The tryout that may never be: Thomas Allison


Photo Editor’s note: I was surprised to find former senior photographer Thomas Allison sitting in the Daily Texan Photo office when I arrived in “the basement” this morning. There comes a time when all of the old guard feels the need to move on to other things, having performed many semesters, if not years, of dutiful service to this publication, and Thomas was no exception, a rock in the Photo department since 2010. But there he was, eating a sandwich, a broad smile on his face, voicing his uncertainty about whether it was a good idea to come back on staff as an issue photographer. A tryout for someone of Thomas’ caliber is in every way a simple formality, so I sent him to photograph an assignment that required a sure hand and a certain vision. The assignment involved taking pictures of two young entrepreneurs, Tobin and Griffin Wine, who are in the process of raising money to fund their new business, Games Save The World. Tobin and Griffin are eight and six respectively. A few hours later, before the actual assignment had commenced, I learned from our managing editor that we needed a new DOM (dominant, headline) image for the front page. Thomas’ assignment was already the DOM image for the back page, but I sent him a text saying that he needed to bring us back two, or a Double DOM. Sure enough, he did, and more. Here is a sample of his take that features images with a purely human touch, a simple honesty that shows how important it is to make your subjects comfortable when photographing them. I’m glad this blog exists. If it didn’t I would have had to go through with my playful suggestion, made as I watched the designers put some of these photos in the paper, asking: “Can’t we just run them all?”. - Lawrence Peart

“I’ve always enjoyed shooting assignments involving kids. Their uninhibited energy means that from one frame to the next everything can change, and frequently does. However, I was especially impressed by the worldliness of the Wine brothers. At eight and six, Tobin and Griffin are C.E.O and C.F.O respectively of their own business, Games Save The World. Their new game, Monster Crabs, has already surpassed the necessary amount to fund the project on, raising more than four thousand dollars. What began as a business learning experience by their father Aaron Wine, seems like it might actually earn the two a nice profit. I feel quite confident that their entrepreneurial spirit will serve them well for years to come.” - Thomas Allison

Thomas Allison is a former Daily Texan Senior Photographer and a student in the Photojournalism school at the College of Communication. This past summer he traveled to Mexico and China as part of Students of the World, documenting the stories of cancer survivors for Livestrong.