Tommy Clarke - Aerial Travel Photographer

About you
I'm a 32-year-old fine art photographer, with a gallery in South London.
I travel the world taking photos of landscapes from helicopters and planes, showing the natural and man made beauty visible from the sky.
 My work has featured in: The Times, Telegraph, Conde Nast Traveller, Time, Stylist, Evening Standard and many more.
What made you get into photography & especially aerial photography?
I first got in to photography in quite a painful way; I broke my back in a snowboarding accident and had to stop playing sport for a while. So I picked up a camera to shoot the teams I was no longer able to play in and ended up really enjoying it. The aerial bit came a while later, after I’d shot food, fashion, people, dogs, toys, biodegradable toilets etc. - it wasn't an easy route!! I was living in Sydney and realizing I wasn't enjoying the fashion shoots I was doing so went back to the basics of what I loved about photography and started shooting landscapes and that’s how the aerial started.
Do you manage to keep a balanced work/travel life with your personal life? How do you wind down in your free time?
That’s always something I've struggled with. With a job like mine, from the outside, it may seem that I am travelling the world non-stop hanging out of helicopters, living the life. But realistically it's a mountain of emails and calls each day and I find it hard to only do them in ‘work hours’. So for me the best ways to relax is time away from technology and people being able to email and call etc. so surfing is my absolute favourite way to wind down.
What is the next step for you and where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I’ve just started a project bringing more awareness to the problem of ocean plastics and will be working on that for a while along side my aerial shoots and exhibitions. In five years, maybe on a farm in Cornwall near the beach, trying to balance my work/life set up at little better!
What is your favorite thing about you’re job?
The travel. I still love airports and the feeling of going to a new country. I get so excited experiencing new cultures and ways of life, and ultimately trying to capture that on camera.
Where is the most amazing place that you have been too?
Iceland! I may be more known for shooting beaches around the world but for me Iceland is the most amazing place I've ever been.
Which is your favorite photograph that you have taken?
I shot a group of boats off the coast of St Tropez on my second every shoot and it came out amazingly and became the cover to a copy of Conde Nast Traveller, which was a dream, come true for me.
Where is one place you haven’t been but would love to go to?
I would have said The Galapagos, but I'm currently packing a bag to fly there next! So maybe the Himalayas, I’d love to travel through them slowly and really take it all in.
What has been your biggest breakthrough moment?
I did a swimwear collaboration with M&S a few years back and it went incredibly well and fast tracked me up a league, which was really great as a freelance photographer sometimes it can be financially pretty tricky!!

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