About the photographer
Tommy Corey, 31, is an outdoor portrait photographer from Redding, California. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon, working as a freelance photographer for various outdoor companies.
His passion for photography started at the age of twelve, when his Dad gave him his 35mm Olympus. From the start, his only interest was portraiture.
Coming out at the age of sixteen, the years leading up to that time was difficult for Tommy. Being a closeted gay pre-teen in a small conservative town meant he had to hide who he truly was; photography was his only source of expressing himself emotionally. While the other kids were at their football games and pep-rallies, Tommy found solace in photographing his friends outdoors.
In his early twenties, he created a humanitarian photo project called “The Self-Worth Project”. In these works, subjects would write their deepest vulnerability somewhere on their body and Tommy would create a story through their portrait. Inspired by a rash of gay teen suicides in late 2010, Tommy took inspiration from his own adolescence to bring light to bullying and mental health.
The next seven years of his twenties would be dedicated to wedding photography and concept art; photographs inspired by his dreams, favorite songs and even relationships with other men. While he held a consistent bartending job for this period of time, Tommy soon realized he wasn’t happy in his current state of creativy, or lack there of. Something needed to change.
That’s when he decided to hike the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail; a hiking trail spanning from the border of Mexico all the way to Canada. Tommy quit his bartending job, didn’t book any wedding clients and started on a journey of a lifetime in April of 2018.
Along that journey, he created an editorial style photo projected he dubbed “Hiker Trash Vogue”. It featured long distance hikers pretending to be high-fashion models. For the first time in his life, he felt he found his purpose as a photographer. He was integrating the things he loved most: being outside, self-love and photography.