Artist Spotlight: Thomas Lucas
There’s a treasure trove full of fine souls born and bred in Montgomery, Ala. home. One of them is Indie’s developer, Thomas Lucas. Photography, art and music are all part of his story and vividly displayed on his new site launched this month. His style: focusing his lens on subjects and scenes full of emotion. Boudoir, travel, documentary—they all posses a sensuality and depth that shows he’s really looking and really listening to what’s around.
We’re a lot proud of this guy for pushing out a fantastic site of work, and for his keeping on at the lab all the while. We know you’ll enjoy more of his work and chatting it up on Instagram the rest of the week.
IFL - How did photography become a part of your life? TL - I have been surrounded by photography my entire life thanks to my grandfather and my dad. It wasn’t until an image I took while living in New Orleans was published as a book cover in Germany that I thought I should probably take this hobby of mine a little more seriously. Since then, I’ve continued to work on honing my skill. That was around 2010.
FL - What/who/where gets you inspired? TL - There are a few things that inspire me whenever I can’t come up with an idea or I need it to set the mood. The first being music. As odd as it may seem, 80’s early 90’s music with a dash of classical tends to season the inspiration brain receptors. When it comes to primarily boudoir and sometimes editorial work, I look to Alphonse Mucha. He was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist. His work has a flow to it that I’ve always loved and try to capture in my work. Lastly, Annie Leibovitz. Her earlier work is what I’ve been a huge fan of and the way she worked on those iconic images. She spent time with the person, getting to know what makes them them and capturing it perfectly.
IFL - Why film? TL - I haven’t always been a film shooter. When my digital was stolen from me almost two years ago, I had to make a decision on whether or not I truly wanted to continue with photography. Working at Indie Film Lab as the developer, it kind of made sense to continue. I love film and I love digital. Yes, both have a distinct look about them and to the trained eye you can tell the difference, but with all the options out there for making your digital work look like film why bother shooting film? It’s the process. It takes longer. The anticipation of seeing the moments you captured can be nerve racking, but the hope that you captured something you wanted or weren’t expecting and receiving it days later is and can be rewarding. Film also is a good way to build confidence and self esteem in knowing you got the shot and without having to look at an LCD screen every few seconds.
IFL - Favorite moment/or one of favorites you've ever captured TL - One of my most favorite moments I’ve captured was last year on February 9th. It was a cool, rainy day and gay marriage became legal in Alabama. The two women that would become the poster child and one of the first same-sex marriages in Alabama were getting married in my hometown of Montgomery. I knew this would be an event to experience with my own eyes and to document it so that others could witness it as well. The moment I captured was their first kiss with all of the big name news company photographers capturing the moment. The circled around them like vultures trying to get the “shot” that would make the headlines. Since I was shooting film, I was too late to get any of my photographs out fast enough for possible publication. I got the photograph printed for my personal collection so that one day when I’m older I can look back and remember that spectacular day.
IFL - Any gear secrets you're up for sharing? TL - Something that has always been said to me or around me is your best camera you have is the one that’s on you. I stick to using natural light as much as possible. I primarily shoot with a Nikon FM2 with either a 35mm f1.4 or 55mm f1.2. Other equipment I use from time to time: Nikon F3, Mamiya RZ67 with a 110mm f2.8 or 50mm f4.5, and a Fuji X100T.
IFL - Do you travel often for work? What does your everyday look like when not traveling? TL - I don’t travel as much I’d like. A change of scenery and lighting is nice to enhance your skill. Even though I’m not often traveling, I’m processing everyone’s film from all across the world. In a way it’s kind of like traveling every day.
IFL - If you weren't a photographer, what would you be doing? TL - If I weren’t a photographer, I’d be fighting crime at night. Batman
IFL - Do you have a favorite geographical place to shoot? TL - It’s just around the river bend. It’s pretty chill just over there. Really anywhere.
IFL - What's your favorite film stock? TL - Portra 400 for C41 and TMAX 100 and Trix for BW
IFL - Any challenges you find in being a film photographer? Or supporting yourself as an artist? TL - Money is a challenge with purchasing film and booking shoots to support it.