About Thomas

I was born in Singapore, 1974, and based in Melbourne, Australia since 2012. Unlike most photographers, I didn't have any interest in photography in my teens. My dad did pass me a film camera, but I couldn't figure out how to use it, so I pass it on to my brother. Without an impressive resume during my youth, I discovered video making in the late 90s. Back then, I was fascinated by looking at the world through the viewfinder of a video camera. For the next eight years, I worked as a camera operator, video editor and eventually started a video production company. I wind up the business after going through a difficult time of my life in 2007. Not knowing how my future will turn out, I made a decision for a career change and moved to Australia in 2012 to study photography.

A visit to Jesse Marlow's exhibition during a school trip changed my view on street photography. In 2014, I started photographing on the street with my iPhone 5S, documenting everyday life that I come across. I didn't know where it will lead me, but I do enjoy being alone among the crowd. Storytelling isn't my cup of tea, I leave it to the viewers to decide. Neither am I eager to change the world with photography, enough people are doing that. What interest me is the ever-changing scenes unfolding in urban space, as I try to put together different elements to solve the puzzle. Having my camera with me disconnect me from my own world, and connect me to another, as I watch and observe people going about their life within space and time. I prefer candid and unposed shots on the street, and I walk an average of 8-10km everytime I'm out photographing alone. That's the only form of exercise I'm doing nowadays.

I'm currently working on two new personal projects in 2017, shooting with 35mm colour film. The reason for choosing film is to get out of my comfort zone and change my approach in shooting, processing and publishing. 


Email: thomas@thomas-lim.com

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Photograph To Express, Not Impress


Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Robert Capa and Robert Frank, I only got to knew these names after I started attending photography school. Later on, as I progress through my studies, names like Garry Winogrand, Elliott Erwitt, Joel Meyerowitz, Martin Parr and James Natchwey, started popping up. After graduation, I start studying their philosophies on photography, I'm more interested in their ideas behind their photography than the photographs itself. 

I usually get my inspiration from music, movies and work from practising photographers in our era. Such as Jesse Marlow, Trent Parke, Matt Stuart, Paul Russell and Peter Kool, just to name a few. Beside reading blogs, photography documentaries on YouTube takes up most of my free time when I'm not out on the street shooting.

Favourite photographer? Well, at this moment, it has to be Martin Parr. I love his unique way of documenting everyday life, which makes him different from other photographers. His smart and calculative style of composition makes him one of the finest photographers in Magnum Photos. And he always photographs with a smile, that's what we all need to do more in this era.


Group Exhibition @ NMIT Building P
"Titles" Exhibition @ NMIT "B" Space Gallery

NMIT Photoimaging Gradshow

Anterior Exhibition @ Melbourne Polytechnic (Permanent)

The EyeEm World Tour

2 Girls Building (Permanent)

Head On Photo Festival 2015 10x10 iPhone Photography Group Show @ Apple Store Sydney

Anterior Exhibition @ Ballarat International Foto Biennale Fringe Event

Linden Postcard Show 2015


RUANG Exhibition

You Can't Photograph What You Didn't See

Using Format