This month we got to chat with one of the most sort after and extremely talented photographers in SA, Tim Hulme. A passionate photographer with roots and interest in fashion, Tim is quickly becoming the go-to guy in the industry. We sat down with him to discuss his journey thus far and what has him so excited about the industry, take a look at how it went down:
MA: Tell us about your journey to where you are today, a little background in how you started out in photography?
I was lucky enough to be taught photography at a very young age. My parents were both keen amateur photographers, so some of my earliest memories are of learning about shutter speed and aperture settings in the Okavango. I’ve always felt I have an advantage over photographers that learnt on digital, with film mistakes were costly, you also just couldn’t shoot and shoot until you got it right. You had to get it right, and to value each and every photograph, something that is missing in a lot of modern digital photography.
MA: Are there any influences that have got you to where you are today?
I have always had a love with the fantasy and escapism of fashion images. Way before I even considered being a photographer, I would often browse through my sisters French Vogues just looking at the pictures, imagining the stories.
MA: Photography has many different facets to it, what part of the industry do you fall into?
My love is definitely fashion, but in a market as small as ours, being a full time fashion photographer is easier said than done. There are probably less than three or four in SA. As a result I have got into different aspects of commercial work. One good advertising job can give me the freedom to shoot 3 or 4 crazy fashion concepts.
MA: How would you describe your style of photography?
High impact images that leave an impression on the viewer. I would love to think that I capture that sense of escapism that first attracted me to fashion photography, an image really telling a story, and often a different story for each and every person that views it. I try very hard not to look like anyone else, in this over-saturated market I think it is very important to keep your work fresh and different.
MA: To date, what has been your best/biggest achievement as a photographer?
Sho this is a tough one to answer. I’ve shot some pretty high profile people, had work published on the front page of the New York Post, shot for numerous international and big SA publications, but the thing that makes me most proud, is the work I have done for charity. I shot a series of portraits for The Ntulisa Foundation (www.TNF.org.za) that were displayed and used for a presentation at the United Nations Millenium Development Summit, they probably affected more people than anything else I have done.
MA: We came across you when doing the Pixie Bennett feature a few weeks ago, tell us a bit more about that relationship?
A good friend of Pixie recommended that we shoot the album cover and art together. It was an awesome collaboration, she’s a breeze to work with, we got some stunning results, and she’s been an absolute star at crediting me whenever the images get used. I can’t wait to work with her again!
MA: When you leave the house, what is the one thing you will never forget behind?
My star wars moleskin, I’m usually up to date with the latest gadgets, but my diary is made of paper, and it contains my life.
MA: Are you working on any projects that we might be interested in?
I’m shooting In The City, so I am looking forward to doing some festival work for the first time in ages! I’ve got a bad ass Halloween fashion shoot coming out soon, it’s probably about as dark as I have ever gone! I’m also the senior photographer for a new pop culture magazine (www.splicedmagazine.com), there are some awesome super creative shoots we have been doing for the launch issue, including a sexy vampire shoot, shot in a 100 year old mansion! Had a lot of fun doing a Jimmy Hendrix themed fashion shoot for Gaschette magazine as well recently. So all in having a lot of fun at the moment.
MA: Being the photographer for this new online magazine called Spliced, can you please give us a little bit more info on this?
Spliced is a 100% original free local online Pop Culture and Lifestyle magazine! Together with Pippa Tshabalala and Chris Savides we realised there was nothing that really fills this segment, so we decided to make something. It is not the usual “online magazine” it is a full 150 pages of interesting content and articles, comics, movies, games, gadgets, anything we thought is cool! www.splicedmagazine.com
MA: Do you have free reign “artistically” in your role there, or is it very structured?
I have almost complete free reign, which is awesome! Obviously it still needs to be something that appeals to the right target market, but otherwise I can shoot anything I like! For the launch issue I shot the cover feature which is a sexy vampire fashion story! There’s also a In The City feature written and shot by me!
MA: How does this avenue of work benefit you and your career?
I firmly believe that you should spend at least half your time on personal work, to keep the creative juices flowing. Otherwise you can get trapped in a routine of shooting to a very structured brief, with very little creative input. The beauty of Spliced Magazine is that I get to express myself creatively, but it is still work, something more difficult to find than you would think.
MA: Where would you like to be in 5 years time, career wise?
I’ve always dreamt of having a real world-class studio in jozi., a place where people can hang out, where we can shoot proper high end fashion and commercial work and everything in a chilled welcoming vibe.
MA: If you could do a photo shoot which anyone on earth, who would you like to shoot?
Nelson Mandela, just to meet the great man would be incredible, but to have him sit for a portrait would be out of this world. If not madiba , probably Pennelope Cruz, she’s no youngster anymore, but I’ve always felt that she has the most amazing sexuality, to capture that on my camera would just be incredible!
MA: Where can people follow you?
or TimHulmePhoto on instagram
or Tim Hulme-Photo on facebook
or TimHulmePhoto on twitter