CAMD undergraduate student Joe Thomas ’18
CAMD student Joe Thomas has found a way to blend his passion and interest in photography with his career goals and academic success, a winning combination that many aspire toward but that is certainly not easy to achieve. He uses photography to express his creativity, highlight the uniqueness of both built and natural environments, and tell stories about the people and moments he captures. His keen eye for finding the perfect balance of ambiance and atmosphere to tell a compelling story has been an asset in all three of his co-ops, as well as his classes in the School of Journalism, where he is pursuing his undergraduate degree.
“I wanted to study something I was truly passionate about, and that I would be excited to practice and improve upon in my spare time,” said Joe. “Journalism as a field was appealing to me because it would allow me to further embrace photos as stories, and I knew it would push me out of my comfort zone and be challenging at the same time.”
As a photojournalist and social media photographer, Joe is versed in various styles of photography, and has made quite a name for himself on Instagram. His account focuses on urban photography, highlighting various scenes and cityscape around Boston, which originally got him noticed by The Boston Globe in 2015, but has since continued to grow and evolve.
“My Instagram account has actually helped me land all of my co-ops,” Joe said. “It always comes up during interviews in one way or another, and leads to conversations about my skill set and passion for photography.”
He has grown his following to over 31,000 people at this point, but his Instagram is not even the half of it. Joe has been able to successfully weave his photography skills into his co-op experiences, and his talent combined with his exceptional work ethic have led to some really interesting (and diverse) opportunities. From snapping celebrity shots and running the social media channels for (RED) to capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments at weddings while working for Nicole Chan Photography. Joe has had extremely valuable co-ops and has been able to learn from experts he is still in touch with today.
Most recently, he has had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Amazon’s newest and most impressive robots. As the full-time Photo/Video Production Co-op for Amazon Robotics, Joe documents equipment trainings and corporate events, producing footage and materials that are used for internal purposes. He has captured everything from the robotics training procedures to Amazon’s heart-warming 30 Days, 30 Smiles with the American Childhood Cancer Organization. A photo he captured at this special event, of a child whose dream is to be an engineer, was even shared on Twitter by Jeff Bezos himself, Amazon’s CEO.
While Joe has had plenty of experience shooting events, the type of technical photography the job requires has been eye-opening – and he has been able to learn and grow into both the position and team.
“Another highlight so far was going to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers in Connecticut, and witnessing the product in action,” Joe described. “It was the largest building I’ve ever been in. Seeing the automation and thousands of robots working in the warehouse was overwhelming, now I understand how I get two day shipping.”
As if all this weren’t cool enough, he also had the opportunity to personally document Bezos. Needless to say, Joe has mastered the art of working under pressure.
Working at Amazon is Joe’s final co-op before graduating this upcoming spring. He is excited to wrap up his last semester on-campus absorbing as much information as he can from CAMD’s faculty, who he describes as extremely supportive and experienced. We certainly look forward to continuing to enjoy his photos and witness him inject compelling stories into the everyday scene he snaps, capturing the truly vibrant life and beautiful energy that is all around us.
Be sure to follow him @joethommas.