Featured Artist Tom Kramer

Tom Kramer is a dance, film, and theater photographer known for images termed “dramatic, technically sharp, incisive and capable of capturing the very essence of a performer.”

Exhibit includes images like the one shown, captured at a recent performance at MainStage Theatre, Hillsborough Community College in Ybor City of Axis Dance Company, a professional mixed ability company that features choreography performed by dancers with and without disabilities. This show also features a series of informal candids of workshops, which have taken place in various locations throughout our community of professional dancers and students of all abilities and ages working together and learning from each other.

Tom’s work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and the Leepa Rattner Museum, which hosted a solo exhibit of his dance photographs in 2015. His work is in the Dance Archives at the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State University and was featured in their One Hundred Years of Dance exhibition. His photographs can be seen in private collections throughout the country.

As Tom explains, “A good dance photograph has to be both a fine image and a representation of excellence in dance. It has to be technically proficient – both in the photographic and dance technique… and that’s very difficult. . . And exciting.”

“It’s a collaborative process that is measured in fractions of seconds. You must anticipate what is going to happen – that’s where experience comes in. You must focus on artistic integrity and always respect the dancer’s art. That is the essence of the collaboration.”

The moments Tom captures are found on performers’ websites and over social media, documenting live dance and theatre throughout Tampa Bay. Striking photos full of movement are often the best record a dancer has of a performance. . . and the most effective way to promote their art and build an audience for the future.

In addition, Tom documents the vibrant work of theatre performers. “I look for the moments in theatre when people are relating to each other. You don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s a live performance. It’s risky. It’s chancy. It can be magical.”

As a still photographer in film and television, Tom worked for CBS, Lorimar, Universal Studios and many independent producers. His photographs have been published in newspapers, magazines and trade journals. He has also designed and photographed record/CD covers and posters. His photographs have been used extensively by the National Dance Association and are featured in and on the covers of many books on dance.