August 2010

Hello Internet.
Just another update to some of my favorite shots I did from August! Featuring Enter Shikari, They Sink Ships, Kiss Corona, Heights, The Wild, We Sunk Atlantis and A fox I met....

This month, I'm working for MTV and I think I'm going to dabble a little more into Film making.


Anna Čln Smoroňová


So I've never done anything like this before, but sometimes you gotta... Especially when you meet someone like the girl I'm about to introduce you to.

So without any further ado! May I draw your attention to Miss Anna Čln Smoroňová!

I met this amazingly talented girl in such a peculiar way, one hungover morning with my housemate armed with my new laptop, we decided to test the webcam out on chatroulette! (haha, of course!)

Anyway, after "nexting" what felt like about 500 half naked men and all sorts of trash in between. I met Anna! Anna is Slovakian and luckily her English was really good, unlike my Slovakian! We got on straight away, we soon discovered that we both were photographers, so after chatting for awhile we exchanged facebook names and then continued on with our days. Little did I know I'd just met one of the most inspiring young photographers I'd probably ever come across!

So after we traded a few facebook messages and comments I decided to give Anna's work a good thorough look through, and lets just say I couldn't keep my jaw from off the ground. Anna isn't a professional or a well known established photographer and the fact she's still a teenager I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

I recently met Anna in London when she came over for her travels and not only is she an amazing photographer but also a really nice girl and I can't wait to see where she goes in her career and I wish her all the best!

So, enough of my ramblings! I'll let her pictures do the rest of the talking!


My interview for Professional Photographer Magazine.

This was my interview, for Professional Photographer Magazine in April.

Where are you from? where are you based now? why and how did you become a photograher? do you have any training (if not, did you go to college and what did you study)? how old are you?

Hey! I’m Tom Leishman; I’m 23-year-old self-taught newly based London photographer! I’m originally from a small town called Cannock in the middle of Staffordshire. I started photography when I was 19 I’ve been doing this for about 4 years now. I never did enjoy school I felt I’d never be able to achieve anything with myself once we’d finished, I had bad experiences at school... I never had the stomach for the educational system... So when I left school feeling lost in a dead end job with a huge chip on my shoulder at 19 I only had music and art that I felt any passion for... So it just naturally happen when my cousins where in a popular local rock band... I never imagined it would have taken me on this journey!

2. rock and roll and pop etc . . .

what was the first pop music you can remember/bought? when did you start taking pop pics? why? you sell prints — does that make financial sense? what other outlets do you have for your photographs (the pop ones in particular but the other ones, too)? do you make any money out of sales to magazines etc? what is your relationship to the performers? do you find you get close to them, almost as friends or is it always distant and professional? is it a collaboration between you and the performer? how many shows do you go to? what are you looking to achieve in your pop images?

The first cassette I ever bought was The Beach Boys Greatest Hits and Right Said Fred “UP” I bought them both at the same time, I’m still proud to call myself a fan of the Beach Boys! My first memories of pop music were probably listing to old 60’s and 70’s pop music in the car with my parents. The first time I realised how much of an impact pop music had on us was when I saw the likes of Michael Jackson and Prince! I recently started taking pictures of pop groups through having mutual friends with Frankie from the UK girl band The Saturdays, she introduced me to the pop industry, I figured I was good at the rock music photography so why not try and take on the pop world! Since working with The Saturdays I’ve managed to land myself there latest cd single front cover, through working with The Saturdays I’ve been introduced to the boys in Mcfly and several other well known British pop acts, I can’t wait to work more within the industry I’m very lucky to have had this break so young in my career, I do plan on selling my prints once I have had worked with more pop acts. A big majority of my clients have became close friends of mine, Whenever I work with new clients, popular or unknown I always make an effort to make friends first, I like to have that personal connection with them, I never would want any client of mine to feel just like an object, it’s harder to get emotion out of an object rather than a personality you know. Anything I’ve ever done with performers has been collaboration from live shows to press shots. I’ve been to more shows than I’d care to count, but I even invested in my own earplugs it’s that many! Hopefully I’ll achieve feelings and memories from my pop images, Call me ambitious, but I would like to be known as a great photographer that recorded history.

3. website etc . . .

how long have you had your own website? did you set it up yourself? have you any idea who looks at it? how often do you update it? have you thought of/plan to sell prints direct from it? does it 'work' for you?

I’ve had my own website for about 2 years now, I set it up myself with a very good friend of mine who is very talented at web design. Because I worked with a friend I managed to not spend a single penny on the web design, yet I’ve still managed to keep my site up to date with my peers and to an above standard in design. From 2008-2009 I had almost half a million website views, which is completely overwhelming and warming to know people actually are interested in my photography, I often have to break down that number and just pause and think about how big that is, it’s good for me as it acts as fuel to my fire to keep me going and believing in myself. The long term goal is once I’ve built up a big enough portfolio I’ll definitely start selling prints from my site, I’ve already had several requests from people wanting to buy prints, however I haven’t just yet as I’m concentrating more on networking and finding and developing my style of photography.

how would you describe your work? which photographers (living or dead) do you admire/feel inform your approach? which pop photographers do you like/admire/hate? how would you describe your technique and technical abilities?

