Photography Passion and Obsession

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From the Editors: Tim Wallace is an award winning photographer his work is often described as both conceptual and dramatic.Tim works internationally with many high clients across the globe such as Jaguar Land Rover, Peugeot, Mercedes and Morgan as well as shooting some of the worlds most iconic brands such as Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Ferrari in the UK and Europe to Dodge, Chevrolet and Mustang in the US.

What is your professional background and how did you get interested in photography? 

My love of photography started at about age seven. My grandfather loved to take photos but he didn't like printing them so I converted the garden shed into a darkroom and that began both my love of the darkroom and black-and-white photography. I worked as a photojournalist for several years, then at an agency, and the joined the Royal Marines. I nearly died from a fall off a mountain in Norway.I spent nine months in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. I then worked as a Networks Operations Manager for several years for Virgin before deciding in 2006 to strike out on my own and return to photography. That's when I started Ambient Life. 

What do you enjoy most about being a photographer? 

Simple, its what I love to do, its my passion, its more of an obsession for me than a career if I'm honest. 
If you can find something in life that you really love and that you feel you were born to do and then get paid for it. Well you're a lucky man, that's me ! 

Did you find any of your projects particularly challenging to shoot?

Cars are not easy, most people don't realise until they start to try and light them, they are multi angle reflective surfaces, its like trying to light and shoot yourself in a bathroom with a mirror on each wall ! Lol 
Its not always the shoot than can be challenging but mainly the weather and all the planning and negotiation that occurs leading up to the shoot. 

Name a shoot or project that revealed to you the distance you've come as an artist. 

That's really hard to answer but I guess it would have to be a while ago when I was asked to shoot for a truck manufacturer, the problem was that what he needed me to shoot was the brochure for a new garbage truck that they were making, that wads a test of my creatively to say the least and also we had to shoot them in a  studio and make them look great, not an easy task but it went really well and the client was really happy with the outcome 

What about your favorite moments. Is there any experience that stands out above the rest? 

What I love best about what I do is the people that I meet and get to work with, I have shot super-yachts out in the Mediterranean and sipped a glass of wine off the back at midnight whilst wrapping up the day with a client, the height of luxury. I have met some amazing people that just made a shoot what it was with their hard work and generosity and devotion to what they do for me. I make friends with almost all buy clients, its just the person I am I guess, I was shooting for a client recently and he had something called 'blacktac' that is a sticky type of material useful for placing things in place and holding them there, I mentioned that I had not seen that before and he went and ordered me some to be sent to my house, its a small thing but its so good he thought to do that. 

Tim you are also an instructor at many workshops (including Scott Kelby) and seminars. Please tell us more about that.

I have been a KelbyOne instructor for several years now and over in the US Scott Kelby even described me a while ago as one of the most influential car photographers in the World today. A few years ago I was invited to the US by Kelby and with their filming and production crew produced a set of one hour long video tutorials that cover the in-depth aspects of the lighting of cars in photography, my approach to a shoot and the issues and solutions that can arise in different situations and working with just available light effectively. These video seminars are available online through KelbyOne online, 

The video seminars have since proved a huge success and have received some great feedback from the tens of thousands of professional and amateur based viewers Worldwide that have used them to help them understand items from new lighting techniques to how to look at a scene and work to build up for a more atmospheric photographic capture. The videos also look at working with just one light for those that wish to try out and experiment in this field but have limited equipment available as well as some dedicated photoshop retouching and digital processing classes. I am now a regular guest at Kelby and I continue to build on the catalogue of training videos available through his dedicated area on the KelbyOne site where I am an instructor alongside some of the biggest names in the photography today such as Joe McNally and Jay Maisel.

You can also find 2 in depth interviews lasting over 1 hour each with me talking about the business side of the industry from setting up and first things to think about, through to client strategies and effective quoting as well as a second 1 hour video interview where I talk about what inspires me today and talks through the journey that led me to where I am today. On top of all that I am also an instructor at the annual Photoshop World event in Las Vegas each year, giving seminar classes on stage to a live audience as well as doing lighting classes and live demo shoots. 

You have created Plan B, please tell us what it offers.

Plan B is all about providing stock syndicated photography to clients globally for commercial and corporate use. I don't like my stock being controlled or sold through anybody at all apart from my own company. 
The supply of professional high quality stock photographic images for both commercial, marketing, and magazine / book use within the business and publication sectors. Offering either exclusive or rights managed options on out work through our syndication program directly. We often work with art directors and buyers to provide creative high quality photography that can really add value to a project or editorial piece. Our main server holds a truly massive catalogue of work that covers mainly our specialist field of automotive car photography as well as additional content such as yachts and general commercial work and engineering photography. All our work is ready for use and can be supplied in both high resolution and web resolution with files being transmitted anywhere in the world quickly and efficiently for our clients.

Do you find there are times when commercial shooting becomes boring and routine? And, if so, what does it depend on? Are there any projects you would refuse, or have refused, to shoot? 

I don't ever find that I have ever been bored with a shoot, some can be very difficult or very tiring at times, its a very physical job to light on location with a lot of equipment and at times it can be a dangerous environment too. I lost the top of my index finger in an accident in  studio with a car brake calliper crushing it and ripping it off when the car was moved unexpectedly by a assistant when my hand was on the wheel, very painful and lucky for me I got a really top plastic surgeon that specialised in hands to remake and reattach it so that I can still use it. I haver refused shoots in the past yes and still do, mainly due to I think the client being totally unrealistic about what is achievable on their budget or sometimes because I simply don't like the feel of the client, I trust my gut, always !

A lot of your advertising and creative work is rather unique. How do you think digital editing or manipulation affects the images you produce?

I shoot digital of course and yes a lot can be changed in PS these days, people who know me and my work, or even better, have seen me shoot at live demo shoot seminars will know that I achieve the majority of my work in camera, not because I'm gifted but simply because I feel that photography is a 'skill' that we need to keep alive and not rely on PS and editing all the time. 

How or did social media played a role in your photography?

Social media = the beast! LoL

I didn't bother much with social media until a few years ago, now I have over 14,000 following me on Twitter, I have no idea who most of them are and I only follow about 40! LoL. Facebook I have two pages and they are growing all the time as well as my latest sign up which is Instrgram, I post a few times each day and its a great 'community' but most of all its a great place I find to quickly inspire people through what I'm doing that day. Its also very useful as a platform to let people interested in your work know about events that your doing and how they can find out more, things like my seminars in Las Vegas in August. 

Thank you Tim for taking the time to do this interview.
We are happy to welcome you on board among other photographers.
Your photography is very valuable in this community and very beneficial for our readers.

Camerapixo Team

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