Alumni Update with Tom

Say “Cheese!”

I don’t think that there is a single person in this world who doesn’t know the meaning of that sentence. Photography has become more accessible to the public with the invention of new technologies. But just because a teenager can take a selfie with their smartphone and put funky filters on it doesn’t mean they are necessarily a photographer. The art of photography is often taken for granted, but there is a lot of skill and composition work that goes into each photo. This week I caught up with local photographer and alum Tom Bonomo, who uses his art and design skills from Marywood to capture the perfect shot.

Tom BonomoTom Bonomo

Graduation Year/Major: Class of 2006, BFA Graphic Design, BFA Photography, Art History minor

Marywood Clubs/Activities: Student Government Association

Current Occupation: I am the owner/operator of Eyedesignstudios,  and have been from September 2003 to present. We are a commercial & lifestyle photography business that provides a variety of services that range from portraits to weddings to corporate events. I also work as a staff photographer for the Times Shamrock entertainment paper, Electric City, as well as a handful of other weekly and monthly papers owned by the same company. I’ve been there from June 2004 to present.

1) What was your favorite part about Marywood?

If I had to pick my favorite part about Marywood I would have to say the the dedicated teaching staff. From the moment I walked into my first class as a freshman, each member of the faculty let us know that they were available if we had any questions or concerns. Because of the small class sizes, it was easy to get to know each of your teachers. They were always willing to take time out of their schedules when help was needed. I had the opportunity to get to know most of my professors, especially in the Art Department.

2) Any advice for current art students at Marywood?

Advice? Sure. Stay in school as long as you can, lol. The best advice can give to art students is this: Whatever concentration you choose, immerse yourselves in it. There are tons of possible careers in the arts, but they are all extremely demanding. Figure out what you love to do and do it. Learn everything there is to learn about your field and find a way to stand out from the rest. Find a way to dazzle your future employer and when you submit your resume, your name should jump off the page.

3) How did your art education at Marywood help your career?

My education at Marywood helped my career by giving me a solid foundation in both of my majors. When applying for jobs, I felt confident that I had the skills required to excel at my career.

4) What is your favorite part about your career?

I love that every single day is different. Every day is something new and exciting and I never know what situation I’m going to come across. I view every job as a new challenge. There are endless ways to accomplish each challenge, but the way I choose to do so defines my unique style as a photographer. I love being able to document life. Being able to freeze time for a moment and then being able to re-live that moment through a photo time and time again is truly rewarding. Whether it be something like a simple portrait or as involved as a wedding day, my career provides me the opportunity to capture moments and share them with clients on a regular basis. I’m proud to say I love my career and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

5) Which do you prefer, digital or film?

This is a difficult question. When I began my Photography Major, film was still being taught in the photo department. So, I was one of the last classes to go through the majority of the Photography program learning only film. Although very time consuming, I’m glad I learned that way. I felt like I learned to appreciate the old school processes of developing and printing negatives. I believe everyone interested in a photography career should learn it.

In this day and age as a full-time photographer, shooting digital just makes sense. Basically for being more cost effective and having a significantly faster turn around time. I do enjoy shooting film from time to time, but its usually reserved for my fine art projects and special circumstances. I’ve recently been shooting 120 film and I typically take out my old Hasselblad 500c. The beauty of film is that it forces you to take your time, frame your shot, think about your lighting and adjust accordingly prior to shooting one frame at a time. I’ve found that shooting film has completely changed my digital shooting style. I am much more selective and shoot fewer frames than I did when I started. So, I guess you could say that shooting film as helped me perfect my shooting style and workflow as a professional photographer.

Featured image: All images courtesy of Tom Bonomo

Are you interested in studying photography?

Undergraduate Program: Marywood’s photography program for undergraduates combines fine art training with commercial applications to prepare you for a career in photography. Our program emphasizes technical skills, from traditional gelatin silver and chromogenic processes to digital imaging and alternative processes. LEARN MORE

Graduate Program: We also offer Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in Photography. LEARN MORE

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