M. Thomas Duggan was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. and therefore enjoys freshwater more than salt, decaying, challenged landscapes more than pristine, and frosty air more than humid. After graduating from the State University of New York with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, he worked as an educator in a school which caters to students with a proclivity for displaying violent and disruptive behaviors. As a result of his work with this at-risk population, a strong desire grew in him to come in contact with other groups of people living in circumstances of adversity in hopes of learning from them, sharing with them, and alleviating some of their challenges. With this in mind in 2010 he abandoned his livelihood and moved to the Philippines to volunteer with the United States Peace Corps.
During his four years overseas he has documented and worked in partnership with informal settlers living in the tombs of a cemetery and atop landfills, directly under INGOs and government agencies which commit themselves to empowering struggling communities, and individuals with unshakably positive dispositions in spite of living in a landscape which is still hamstrung by Super-typhoon Haiyan. By both professionally documenting and informally sharing all of his experiences, he has been able to learn more about, and become more attracted to, the power photography has to spur generous actions.
With this potential in mind, M. Thomas Duggan will continue his work as an international photo documentarian in any location where basic human rights are in jeopardy. He will dedicate his time and efforts to partnerships with any individuals or organizations who share his commitment to presenting the rest of the world with honest images of its strengths and weaknesses, in hopes of providing a means by which moral compasses can be reoriented, and understanding and compassion can be born.