IPA Interviews with Winning Photographers

Interview with

Tim Hawley

1st place Advertising – Product Category 2015

What is your background?

I am a photographer, author, digital artist, and poker player nicknamed “Tex”. I am also a father of 2 girls and a boy, which has brought me wonder and tempered my OCD. Other skills include prepper, golfer, baker, and curator. Check me out on Behance and Linkedin. Or feel free to contact me and ask me for my award winning Banana Fosters Pizza Recipe.

What kind of photography do you most identify with?

I have been privileged to collaborate on a variety of national accounts with creatives from large advertising agencies. I thrive on the challenges provided by these influencers and trendsetters. Elevating their concepts to their fullest potential is my passion and primary objective.

Explain your style in 100 words

Whether I am telling a story or presenting a piece of merchandise, my work is an organic union of what is dramatic, eloquent and heroic. There is an obvious visual thread that can be seen when you look through the body of my work. I create memorable images that have a classic beauty based in crisp reality.

How did your style change over time?

Manipulating different film emulsions through chemical processes has become tightly controlled through filters and other digital tools. I am currently working towards deconstructing my strict commercial look and developing a more organic and unexpected approach.

What photograph left a lasting impression on you and why?

Oak Tree, Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, by Ansel Adams, 1948. It speaks to my soul.

When did you discover your passion for photography?

When I was 10 or 11 I got into my mother’s drawer and “borrowed” her camera. I wanted to see how it worked. I spent an hour clicking the shutter around the house. Just playing with it. The resulting pictures were the evidence of my crime.

What jobs have you done other than being a photographer?

I was an assistant photographer for 4 years in my 20’s where I learned everything I missed by studying mechanical engineering in college.

What is your dream project?

I really love what I do, working with creative teams on conceptual imagery for discerning clients. My career has truly been a dream come true. If I could change anything it would be to spend more time focused on projects and less time focused on marketing my own brand.

Name 5 photographers who have inspired you

Ansel Adams is why I set up my first darkroom in my teens. Dennis Manarchy opened my mind to the possibility of a commercial career. Matthew Rolston told me that Andy Warhol told him, “If you want to take beautiful pictures, take pictures of beautiful things.” Don Miller taught me to look at every square millimeter of the frame. Finally, Instagram is a never-ending source of inspiration.

What would you do without photography?

Golf, wakeboarding, stand up comedy, sommelier, real estate developer, flamenco guitar

How do you know when a body of work is finished?

When they pry the camera from my cold dead hands.

Is there a photograph of yours that you are very proud of? Why?

I have a print of Tom Waits shot by Dennis Keeley. Keeley signed the print and told me Tom looked at it and said, “That’s great. You made my head the size of a ketchup bottle.” Tom Waits is my absolute favorite lyricist. And Keeley is my favorite conversationalist. I should have mentioned him in the “who inspired you” question above.

What is your most important gadget? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

Important? Hands down it’s Photoshop. Gadget? I bought a gimbal to shoot video with my iPhone 6S. FUN!

What was your first camera?

A Fujica AX-3. A very inexpensive 35mm I bought with some high school graduation money. You don’t need expensive equipment to express your vision.

What camera do you use now and why?

I use a variety of cameras depending on the project and end use. I’m looking forward to next version of the Canon 5D. I think this year we will have come to a point in technology that is finally “good enough”.

What role does the photographer have in society?

The photographer has become ubiquitous. Everyone has a camera in their pocket so there are as many roles as there are people. Pick one and specialize or pick a different role every day. Creating images is so much fun and it’s so easy to share them. Enjoy yourself!

You can contact Tim and find out more about his work here.

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