Thomas Hoeffgen chases joy, and tells the story of our drive to create a playground wherever we are.
From the makeshift football pitches of Africa to the big budget sets of global, Western brands, his skill is putting people in the perfect frame to cut loose and give direction that makes it possible to truly express themselves, then capturing those fleeting seconds with a taut, cinematic style.
“With every shot, it is about how brave can you be? Knowing how little you can take coming into each moment, how late you can click, and how hard you can hang on so that you maintain your shot longer and longer, so you can drive right at the limits of the light and the movement and get across the finish line.”
Through his work with big brands Timberland, Diesel, Adidas, BMW, Audi, Red Bull, Tommy Hilfiger, Hilton, Reebok, Wrangler, Macys, Merrell, Under Armour, Les Mills Harman/JBL, Landsend and WESTIN, and a world-class roster of agencies like McCann NY, BBDO, Tracy Locke, Pereira & O’Dell, TBWA\Chiat\Day Publicis NY, and Leo Burnett, he is known for his ability to create the race line he sees in his mind in the lens of his camera, and take it in the moment that it happens.
In his award-winning book, African Arenas, Thomas found the through line – in the images, his growth into a visual artist, and the culturally complex subject – that told the singular story of football played on sandlots to stadiums across Africa, in multiple shots, across a continent and a decade.
With his enduring relationship with movement in the moment, Thomas is excited by bringing his composed, energetic and cinematic eye to the moving image, it is a natural extension into the storytelling world of video.
When he’s not behind a lens, the waves off the coast of New York City, right under the flight path into JFK, are his playground; “Out there waiting to catch a break, you have the swim athletes training in front of you, the sight of a humpback whale’s fluke behind, and you are just sitting between their world and ours, as the whitewater rolls into the beach around one of the busiest cities in the world, with the 747 from South Africa coming out of the sky on the approach above you.