DonleyWorks!/ Thomas Donley - Photography

I’ve been a New York City based photographer for over 20 years, shooting people in many different environments - from Madison Square Garden and film sets in Vancouver, B.C. to a wide range of corporate work, events, product launches and portraits.  I’ve done assignment work for publications including The New York Times, Time Out NY and Life Magazine online.

I grew up with actors as parents and was on the stage myself at an early age.  I came to understand that as an actor, being in the moment, being present and aware was everything.  I discovered over the years, while shooting on deadline for major publications and for large corporations, just how crucial being present is to creating great photography.

Legendary photographer, Henri Carier-Bresson, is famous for talking about the ‘decisive moment’ in photography.  One cannot see a fleeting moment and also capture it at the same time without being present.  Seeing that instant when people’s character or spirit emerges, either within a group dynamic or while creating a portrait, is central to creating great photographs.  Actually, capturing that moment as it happens, is the work of the photographer. And, when a photo can capture that experience and feeling so the viewer can share that moment as if they were there, this is what drives me forward and inspires me every day. This is why I do what I do and a key reason why I love photography so much!


Thomas Donley has a B.A. in film and theater from Sarah Lawrence College. He has been a member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) since 2002, and has been serving on the Board of the New York Chapter of ASMP, as Membership Chair from 2009-2015 and now serving as President since 2015.

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                                                                                    (photo of Thomas Donley by Rod Goodman)

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