Tom D'Andrea – Young Trailblazers to Follow 2019


Photographs by Hector Gutierrez


"When you look at a photo, it makes you feel. In that moment, someone was able to capture the very essence of something; a kind of talent that doesn’t go unnoticed. My first impression of Tom D'Andrea was just that. I was immediately fascinated by his sheer ability to make me feel something while looking at his photographs. His creative energy and attention to detail causes his photos to be truly captivating. Whether he is creating content for Greyson Clothiers, or simply taking a photo on a Sunday hike, his best foot is always forward. When Tom and I started dating, he was weeks away from starting his first job right out of college with Greyson.
I remember him being so thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the company’s growth, and knew the impact it would make on the early stages of his career. There are days when I’ll just watch him work. He could be completely reconstructing the website, editing videos or photos, and every time, I am always impressed by his diligence and dedication to his profession. His everyday love for life is what fuels his passion and authenticity. Tom has been the most inspirational person to me more than he may know. His confidence, humbleness, and determination will only continue to create a path for him that others can look up to and follow."

– Kayla Santana

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A TRAILBLAZER?


Charging through the unknown. Capitalizing on opportunities. Learning from mistakes.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CREATOR?


To me, being a creator means bringing my visions to life. For every project I work on, there is always a clear and specific vision before I even open the computer or pick up the camera. In regards to manifesting my creativity, I’m not sure if I’ve ever created perfectly on the first try. Whether its a video, a photo, or an advertisement; there is always the process of analysis and adjustment. There is no such thing as the perfect photo or the perfect piece of creative content, and that’s the beauty of it. That’s what makes creating so exciting.


WHAT DO YOU HOPE NEVER CHANGES?


Love. It comes in so many shapes and forms. It’s truly incredible. I’m not even talking about the type of love that makes you settle down and start thinking about a future with someone. I’m talking about the love that makes you wake up excited for your commute to work. They say "Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life." Well, I’m not sure that phrase holds up, but you can sure come close. I love golf. I love adventuring. I love feeling an adrenaline rush. I love experiencing new things. That is the type of love that I hope never changes, but at the end of the day, it’s all love.


HOW DID SACRED HEART SHAPE YOUR CAREER?


Coming into Sacred Heart freshman year, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I enrolled as a general business major. It wasn’t until my junior year when I purchased my first camera and adobe software. I created and created, every chance I could. Although, I knew that my career was never going to be just a photographer. What Sacred Heart taught me was how important content was to the concept of marketing. Without content, you cannot sell. Whether that content is a blog, a photo, a video etc.



THIS WORLD NEEDS MORE:
Gratitude & environmental awareness. Millions of people in this world are too caught up in the day-to-day negative. Too caught up in what they should have, or where they should be. Never fully aware of where they are in life and how great it really is.

WHAT IS SOMETHING WE SHOULD BE PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO?


Each other, and the vibes that you get from the people around you. How your attitude affects the people around you. Not just your loved ones, or the people you see everyday in the work place, but the random individuals you encounter every day. A smile can change the world. I live by that.




WHAT WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU LIVE BY?
“Figure it out” - I know this may be short but nothing comes easy. No amount of practice or preparation will give you the ability to solve every problem... But "figuring it out” is the best skill I have. It’s something I tell myself every day when I face a challenge.

WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?


Skip the small talk - I’ve always disliked small talk. It leads to nothing. No meaningful relationship has every come out of small talk. Recently, I was in an hour long Uber ride. Just me and my 36 year-old Uber driver, Jermaine. The first thing he said to me when I got in the car was, “Tom, teach me something... What’s one thing I can learn from you today." This shook me. I had no clue how to respond, but little did I know this would be one of the best and most meaningful conversations I have ever had. He taught me so much in just an hours' time. Left me thinking for days. I had goose bumps. Point is... you never know who is going to enlighten you.. So, skip the small talk


WHAT'S ONE CAUSE YOU'RE PASSIONATE ABOUT?


As I mentioned before, environmental awareness. I truly believe there would be more happiness in this world if it weren’t for things like social media, addiction, and jealousy. I believe total environmental awareness can help many mental health issues that many of us struggle with every day. Why don’t I look like that, have that, go on vacations like that. When we compare our lives to those of others, we get jealous and forget to remember the positives in our own lives.





HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Simple: waking up happy and motivated. Seeing smiles on my loved ones faces. Building relationships that are deep and meaningful. Overcoming the stigma that success means commas in your bank account.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUDEST OF?


Being a valuable part of the family that is Greyson Clothiers.


HOW IMPORTANT HAS FAILURE BEEN IN YOUR LIFE?


On a 1-10 scale, failure is an 11 and “success” is a 6. There is no lesson without failure.


SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE:


HA! Mumford and Sons, Dermot Kennedy, J. Cole - In that order.



IF YOU COULD INTERVIEW ANYONE, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
My grandfather. He had so much to teach about family, work, and life. I was too immature to realize that before he passed.

WHO HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN YOUR CAREER?


My reporting boss, Adrienne Cass. She wants to learn as much as she can, from anyone & about anything. She works harder than anyone. It’s truly inspiring.


FIRST THOUGHT IN THE MORNING:

Is there coffee in the pot?


WHAT PARTICULAR EXPERIENCE AT SACRED HEART SHAPED YOU THE MOST?


Being a student athlete was certainly my most impactful experience at Sacred Heart. Not only does being a Division I athlete teach you the meaning of things like hard work, time management, and determination, but being an athlete also allows you to connect with so many other athletes across different sport programs. I had the opportunity to make so many connections during my time at Sacred Heart. Sometimes it’s tough to remember that when life moves fast, but when it boils down to it; building new relationships is one of the coolest things we get to do as humans.


Being a division I athlete gives you something irreplaceable: a family and memories. Your sport becomes your life and your teammates become your family. The relationships that I made while playing golf at Sacred Heart will last a lifetime and I’m forever grateful for that.




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