It might be his background as an advertising copywriter, but Portland photographer Tatum Shaw combines a signature low key aesthetic with a sharp observational eye. Like many photographers who’ve made it big in the post-digital age, Shaw got his start in candid photography, his camera a stalwart of his daily life. But as he documented the daily life Shaw began to see a pattern in his work, a sensibility that wasn’t just about a low-fi style but about a very particular subject matter – the unique moments, usually forgotten in a day.
Hailing from Cartersville, Georgia, Shaw is well acquainted with the quirks of a small town – its charms and its idiosyncrasies. As a silent witness, he captures daily life in a way that’s familiar and strange, like coming back to your childhood bedroom years after moving away or meeting a second cousin you never knew you had. His Etowah collection, named for the river that flows through his hometown, is both a reflection and celebration of the unique landscape and community he grew up in.
We spoke to Tatum about the ongoing influence of family and what brings him to document life as it ‘truly, weirdly, is.’