We spotted Tom when researching our up and coming Trend Report for 2016 and immediately became obsessed with his work. Based in Melbourne Australia, and together with his fiancee, he produces a combination of personal and commissioned works which are both equally flawless. We decided to get to know this photographer a bit better…

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Photographs by Tom Blachford

How would you describe your work aesthetic and practice?
I aim to is represent the everyday and the built environment in a new light or from a new perspective. Sometimes figuratively and sometimes literally (ie. using moonlight or helicopters). I love finding “minimal”, graphic elements and compositions in the world around me.

Describe your studio…
I consider myself a “places and spaces photographer so I don’t have a traditional studio space, really just a small office at home that i share with my fiancee Kate (also a photographer www.kateballis.com). All of my work is shot on location somewhere which is what i love so much about my job.

How do you balance personal projects with commercial work?
I think i have unintentionally separated them by location. Melbourne (home) is mostly for commercial work. We recharge with inspiration, work and our friends and family then we pick up and head overseas, usually 4 months per year over a few spontaneous trips. Traveling is mostly about personal work and going on an adventure with no expectations to try and find new projects or inspire us to develop and follow new projects when we return home. Nothing ever looks as inspiring as when you see it with fresh eyes. If we lived in Palm Springs i don’t think the series would have ever expanded as much as it has.

Who is a major influence on your work?
It has changed over time. The first photographer who’s work i was truly inspired by was  Matthias Heiderich he was a pioneer of the clean graphic style that i emulated for a few years. For the midnight modern series Gregory Crewdson and films by Slim Aarons have been big influences. I also love the painter Jeffrey Smart, photographers Bill Henson and Andreas Gursky

Most memorable project?
Midnight Modern. It has taken me back to Palm Springs 6 times in the last 2 years and we now have a family of amazing people who we have met over there. What started as a lonely project sneaking around in the dark has led to us feeling like we have a second home in California and has allowed me to connect with people who appreciated the work from all around the world.

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Midnight Modern Series photographed by Tom Blachford

What is your all-time favourite trend?
Mid-century Modern, if you want to call that a trend. I love the furniture, architecture, cars and hopefulness of the era. It was a golden age i think and i’m fascinated with it.

Tell us a bit about your Aerial Project?
It started as a birthday gift of 1 hour in a helicopter from my Fiancee. That first flight spawned the summertime and Industrial series that people loved. Since then i have been lucky enough to be commissioned to shoot some aerial jobs, mostly for property developers, but there is always a little extra time to fly around and explore while I’m up there and add to my personal collection.
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Get off the internet, read some books and don’t be so hard on yourself.

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The Ariel Project photographed by Tom Blachford

Who should ELLE Decoration follow on Instagram?
@kateballis – My lady!
@tom.hancocks – Amazing 3d rendered environments.
@letasobierajski – awesome art director from NYC
@darias88 – Cool art director

Advice you would give your younger self?
Get off the internet, read some books and don’t be so hard on yourself.


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Follow Tom’s work on Instagram, Facebook or on his website here.