I’d describe my work as hyper-realistic I’d like to think I have the ability to make something look far more intense and dramatic than it really was, when photographing rock bands or pop bands I try to capture the whole event and sum it up with one picture. I draw influences from many photographers just to name a few of them Chris Strong, David Lachapelle, Dave Hill, John Wright, Glen E. Freidman Joey Lawrence, Jill Greenburg and Tim Walker. I spent a lot of time studying and trying to understand their lighting and techniques; these photographers are always inspiring me to push myself. I would best describe my technique and abilities as a combination of complex lighting set-ups, creative set ups, thinking outside the box and intense post-production work.


Update July.

Hello! So I'm back from my trip to Spain! I had a great time with my three best London friends!
I'll keep it short cos' I make no sense when I chat on blogs... So here are a few photos from shoots I've been doing recently!

Chris Garneau & This Day Will Dawn.

Here is a photo of my friends I went to Spain with! :)


My Story So far...

I wrote this bio about 3 years ago, I found it on my hard drive last night I thought it was pretty funny...

== Early Life ==

Tom Leishman was born on July 16th 1986. He was born to John and Nancy Leishman who were excommunicated from the village of Liawenee, which is located in the central highlands of Tazmania. The Leishman family was asked to leave the village in January of 1986 because of their extreme Catholic beliefs. After settling in Lake Mackenzie, John and Nancy changed their family name from McHaggis to Leishman in hopes of fitting in with there new area.
Being raised in such a religious environment Tom was kept isolated from any art that was not considered "holy". He received art lessons from a local minister at the age of 3. He immediately excelled at drawing and would draw parishners at evening mass on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Tom was quoted in the local church newsletter when he was 7 saying "I love to draw. drawing is good. drawing makes me like an saint.". When Tom was 10 his family took in a traveling photographer who was lost in the highlands of Tazmania. This traveler didn't have a name, he didn't know where he was from and all that he carried was a canteen filled with bourbon an acoustic guitar and a camera. Tom called him 'Froggy' due to the webbing between his toes. Tom was forbidden by John to learn photography since it does not honor god so he had to hide his film from his father. For the first 2 years of learning to take photos Tom would not develope the film out of fear of his father's wrath. At the age of 12 Tom realized that his photography expertise would continue to be limited unless he developed the film so he left home.
Tom spent the next 3 months wandering around Tazmania taking pictures for change on the street corner. He was approached by a Captain Thomas M. Allen that was planning on a cargo haul to Great Britain and asked Leishman to accompany him as a ship artist to keep his crew in high spirits. Leishman boarded the SS Koombana on March 13th and headed for Britain. Although the voyage only lasted 10 days over 50% of the ships crew became afflicted with bendii syndrome. Due to the emotional instability of the crew, many crew members took their own lives and the lives of other crew members. Tom spent the majority of this voyage in a half filled fish barrel that he hid in the engine room. Although the boat docked in the Port of Liverpool on August 23rd Tom remained hidden in the fish barrel until August 26th. He stated later that he was terrified to leave the barrel until he knew that all of the monsters [crew members] were gone.
Being 12 years old with no formal education and lacking the ability to read, Tom Leishman had a struggle ahead of him. When he reached land he took an inventory of his possessions. Besides the clothes on his back Tom had his camera, 3 apples and 73 pence that he found on the ship. Due to his stay in the fish barrel Tom's shoes we damaged beyond repair and he had to continue his journey with bare feet. Tom remembered Froggy regaling him with stories of a far off land called Staffordshire, where the women are beautiful and every day is filled with sunshine. When he asked a local merchant how to get there he was told "it's right up the road, you're in Liverpool" so Tom turned, looked north and left before the merchant could direct him south.
Tom continued his journey by foot for 3 months but the farther he walked the weather got colder. Tom went back to his roots of taking photos for change so he could survive. Tom stated in an interview that as long as his camera clicks and winding was louder then the rumbling of his stomach he could keep going. He found himself in the middle of Scotland in a town called Dunfermline before someone had the heart to tell him that he has walked the wrong way. Devastated that he will never see Staffordshire, Leishman felt more lost now then ever. He decided to stay in Dunfermline for an extended stay until he found a way to get to Staffordshire. While working as a grave digger at Sunset Cemetery Tom met Nellie Vladimirovna Kim who agreed to teach Tom gymnastics in exchange for a Portrait that he would take for her. Since Tom's life at this point was primarily taken up by his career as a gravedigger he decided that a little distraction would be good for his soul.

== Professional Life ==

In 2006, Tom finally in Staffordshire became a well known photographer in his area, taking everyones photos he could. Tom's technical photography skills has received praise throughout the world comparing him to photography legends such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams and David Bailey. When taking a photo for Pope Benedict XVI, the pope described Leishman's photography as "angel kisses all over my eyes"
On August 12th 2007 Tom Leishman lost his left arm in a snake attack in the moutians of Cyprus. This caused Tom to end his dream of becoming an Olympic gymnast. This was a trying time for Tom since the majority of his success was based on activities revolving around having two arms. He has diligently been working on new picture taking methods that would allow him to continue his photography career with one arm.

Currently Tom is still taking photos and is doing okay.

Paul Kevin Jackson - This guy

This guy.

This guy! Is a wicked friend. He's listed in my phone book as "Handyman" anything I need or want to know... This guy pretty much knows how to or can help me out.

He's also responsible for the know how of my website, if it wasn't for this guy I probably wouldn't have a website, not only is he a total dude! He's does session drumming so if anyone needs one, this guy is your man!

He's probably the best drummer in europe.

Paul Kevin Jackson - My hero.