Camberwell. Twinned with Clacton-on-Sea

From Camberwell to Clacton-on-Sea | Clacton-on-Sea: Twinned with Camberwell

Camberwell sits in the middle of the London Borough of Southwark. Clacton-on-Sea is in Tendring, Essex.

In the recent EU referendum Southwark was the 14th most Remain part of Britain, whilst Tendring was the 14th most Leave area in the country.

As someone who loves Camberwell, and the EU, I see and hear the arguments and reasons why places like Clacton wanted to leave the EU but I don’t necessarily understand them. I live a very different life in an inner city neighbourhood to coastal town in Essex.

How did people in both areas come to their decision to leave or remain? How did our country become so divided? Is there a way to heal the divisions and respect the other’s decision?

I’d love to find out.

This is not an exercise in trying to change people’s mind.

This is not an exercise in blaming the other side of the debate for the result.

I am organising an exchange visit with people from both towns to visit our respective neighbourhoods.

I am looking for LEAVE voters from Clacton and REMAIN voters from Camberwell who would be willing to share their experiences of their lives, why they live where they live, their jobs, their friends and neighbours,  their attitude to politics and politicians, and why they voted the way they did.

I would love to organise an exchange trip where myself and others can show you around my beloved Camberwell, show you the sights, meet some wonderful people and residents of Clacton can host some Camberwellians in your home town and show off what is best about your corner of Essex.

I want to understand more about your lives and hopefully you would like to find out a bit more about us! This may not make either of us change our minds, but would hopefully help heal the differences between the two sides and respect the other’s decision.

As a photographer, I would like to photograph and film the people involved and document the discussions so hopefully you would be happy to be involved in this process.

I am planning to organise the trips sometime in July and August, (and hopefully have a lovely time by the sea if the sun ever comes to visit!)

If you have any questions, please get in touch. You can email me on or call me on 07939 250935.

Thank you and see you soon in Clacton-on-Sea / Camberwell!

Tom Leighton


36 Reasons to Love Camberwell is back. Bus Stop K

I've been mulling over the idea of an update to my 2012 series 36 Reasons To Love Camberwell for a while and now I'm getting down to it. I feel the area changing more rapidly than ever.

With that in mind, I want to document not just my favourite places, but Camberwell as a whole. I've been out and about experimenting and with the sun out yesterday evening, what better excuse than to go out with my camera! Hanging out at Bus Stop K on Camberwell Green is a good start.

Another new lens! Another excuse to go for a walk in the park.

I'd been eyeing up the Nikon 85mm f1.8 lens for a while. It's best known as a great lens for portraits but in the absence of anyone to photograph in the studio, and since it was such a beautiful day, I went off to a local park to have a little play around with my new toy.

The 85mm lens is great for feeling like you are inside the action without intruding. There were some boys playing football and I got a few shots. I spoke to them afterwards, and they were happy with the results. I've already had emails from them asking for copies!

What do you think?

The Penalty shoot out.

He gets ready to shoot.

He scores!

These three brothers are the happiest, and most talented footballers, I've seen in a while.

Sometimes I recognise, I am a very lucky photographer / Any excuse to do a selfie.

Shoots for Hucklebones are always fun and this Sunday's shoot was no exception.

Now. A bit of disclosure here. I don't normally do selfies or show the test shots when setting up a shoot as they aren't pretty and we don't have time to do anything fun. It's all about the lighting and look, and hey, we've got a shoot to do and time is of the essence.

However, sometimes you just get lucky. Yesterday I wasn't just lucky, I was downright jammy! I turned up at the studio. Turned on my camera, turned on the lights and fired off a test shot. And below is the result. Like I said, jammy!

So what to do with the other hour or so we had left before shooting started? Take a few selfies of course!

Actually, my favourite photo isn't actually a selfie but one shot by the lovely Lily-Summer who got to take a photo once she'd finished her modelling duties. I'm going to be out of a job soon!

I think I may be shooting a wedding. In about 20 year's time.

I recently did a shoot for Toby Tiger down at Toby Tiger HQ in Worthing.

We had a fab day with some lovely kids, a great new assistant in Hannah Hughes, lovely weather and this...

..two of my newest models had only eyes for each other, and are apparently inseparable. And it's about the cutest thing I've ever photographed!

