The Collective Force



Tom Roberton

Conceptual location photographer Tom Roberton had an eureka moment when shooting people on a street in Nairobi. The penny dropped that photography was what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Colleagues had already noted that picking up a camera was his default setting.

He was in Africa shooting stills for a documentary on prisons, a job combining his interest in the human condition, love of compelling stories and cinematic shooting style. He arrived at this moment by a varied path. With degrees in psychology and business management, Tom worked in an Auckland consulting firm before playing bass in a band in Copenhagen for two years where he first picked up a camera.

Back in New Zealand, he worked in film and TV production and as a producer in a design company, which also used some of his images. From there, he went on to work with some of the top Australasian advertising photographers before striking out on his own.

Tom is very much a people guy and it shows in his work. Naturally interested in what makes people tick, he shoots images of people in realistic situations that resonate with viewers. He adores surfing at Karekare on Auckland’s west coast, although, unlike in his work, he’s more notable for his enthusiasm than skill.