I had to shoot a new portrait of AnnArbor.com freelance reporter Tom Perkins today to replace his previous avatar on our site, which featured him holding up a tennis racquet and peering menacingly beneath the brim of his large afro. I can count numerous times when I've been out in public or at a bar and someone who just figured out I work for AnnArbor.com asks me: "So what's the deal with that one guy?" They then go on to describe his picture and I say, "Ahh, yes. Tom Perkins." His deal is that he began writing for local papers while attending Eastern Michigan University. He taught himself photography several years ago and has spent the bulk of his career freelancing. According to Tom, when he isn’t shooting photos, he is on a tennis court or tending to his budding pickle empire, Perkins Pickles. He is proud his pickles won the “People’s Choice” award at the 2009 Leelanau Peninsula Pickle Off.