One on One with Ted's Masters - Tim Coulson

14/01/2015 10:33 am

Hi Tim, please tell us a little about yourself
I’m Tim and more important than being a photographer, I’m a husband and dad. I love Dad life and I’m a pretty big advocate of fatherhood and family life. I take photos for a living and have been doing this in Australia and around the world for almost four years.

What defines your photography style?
I document my life and the life of others with honesty. I attempt to find what’s beautiful in life, even in the simplest of circumstances. Love and adventure seem to be ongoing themes.

Do you have any formal training?
Not in photography. My background is in Marketing and I’ve completed a Bachelor of Management with a double major in Marketing and Human Resources. After five years of Marketing in Sydney, I enrolled in Screen and Media Cert IV at TAFE. I learnt very little and decided to drop out after one term. I opted instead, for online resources that were free and more for my style of self directed learning. The best teacher though, was simply getting out and shooting every day. No course can educate you in the way taking photos can.

What inspires you?
More than almost anything else, I’m inspired by the world around me. Travel is crucial to my photography. Last year, with my family, we saw 14 countries and it’s the changing landscapes, people and cultures that make me want to take photos. Whether I’m shooting a wedding or a mountain, travel has shaped the way I shoot.

What type of lighting do you use most within your photography?
I use natural lighting, almost 100% of the time. If I’m shooting outside, I’m only using natural light. Pretty much the only time I’ll use a light source is on the dance floor at a wedding, when I’ll use my Canon Speedlite 580EX II. I shoot it straight onto my subject at a lesser power with a slow shutter.

Who are your favourite photographers and/or artists as of right now?
I try not to follow too many photographers but it’s inevitable. On Instagram, I love @withhearts, @thiswildidea and @hamadahideaki. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Asgeir lately – his music is beautiful.

What is your proudest moment as a photographer?
The decision to leave my career in Marketing wasn’t an easy one. It’s a humbling experience to go from being a manager for one of Australia’s largest companies to being unemployed. After my first year in business, I’d made more money than if I’d stuck with Marketing and that definitely felt good – knowing that I could provide for my family through doing what I love.

How has social media helped with the success of your photography?
Incredibly. Not only in getting bookings of my own but in continually inspiring me through the images, words and lives of others. Instagram would be my favourite social media channel, for sure.

What is something you wish you were better at?
I wish I were better at almost every aspect of photography. I’ve got so much to improve on. Honestly though, I’d love to have a better understanding of using studio lighting in my work. I love natural light but it would be great to have a better understanding of other light sources.

How important is post-processing to your works?
Honestly, not very important. Even my favourite images that I spend the most amount of time on would be lucky to have more than 10 minutes worth of work on them. I use Lightroom, Alien Skin’s Exposure or Photoshop.

What type of photography do you enjoy the most? Creating your own personal work or client shoots?
Personal work. I think anyone who says otherwise is just being nice to their clients and while I love working for others, I feel happiest when driving around in a new place just looking for something to shoot for no reason other than the passion that burns within me to take photos.

Any big plans for the future?
We’re headed to Japan in 2015, I used to live there so I’m really looking forward to taking my wife and son there. We’ll hopefully eat ridiculous amounts of both gyoza and katsu while exploring the countryside. We’re also planning on driving across Australia as a family. We’ve been fortunate enough to see so many countries, I figure it’s due time we saw more of our own. We’re also looking at building a home on the South Coast on NSW.

Any advice for the novice photographer?
If you’re a novice photographer wanting to go professional, the best advice I can offer is to shoot constantly. Find what you’re most passionate about and then focus on that. Success will come as you increase in talent and figure out the best ways to get your work in front of other interested parties. While seeking inspiration from other photographers is part of everyone’s journey, make sure you find your own way of capturing what you see in the world.

If you like Tim's work, check out his portfolio and galleries here...


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