Chris Nicholls of Investment Advisor Invests in Photographer Tom McKenzie

July 1, 2013

By Chris Nicholls

© Tom McKenzie

<em>Investment Advisor</em> "Agents of Change" with Jud Bergman.

I started working with Tom McKenzie on the last issue of the first magazine I ever worked on. I was fortunate enough to have been moved over to Investment Advisor shortly after, where I would continue working with and getting to know Tom. Three years later, he’s among the most talented and professional photographers I know.

If I have a shoot in Chicago, San Francisco, Cincinnati, New York or Plymouth, Minnesota, I know I can always count on Tom to not only be flexible, but to consistently produce exceptional photographs. There have been countless times where I needed him to either travel or be prepared for a next-day shoot, and he has never let me down. Even with minimal direction, I can trust that he will deliver extraordinary results.

I recently asked Tom to shoot our “Separately Managed Account Managers of the Year”  (below) for our June cover.  I had a basic idea of what I wanted, but he took it on and delivered more than I had expected. As a designer working on a financial publication, it can sometimes be challenging to produce engaging layouts that demand the reader’s attention, so being able to rely on Tom’s creative vision is extremely valuable.

“SMA Managers of the Year” June 2013 cover./ © Tom McKenzie

Every year, our magazine features the Broker-Dealers of the Year awards, and every year I choose Tom to photograph the winners. Despite having the photo shoot in the same average-looking hotel every year, Tom is always able to pull a trick out of his sleeve and make each issue look fresh and compelling. And it’s not just the carefully thought out compositions and elegant lighting that make the shots—it’s the way he’s able to connect with the subjects to bring out their personalities.

 “Broker Dealers of the Year” 2012./© Tom McKenzie

As the years have passed, I consider Tom not just a professional colleague, but also a close friend. Whether we’re discussing an upcoming project or just sending out a quick update on the family, it’s comforting to know that there are photographers out there like him. I hope to have the chance to work with Tom McKenzie until the last issue of the last magazine I will ever work on.

Elliot Weissbluth / © Tom McKenzie