Tom Atwood is an American fine art, portrait, and celebrity photographer, best known for his books Kings in Their Castles
(2005) and Kings & Queens in Their Castles
(2017). The New Yorker
has praised the "refreshing clarity and modesty" of his work. Born and raised in Vermont, Atwood is a graduate of Harvard University, where he studied economics. He later earned an MPhil from Cambridge University. Atwood has lived in Paris, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and currently resides in New York City.
Atwood worked several years as an advertising executive before turning full-time to commercial and fine art photography. As a photographer, Tom Atwood is largely self-taught, developing many of his techniques through trial and error. According to him, various cultural influences—including theater, painting, architecture, and psychology—have informed his photographic style.
Tom Atwood is particularly known for combining and balancing the genres of portraiture and architectural photography, so that neither the subject nor his or her surroundings predominate in the final image. His recent work has focused on portraits of people at home. He has shot over 100 luminaries including Hilary Swank, Julie Newmar, Buzz Aldrin, Mark Wahlberg (Marky Mark), John Waters, Don Lemon, Tommy Tune, Meredith Baxter, Greg Louganis, Barney Frank, George Takei, Todd Oldham, Edward Albee, Ross Bleckner, Michael Cunningham, Alison Bechdel, Ari Shapiro, Don Bachardy, Charles Busch, Alan Cumming and Leslie Jordan.
His second book, Kings & Queens in Their Castles
, was recently published by Damiani. The book won multiple awards including First Place in the International Photography Awards (book category) as well as a Lucie Award (book-other category).
Atwood was included in the National Portrait Gallery
’s Outwin Boochever Triennial (Smithsonian Museum). He won first place in Portraiture in the Prix de la Photographie Paris. Atwood also won Photographer of the Year from London's Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, as well as first place in Portraiture.
He has won over 40 additional awards including from the Griffin Museum of Photography, Center for Fine Art Photography, International Photography Awards, Santa Fe Center for Photography, Vienna International Photo Award (Gold Medal), CameraArts, Photo Life, PDN, The Photo Review, Communication Arts, Fence at Photoville, Graphis, Camera Club of NY, Jacob Riis Award, American Photography Annual, One Life International, American Art Awards, Photography Masters Cup, Manhattan Arts International, Hellerau Photography Award, World in Focus, Artrom Gallery Guild, PhotoServe, Reclaim Photo Award, Passepartout Prize, One Eyeland, International Photographer of the Year, International Color Awards, Moscow International Foto Awards, Kodak and American Photographic Artists (sponsored by the Getty Museum and Hammer Museum). He has also been recognized on Photo Life Magazine's list of 50 Emerging Photographers.
Atwood's work has exhibited over 60 times in over 15 countries, including at the National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Museum), Griffin Museum of Photography, George Eastman House
, National Museum of Finland (Finland), D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Kemper Art Museum, Center for Fine Art Photography, Museum of Photographic Arts, House of Lucie, Annenberg Space for Photography, Museum of Modern Art
, University of the Arts, Frank Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Benaki Museum (Greece), Museum of Science and Technology (Germany), Shibuya Cultural Center (Japan), Círculo de Bellas Artes Museum (Spain), LA Center for Digital Art, Pacific Design Center, Manhattan Arts International and other institutions.