Faye and Troy Thomas both have a passion for photography. They have been working together for the last couple of years as a husband and wife team, though they also work individually. It adds a new dimension to photography, having the ability to collaborate and also keeping their individuality.
Photographer Troy Thomas, AKA El Grande PapiRatzi grew up on the small island town of Galveston, Texas. Troy became involved in theater arts in high school and then radio and television production while attending college at Texas Southern University. The big field of entertainment and the visual arts played a major role in his self expression. Going on later to become the front man in a local rap Troy used his poetry to become the driving force behind Chilly Tea and the Ice Cold Dancers. Troy and his crew members built their own in house recording studio. Performing in and around Houston while, producing music and demo tapes for other local artists on the music scene. Using his editing and production skills they even produced several demo videos of their own.
Several years later after laying down the microphone Troy continued to express himself through his poetry, short stories and other creative writings. One day Troy met a photographer, Hassan Hilliard, who was already established on the local music community. Troy began to explore photography as his newest artistic vehicle. Starting out with only a drug store “free film for life” point and shoot camera, he mainly took photos of friends and family. Encouraged by his then fiancé Faye North, herself a photographer, Troy upgraded to a Canon X3-IS digital camera. Bitten by the photography “bug” he invested in an entry level Canon XSI DSLR. Polishing his skills by shooting company functions, parties, weddings, portraits and music promos every chance he could get.
El Grande PapiRatzi was born. El Grande PapiRatzi has learned to use editing software such as Photoshop CS4 and Portrait Professional to further refine his images. Not satisfied with one style of photography El Grande PapiRatzi likes taking various creative avenues. Portraiture, still life, wildlife and candid photography are the many areas of photography that El PapiRatzi explores while perfecting his skills.
As far back as Faye can remember, perhaps as young as 7 years old, her enjoyment in photographs began. She remembers on very rare, yet special occasions, her family all gathering around at her Grandparents home, watching still images of distant memories being played on an old projector screen. It was then that her fascination with photographs and what they mean began.
Being the early gadget-lover that she was, Faye can still remember looking deep inside a camera's mechanisms, trying to figure out how it worked. How this tiny film that could be inserted into the back of this box, could create the images that it does. Pressing the shutter whilst the camera door was open, she would be absolutely fascinated at how the lens would blink immediately after she pressed that button down. The more she thinks about it, the more she realizes that she was into photography very deeply, at a very young age.
Lot's of different types of cameras have been used in Faye’s hand - from the old wind-up ones, to a Polaroid, to a Point and Shoot and now to an SLR. She enjoys everything there is about photography.
If Faye could, she would explore the world. Photography would be the very thing that would make her explorations worth-while, Faye says, “What good is a vacation if you have no photographs to remember it by? A simple photo can make all the difference. After all, a camera is a memory maker. And I love to help make those memories by being a photographer. Everyone should have a camera. Everyone should take photographs.”
Recently, Troy and Faye participated in “Color me Well”, a benefit for the Weathervane Foundation. For more information about Troy and Faye see their websites www.fayetography.weebly.com and www.myspace/elgrandepapiratzi. Faye and Troy live and work in Houston.