about

Let’s make pretty things.

I love stories and sidelong glances. Small moments & details that reveal everything: rich history, true love, surprise, delight, or simple attention.
As a community organizer, photographer, and designer, I get to immerse myself in people’s stories, and to help them be told with power and beauty. I love this stuff.

After more than a decade on the east coast, most of them in New York City, I’ve still got the heart of my native Northern California. I never meant to end up as a photographer: I came east for college, and graduate studies in social work and theology.

I’ve made my career as a grassroots community organizer: helping lead a variety of economic, racial, and immigrant justice campaigns. At its heart, organizing is about building relationships with people from all walks of life: sitting down to coffee and sharing stories – where we came from, what motivates us, what we want for our community. I approach photography with the same spirit.

Truth be told, it was a few reporters – David Plotz and Julia Turner of Slate Magazine – who pulled me into photography. They saw potential in some snapshots of mine, hired me for my first events, my first wedding, and helped me find a whole new avocation.

These days, it’s a dual identity: I’m am an organizer, policy wonk, and a photographer. I don’t take on too many clients, but the people who seek me out tend to be a great fit. We chat on the phone about the wedding, or the project, I come up with a quote, we find a rate that works for everyone.

Then, just like in organizing, we meet for coffee. Share stories. I learn what you’re looking for and you get to know the guy who will be spending the Big Day with you. Then we make it happen, together. Interested in more? Drop me a line – stm [at] stevetm [dot] com – and check out my current rate sheet by clicking the link below.