Photographer Frankie Thomas’ storytelling and collaborative working creates a desired vision.
Words by Hannah Tapping
Having studied Fashion Marketing at Falmouth University, Frankie Thomas moved to London pursue a career in fashion PR. After deciding that city life and fashion weren’t for her, she returned to Cornwall, working first for Visit Cornwall and then going it alone managing social media, content creation and PR for tourism businesses in Cornwall, as she explains: “When Covid-19 hit, I was just one year into my freelance marketing career. I lost 90% of my clients, due to my clientele being in the tourism industry.
“I needed to keep my creative flow alive, so I decided to buy a camera. Quickly realising that using a professional camera wasn’t as simple as ‘point and click’, I spent most of lockdown watching YouTube videos and taking photos on Cornwall adventures, in the hope that I would figure out my personal photography style,” explains Frankie. “I quickly realised that I didn’t like taking the standard beach and blue-sky photos. I preferred quirkier, moody locations to be the backdrop of my landscape photos. My Cornish blog (meetmebythesea.co.uk) became extremely popular and I started making connections and creating content for incredible businesses around Cornwall.” As the lockdown lifted, Frankie started pushing her business again, but this time photography was at the forefront. She found that tourism and hospitality businesses needed that extra visual push for them to stand out from the crowd, as the whole county had an influx of tourists. “I’ve been a photographer for two years now,” says Frankie, “and have found my niche in hospitality and tourism photography – from hotels and self-catering properties to restaurants and cafés.”
“When food is placed in front of me to photograph, I don’t just see a plate of delicious food – I see the story from start to finish. From where and when the produce is sourced, to when the chef cooks the food, plates it up on the pass and then serves it to the customer.” Frankie’s favourite subject to photograph is food because it allows so many creative opportunities. Action shots are her favourite and getting the team behind the story of the food always ends in a better result. Due to being self-taught, improving has become an obsession: “My partner Scott is the Head Chef at The Wig and Pen, and throughout our relationship, he has shown me a different side of food and hospitality, and what goes into it behind the scenes.
“Being so involved in the food world has really helped my work and I want people to look at my photos and appreciate that it’s not just a plate of food.”