We had the good fortune of connecting with Claire Thom and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claire, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always loved photography, and have been the designated photographer since I was about 7 and my grandad gave me my first camera. I had a career in oil and gas before I had my two children, but once they were born and I realised how important it was to capture them growing I knew I had to take my photography more seriously. I started doing workshops and courses, and continue to do so – I love learning! I love capturing families as they are, and showing their love. I also treasure my clients that come back year after year, so I get to see their kids growing!
However, as successful as this was it was lacking in the creative outlet that I desperately needed. The highlight of this work for me was capturing the photos for the website, and promotional documents. As I had always had a passion for photography, and was continually doing courses.
Fast forward 2 years, and my husband was offered a job in Houston. As soon as we arrived I started laying the ground work for launching my photography business.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is focused on you, your family and the connections between you. It is focused on love, and fun. I equally love my family and newborn photography sessions. The chaos of a family session is always amazing, and the calmness and peacefulness of a newborn session is a feeling / experience that I wish I could bottle. I am most proud of the connections that I make with my families, I love putting them at ease and feeling like one of their friends.
It was not easy to get to where I am, my work life balance is probably the most difficult to manage, however, my children and my husband know that what I do is important. Capturing families as they are in this moment and allowing you to hold onto that moment is something that I am honoured to be able to do. My family does understand this and supports me 100%.
I want the world to know that I offer relaxed sessions that allow you and your family to be natural with each other, and that we have lots of fun. And the result is beautiful artwork for you and your family to treasure forever. I always encourage my families to print the photos, as they need to have these memories on their walls to treasure.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is such a fun and interesting question. I would probably take them to The Galleria shopping, The Houstonian for a spa, then Jonathan’s The Rub for dinner. The following day I would arrange brunch at the Oaks, at Cane Island, and then take them to one of the amazing parks. In the evening we would go to a sports game, ideally the Rockets, but if not then to see the Astros, or the Dynamos. If we still had more time we would hang out in Cross Creek, drinking coffee at the Italian Maid Cafe, chilling at the pool, or playing tennis.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The biggest support has definitely been my husband, He has supported me and my ideas from the beginning. Giving me advice when I needed it and listening to me go on about different equipment, styles, famous photographers etc.
My friends and family have also been amazing, from allowing me to take endless photos of them to recommending me in facebook groups and to friends. My business would not be where it is today without them.
With regards to formal coaching and mentoring I have to thank Elena S. Blair, she was the first photography educator that showed me that I could be successful at this, and to Kyle Goldie who’s coaching programme and advice has transformed my website and streamlined my communication.
Claire Thom Photography