Tom Taylor: SC Picture Project Photographer

South Carolina SC Picture Project Tom Taylor

The Man Behind the Lens ...

Here at the South Carolina Picture Project, Tom Taylor was the nicest surprise! We first encountered him via Flickr, when we asked to use one of his images. We were delighted when he wrote back and said he knew SCIWAY well and had been following us for years. It turns out Tom and the founder of our website, Rod Welch, have a lot in common. Both are avid fans of South Carolina's history, and both worked many years as IT directors in South Carolina schools.

Since working with Tom, we have come to admire him greatly. Tom was once a teacher, which only endears him to us more. In the spirit of generosity and the greater good that so many educators seem to possess, Tom has not only become a trusted source of photos but also a trusted source of knowledge. In fact, we often go to him with questions when we get stumped, and he is an especially good source of information when it comes to his favorite places – old schools, rivers, and South Carolina ghost towns.

Interestingly, Tom maintains one of the best blogs in the state, Random Connections, which is much like the South Carolina Picture Project in its purpose and has more of Tom's wonderful photos. We highly recommend this site to anyone interested in South Carolina's history – you'll be hooked!

It is a pleasure to work with someone who cares as much about South Carolina's heritage as her beauty. Tom's photos and research give so much to the people of the Palmetto State. He is truly making a difference in terms of the documentation of our state, both culturally and geographically, and for this we are so grateful. Thank you, Tom!

CONTACT INFO:  Tom's online presence spans the gamut, covering both of his main hobbies, photography and music. You can reach him at the following websites:

WEBSITE:  randomconnections.com

FLICKR:  flickr.com/photos/randomconnections

TWITTER:  @RndConnections, www.twitter.com/rndconnections

SOUNDCLOUD:  soundcloud.com/randomconnections

MORE PHOTOS:  See all of Tom's photos in the SC Picture Project!

Tom in His Own Words ...

BACKGROUND:  I'm a retired educator and school administrator living in Greenville with my wife, Laura. I last served as Director of Technology for District Five Schools of Spartanburg. I graduated from Furman with an undergraduate degree in Music Education and a Masters in Education. I've taught elementary music, middle school chorus, fourth grade, and instructional technology. I have also served as a choir director in various churches in the area.

I grew up in a large family in Laurens County. My father, a preacher and educator, and my mother, a music teacher, would load us up into the family car and take us on drives on backroads all over the Upstate. We all came by our love of rambling naturally, and I'm often joined by one or more of my siblings on my rambles.

HOBBIES:  I love to travel and read, and I'm interested in genealogy and local history. I'm also an avid paddler. I enjoy exploring the rivers and lakes of the region, and have had the privilege of kayaking as far south as Florida and as far north as Washington State. Some of my favorite places to kayak are the Edisto River, Sparkleberry Swamp, and Lake Jocassee.

Music is more than a hobby. I play several instruments and sing with the Greenville Chorale. I also like to compose and record electronic music.

I love to tinker with techno-gadgets of all types. I've been an avid blogger since 2004, and have recently begun a podcast series at my blog, www.randomconnections.com.

ON PHOTOGRAPHY:  I consider myself an "accidental photographer." My older brothers were the trained professionals, and I only began taking the craft seriously in the last decade or so. While I do appreciate the artistic nature of photography, I take photos as part of an overall process of documenting the natural and cultural history of our area. I'm a huge proponent of digital storytelling, archiving, and recording oral history. I always have a camera with me, whether it be a larger DSLR, a GoPro, a small point and shoot, or just my iPhone, and I also usually have an audio field recorder with me on my rambles.

I photograph our kayaking trips and rambling explorations throughout the state. My subjects and interests include old schools, bridges, historic churches and cemeteries, old fire towers, and ghost towns throughout South Carolina.


                       
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