Photographic Biography

Thomas Andrew Heyes (born 1993) grew up and still resides in Great Barr, Birmingham, England. Tom first got into photography aged 8 - being a big natural history enthusiast - photographing wildlife images with a simple digital family camera - he would get his first own camera on his 11th birthday. 

In his 2nd year at Dartmouth High School in Great Barr, Tom and the other puplils in Year 8 needed to pick their options for the subjects they wanted to do the following year. They included History, Drama, Art and of course, Photography - of which Tom picked without any thought. Tom would study Photography at Secondary for the remaining 3 years there, learning how to use digital camera (Panosomic Lumix - which Tom would get himself), being introduced to Photoshop (vital in the future), plus learning the techniques and tricks of the trade. Tom would eventually get an A* GCSE for it when finishing in 2009.

Tom moved onto studying National Diploma & Higher National Diploma in Photography at Sandwell College (2009 - 2013) in West Bromwich upgrading with a new camera - a 450D SLR Canon Camera. It was here that Tom was able to learn about film photography - particularly using 35mm and Medium Format cameras, processing film in darkrooms and developing prints. Also his knowledege of digital photography and photo-editing was further extended - learning about using photographic studio (lighting, equipment, etc), other digital software (Adobe InDesign, Bridge, Aperture, etc) and as well as other interesting techniques. Through the years, Tom's confidence and knowledge in Photography grew and eventually after the Final Major Project (involving class public exhibition at The Public in West Bromwich) graduated in June 2013 with a Distinction.

Next, Tom would carry on by studying BA (Hons) Photography at Wolverhampton University, going straight into the 2nd Year (HND was the equivalent to the 1st year in university). After a few stressful weeks of trying to fit in with the class, the much harder and different work, and the structure of university, Tom managed to settle in. For the two years there Tom would develop his Photographic work in a more therortical way. Tom was not a portrait or staged people photographer and not very accustombed to using a studio, however the university modules sometimes involved tasks which included taking portraits or people. To get round these difficulties, Tom used a few project ideas, which still would be in the criteria. These included an Hand project (for an Indentity Module), and a mannequin dressed as a celebrity project (for a Portrait Module) and a Shoe project (for a Studio Module). As well, in the final year, Tom and his Level 6 University Photography Class were required to set up public exhibition for each and needed to raise the funds. As part of the fundraising Tom (using his other interest in music and singing) would do two Song & Dance concerts. The first was held at a Church Hall in Penn, Wolverhampton, 22 songs and £116 was raised. The second was at the Great Barr Conservative Club – 24 songs and £471 was raised.  The 1st exhbition was opened 2nd January 2015 for two weeks at the Lighthouse in Wolverhampton and the 2nd on 30th April for a week. Eventually in June 2015, Tom graduated from Wolverhampton University with a 2:1 Class Degree.

As well as academic work, Tom has also done voluntary photography work involving The Birmingham Jazz Festival (July 2014), the Sandwell 6 Town Challenge (August 2014 & 15) and the Blue Monkey Club (since January 2013) to build up his portfolio of work.

Since graduating, Tom has currently been doing work placements to build up his C.V whilst looking for jobs - preferably a graphic design, admin or public-facing Job. The placements have included graphic design work in the Creative Print & Marketing Solution department at Jaguar Landrover in Coventry, graphic design and other tasks at Revolver Records in Wolverhampton, adminsitrive work at Oldbury Job Centre and public service work at the Think Tank Museum in Birmingham, as well as voluntary work with the Sandwell Rangers in Sandwell Valley and admin work in Great Barr Library.