Philadelphia photographer captures the beauty of the stars and locals.

From celebrities and models to local Philadelphians, Whitney Thomas has captured a wide range of faces and places in his time as a photographer. His work in photography began in Philadelphia and has slowly moved throughout the United States.

Thomas recently held an open house event on Jan. 24 at his newly opened studio in the city, one he said is different than most with its open room, hardwood floors, white walls, brick walls and long windows.

“[Other studios] are a little more grungy, but I’m kind of glossy,” Thomas said. “I like it to be a little slick.”

Thomas’ exhibit featured some of the beauty and fashion shots he has taken of local models. Setup in the form of a gallery, the close-up beauty shots showed off Thomas’ skills with the camera, displaying the raw details of the models’ faces and bodies.

Thomas said he wanted “to highlight people that are local” for this exhibit. The photos are relatively simplistic with neutral-colored backgrounds, the sole focus being the model.

His clientele extend beyond just models, however.

“I’ve shot a lot of celebrities and a lot of music artists, I’ve shot a lot of people in concert and a lot of people in the studio,” Thomas said.

He’s worked with artists such as Jill Scott, Will Smith, Mos Def, Rihanna, Musiq Soulchild and Anthony Hamilton.

In 2001, Thomas began his work in photography in Philadelphia. However, photography has not always been his chosen path. Thomas graduated from college with a degree in engineering, but he later realized he wanted to turn his hobby into a career.

“I used to be a corporate guy, and in 2000 I quit, I was in the [Washington] area and then came back to Philly and started this,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he chose something he wanted to do as opposed to working for money.

Today, he is the sole employee of his own business, aside from help from a single intern.

“I wanted to do something that I actually enjoyed doing,” Thomas said.

Caitlin O’Connell can be reached at caitlin.oconell@temple.edu.

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