Thomas Alleman was born and raised in Detroit, where his father was a traveling salesman and his mother was a ceramic artist. He graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in English Literature.
During a fifteen-year newspaper career, Tom was a frequent winner of distinctions from the National Press Photographer's Association, as well as being named California Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1995 and Los Angeles Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1996.
As a magazine freelancer, Tom's pictures have been published regularly in Time, People, Business Week, Barron's, Smithsonian and National Geographic Traveler, and have also appeared in US News & World Report, Brandweek, Sunset, Harper's and Travel Holiday. Tom has shot covers for Chief Executive, People, Priority, Acoustic Guitar, Private Clubs,Time for Kids, Diverse and Library Journal.
In the late1990s, Tom exhibited "Social Studies", a series of street photographs, widely in Southern California. He's currently finishing "Sunshine & Noir", a book-length collection of black-and-white urban landscapes made in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. "Sunshine & Noir" had it's solo debut at the Afterimage Gallery in Dallas in April 2006. Subsequent solo exhibitions include: the Robin Rice Gallery in New York in November 2008, the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR in October 2009, the Xianshwan Photo Festival in Inner Mongolia, China, in 2010 , California State at Chico, in 2011, and the Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles, February 2013. Fifty-three of Tom's photographs of gay San Francisco, shot between 1985 and 1988, debuted at the Jewett Gallery in San Francisco in December 2012, under the title, "Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws".