Many photographers can look back and think of someone who sparked their interest in photography and inspired them to be creative with a camera in hand. For me, one of those persons was Tim Kelley. Kelley embodies what is fun about photography, keeping it fresh and technically precise at the same time. I can recall the eye catching results he pulled out of an ancient Canon superzoom – and that trend has continued to this day. Although Kelley is not a full time pro, but he’d be among the first I’d call on to shoot my own wedding.
Name: Tim Kelley
Hometown: Arlington, VA , United States
Tell us about yourself: I’m 27 years old and live with my wife (and a baby on the way!) just outside of Washington DC. My hobbies are photography, travel, and triathlon. I work for the local government in bicycle advocacy getting people to ride bikes for pleasure and for transportation.
How did you get started? I got a Point-and-Shoot in college and went travelling shortly thereafter (at around 25+ countries I’ve visited)—I really enjoy the tech side of things so my camera was quickly upgrade multiple times.
Favorite subject matter? As lame as it sounds, I love to shoot “post-card” shots. Take me to the biggest, coolest, thing in whatever country I’m in and let me at it. (Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, Pyramids of Giza, Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, etc.) There’s a reason tourists flock to these places—they’re beautiful!
What’s your shooting style and photographic philosophy? I see photography as a hobby which I try to make pay for itself. I usually do about 3 or 4 weddings or year and other DC area gigs here and there (thus the Obama photo), but just leave it at that. I’m not trying to make a serious profession out of it because I think I would lose the passion and fun in it, so I shoot when I feel like it.I rarely try to influence a shot so my only setup is making sure I have the right lens for the job and making sure the camera is set to the appropriate settings.
What’s your favorite photo? I have too many favorites to choose! But, if forced to choose, I would say my picture of Mt Everest is one of my favorites. We were in Kathmandu on our way to India and only had one day for an airplane tour of the Himalayas. Unfortunately it was cloudy so there wasn’t much to see—except Mt. Everest happens be much taller than the clouds! I got the shot from inside a bouncy little 15 seater turbo-prop plane and seeing the mountaintop come into view in an ocean of white was quite surreal.
What do you shoot with? I am a Canon guy. Currently I shoot with 5dMk2 and various L series lenses. Favorites being 24-70L 2.8, 15mm fisheye, and 100-400L 4.5-5.6. I am surprising pretty set on gear—if I was going to get something else it would be a really long lens (600mm) or get a bigger place so I could have a room dedicated to shooting portraits with a seamless white muslin background.
What else would you like to shoot? I haven’t done much work in a studio with strobes—that would be great to learn more about.
What does the future hold for you? I want to stay on top of the latest photography equipment trends and continue to shoot weddings and other gigs when I feel like it, but my kids lives are going to be very well documented!
Advice to other photographers? For beginning photographers, there is a wealth of information on the internet if you are willing to put in the time to look for it. Put in the time learning how your equipment works first and don’t think you need to buy a whole set of lenses to make you a better photog.
View Tim’s work here:
Daily Photoblog: www.timkelley.net
Professional Portfolio: www.timkelleyphotography.com
In the Flickrverse: www.flickr.com/photos/timkelley