Oak Tree Photography bio picture

Portfolio for Westwing

Dear Westwing—

I am pleased you are considering me for the photographer position in Munich, Germany. Here is a diverse sample of some of my photographic work. Speaking with you soon about this position will be a pleasure.

Thomas Launius CPP
0152 25463500


Seriously, I don’t know how a classic senior portrait can get any better than this. A handsome young man (Harry), a lush natural setting, perfect lighting, a “forever” expression on Harry’s face and…you have a portrait that will stand the test of time!

Business Portrait on Steroids

So Tricia met me at my studio estate for a business portrait. Such portraits are usually quick work—put them in front of a backdrop, have them stand tall, lean this way, turn and look here—click, click and you’re done. But Tricia wanted an outdoor business portrait. She brought two outfit changes. She was in no hurry. As we chatted I learned she’d not had senior portraits in high school. I suggested we act like this was a mini-session for a senior. She was agreeable. The evening was unseasonably mild, and the images started great and got better. The end result is the selection you see here. To be honest, I have no idea what she will do with all these images. But I couldn’t help myself—stopping at the bare minimum felt insufferably dull. If the photographer is bored, the images will be boring too. And who wants boring? I have fun during my portrait sessions, and my clients do too.

Tom Launius, CPP

Whatever It Takes

I love to create portraits that look effortless, as though a person were caught in a moment of natural beauty. But the behind-the-scene truth is that much effort is expended to look effortless! Take this portrait of Jamie: she looks carefree, the light on her is flattering, the setting is vibrant. The portrait speaks of life as we know it can be. But now, look below at the image that photographers call the “pull back image”, that shows all that went into to making that image come alive. Look at all that equipment! In the lower left corner is the camera. Way back in the far right is a rectangular scrim. It’s diffusing the sunlight on her hair so it will be soft. Closer to the camera than the scrim is a reflector tilted up at an angle to bounce light to brighten her eyes. Over Jamie’s head is a black gobo that is blocking light from above. Just in front of that gobo is a portable strobe with a soft box to warm her skin tones. Whew! What a lot of stuff ! Why go to all this trouble? For the sake of gorgeous images? Yes. But even more for the sake of the people in the images. Just before these portraits were created, Jamie’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. To put it mildly, life was stressful for Jamie and her family. But these portraits were a relief, a chance for them to enjoy something lovely in the midst of a challenging time. That is why I put so much effort into effortless portraits–so families can celebrate life. (Since these portraits, Jamie’s mother completed all her treatments and has recovered!)

Tom Launius, CPP