Thomas E. Schmuki Photography

Phone: (954)439-1999 Email:


The moment of Truth - a health update and photography tip at the end

Tom SchmukiComment
Beautiful model Laura Garrido

Beautiful model Laura Garrido

Another personal blog where you can learn “hidden secrets” about me, my life and my photography.  At the end of this blog I will give ONE photography tip to those photographers on how I assure proper skin tone exposures on things like fashion shows without using a light meter.

I have written two previous blogs about my latest health drama which started over 6 weeks ago.

One Breath Away

I hope to see Clearly again:

For those few who actually read my blog, thank you.  To me it means you care and are interested in my life and my work. For the most part I believe the blog is not really read by anyone, not even my wife lol.  For those select few who do…. THANK YOU.

Here is my health update.

After multiple visits to the following doctors: optometrist, ophthalmologist, neurologist, hematologist, cardiologist.  My neurologist basically said I need everything extensively checked from the “heart up”.  Guess my privates don’t matter …

I have had a Brain Stem Scan, throat scan, EKG, 24 hour heart monitor, echo cardiogram, multiple blood tests, bla, bla, bla.  Oh my. 

My personal prognosis:

My urologist determined my testosterone levels (T Levels) were far too low …. about 175 and at my age should be approximately 700-1000.  We discussed alternatives to fix my problem.  I was convinced even though I had initiated a conversation about the risks that I should go on a regimented supervised testosterone shot treatment plan.  Every other Friday, I have been shot in the arm with that stuff.  After my first blood test, they found my T Levels were great, in the mid 700’s but my blood showed signs of “thickening” and should initiate a plan of purging some of my old blood with new blood.  That is when I went and gave blood. 

It was that day…. Read my blog on  “One Breath Away”, that I believed I had a small minor stroke.  Frankly I thought I was going to die lying on the floor.  I think it may be called a TIA.  I exhibited at least 4 of the major signs of a TIA.

I am still feeling weak, but a little stronger every day.  I still see double (no improvement) without my prism glasses.  I am convinced after talking with people who have gone through this that I will get better and my vision will improve.  Can take 2-6 months.

My fear to be honest.  I read 1/3 of all patients who had a TIA have a stroke within 12 months.  Guess its time to ….. get in shape, fix my cholesterol issues, and most importantly enjoy my life and get that last great photo out there.  I will NEVER stop!

Photography Tip - Proper skin tone exposure

Photographers here is your tip: I look carefully at my histogram.  I zoom in on the skin tones and make sure the histogram is reading just past the middle and even as much as ¾.  Lets face it, if the skin is not exposed properly, what is the use?????

Thomas Schmuki


One breath away

Tom Schmuki3 Comments
FatCity05--643-Edit-Edit-Edit (1).jpg

This blog is not about photography, but for those interested in me personally you may want to read on.  You may sense how important it is for me to create something special before I go.

My doctor recommended I donate blood every month for 3 months to “help replace good new blood with older not as good blood…”  On Saturday while it was pouring outside I decided to follow my doctors’ orders and donate blood.  Got to love all those questions on the pre-screening.  Good thing I have lived a clean life!  I saw 2 people before me denied from giving blood, one because of her blood pressure and the other because of improper iron levels.  I thought surely, I am going to fail, both my predecessors looked healthier than me.

The process went smoothly and quickly.  They offered me a apple juice after the “
giant sucking” process and I drank it all gone.  They then said, you can leave now.  On the way out they offered me a MacDonald’s Hamburger.  I thought, hum, that was nice, but no.  Why would they offer me a hamburger?

I drove home, sent my wife off shopping and took a nap.  When I woke up from the nap I made a groggy jaunt to the bathroom.  I felt a little dizzy, but thought it was moderately normal because I often feel slightly dizzy when going vertical.  On my way out of the bathroom my dizziness got worse.  I soon realized I was in trouble.  I passed out and fell to the floor.  Not sure how long I was on the floor. When I woke up, I was profusely sweating and started to vomit.  I was laying on the tile floor heaving like never before in my life.  I then called loudly upstairs for my son Ryan... “Ryan, I am in trouble, please help!!!”  I repeated this about 3 times with no response.  I then thought I was alone in the house and surely, I was going to die right there on the floor.  Finally, Ryan came downstairs and I tried to explain to him my problem.  He didn’t understand.  I told him, "please be ready to call 911, I may die right here on the floor." Again, I think he thought I was kidding.  NOT.

Ryan got Tammy on the phone and she was a long way from home. I told Ryan to tell her to get home fast I was in trouble.  Surely Tammy also didn’t believe I was in trouble.  She thought I had a flu.  About ½ hour later she arrived.  I was still on the tile floor lying next to a terrible mess I had created. After drinking a bunch of fluids and eating a banana I started to feel slightly better.

To this moment, I still feel weak.  Definitely strong enough to work, but impacted non the less by the donation of my vampire blood.

Crazy 2 things I thought when I was on the floor.  One: “I hope my last photograph was my best ever” and two: “I never told Tammy I wanted Nanette Maxfield Garrett to sing at my funeral.”

Yes I have a crazy desire to create a legacy of beautiful photographs.  Not sure why.  I guess my hope is that some day someone will recognize I had a sprinkle of artistic talent and I actually gave something positive to the world.