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Tom Oldham - 2018 Sony Professional Grant

2018 Professional Sony Grant © Tom Oldham

Tom Oldham has explored ‘Ball Culture’, LGBTQ+ community events which originated in 1970s Harlem. Centred around competitions between ‘Houses’, the balls involve dancers performing in battles and ‘walks’ on a catwalk before a panel of judges. In his series titled Shoot An Arrow and Go Real High, Oldham travelled to Paris, New York and London to photograph portraits of the incredibly diverse range of characters and costumes participating in these events.


“The Sony Grant has enabled me to expand my project from local to global. It has truly broadened my perspective on the scene I’m shooting and I’m very grateful for the far more rounded shape the work now enjoys. The Grant believes in helping photographers hit their next goals, helping them reach beyond the point at which they may have settled without it - which is a wonderful thing,” Oldham says

Tom Oldham (b. 1970, UK) is a London-based portrait photographer. Oldham balances commercial briefs with personal projects close to his heart, most recently the Herder Boys of Lesotho, which focussed on shooting portraits in this mountain kingdom in Southern Africa, and Eldmodur, a project shooting portraits of Icelandic crossfit athletes both in their gyms and in the wilds of their home landscapes.

Read more about "The Last Of The Crooners", his series awarded 1st Place, Professional Portraiture category, at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.