Toms-Bio-For-The-Web_picTwo years ago I retired as Senior Curator of Photography and Photography Archivist at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. For twenty three years my responsibilities included research, cataloging, preservation, conservation, documentation and curating exhibitions from the photographic collection, which numbers over 700,000 images and negatives.

My own photographic work has been shown in exhibitions locally, regionally and nationally. I have taught photography courses and workshops at Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, Virginia and at the Charles Taylor Art Center and at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia, and taught Digital Photography at Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, Virginia. Recently I have been teaching workshops on Pinhole Photography at Studio 23 in Richmond, Virginia.

I like using a variety of photographic materials and processes from medium format to digital cameras, toy cameras, and pinhole cameras, constantly improvising to capture the most fleeting gestures and events in everyday life. I am driven to observe and explore, in the search of recording those unexpected simple moments, and give order to unexplainable randon events and surprises.

As I collect and document everyday events, I also collect vintage cameras, as well many tintypes, 19th century and early 20th century photographs of tattooed ladies, snapshots of women holding and taking photographs with cameras, and photographs of people posed in fake boats. I also collect outsider/visionary art including paintings, drawings and unusual objects. And sometimes I collect a variety of miscellaneous items without really knowing why.