CAMERA CLUB MEETING
Couple Finds Common Ground in Photography
Tom and Pat Cory, as most couples, are alike in many ways. Their differences, however, make them one of the most successful duos in professional photography.
Pat Cory admits she and Tom grew up differently. “I was from a farm and he grew up in a city,” she explains. The two love going to state parks and natural areas and found common ground there.
When Tom was 11 years old he got his first camera. He was photography editor of the yearbook at his college, William and Mary. With a laugh, Pat says, “I had a Brownie camera and when I met Tom I’d probably taken 20 pictures in my whole life.” She says it was partly Tom’s infectious love of photography and partly necessity that got her started in the art. “I realized early on it was either carry his tripod or learn to take pictures,” she jokes.
And learn to take pictures she did. The couple has been all over the US and the world taking photos and teaching workshops, blending their knowledge and backgrounds into stunning photographs that give a unique perspective on the earth and its inhabitants. From Washington to Florida, they’ve traveled extensively, taking groups of eager to learn photographers with them. A recent trip to Costa Rica garnered some amazing photographs of the animal and plant life there. They have just returned from Portugal, which Pat calls “a vibrant place.”
Pat describes what she and Tom do as “the best of both worlds.” She enjoys working with video while Tom prefers still photography, and the two work together perfectly. “It’s great to do something together,” says Pat. “I enjoy the business and documentary part of what we do, and Tom enjoys the creative aspect.”
The Corys’ photography might be incredible, but teaching is just as much a part of their business as their beautiful work. They’d like for everyone to get a chance to be the best photographer they can be. If you take a workshop with Tom and Pat, chances are it’s not the last one you’ll want to do. They enjoy teaching in small groups and their hands-on approach to teaching is adaptable to anyone, whether novice or professional photographer. “We don’t want to be intimidating and we want people to feel comfortable asking anything,” says Pat. As their website says, “Your enthusiasm for photography and your interest in our locations are far more important than your level of experience.” The planning that goes into a photography workshop trip is almost overwhelming, but together Tom and Pat are able to arrange even the smallest of details so their students get the very best experience.
Tom has his fine art prints in various exhibits around Chattanooga, the town the Corys call home. Their work has been published in a number of calendars and publications such as “Outdoor Photographer,” “Nature Photographer,” and “Blue Ridge Country.” Tom also works with environmental portraiture. Pat has released two videos including “Story of a Dream,” a video on the building of the Coolidge Park Carousel in Chattanooga. Their book, “Scenic Chattanooga and Beyond”, a guide to natural areas within 75 miles of Chattanooga, is well received as is their popular instructional book, “Notes from the Field.” Their newly published “Gently Touch the Earth,” a mixture of some of their favorite images and quotations, is available through Blurb.com.
What’s next for Tom and Pat? A trip to Nova Scotia. This time they’re not teaching a workshop. “It’s time to travel for ourselves,” says Pat with a smile. The pair is looking forward to a trip more for their own enjoyment.
To view the Corys’ photo gallery, get information on upcoming workshops, or learn more about their books and videos, visit their website at www.tomandpatcory.com.