Conversations With Tom Oldham – Portrait Q&A

Award-winning celebrity and portrait photographer Tom Oldham once again joined Karl live for an informative and entertaining conversation. Tom and Karl share their five all-time favourite portrait images and exploring what it is that makes them so successful and memorable. From pioneers such as Richard Avedon to rising stars like Campbell Addy, the pair discuss what it is about each of the images that makes them so memorable. Tom also shared some insight into his own work and discussed recent projects and awards too.

You can find many of the images discussed at the links below:

You can also see more of Tom’s own work on his website.

If you have any questions about this show, please post in the comment section below.


  1. Hello Karl and Dave,

    I missed this show and many others because I was lucky enough to be doing a lot of portraits during the lockdown (over 50). The question I have has to do with post-lockdown business. I have been focusing on my portraits of athletes. I promoted myself as an athlete photographer. During the lockdown, I couldn’t get locations or athletes for shoots, so I completely gave up on that and started making photos, mostly panoramas, of empty diners. These have nothing at all to do with my normal work. Then, I was asked to shoot some empty shops as well as portraits of shopkeepers with masks on for a Verizon TV ad that led to a huge series of portraits of shopkeepers wearing face masks. By the time lockdown restrictions had eased last week, I had two completely new types of subject in my portfolio: diners (architecture/fine art) and covid lockdown-related portraits of shopkeepers, first responders, and healthcare workers.

    Now, when I look at my website, I have these three totally different-looking images. There are athletes (section one), environmental portraits (section two), and diners (section three). After the lockdown is completely over, I wonder what the reaction will be to the new work and if potential clients will be confused by it. A lot of my athlete portraits were done in studios with hair stylist, makeup, and of course, studio lighting. My recent environmental portraits are all on location with either one light or none. They look quite different.

    Another concern is that I want to update potential clients on what I have been doing but the work won’t be what they expect. I have nothing else to show, so if I update them at all, this is what I have to show them. I’m wondering if they will understand because of the crisis or if it will just be confusing and I should count it as lost time, or maybe shift the focus to environmental portraits?

    1. Just list it as a ‘personal project’ and create a new sub menu then you can get away with anything!

  2. Hey Karl!

    This was a very enjoyable show to watch and quite informative. I also love that you and Tom introduced some amazingly talented photographers I was unaware of.

    I’m new to your training and must say have found it highly rewarding.

    Cheers to you and your hard working staff,


    1. Thanks Matt, Laura Stevens whose work I greatly admire is going to be a guest on the show in the studio when we are out of lockdown and travel is easier.

  3. well done Karl a great show great straight talking for Tom love it
    and your self Thanks again

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