I am Tom Upton, owner of Tom Upton Studio and creator of PhotoTrainer. I warmed to photography early in life, In the sixth grade when the science teacher, showed us that rolls of film in our Kodaks held secrets. Chemistry, and kid-kitchen skills were all summoned like spirits to conjure the magic of illusion from these fascinating scrolls. In yellow light images appeared on paper immersed in trays of liquids. It was Magic.
Like most youngsters in my New Jersey neighborhood I enjoyed kind-hearted support from my parents for my activities deep in the basement of our house. The drumset and darkroom made for a very noisy and pungent bottom floor. Darkrooms were key to my survival secondary school and in the liberal arts college in Vermont during the early ‘70s. I was the guy that lived in the darkrooms and would teach you how to develop, print, wash, tone, finish and roll your own, film that is…
Tired of Winter and rural overload in ‘74, I wheedled my way into the demanding Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, where I learned to love the mysteries of light, film, large cameras, small cameras and the heady energy of the professional photo studio. A love that burns just as hot as ever. Loved the Winters in L.A. I opened my first studio in Palo Alto in 1982. Many years of many high-tech clients has enabled me to become an early-adopter to digital imaging fundamentalism with full heart and soul. I passed my ten thousand hours a long time ago and am Certified Half-Man and Half-CMOS.
I photograph people. I am inspired by Photographers before my time, Irving Penn, Avedon, Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, Duane Michaels, Arnold Newman and Man Ray. Also Photographers in the here and now, Gregory Heisler, Joe McNally, Dan Winters, Gregory Crewdson, Platon and more.
The official Tom Upton partial list of clients includes Apple, Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital, Summit Public Schools, Hewlett Packard, Stanford University Alumni Association, Stanford Hospital, Altimeter Group, Sunset Publishing, EA Sports, Queue Magazine, Financial Engines and Klutz Press. And you!