My work is documentary in nature, but follows more in the vein of the modernism of Walker Evans than of standard photojournalism. My work as an artist has been concerned with the lives of children, family relationships, and growing up. I have also photographed the natural world, and in my new body of work, Earth and Sky, I focus on the details of that which surrounds us.

Work is available for purchase; please contact me with any questions: wtolan (at) gmail (dot) come


Earth and Sky

By looking up, down, and in between, I hope to make viewers aware of that from which we are often disconnected. The separation of modern mankind from the land has led to its disregard. Wendell Barry, in his essay “Think Little,” said it best: “...if we apply our minds directly and competently to the needs of the earth, then we will have begun to make fundamental and necessary changes in our minds.... We will see that beauty and utility are alike dependent upon the health of the world.”

Simply looking starts awareness.

Archival pigment prints, 24” x 30” paper, 22” x 27” image, edition of 5, $1500-$10,000 each;
17” x 22” paper, 15” x 18.6” image, edition of 10, $800-$5000 each,
depending on how many have sold in the edition.


The photographer Emmet Gowin once said, "We know more than we say. We know ourselves in a deep sense, just the same way as we know the family. We don't tell everything we know about the family, and we don't tell everything we know about ourselves. We tell those things that we feel have a chance poetically of fitting back into life, and that means fitting back into the feelings of other people."

FHB

I have complicated emotions about my family. I lost my father at an early age, and I have been looking for and idealizing family ever since. I am the youngest of six and I have photographed my mother, siblings, nieces and nephews for more than twenty years; in the early 1990s I photographed my maternal grandfather during the last four years of his life. My pictures are attempts to capture what I missed as well as what I had – and to understand and convey the love and complexity of my relationships.

(FHB was the code used in my family to mean Family Hold Back whenever unexpected guests arrived for a meal and there was a chance of running out of food.)


JET

Now something is different: I am photographing my own family – my wife of five years and my three-year-old and four-month-old sons. My feelings about the family I have chosen are less complicated than those about the family I was born into, and my recent work reflects this fact. The photographs reproduced here are portraits not only of my wife, but of my love for her as well.

FHB: Fuji Crystal Archive chromogenic prints, 20” x 24” paper, 18” x 22” image,
edition of 10, $1500-$5000 each, depending on how many have sold in the edition.

Portraits of Jenny: Archival pigment prints, 24” x 30” paper, 22” x 27” image,
edition of 7, $1000-$7500 each, depending on how many have sold in the edition.

 


 

The following are links to work-related photography. One has to pay the bills somehow...

 

Egypt

Photographs taken in Egypt during the Fox Television program "Opening the Tombs of the Golden Mummies: Live!"


Fitness

Photographs taken for fitness/health stories on FOXNews.com


Fashion

Photographs taken for fashion stories on FOXNews.com


Hells Kitchen

Photographs taken for NYCitySearch.com


Dog Run

Photographs taken for NYCitySearch.com