See what you think. for Flying Saucer, and other sweet shop sweets.

I've been working on a new project to recreate an A to Z of sweets. This is all to do with my obsession with old school sweet shops. Every time I pass one, I have to buy a quarter of humbugs! So here's a few test shots. I haven't decided on a few things like the background colours, style and lighting, but here's a taster of what to expect soon.

[Update 17th July: I've now got for Milk Bottles. I'm finding out that some sweets don't like to play ball and are really ugly close up! I'm going to have to find a way to get round this].

Hello Dot to Dot, and a warm welcome by Bubble 2014.

It was rather warm Sunday, and I had to nip back to London from Norwich (which is lovely by the way) to say hello to some clients yesterday at Bubble, and Dot to Dot.

and it's always lovely to see Poco Nido and their gorgeous shoes (still waiting for the adult sizes to get made). They were at Dot to Dot, which is relative newcomer to the kid's fashion trade show lark. It meant I got to see some great new brands, and hopefully I may be working with one or two of them sometime in the future.

My highlights were the beautiful prints of Spud Kids, reminiscent of 50's designs and patterns.

I also loved the bow ties in the  boxes by Anna Liv. The boxes reminded me of the pencil cases we had at school (I've still got mine), where I carved my name and what seemed like very funny ideas at the time.

I know that Mrs PhotosByTomTom is rather partial to some African prints, so she'll love the designs by What Mother Made.

I am so envious of the photos for Young Soles. You should really check them out.

Marmalade & Mash's designs are really elegant and stylish designs, with the best name I've seen for a kid's fashion brand this year!

Then off to a rather warm Bubble to say hello to lots more (overheating) people. I really wanted to see the fashion show, which was a lot of fun. I'm sure I spotted a Poppy dress in there somewhere!

A big thank you!

A big thank you to everyone who came to say hello...

at the open studios event last weekend, and bought prints, greetings cards, booked portrait sessions, and generally were very lovely and complimentary about my work. It's nice to feel loved! 

I had over 200 people pass through the doors and quite a large number of you signed up for my newsletter, so thank you.

We had a lot of fun on the two photo workshop sessions. Here are a few of the results.

You don't have to say cheese!

You don't have to say cheese do a good photo!

I had the first of the two workshops this morning as part of Camberwell Arts Open Studio.

We had a lovely time, and as you can see, just because your son isn't smiling, doesn't mean you can get a great shot!

What do you think?

I'm no mug...but I do love these Camberwell Beauties.

Very exciting stuff in PhotosByTomTom towers today. I've been shooting some product and still life shots of the brand new Mini Moderns designed 20th birthday mugs for the Camberwell Arts festival. They are gorgeous, and will SO be a regular feature in the studio. Mugs will be on sale this weekend but they are a limited edition, so be quick if you want one. 

16th May. A wee update for you. Mugs are on sale at the Camberwell Arts Etsy Page. But be very, very quick. The first lot went in less than 48 hours and the second batch are flying too! 

Camberwell Mugs

How many people can you fit into our studio?

Turns out quite a lot. Though when shooting the mums and dads did have to decamp to the corridor.

I did a shoot today with the fab people from Skribbies.  We managed to fit the 6 models, and parents, and brothers and sisters (including a gorgeous 12 week old baby), and make up with two lovely assistants, and Jen from Skribbies...and me. 

You'll be able to see the final shots in House of Fraser in a few weeks but here's the sneak preview. 

New Camera, New Styles: Part 1

New camera, new styles: Part 1


I got my new Nikon D800 a few weeks ago, but as is always the case when you buy new equipment, I discovered that I also needed a new computer, new hard-drives and software updates to use it properly. My retirement plan to become a monk in the mountains will have to wait a little longer!

Yesterday was one of the first days I’ve had to really try out photos and I thought it was about time I tried something different. I don’t normally get to shoot in black and white so it was refreshing to have a go. I’m also more comfortable shooting with a 50mm lens so I thought I’d use my emergency 24-85mm lens wide out for a change. This ain’t the best lens in the world by any count- I’m known to be accident prone, so lucky for me this lens is indestructible!- but I wanted to see if Lightroom 5 can really do what it says it can when it comes to lens correction. Judge for yourselves, but I’m pretty impressed.