What do you do?
Tom Woodruff

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I have two jobs. I own T.W. Woodruff Photography and I work part-time at Safeway.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       In my photography business, I sell wildlife and nature images to magazines, newspapers, etc. I also photograph for the Pikes Peak Challenge as a volunteer. At Safeway, I work in the seafood department. It’s a great part-time job for me and a steady income, whereas photography can be unsteady at times.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
        My professional occupation for over 30 years was audiovisual, video production and photography on the corporate level. My last position was lead videographer with Bally’s Casinos in Atlantic City, N.J. I have been at Safeway on the Westside for nine years.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       As a nature photographer, I like to travel to wildlife refuges and photograph. I also belong to the Pikes Peak Camera Club, one of the oldest camera clubs in the U.S. At Safeway, I meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world, and the people I work with are really enjoyable.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I wish I could only photograph and have someone else do all the marketing and paperwork.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       Rejection slips from magazines. I could wallpaper my house in them. When you are trying to get your images published in a magazine, you are dealing with a lot of competition not only from great photographers, but the staff of the magazines, most of whom are photographers, and will publish their own images even if yours are superior. I welcome competition, but would like an even playing field.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The Westside is just an out of the ordinary place to live and work. We have great views of the mountains and the Garden of the Gods. From where we live, we can travel to so many remarkable places in just a few hours.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.