been really interested in publishing. As a kid, I would sit up in bed an hour before lights out, with a pile of books and pore over them. I especially liked the books about landscapes and national parks.
“I loved the idea of a printed image and that’s why I publish books.” Part of Tom’s dog photography business is based on the concept of producing a book with his clients’ images, and he has also published a number of books of his landscape work.
“I’ve been shooting landscapes for years, but the books came about almost by accident. After visiting locations several times, like Cradle Mountain in Tasmania where I do workshops, I realised I had enough images to form a body of work. “
I love having a purpose, no matter what I am doing. Today, I am pretty much shooting all my landscapes with the goal of a book in mind.”
The workshops that Tom runs came about in 2005 when he noticed a proliferation of courses in the American photography magazines. “However, there was hardly anyone doing workshops in Australia. I enjoy teaching people and imparting my knowledge, and I also enjoy visiting places, so I decided to see if anyone would be interested in paying to come along to one of my workshops.” And it has grown from there.
Tom Putt M. Photog. is a portrait and landscape photographer in Melbourne. He also has interests in landscape photography, publishing and leading photography workshops. www.ellaandfriends.com. au; www.inspiredlandscapes.com.