Manila: Tom Epperson

With his constant craving for adventure, insatiable appetite for creative media and vigorous desire to immerse in different cultures, American photographer Tom Epperson has helped revolutionise the vast landscape of art and photography wherever the tide has taken him.

Although currently based in Manila, which has been his home for the last 30 years, Tom was actually born in Cleveland, Ohio. He got his first camera at age 11, but would not begin studying photography until he reached 18.

He began his career in animation, starting as a camerman for Hanna Barbera before moving on to Australia, Korea and the Philippines. After reading an article in American Photo about French-born photojournalist and war photographer Katherine Leroy, Tom instantly decided to quit his job in animation, a job that spanned 14 years, to become a photographer.

After working as a freelance photo assistant in Sydney for two years, Tom headed back to Manila in 1990 to help run a studio. He brought along his portfolio and on the side, visited a few agencies to test the waters on his newfound pursuit. He was immediately hired by a design agency. After a year, Tom left the agency to set up his own studio, Tom Epperson Photography, which, over the past 20 years, has been a recognisable name both here and abroad.

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