Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hello, my name is Thomas Seear-Budd. I am a 30 year photographer and Architect based in Wellington. I run a small Architecture practice with my good friend James Ross. My photographic work predominantly consists of fashion and architecture photography. Outside of work I love to travel, exercise, and converse with friends. I also love to take advantage of the myriad of Wellington’s eateries and cafes. Oh and my coffee of choice is a piccolo.


How did your love of photography come about? 

I first properly picked up a camera during my Architecture degree. Towards the end of my degree photography became a really important tool in my design process. I then travelled a lot after graduating. On my travels I took a Hasselblad medium format camera and a little 35mm camera. Doing a deep dive into film photography on my travels really spurred my passion and I’ve been doing it ever since. 


What do you document and why are you attracted to these scenes?

In the beginning I mostly photographed landscapes. These seemed to be the most attainable subjects especially while travelling. A turning point in my photographic career was completing a series of works on the receding Greenland ice cap. I spent a few months creating abstract film images to illustrate the fluidity and fragility of the ice-scapes due to climate change. 


Over the subsequent years my work shifted into fashion and architecture. However, overall I would say that I am drawn to simple scenes of calm. I try to distill my work down to the very essence and create images with substance and atmosphere. I work in a slow and methodical manner using only natural light and simple film cameras. 

How do you find motivation to continue to go out and pursue your creative endeavours?

To be honest most of my work now is commission based. I’ve actually been trying to find some time recently to delve back into personal projects. As I get older I think Im become more nostalgic and the most mundane scenes are becoming more powerful. Perhaps I will dive into my old childhood neighbourhood and take some images of familiar places that I haven’t seen in 20 years. That being said I get a lot of creative satisfaction from my jobs. Im fortunate enough to work with very talented architects, fashion designers, stylists, make up artists and hair stylists. Being around them is very inspiring. 


What advice would you give to any other aspiring artists?

Keep shooting. Try not to look at other people’s work as much. Experiment as much as you can and don’t stress about the technicalities. A sharp image isn’t everything. 


What is your current camera setup and favourite film?

Neg 54

Currently I am shooting on a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and a Mamiya 7II. My favourite film is Portra 400. 


Are there artists you look up to or admire?

There are so many so I will just name a few. Nicholas J R White, Robin Friend, Rory Gardner, Simone Bossi, Darren McDonald, Jamie Hawkesworth. 


Do you have any projects coming up in mind or something you are working on?


I am still trying to work out what to do with my Greenland series of perhaps another little book or hopefully an exhibition. 


Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years time with your photography work?

Thats a great question. I would love to do more books and hopefully show some work in some galleries. 


Where can we view more and keep up to date with your photography?

My website and on instagram @thomasseearbudd