Photographer Tom Atwood Shows Us There’s No Place Like Home

"Kings & Queens In Their Castles" profiles LGBT Americans both famous and everyday.

Tom Atwood has made a career out of taking pictures of people in their homes: “I shoot subjects at home because our natural habitats bring out our true character,” says the out photographer, whose latest coffee table book Kings & Queens in Their Castles has just been published by Damiani.

George Takei
Tom Atwood

The book features more than 15 years worth of portraits—more than 150 subjects, including John Waters, Alan Cumming, George Takei, Don Lemon, Michael Urie, and Barney Frank. But there are also farmers, salesmen, politicians, homeless advocates and beekeepers.

Meredith Baxter
Tom Atwood

“There is a common LGBTQ sensibility that sets us apart that I wanted to recognize and celebrate,” Atwood says. “This sensibility shares an outlook with the sensibility of creative and cultural leaders—an awareness of difference, of other, of possibility—an avant-garde mindset.”

Michael Urie
Tom Atwood

Blending portraiture and architectural photography, he says, his work “illustrate[s] that subjects and environments are a unified fabric… our living spaces can also be the ultimate in self-expression.” The combination of a wide-angle lens and wide depth of field ensure neither subject nor space dominate.

Don Lemon
Tom Atwood

Atwood chose a wide diversity of ages, identities and experiences for Kings & Queens subjects. “Many LGBTQ series depict scantily-clothed young subjects romping through the forest or lounging on the beach,” he explains.

“There was a need for a series highlighting our manifold personalities and backgrounds. And I wanted to create a body of work that would strengthen the identity of and be a source of pride for the LGBTQ community, as well as feature role models.”

Bruce Vilanch
Tom Atwood
Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
@adamsalandra